Over the last few decades, family size has decreased while home size has increased. And as baby boomers approach retirement, they have realized that the larger homes are more than they want to manage in their retirement. They want to enjoy their free time, and this means less time doing housekeeping chores, lawn care and general home maintenance. So as you prepare to downsize, realize you are not alone.

Active Adult Downsizing

Downsizing presents a new perspective on lifestyle. It takes a plan so that you have time to downsize in a deliberate, organized manner. Consider how much you need, how much you want. This process will mean less square footage for living space and less storage space.  Create a plan for organizing the space you will live in.

How many times do you actually sit down and go through the photos and photo albums you have accumulated through the years. Over the years, technology has enhanced photo storage making it easier to access these precious memories. Consider scanning documents, awards and childhood artwork. And send out boxes of 35mm slides and videos to be digitized and backed up to the cloud. This is not only great for downsizing, but ensures that these pictorial histories will be around for years, safe from disasters, loss and more.

Don’t wait for “someday” to share precious items. Consider what you want to keep, and offer some of the other items to family. Imagine watching them enjoy your things.

Consider hiring an estate company to help you sell your valuables, furnishings and home decor. Or sell your unwanted stuff for the most possible money by hosting a yard sale to get rid of those heavy furniture items or appliances. The more money you make, the more you’ll have to buy things that are size appropriate for your new home, or save the money and enjoy your new life in your smaller space.

Downsizing doesn’t have to be a hassle or a horrible experience—it may sound like it, and parting with the things you own can definitely be emotional, but try to think about the life you’ll get in exchange for the stuff you’re giving away. No matter where you choose to live, remember that, and try to make sure that new life is as happy as possible. Whatever your reasons are for choosing to downsize at this point, attitude matters—and the more upbeat you can make the process, the smoother it’ll go.