Small Changes, Big Impact: Cabin Upgrades for Better Accessibility
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Small Changes, Big Impact: Cabin Upgrades for Better Accessibility

Here are some subtle changes that you can make around your cabin to improve accessibility and prioritize your health without breaking the bank.

Written by Sam Bowman
 Photo by Charlotte May / Pexels

When you or a loved one are living with a chronic health condition or other health-related challenges, you want your cabin to be the ideal getaway — a welcoming space that is easy to navigate. 

A complete renovation, however, could be costly. Remodeling and construction can disturb your environment and create additional health issues, even more so if you are on a tight budget. Here are some subtle changes that you can make around your cabin to improve accessibility and prioritize your health without breaking the bank.  


Making Your Cabin Happy and Healthier

How do you create a healthier and happier home atmosphere? Start with the basics: deep cleaning and decluttering old and unused items. This frees up needed space in your cabin and allows walkways and high-traffic areas to become more accessible. 

Next, do a walk-through to inventory your in-home accessibility needs. Create a list of desired changes that are in your budget. For example, you may not be able to cost-effectively widen a doorway. Instead, you can use offset door hinges to widen the door opening, allowing room for walkers and wheelchairs.

One easy update that can make a big difference is a fresh coat of paint. Use a brand with low or no VOCs since these chemicals can irritate sensitive lungs. Some paint choices already include primer, saving you money. Next, add simple touches that make you happy: wall hangings, new pillows for your couch, and low-cost design elements. Framed photos are a great way to make your cabin warm and welcoming.

Here are some other ideas for creating a relaxing atmosphere in your cabin: 

  • Use soft lighting elements and make the most of natural light. If you don’t have a lot of windows, dress them with sheer or translucent window coverings.
  • Keep your indoor air fresh and clean by cleaning out ducts, dusting regularly, and using an air purifier.
  • Start a backyard or window garden with easy-to-care-for flowers and bring potted plants indoors. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that if you choose to make more extensive renovations to the exterior or interior of your cabin, you need to be considerate of your neighbors. If your cabin is part of a remote community, be mindful of noise and work schedules to not disturb other vacationers. You will also need to factor in how easy it is for work crews, including those who manage construction waste, to make the drive out to your home away from home. 

If you’re not ready to make the leap to larger renovations just yet, there are several ways to improve the accessibility of your cabin with small do-it-yourself projects.


Bathroom Safety

Accidental injuries commonly occur in the bathroom, according to the CDC. In light of this, everyone should make their bathrooms safer. These changes can help:

  • A toilet riser makes sitting easier.
  • Install grab bars in your shower and bathtub.
  • Buy non-slip mats for both inside and outside your shower.

In addition to safety, clean your bathroom regularly to promote health and wellness.

  • dirty shower curtain may not make you sick, but if the smell of PVC plastics irritates you, switch to a cloth curtain.
  • Regularly clean or replace shower curtain liners.
  • Close your toilet lid when flushing to avoid germs splashing out.
  • If your bathroom has limited ventilation, use cleaning products without harsh chemicals. A mask and cleaning gloves can protect your body too.


Peaceful Sleep

The CDC states that all adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night. If you’re struggling with sleep due to health issues, talk to your doctor about acceptable ways to manage this. 

In the meantime, creating a comfortable haven in your cabin’s bedrooms will set the stage for better sleep: 

  • Make sure your bedroom is fully dark by using darkening shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • Select a pillow that is the right fit for you. You may even want one with cooling technology.
  • Keep room temperature at a comfortable level.
  • Paint your bedroom in soft, relaxing shades, like pale blue.


Making an Accessible Kitchen 

Adapting your kitchen to your needs does not always require a remodel. Optimizing kitchen organization makes meal prep easier and cuts down on clutter. Put your most used items low, within easy reach. Use organizer systems for medication, keys, notes, coupons, and other grab-and-go items. 

If countertops are difficult to manage, try a wheeled food prep table. Buy one with storage for the most convenience. Keep a mini fold-up step ladder or a grabber handy to reach high-up shelving and cabinets. 

Kitchen tools are a great help as well. Buy jars and containers to hold food items  Or consider making your own kitchen storage racks. Other specialty food prep items provide convenience, such as hands-free salad spinners, touch can openers, and one-handed cutting boards. 

Naturally, health and safety are also critical in the kitchen. Check your range hood for an effective fan and a working light. And install smoke alarms near (but not in) the kitchen to keep you safe from fires without them going off every time you cook with oil.


Outside Your Cabin 

Several outdoor conveniences can also keep you safe and comfortable.

  • Video doorbells. While these may seem costly, many options are now under $40. The convenience and security are worth the effort or cost of installation!
  • Remote sensor lights. These keep your path lit when you come home.
  • Electronic insect killers. Pests are a nuisance and carry diseases. These bug “zappers” provide protection without any nasty chemicals.



These simple ideas can go a long way, but you may need more upgrades to your home. If that’s the case, you can use the tips we revealed above to improve accessibility in your cabin while saving up for major renovations. 

Small changes like these throughout your home let you update your home for better physical and mental health without much money, time, or effort. Simple changes also provide a cushion, allowing you to save for a larger renovation project. This approach to in-home accessibility helps you turn your home into a sanctuary. 


Sam Bowman writes about people, tech, wellness, and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for the community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time, he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.


See Also: Building Accessibility Features into Your Cabin

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