More than ever, older adults are making the most of their retirement by moving into senior living communities, where they can stay engaged, spend time with peers and enjoy the fruits of a well-planned life — without the hassles of homeownership. If you’ve considered moving into a senior living community, you have also likely asked yourself, “How much of a downsize is right for me? Or more specifically, “How many square feet do I need in a house or apartment?” Believe it or not, the answer is often less than you might think.

When moving from a larger home to a senior living community, it can be difficult to imagine how much space you really need in your new residence. Keep in mind, at a Life Plan Community, all the services and amenities offered just steps from your door make downsizing easily achievable – they make it feel a lot like upsizing, too.

If you’re wondering what the ideal home size for a retiree is, we compiled a few questions to help you determine how much square footage you’ll truly need in your new senior living residence.


 Four Questions to Consider Before Making Your Move

How much of your current residence is being utilized?

If you’ve been in your current home for years or decades, there are likely cupboards, corners and sometimes even rooms that don’t get touched as often as they used to. This is where The Sticky Note Method comes in handy – place a sticky note on every door and closet, and as you open them, you can remove the sticky note. After some time, you’ll be able to see how much of your space you use. If most of the notes are still up nearly a week later, you can feel confident about moving into a residence with less square footage.

How often do you host guests?

Do you like to host your friends and family for dinner parties? Maybe have some overnight guests? If you don’t host often, you won’t have to worry about any additional space for others, but if you enjoy company in the comfort of your own home, you might want to consider a larger residence with an extra bedroom and bath. However, it’s important to remember that your senior living community will have much for you and your guests to enjoy outside of your apartment home, such as dining rooms for private events, guest apartments for overnight guests, community spaces and organized activities.

Do you need additional space for your hobbies?

One of the best parts of retirement living is having more time than you did before to enjoy all your hobbies since many of the daily hassles of homeownership are taken care of for you. For instance, if you’re a dedicated artist with a collection of brushes and easels, considering additional square footage might be a good idea. Of course, the right senior living community will have art studios, fitness centers, and other activities and clubs you need so you can enjoy the benefits of downsizing without giving up any of the things you love to do.

How much storage will you be needing?

If you’ve been in your current residence for quite a while, you might be using a significant portion of your home as storage. Making the move to a senior living community is the perfect opportunity to simplify your life by figuring out what possessions can be gifted to family, donated to charity or thrown away. Decluttering can be liberating, and it will allow you to transition into this next stage of life freely.

Start with clothing. If you haven’t worn an item in, say, two years, it’s just taking up space. Books? They’re space-takers. Plus, a nice Life Plan Community will have a well-stocked library. Pots, pans and flatware? With restaurant-style dining at the community, you’ll likely cook less.

A good rule of thumb is to limit the amount of your home used as storage space to 10%. For example, if your new one-bedroom residence is going to be around 900 square feet, you should be using about 90 square feet for storage. If you feel you’ll need more than that even after downsizing, you may want to think about a two-bedroom senior living apartment, or a one-bedroom with additional closet space.

The Right Fit Is Waiting For You.

Are you ready to downsize and start enjoying all the benefits of hassle-free retirement living? At The Glen at Scripps Ranch, San Diego’s maintenance-free Life Plan Community, residents spend less time doing housework and more time doing what they love – painting with a class, writing for The Glen at Scripps Ranch Insider, woodworking in the shop or taking photographs. Whether you’re a lifelong enthusiast of the arts or just wanting to explore a new hobby, The Glen has the tools and community for you to make the most of every day.

At the right Life Plan Community, enjoying your hobbies amongst neighbors-turned-friends is a delight, and finding the perfectly sized residence is easy. To explore the variety of floor plans we offer, check out our residences. Or, if you have any further questions about retirement living at The Glen, contact us here.