Elderly, retirees trim their houses for more comfortable living.
According to this article in Japan Today, some elderly people and retired baby boomers whose children have become independent are hard at work reducing the size of their homes to a more manageable level.
If a house is reformed to make it smaller, cleaning it becomes easier, and if a two-story house is rebuilt as a one-story house its earthquake-resistance is stronger.
According to a survey in 2003 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the average number of rooms in the household of a single person aged over 65 was 4.36, while the household of a couple aged over 65 had 5.47 rooms.
But more and more couples and elderly people have to face the fact that the number of rooms they use for storage increases as they get older.