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How to Create the Feeling of Home Wherever You Live After 60 – Use Your Senses Wisely!

By Kay Arthur April 30, 2023 Lifestyle

Of all the words in the dictionary, the word “home” resonates a place in our heart reserved for feelings that are almost indescribable. Like a sigh, it just belongs there, settled in and comfortable, resting assuredly in the folds of our heart.

“And I’m not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and…. oh, Auntie Em, there’s no place like home.”

—Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

It’s the familiarity and comfort of something that is woven into the very fabric of who we are. A smell. A sound. The feel of the air. The sight of things we love. The taste of something. A memory so seared into our soul that it is never forgotten. It’s “home.”

That Special Place

Our plane glides down and the view of our surroundings settle us. Home.

You pull into the driveway, after being gone too long. Home.

You place photos that you love in your new house. Home.

You drive by the house that built you. Home

My essay by the title “Home”  speaks to the memories of where I was raised, my childhood “place.” Yes, where I live now is home to me, but home, in my mind, also transports me to where my youth was planted in the soil of my forefathers.

And that life will forever be woven into the fabric of my being, the strong threads that bind me to country air and corn fields. Home.

There’s nothing more special than feeling the arms of home surround you. It’s a sensation like no other. But what is it about your home that does that? What is it that we do to make the place where we live to become a home?

It’s just walls and mortar, right? A box put together with wood and nails, furniture and our “stuff” sitting around adorning it with colors to match our personality.

But the minute that we walk in, it sucks us in, embraces us, and we relax into its waiting arms. We breathe out that sigh we’ve been holding since we left. We’re home.

So many of us in our 60s have downsized and no longer need the extra rooms of a larger home. We’ve dwarfed our brick and mortar and cast aside the “extras’ that we used to think were so important.

Simplicity is the new buzz word that gives us a kick. Minimalist is our goal. And Marie Kondo is our new tidying queen. Every time we want something, we ask ourselves, “Do I really need this?” Our home has become a miniature version of what we had before; a new, condensed, dollhouse version.

How Do We Make Our House a Home?

What are the key pieces of our life that we must have in our space in order for it to feel like “us”? The five senses that we use every day have a lot to do with giving our house the comfort and familiarity we rely on to ignite this emotion.


Fill your house with photos and mementos of your favorite times. All it takes is one look at a photo to take you back to the moment the shot was taken. Nothing warms us more than a walk down memory lane. Adorn your walls with images that give you joy and heartfelt reminiscing.


My daughter’s house smells like Tuberose. She’s always loved those candles, and I would bet that her girls will think of “home” every time they smell that scent.

Perhaps it’s your favorite lotion or face cream. Or your laundry soap. Signature your smell. Make it your own. Your walls, your clothes, the structure and threads of your life will embed the scent and own it. It will reflect “you.”


Nothing is more comfortable than a couch or chair with your favorite afghan or blanket laying on it. Snuggling with your favorite wrap gives your home a Hygge feel, the coziness that Denmark is noted for. Contentment. Warmth. Satisfaction.


Fix your favorite meals, the ones that add personality and flair to your cooking experience. Invite your friends or family over to enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres. A house becomes a home when your table is stacked and surrounded by your loved ones.


Music moves me. Soothing music, jazz, country, or oldies – I love it all. Technology is so advanced now, you can have several different playlists for each of your moods. Fun, flirty, quiet, or festive.

Music fills our space with the sounds of “us.” Create your own personal vibes that make you feel good, ones that make your soul dance.

Size Doesn’t Matter

No matter how big or small your space is, you can make it “home.”

My sister and I moved our aging mother into an assisted living home several years ago. Her safety was the deciding factor. It was time. We watched as the difficulty of acceptance washed across her face in waves of conflicting emotions.

Then finally, the sigh of familiarity settled into her eyes as she became content. She was “home.” Gradually and gratefully, like the comfy feel of soft slippers, she felt this one large room that contained her things had become her home.

The pictures, the quilt, the rocking chair, the familiar memories of her life, came with her and reside beside her, where she now seldom wants to leave. She’s safe, comfortable, and happy. What more could we want for her? And because she is there, it’s “home” to us too.

We dive into that feeling just by her presence, and Mom’s signature brand of “home” washes through us, settles there, and gives us joy.

So, you see, “home” is not concrete. It’s abstract, evolving, and an ever-flowing feeling of comfort and contentment. A never-ending “ahhhh” that you create for yourself and your family. It is nothing about the size, or cost, or adornment of “things.”

Dorothy’s famous line as she clicked her heels together reverberates lasting words that ring true to our ears:

“There’s no place like home.”

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What is it that you do to make your house a “home”? Does your home have a signature smell? What can you do to create more comfort in your home? Let’s share ideas on what “home” means to you.

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We decided to up roots and retire all at once to follow our dream to live near the sea.
After 24 years in our last house notice the word”house” it served us well but we were there for work purposes only.
I always wanted to move we go on holidays and l woùld look in estate agents windows.
So when we decided to move release equity and take early retirement.This house is home its filled with love, hopes and my watercolours that l do now l have time to go to art classes.
Time to live a good life.
Thats home to me.

Toni Stritzke

I travelled from NZ to Australia with my daughter, two suitcases and quite limited money. I found a place to rent, and some basic furniture from second-hand shops. Our TV stand was an old school desk which I covered with a pretty cloth.
Every weekly shop, I looked out for flowers on sale at the local supermarket. If it was a meagre bunch, I could always pick something leafy to put with it.
With my watercolour paintings on the wall, using my imagination and very little money, I’ve always made any place homely.


Nice article! We moved from central IL to southeast Alabama. It was such a culture shock: socially and climate. Its been 5 yrs and we are only now feeling like this house is “home”. My strongest suggestion is…surround yourself with what you find beautiful. We enclosed our deck and filled it w/ tropical plants, cushioned out door furniture & a fountain. Then we surrounded the deck with flower beds…creating an oasis. We are gradually filling our house with houseplants as well. I can’t say most of the items you listed would appeal to us. We each have our own sense of home comfort…and ours is beauty.


Unfortunately we have moved around and so haven’t had somewhere I could call a home with lots of memories 🫤just different houses

The Author

Kay Arthur lives in Arizona, both in Phoenix and in a cabin near Prescott where she loves to write. She has retired from many years in Healthcare Administration and now enjoys exploring her creative side. Kay has developed Moonflower Blooms, a blogging website dedicated to inspiring readers to live an authentic and joyfully simplistic life in search of their true "self".

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