The answer is assessment, examine solutions, declutter and have a written plan. Can you guess the question?

In reality, it?s a question that all of us will one day ponder: When does life require a move to a smaller, safer living space?

Whether that question is being asked by you or a loved one, at some point we all have to stop and look at our long-term comfort and safety and figure out if it’s time to right-size our home. While some people may look forward to the concept of downsizing as they age, others find it extremely difficult to give up the old homestead. Following are four areas to consider in the decision-making process:

? Assessment: Take an honest look at your home and how much of it you actually use. Are you living in a six-room house but only use the kitchen, living room and bedroom on a regular basis? Are the stairs becoming difficult to navigate? Is your home somewhat isolated from family and friends? Assess your living situation honestly by recording your daily activities over an extended period of time. The results may surprise you!

? Examine solutions: If remaining in your home is no longer the best choice, what are your alternatives? There are many options such as a retirement community, condo, apartment or just a smaller house. At this point, it?s crucial to consider your finances and think long term.

? Declutter: Removing possessions that you no longer use can make any home feel free of obstructions and easier to manage on a daily basis. Go through a different room each week and decide if there?s anything that can be sold, donated or disposed of.

? Written plan: Keep a notebook and have a written action plan that helps serve as a timeline for your future. Set some simple goals, such as clean out the garage, interview Realtors or visit apartments. Writing things down can help ease fears and create energy.

By following these four steps, you can take a lot of the stress out of downsizing!