Organizing Small Spaces – Downsizing Seniors

When organizing small spaces there are many considerations. For today, let’s start with entertaining. Here are 2 options that I recommend.

First. For daily living downsize to a table for two. I understand that this is difficult for people who love to entertain friends and family. But, realistically there is no longer the space not just to hold a large table and 6-8 chairs but no space for all those dinner plates, crystal glasses and cutlery sets just to mention a few. Buy a small table you like and make your space work for you or your loved one on a day to day basis.

Retirement residences have coffee rooms where residents can entertain guests for coffee. And in most of these homes the coffee, tea and snacks are provided by the retirement home. If you like to play cards and other games there usually spaces for this as well. And most often there are activities to participate in all under one roof. Let me regress to the article I wrote last week about my client who shops online. Well, she happily says she doesn’t need to leave her condo building if she doesn’t want to.  She has a pool, cards games, craft activities and more that she partakes in.  Her physiotherapist and RMT also provide services in her condo.

Many condos and apartments have larger rooms that can be booked for family gatherings and parties. And surprisingly, when I mention these options with little or no cleanup up my senior clients get excited and opt-in.

If you don’t have a room available where you live or want even easier entertainment here is my second recommendation. You can book a local hotel/motel with small to medium sized party rooms to host large holiday gatherings. A friend and her husband use this strategy for Easter, Thanksgiving and even Christmas. They cook the turkey and everyone else brings a dish. The hotel has posted signs to leave the room as it was found. Therefore by the time each person takes their dirty dish home there is very little left to do for my friend and her husband and his mother. His mother’s home was the place where everyone wanted to be. This prevented family members from showing up to dinner, her mother in law preparing most of the food and being left with all the cleanup.

I moved a client a few months ago to a small apartment. She was recently widowed and her large extended family were coming to town for the spring interment. She wanted to host them but did not have the space for 20-25 people in her one bedroom apartment. We discussed a few local restaurants that had suitable space with some privacy. I called and booked her party into the Swiss Chalet in Barrie. Not fancy, but something for everyone and easy on her pocket book as well.

Yes, it’s not the same as the cozy family home but it allows for everyone to get together to socialize and share a meal. It’s a lot less stressful for everyone and especially for the host. Make your visits an easy situation for all.

It’s wonderful to entertain in your home. I love having people over but it is a lot of work. And it’s fine while we have this energy and space. But as we age or work extremely hard this energy dwindles.

And there is no shame in booking a space outside your home or your mom’s home so that everyone can enjoy the day.

In some European countries, its customary to eat dinner out at a restaurant rather than in someone’s home. And the British who throughout history had small houses met at their local pub or coffee shop to catch up. These customs might seem foreign to us but are very doable, especially as we age and downsize.

With Thanksgiving and really even Christmas just around the corner this is Food for Thought when Organizing Small Spaces!

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