Step 1: Create a plan that fits your lifestyle and future needs. The first phase of creating your plan means doing some research. Consider your interests, financial situation, location of your friends and family, and how you envision living life to the fullest. Then choose a place that you think will best fit your lifestyle.

Take some time with this step even if you haven’t fully decided whether you intend to move. It’s like having a plan in case of fire or storm… you hope to never need to use it, but it’s smart to have it just in case.

Step2: Communicate with your family and friends. This doesn’t mean asking for their permission or even their opinions. It is a good idea, however, and sometimes necessary to keep family members and friends in the loop.   If, later, you do need help or advice, they’re at least on the same page. You can share with them your thoughts about your plan and find out if they have any questions or concerns.

Interestingly, sometimes a move can be even more emotional for adult children than it is for their parents.

Step 3:   Surround yourself with highly qualified professionals. You will likely need the services of an estate liquidator, a mover, a REALTOR®, an organizer, move manager, home repair contractors, retirement community personnel, and others. Get to know these people and their services by taking time to interview and get references.

Downsizing moves require service providers with specialized expertise and although you may have utilized such professionals before, they may not have the skills, knowledge, or appreciation needed for the move in this phase of your life.

Step 4: Get rid of all that extra “stuff.” The liquidation of property and household belongings is often the step that trips people up and leads to dread as they make a much- needed and much-anticipated move. It might be the uncertainty of where to begin, reluctance to part with treasured possessions, or the physical work that is involved that creates the stumbling block.

The good news is, you don’t have to sort through everything! Just focus on what you need and want to take with you. Let the professionals do the rest!

Step 5: Adjusting to your new lifestyle. This sounds like an easy step, but the impact of this type of transition is often underestimated. During the hustle and bustle of the moving process, emotions get placed on the back burner.

Don’t ignore your emotional well-being. Make sure you take stock of how you’re feeling throughout the process, as well as how you might be feeling about your new lifestyle – simply being aware and prepared can make a big difference. Open communication is key.

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