Content starts here
AARP AARP States Home & Family

DOWNSIZING AND DECLUTTERING: Arrive Happy ~ by Amelia the Clutter Queen

Arrive Happy! Amelia the Clutter Queen offers tips for downsizing and moving into your new space with a smile on your face!

Closet Messy
photo courtesy of Amelia the Clutter Queen


Tip 1: Do a walk through

Grab a piece of paper and walk through your home. Make a list of furniture you will take, the furniture you will sell, and the furniture you can donate.

After you complete the list,  take action:  Post an ad on Craigslist or your neighborhood Facebook page for items you would like to sell; recruit family/friends to help with a yard sale; run an ad in the newspaper.  Whatever route you choose, find this unwanted/unneeded furniture a home. It's on your list "to go" it can't go with you.

Tip 2: Tackle every inch

Now it's time to cover every spot in your home. Take one room at a time. Open every cabinet, every drawer, look on every shelf, and flip through all the clothes in your closet.  Purge that old Christmas decor, trash those unfinished projects you started 10 years ago and keep going.

Keep only what you need and must have.


If you've not put your hands on it in the last year, or it's covered in dust, you will not need it or use it in your new "organized" space. As you start to clear clutter, piles start to form. Separate these items into their own piles... SELL, DONATE or TRASH. (Write those three words on paper for each pile and separate the piles around the room so you don't feel overwhelmed or confused).

If you have any items you would love to keep but don't need on a daily basis, go ahead and box them up.  Label what is in each box and get it ready for the move. (Example: memories, china, holiday decor, etc.)

After you complete one room take out the trash, get all your donations in a box, yard sale/consignment items in another. Now this space is ready. Move to the next room and repeat.

Keep things picked up and tidy as you work in the space. You will feel very overwhelmed if your piles get all mixed up. Sometimes it helps to place donations/yard sale items in a separate room.

Tip 3:  Finish the task at hand

SELL! SELL! SELL! Plan that yard sale, set up consignment appointments, get your Craigslist account started, call your local newspaper.

DONATE! DONATE! DONATE! Decide where you would like to make donations and schedule your pick up date or make time to drop things off.

Wheeewwww! Now we're getting somewhere.

So here's the deal pickle...

You've made a decision about your large items, furniture, etc. You're getting ready to put some money in your pocket or donate to a great cause.

You've tossed and sorted all the clutter that MUST go.

Now then... SMILE and take a deep breath.  There's light at the end of this tunnel!

All that SHOULD be left is the items you will take in your move. LESS IS ALWAYS MORE.

Closet Clean
photo courtesy of Amelia the Clutter Queen



The key to a successful move...MOVE OUT ORGANIZED, so then...YOU MOVE IN ORGANIZED.

You CAN do this! I believe in you!

It will take some time, love and dedication, but the reward you will receive after it's done will be priceless.

You’ve got this!

Smile...Toss...Purge & Be Happy!


~Amelia The Clutter Queen



About AARP States
AARP is active in all 50 states and Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Connect with AARP in your state.