Minimalism is all the rage, thanks to superstar minimalism enthusiasts such as Marie Kondo — and to today’s shrinking pocketbooks. But is the current craze for de-cluttering and downsizing relevant to seniors?
Small is beautiful
There are lots of good reasons to embrace a smaller living space. Once their children have struck out on their own, many seniors find that the family home is simply too big for their needs. Moving into a smaller space has many advantages: a small apartment or condo is often more convenient than a full-sized house, and capital freed up by the sale of one’s home can be used to modify the property to become more accessible. If you don’t want to move out, why not get a stairlift installed?
As well as conventional dwellings, many seniors are getting the minimalist “tiny house” bug. Tiny houses are complete, fully equipped, standalone properties that pack everything you want in a desirable residence into the smallest possible space. From miniature cottages to converted shipping containers and futuristic geodesic domes, there’s a tiny house to suit every taste. Many people choose to construct their tiny house on the same property as their family’s main dwelling; this has the advantage of providing an independant living space while still remaining close to loved ones.
Cut through the clutter
Sleek, minimalist styles don’t just look good. They’re also practical and easy to maintain. Clear spaces with smooth surfaces are easier to keep clean and tidy than fussy, over-furnished rooms. A cluttered home can actually become somewhat hazardous in some cases; as mobility and eyesight become less reliable, extraneous furnishings and decorations transform into obstacles and trip hazards. Minimalist design helps tackle that problem by paring down clutter and confusion.
As well as minimalist homes and interiors, seniors can employ minimalism in their outdoor spaces. Replacing labor-intensive lawns with smooth patios and decks is one example. Sprawling, overgrown hedges can be replaced with simple fences or walls; hard-to-manage trees and shrubs can be removed and replaced with outdoor sculptures in a minimalist. Garden clutter such as underused lawn furniture can be replaced with more simple, easy-to-maintain minimalist designs. There’s even a range of minimalist outdoor exercise equipment – attractive, almost sculptural forms that are ideal for those who value keeping fit and healthy.
Even without making major changes to your home, employing minimalist principles can streamline your lifestyle, making independent living less challenging and more enjoyable