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The Simple Home: How to Make Home Maintenance Easy for Seniors

Woman working in her yard spreading mulch in a circle.
How can you make your home and garden simpler to care for as you age? 

Taking care of your home isn’t always easy. It can involve a lot of organizing and a lot of physical work. If you’re planning to stay in your home as you get older, how can you make your home maintenance simpler? 

Make Your Garden Simple But Beautiful

Your garden can be your pride and joy, but it can also be your headache and your backache. Doing a lot of garden maintenance might have seemed fun and easy once, but as you age it can seem like a real chore. If you want to sit in your garden and enjoy it more than you want to haul leaves around the garden, what can you do to make the space simple to manage but also beautiful? 

  • Choose low-maintenance outdoor structures. Any structure you add will need to be cleaned and maintained. Choose structures that require low maintenance, such as motorized, retractable awnings that go over your deck.
  • Be strategic about the complex parts of your garden. If you have a garden with multiple zones that are overflowing with flowers, consider simplifying. Look for more striking perennials rather than wildflower gardens.
  • If you love wildflowers, choose varieties that self-sow. Be prepared to hire someone to maintain that area every few years as you will likely need to renew and replace some of the flowers. One species may become more abundant over time.
  • Reduce the number of annuals you put in every year. This will not only reduce your maintenance, but it will also reduce your costs.
  • Choose slow-growing, evergreen plants. That way, you need to clean up fewer leaves in the fall, and you don’t need to prune as often.
Older couple outside with a home in the background.
Reducing the clutter and simplifying your garden helps you stay in your own home.

Reduce the Clutter 

Indoors and out, choose to reduce the clutter around your home. If you’ve spent a lifetime accumulating objects or plants, this can be difficult. 

  • Consider what you actually use and value in your everyday life. If you’ve been saving all of those books just in case you decide to read them again, it could be time to donate them to the public library where you and everyone else will have the opportunity to check them out. 
  • If you have items that have been on display in the past but are high-maintenance to clean, choose to store them or give them away to family members who will appreciate them. 
  • Reduce the number of floor coverings that you have. Throw rugs can be particularly high maintenance as you need to clean each one. 
  • If you love shopping for fun, shop for other people instead. The more you bring into the home, the more you’ll need to clean. 
  • Collect small objects in boxes or baskets so that you don’t see them lying around the house. 
  • Have a place to tuck away visual clutter that you still need. For instance, you can add a shed to your yard where you store your garden care equipment.

Choose From the Classics

If you enjoy home renovations, you’ve probably spent some time in the midst of one or more in an effort to make your home fit the latest trends. As you get older, choose from the classics instead of updating your home all of the time. For instance, you can decorate your home with more neutral paint colors and choose to change the color of the sofa pillows rather than the color of the walls and the furniture. Simplifying the way that you renovate will save you a lot of time and money.

Address Key Concerns First 

While dusting is important, there are some key items that you need to address in order to keep your home in good repair and avoid large problems that turn into massive home renovation projects. According to LifeHacker, “It’s the little things like caulking around the tub and making sure your gutters aren’t clogged that prevent bigger things like serious water damage, interior and exterior.”

You can totally avoid clogged gutters, which means you won’t have to clean them – Download our free gutter guide to learn more.

Elderly woman reading a magazine sitting outside.
Create a space that is low maintenance so you can relax and enjoy your time there.

Keeping your home’s core structure doing well will allow you to spend time on some of the minor issues with a sense of ease, knowing that everything big is taken care of. By yourself or with the help from a handyperson or specialist in the field, you’ll need to address concerns such as: 

  • The structure of your building. Is it safe from pests such as carpenter ants? Is it impacted by moisture or other damage? 
  • The protection around your interior building structures. Make sure that they are sound. These include roofing, siding, and windows.
  • Interior and exterior plumbing. Are there leaks or other issues that would cause water to go where it is not supposed to go? 
  • Water drainage. When rain or snow falls, does the water move away from your home? Are your gutters working well, or are they clogged? 
  • Potential safety hazards. What about that tree in your yard? Are the branches going to drop on your roof? Do you have adequate protection on your windows to keep them safe from high winds or hurricanes? 

Get Help From Others

As you get older, consider where you can outsource some of your home maintenance. A local handyperson can help you do things like: 

  • Change light bulbs and smoke alarms in the stairwells 
  • Prune your trees 
  • Inspect your roofing and siding 
  • Remove large quantities of snow or leaves from your garden

In particular, you want to avoid heavy lifting and climbing to make sure that you don’t experience an accident. Professionals that you hire will come better-equipped to do these tasks and may also have safety equipment that they can use to make their job easier.

Choose Products That Make Your Life Easier

When you’re considering home products, look for products that make your life easier. For example, as you install a new awning for your home, make sure that your new awning is retractable and motorized so that you don’t need to clean it as often or use a manual crank to move it open. When it comes to cleaning your gutters, you can hire help, but you can also add gutter guards to protect your gutters and eliminate the need for cleaning at all. There are many other low-maintenance alternatives to common products. These include: 

  • Composite decking and fencing. According to Bob Vila, this plastic and sawdust decking is low maintenance: “You will never have to stain, paint, or sand a composite deck, leaving you more time to enjoy your outdoor space.” 
  • Low-maintenance siding such as vinyl or fiber-cement siding. This siding resists the actions of both insects and water.
  • Tough fiberglass or metal doors. This is much safer for your home, and it won’t warp over time.
  • If you have a large lawn, consider helpers such as a ride-on lawnmower.

At Harry Helmet, we’re here to help you create a home that’s both easy to maintain and easy to enjoy. Make your home more beautiful and functional by adding gutter guards, awnings, and more. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.

Written by Del Thebaud

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