Today I had the pleasure of closing the sale of a home for Dick and Nancy.  They lived in the same home for over 30 years and successfully transitioned into a retirement community, Friendship Village,  in the Chesterfield area.  


Getting a home ready to sell, and trying to figure out how to squeeze 2800 square feet of "stuff" into a 1000 square foot apartment can be both mentally and physically challenging.  Some folks are lucky to have children that can come to the rescue.  For those that do not have friends and family nearby, there are resources available to help.  


Professional organizers can assist in sorting what will stay and what has to go.  Where do you find that sort of person?  Many retirement communities can help by referring incoming residents to professionals that can help sort, pack and move.  A good real estate agent should have those contacts in their rolodex.  


One of the most important things to do is allow a lot of time.  Any move is stressful, but long term planning will make it so much better.  Today Nancy told me she is surprised that she's not missing her home...she's excited to meet her new neighbors, and is glad to be relieved of all the responsibilities that home ownership entail.  I first met Nancy and Dick over a year ago, and we used every bit of that year to make this a smooth move.  They are thrilled to be someplace they will enjoy.  


If you are a family member assisting your parents in this sort of move, start early!  Keep your sense of humor about you, enjoy the time you spend with them sorting and packing.  It can be a fun walk down memory lane with them.  Call in the reinforcements if you need to...enlisting other family members or professionals.  There certainly can be a lot of emotions involved.  Be supportive and set a good example for your own kids...they will be helping you with that same sort of move someday!