Many seniors relish the chance to downsize, embrace minimalism and enjoy a smaller, tidier home in assisted living. Of course, there’s a reason that most of us spend our lives accumulating miscellaneous stuff. Everyone develops emotional attachments to their possessions, and the way you choose to decorate your home and adorn your furniture is a reflection of who you are, what you enjoy, and even what you believe. You don’t have to abandon these personal touches when you transition to assisted living. Here are some great ideas for making your new space uniquely yours.
Build a Better Bed
Everyone deserves a cozy place to turn in for the night. Your bed may be a focal point in your new home, so go all out decorating it. A beautiful comforter, supportive pillows, a lovely bedskirt, and other accoutrements can make your bed stand out. Try putting a basket or other storage space next to the bed so that you don’t have to worry about throwing extra pillows on the floor when you unmake your bed at night.
Try Some Houseplants
Houseplants don’t just spruce up your home. They also help clean the air and can even improve your health and mood. Try using smaller plants such as miniature orchids, and succulents such as small echeveria to build a mini indoor garden. Hanging planters are also a great way to make use of vertical space. If you have a large window, try hanging a wall planter across from it. Some planters can accommodate hundreds of tiny plants.
Decorate with Photos
Everyone loves to see familiar, comfortable faces. Framed photos are a classic way to make your home feel familiar, but they’re far from the only option. Services such as Shutterfly and Snapfish allow you to turn your photos into blankets, pillows, magnets, puzzles, mountable wall art and just about anything else you can dream up.
Choose Bright, Vibrant Colors
If your new home looks a little too plain, don’t be afraid to spruce things up with vibrant hues. Tangerine throws or bright blue pillows on your couch are excellent accents. Bright wall art, cheery curtains and quirky vases and flower displays add to the charm.
Try Wall Shelving
When you live in a relatively small space, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Make better use of the space by using the walls for additional storage. Wall-mounted shelves make a great home for photos, books, art and knickknacks. Wall cabinets give you more storage space without cluttering the floor. If you really want to get creative, you can even try hanging hammock seats and/or other novel decor.
Invest in Organization
Transitioning to a smaller space doesn’t have to mean choosing between living in clutter and getting rid of everything you love. Intelligent organizational systems help you use every spare inch of space. Try installing a closet organizer so that you can use all the space in your closet, not just the hanging bar. Drawers, baskets and stackable organizers keep clutter out of the way, preventing it from becoming a fall hazard. They also help you find the things you need when you need them. Try color-coding or labels so that everything is always just a drawer away. You don’t have to spend a ton of money, either. If you’re on a budget, your local dollar store may offer a wide range of affordable organizational products.
The right assisted living community may offer some additional tips for decorating. So ask about what has worked for other community members, and don’t be afraid to seek input. Sometimes touring your neighbors’ homes can give you inspiration and show you all the great things you can do with a small space. So get creative and enjoy the process of making your new home a place that uniquely reflects you.