Author Archive

Posted on: December 18th, 2019 by Melinda Anderson | No Comments

Keep it simple and follow these four steps to quickly downsize your furniture and belongings and move to a smaller home or apartment.

Step 1 – Photos and Measurements

Take photos. Go room to room and take a picture of each space in your current home. You will refer back to these photos often during the downsizing process. 

Next, measure the size of each room in your new home so you will know exactly how much less space you will have for furnishings. Once you know the dimensions of the rooms you will be moving in to, you can fill your home with just enough furnishings without having it feel overstuffed and lacking storage.

Measure the height, width, and depth of large appliances like the washer, dryer, and refrigerator. You may find you need to buy smaller model appliances to fit in your new home. 

Measure your dining room table and bedroom set and decide whether these pieces take up too much room in the downsized space, or are they a perfect fit.

Measure other furniture pieces like sofas and chairs and get a complete picture of what will comfortably fit in your new living space.

Step 2 – Make 4 Piles

Keep, Giveaway/Donate, Sell, and Trash

The Keep pile contains the things you need, use, and love. This includes the furniture and appliances you measured and have decided to take with you from Step 1.

The Giveaway/Donate pile is for possessions that will go to friends and family who want them and can use them, and for donations going to Goodwill or another charity.

The Sell pile is optional, but if you’re looking for extra cash to pay some of the moving expenses, this is a good way to do it.

MaxSold is an online downsizing and estate sales company that sells furniture, art, and everyday household items quickly and conveniently. You have the DIY option of photographing and listing your items for sale, or the MaxSold team can come to your home or storage unit and do it for you. Use referral code AN0893 and save $100.

The Trash pile is for those items that have no value. Some options for trash removal include curbside pickup, bulk waste pickup, and a hauling service like Stand Up Guys, College Hunks Hauling Junk, or 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

Step 3 – Utilities and Mail

Prepare to move by contracting for utility services in your new home and completing a change of address form online at the US Post Office.

Step 4 – Pack

It’s time to pack all the belongings you are keeping into boxes so they can be moved. If you have limited mobility or a bad back or hip, you may want to get help from a Senior Move Manager or a packing service.

If you do the packing yourself, you’ll need cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes, rolls of packing paper, and several rolls of packing tape.

Be sure to pack a box with bare essentials you’ll need upon arrival in your new home like paper towels, toilet paper, and hand soap. 

The process of downsizing can be done quickly when you have a tight timetable. The key is to focus on the big picture and keep moving steadily toward your goal of downsizing your possessions and moving into a smaller living space.

Posted on: June 27th, 2017 by Melinda Anderson | No Comments

When organizing any area of the home,  remember the home organizing basics:
 Tall bookshelves
B=  Begin (you can’t finish if you never get started)
A=  Assess what you have vs. what you want
S=  Sort your belongings out into categories
I=   Inventory what you have and get rid of the excess
C=  Contain the things you’re keeping
S=   Storage (TIP: do steps 1-5 before choosing storage)
You’re just 6 steps to organizing success!

Posted on: May 27th, 2017 by Melinda Anderson | No Comments

Do you live in a small home that’s short on storage space? There’s a “small space bible” to help you get organized and it’s loaded with practical tips and resources for every room in your petite space.Small Space Organizing by Kathryn Bechen

Small Space Organizing: A Room-By-Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space by award-winning author and journalist Kathryn Bechen contains ideas for arranging the furniture, maximizing storage space, and choosing storage products.  The book also includes real life stories of how she and her husband dwell well – and prefer living – in a small space.

“Remembering that in small spaces every inch counts” is a theme she illustrates throughout the book with solutions for homeowners and renters alike.

Kathryn includes resources galore in this new book for everything from double – duty furniture to hooks and baskets to green and organic options for making your small space work for you.

There’s even a home office equipment and supplies list to help you set up a successful system for working from home or for paying the bills. She walks you through the process of setting up a filing system and processing paperwork – information that’s helpful even if you don’t live in a small space.

This book is as sweet and dear as Kathryn herself and you can hear her voice on every page as she takes you on a virtual tour of the beautifully organized homes of her clients, friends, acquaintances and her own.

Kathryn Bechen INKTo find out more about Kathryn Bechen and her new book, Small Space Organizing, visit her at

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  The opinions stated here are my own and are not solicited nor are positive reviews required.

Posted on: October 30th, 2013 by Melinda Anderson | No Comments

Now that you’ve organized your home, don’t spend all your time cleaning it!

Use this checklist as a quick guide for maintenance housecleaning.

