Making a decision to move into a more manageable residence after the kids have left home seems sensible to many of us. So why do we keep delaying the process of moving forward?  It’s because the thought of moving is overwhelming and most of us have accumulated so much stuff that it becomes exhausting to even think about it.

If this sounds like you, here are 5 practical tips to help you to begin the process of simplifying your life.

1.  Make a plan. Spend some time thinking and researching where you may want to live.  Consider your interests, proximity to family and financial situation. Take time to visualize what the next phase of your life will look like.

2.  Communicate with your friends and family.  It’s important that your family knows your plan so that everyone is on the same page.  This is not asking for permission, but simply keep them informed. One of the reasons communication is important is because should anything happen, at least they know what YOU want.  Let them share their thoughts and concerns with you.  Sometimes the move is more emotional for the family than it is for you.

3.  Develop a team of professionals to advise you on how to make the move as simple and headache-free as possible!  Some of the professionals that you may need  are movers, Realtor, move managers who will help you organize, pack and sort through your belongings, estate liquidator to help you sell the things you don’t want to take with you, financial advisor, trust, will and probate attorney, home repair contractor, cleaners and possibly senior communities.  Get referrals and interview specialized experts who have the experience, skills and the perspective you need on downsizing.

4.    Decide what you will need to take with you, offer remaining items to your family members and then let the professionals take it from there.  A good move manager  will help you with this.  A great estate liquidator will take care of the rest so that you can walk out the front door and not look back!

5.  Expect emotional ups and downs during the process.  This is normal and by being prepared is helpful.  Take time for yourself to take more walks, get together with friends for lunch or just sit down in the midst, read a good book or my favorite... take a nap! Trust that it will all get done.

Nancy Puder is a Senior Specialist and Realtor with Nancy Puder at Keller Williams Central Coast Realty in Pismo Beach, CA.  For more information on downsizing and simplifying your life or for help with a family member, contact Nancy at (805)710-2415 or email