2021 Goals: Organize and Declutter to Make the Most of Large Closets and Storage Spaces

As you consider a move to The Corvalla – and downsizing to a maintenance-free, turnkey lifestyle – it’s wise to find ways to pare down your possessions. Our spacious condos provide ample closet spaces and kitchen storage, a beloved feature that makes our homes even more efficient and enjoyable.

But moving clutter from one home to the next means you won’t maximize the space in your new condo. While spending more time at home over the past year, you may have binge-watched shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Get Organized with The Home Edit, and The Minimalists documentary. Maybe you had time to read The Clutter-Free Home, Cozy Minimalist Home, or The Home Edit Life and you’re inspired, but where do you begin?

During this month’s colder weather, now is the time to hop on the trend, clear the clutter, and prepare for your new condo at The Corvalla. Organizing doesn’t have to be frustrating. Turn on your favorite podcast and whistle while you work, applying these tips from the nation’s top professional home organizers.


Think Big as You Downsize

Go to the obvious spaces that need purging, like the garage, as you consider your new space. Get rid of lawn equipment, large tools, and items like old bicycles that you won’t need or no longer use. Donate these items or pass them along to others who need them. 

“When it comes to relocating, it’s not about reorganizing – it’s about reducing,” Clutter Free guru Kathi Lipp advises. You’ll be grateful that you did not move unused items, like that well-intentioned salad spinner, to your new space.

As you go from room to room, create three piles: keep, toss, and donate. Since moving is often a weeks-long process, get rid of the toss and donate piles regularly. Go ahead and pack up (and label) seasonal items, like decor and clothing, that you are going to move. Consider these tips from Megan’s Moving: Decluttering for a Move: What to Get Rid of and Where to Begin.


Throw Out the Old and Start Small

From cosmetics to clothes, pantry items (don’t forget expired spices!) to unused sports equipment, you can easily start with less to organize once your move. Start small to avoid feeling overwhelmed – dubbed the “low-bar lifestyle” by Clea and Joanna with The Home Edit, so you can meet achievable goals without giving up.

“This weekend, I’ll tackle makeup and toiletries,” then keep your promise to yourself. If you feel motivated, move on to the master bathroom including cabinets, drawers, the linen closet, and the top of the vanity.

If you want a gentle approach, thank the objects for serving you well (à la Marie Kondo) and move on guilt-free to keep what still “sparks joy” – and yes, kitchen utensils and scarves can spark joy. Remember to donate gently used items like books, clothes, and toys.


Group Similar Items Together

Gather items that are the same or similar and store them together. Whether you arrange items in a rainbow pattern or by object, have a system and honor that method in your daily routine. Read why The Home Edit loves the ROYGBIV rainbow system – and why it may not be for everyone.

For example, do you have items you always use for a hot drink station – coffee, tea, honey, sweeteners, stir sticks, and more? Group them together in your pantry or on your countertop for easy access. Find an attractive serving station and containers to make it pretty and practical. In your bathroom, group objects like hand soaps, shaving items, cosmetics, face creams, and hair accessories in their own small containers.

In your closet, make sure the items you use most are within reach. For example, if you need a “landing station” for your daily items – like a work badge, watch, wallet, or purse – dedicate a shelf with a tray for those items. Matching clothes hangers also make for a pleasing aesthetic. In your entryway or kitchen, create a “command center” for shoes, bags, a family calendar, mail, and more.


Use Matching Storage Bins and Labels

In less than a 10-minute drive from The Corvalla, you can find a variety of creative storage solutions at The Container Store in Plano. Utilizing uniform storage creates a visually pleasing space that will motivate you to keep things tidy. Whether you choose wood, wicker, or clear or colored plastic, find a system that is easy to add to your collection. The Home Edit gurus warn against wire baskets because of potential damage to shelves or clothing. 

Measure your space before purchasing a bunch of bins – or buy several to try, keeping only those you plan to use. Finally, labels will help you continue to store like items together and minimize decision fatigue at the end of the day. Marie Kondo’s KonMari folding method for clothing is life-changing. And check out these pantry tips from The Home Edit.


Keep Up Good Habits

Once you establish a workable system, live by it every day. After use, put away items where they belong and maximize your landing stations. Clutter Free author and expert Kathi Lipp offers 50 tips on “microsorting” while you’re in those waiting moments, such as tossing expired medicine or makeup while your children take a bath. Remember – the system works for you, not the other way around. Organization should help you save time and provide a more harmonious atmosphere that fits your lifestyle.


Find Accountability

If you are driven by external motivation and goals, joining an online group may provide the accountability and traction you need to achieve an organized home. Some things are just more fun together. For visual inspiration, check out these 10 Professional Organizers to Follow on Instagram.

For group challenges, discover:
Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy
A Bowl Full of Lemons
The Nester’s Cozy Minimalist Community


Before your move to The Corvalla, downsizing your stuff can help you enjoy a fresh start. Once you’ve settled in, the clean spaces, large closets, and generous kitchens provide the ideal backdrop to employ these organizing techniques.

Creating ways to enjoy time at home has been a hallmark of the past year. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that there are some things we cannot control – but we can be empowered to make our homes more organized and peaceful for work, play, and everyday life.