Living Room

  • Vacuum
  • Dust furniture, lighting and accessories
  • Remove cobwebs from ceiling and corners
  • Dust window sills and blinds

Dining Room

  • Vacuum
  • Dust furniture, lighting and accessories
  • Remove cobwebs from ceilings and corners
  • Dust window sills and blinds


  • Spot clean cabinets and knobs
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Clean outside of all appliances
  • Stovetop
  • Countertops
  • Backsplash
  • Sinks
  • Polish faucets and fixtures
  • Dust furniture
  • Dust window sills and blinds
  • Floors


  • Mirrors polished
  • Toilets cleaned top to bottom
  • Showers
  • Tub
  • Vanities
  • Sinks
  • Polish faucets and fixtures
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Spot clean cabinets and knobs
  • Dust towel racks
  • Dust paper holder


  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Remove cobwebs from ceiling and corners
  • Clean mirrors
  • Dust window sills and blinds
  • Change sheets

Laundry Room

  • Clean top of washer and dryer
  • Floor
  • Sink and fixture
  • Dust
  • Remove cobwebs


  • Vacuum
  • Dry Swiffer
  • Mop with wood floor cleaner


  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Remove cobwebs
  • Dust window sills and blinds


  • Vacuum
  • Wipe railings
  • Clean switch plates


  • Empty trash and replace liners
  • Dust picture frames
  • Remove fingerprints from doors, moldings and switch plates
  • Dust window sills and blinds
  • Remove cobwebs
  • Floors

Posted on: April 30th, 2013 by Melinda Anderson | No Comments


Calling in a pro can help keep emotions out of deciding what to do with all that “stuff”

Downsizing a lifetime of possessions

— Downsizing can be a tough process for anyone, but especially for seniors who find themselves with large homes no longer full of children. More and more are tackling the huge job of downsizing their living spaces. In fact, about six percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 move each year, according to the Over-50 Council of the National Association of Home Builders.

As seniors reach the time to downsize belongings and move into smaller, more manageable homes, many have a hard time figuring out what to do with all of the “stuff ” they’ve accumulated over the years. Local professional organizer Melinda Anderson, member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO®), specializes in downsizing and organizing seniors’ living spaces.

“A major reason seniors have a hard time downsizing is they feel they are the ‘keepers’ of family heirlooms and so they have a hard time getting rid of items which they don’t really have room for anymore,” said Anderson.

Anderson offers the following tips for seniors taking the plunge into a more simplified lifestyle:

  • Start looking for other family members who would like to have heirloom pieces now, especially if they are not being used on a regular basis. There are many organizations that accept donations of valuable heirlooms in support of a worthy cause. Professional organizers can help seniors sort through household items to strategically figure out what will work in their new space. They also can help seniors identify which organizations to turn to that are best at finding new homes for family heirlooms.
  • Find movers specializing in making the transition easier for seniors. Professional organizers can help find the perfect “mover match” for a client, and can help pare down items before the move making the process easier at moving time.
  • Have a professional organizer reassess every five to ten years or as needed to make sure the senior’s home is still working for them. Sometimes seniors don’t realize that everyday activities and household chores can be made easier just by adjusting the setup in their homes. Professional organizers are great resources to help identify easy ways seniors can simplify to improve their overall quality of life.

“We are not trying to tell them what stays and what goes, but we ask the tough questions to help them decide for themselves,” Anderson says. “Sometimes just getting started is the hardest part, and having a professional with an outside point of view to assist is the perfect way to move forward.”

NAPO® members serve both corporate and residential clients specialize in a wide range of services, such as corporate or residential organizing, and many have specialties in niche areas like garages, moving/downsizing, or even helping businesses with time and data management. Melinda Anderson and Southern Home Organizers specialize in downsizing the client’s current home, plus unpacking and organizing in the new home. Additionally, NAPO® offers members education on the most cutting-edge techniques and products.

AFTER Downsizing
AFTER Downsizing

For Further Information:

Melinda Anderson, CPO

Southern Home Organizers


About NAPO® (

The premier national association dedicated to the field of organizing, the National Association of Professional Organizers® (NAPO®) is The Organizing Authority. Formed in 1985 as a not-for-profit professional educational association, NAPO® is dedicated to serving its thousands of members through education, networking, industry resources, and promoting the profession to the public. NAPO’s mission is to develop, lead, and promote professional organizers and the organizing industry. The association is affiliated with the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD), and Professional Organizers in Canada (POC).

As the oldest and largest professional educational association for professional organizers, NAPO® supported the launch of the Board of Certified Professional Organizers® (BCPO®) and the Certified Professional Organizer® (CPO®) exam, a separate independent certification program for the entire organizing industry.

ATLANTA, Georgia. (November 2, 2011)