The 100 Years Club Installment #48: Home AloneReading Time: 4 minutes
I’ve been living alone (again) for about 10+ years.
My return from a 4-week excursion to the East Coast got me thinking about the definition of “home” for me at this stage of my life.
Like many things related to life >50, it’s something of a reversion to what my needs used to be. My Freshman dorm room was a simple box (a single) with a funky bedspread, incense, and just enough space for my clothes, my music, and my luggage (a big black trunk that doubled as a coffee table/nightstand).
I no longer burn incense. I’m more of a diffuser fan these days.
And my coffee table is rather bougie and doubles as a storage bin.
My music takes up way less space (although my college vinyl collection is in a closet).
I still have a funky bedspread, but it’s no longer my hand-crocheted number.
But the point is that my definition of “home” is largely the space between my ears and my chest cavity (my heart and lungs). The rest is merely a space where I sleep, keep my stuff, pack, and get inspired (sometimes).
The Tiny Home
I’ve lived in giant spaces and miniature spaces, and I’m now at a point in my life where I prefer a minimalist lifestyle.
Especially after emptying out my mother’s house when she died, I’m determined to reduce my footprint on this planet. If you’re contemplating doing the same (at any age), think about:
- What’s REALLY important to you in life? Traveling, cooking, and fashion are my passions, and I need enough space to store all the stuff related to those things. For example, having enough shelves for and access to luggage, appliances (the mini ones), and shoes/sweaters/accessories is key. I love having carefully selected knick-knacks around me that make me smile every day but avoid clutter and mess.
- Sleep. You gotta have it. A great bed is mandatory — even if it’s a Murphy variation or a twin size (although that may involve the decision to always snooze solo). You should also consider the noise level. (I like living on the top floor for that reason. I don’t hear clomping over my head, but a big dog next door sometimes body-slams itself against my wall. No living situation is perfect!)
- Entertaining. I’ve never had a big group at my place, but we do have a community room and guest quarters downstairs. At our age, why pay for space you don’t need year-round?
- Location and accessibility. When I went out to look for apartments in Arizona, I asked for something with a cool view and within walking distance of coffee, shopping, and food. I found that! Some days I don’t even need to drive, which is good for the planet. I’m less than 30 minutes from an airport, 10 minutes from hiking, and 5 minutes to a movie theater (another passion).
Would I love an additional room for my crafts stuff and work? That would be grand. But a co-working space is just fine for when I need to have other people around me. And I have had to forego my sewing machine and use the ones at nearby retailers if I suddenly get a yen to quilt.
Some people my age need and want lots of space — for family, friends, pets, and simply wandering around. And that works for them.
But I’ve discovered that “home” for me has taken on a whole new meaning as I’ve gotten older.
And home is truly where the heart is — this holiday season and year-round.
Here are some of the latest facts about dwellings:
|The average home size in 2023
|Roomie or solo?
|25% of us are “house poor”
|The tiny home trend