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The Art of Living Blog

How Much Space Do You Really Need in Your New Home?

Senior Living | 09/20/21


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Even when you’re fully committed to the idea of downsizing, you may be wrestling with the question, “How big should my house be?” With too little square footage, you may feel cramped and crowded. Too much space is a financial waste and defeats the purpose of scaling back.

Figuring out how big your house should be is a personal decision that depends on many variables. Taking a close look at your lifestyle, the amenities of the community where you’ll be making your home, and how much time you plan to spend in your apartment can all factor into which senior living floor plan you choose.

Lifestyle Considerations

Your vision for your retirement lifestyle factors heavily into how much space you need for an independent living apartment. The hobbies you plan to pursue and activities that you expect to fill your days will influence how much space you need.

If you’re an avid seamstress, a second bedroom or den may be helpful for storing supplies and crafting outside your main living space. If you expect to entertain and host overnight guests regularly, a comfortable guest room and adequate dining space will be important (if not within your home, within the community, such as the guest rooms available at Stonebridge at Montgomery). If you enjoy your time woodworking or puttering in a shop, you might find you no longer need a garage for your workspace, since our community has a woodworking shop on site. 

Beyond your personal interests, it’s a good idea to consider practical matters like your mobility when you’re deciding how big your house should be. A smaller residence  may make it easier for you to get around if you’re not as spry as you used to be. Also remember that a Life Plan Community like Stonebridge offers you the stability and security of a permanent place to live, so thinking about your future needs may also help you determine how much space you really need.

Another consideration is whether you’ll be living alone or with a partner. Couples who downsize from a family home into a senior living residence  often choose a two-bedroom floor plan. This allows them to each  have space of their own, even if they use the second bedroom as a den or secondary living space.

Community Amenities

While your private residence  may be your primary focus, knowing the amenities a community offers and how you expect to use them may affect which senior living floor plans work best for you.

For example, at Stonebridge, one of our unique amenities is an art studio, where residents can explore a new creative outlet or hone their skills at a craft they’ve enjoyed for a lifetime. Residents who take advantage of this community amenity may not find it necessary to make room for lots of  art supplies at home. Similarly, our resident-run greenhouse is a major attraction for residents with a green thumb, so they may not need space for a large garden or related equipment in their new home.

Home, Home Base, or Both?

In your retirement years, how you use your home may be different than the way you used it while you were raising a family and managing a career. . A professional who spent a great deal of time traveling for business may be looking forward to restful days at home, while someone who has always dreamed of seeing the world may only be home in between frequent adventures. 

For those who do plan to spend a fair bit of time within the senior living community, it’s also worth considering how much of your time will be spent in common areas versus in your private residence. As a resident at Stonebridge, you can rely on us for all your meals, so a small kitchen may suit you just fine. For those who love cooking and entertaining, floor plans with a full kitchen and larger living area are also available.  If you expect to spend most days engaging with your neighbors, taking part in classes, visiting the fitness center, and using other community amenities, you probably don’t need as much space as a homebody who prefers spending time in their own independent living apartment or cottage.

See Our Spacious Floor Plans

When you’re accustomed to a family home, you may have trouble visualizing how much space you’ll actually have in an independent living apartment or cottage. Our senior living experts are here to help, including answering questions such as, “How big should your house be when you retire?” Contact us to schedule a visit, and we’ll gladly show you our floor plans and help you get acquainted with the Stonebridge community and specific amenities.