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Closet Questions

I was interviewed and the article was published last week on  Here is the post:

Last week we promised some more info on closet organization. We turned to Organizer Laurie Mattingly of Organizing With Laurie, a member of NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers, and asked her for some help:

This can be an overwhelming project to tackle. How would you recommend getting started? Simply put, the best way to get started is just begin with one small section.  Taking fifteen minutes to sort through and pull items you likely will not wear again is a great way to begin.  Waiting for the time to have hours to invest is the perfect way to procrastinate.

Do I need to hire a professional?
Anyone can read tips and set themselves to the task of organizing their spaces.  Most people who hire professional help value it as an investment to reach their goals more quickly and efficiently.  Many of my clients have made remarks such as, “I don’t know why I can’t do this without you; but I know I would have stopped a long time ago if you weren’t here to help me make decisions and keep me motivated.”

What kind of accessories do I need, such as hangars, bins, organizers, etc?
There is no standard formula for the perfect hanger, bin or organizer as individual lifestyles dictate very different wardrobes. Using bins or drawer dividers to help categorize alike items together make it easier to put everything away and keep things in place.   One person may benefit from a scarf organizer while another may benefit from a freestanding drawer system to manage categories of workout clothes. Space saving hangers are great, but being consistent with any style of hanger gives a finished and organized appeal.

How do I decide what to keep and what to throw away?
Many closets are stuffed with items that we feel guilty about getting rid of because we spent money on them.  Once a client is convinced it is more wasteful to allow items to be hidden away without being used it is easier to purge.  Instead of feeling guilty, they have an opportunity to bless others and feel the relief that comes from lightening their load.  Keep what fits, what you love and what you wear.

Any other great advice??
Sort similar clothing items together — jeans, black pants, khaki pants, long sleeve, short sleeve, etc. Once you become aware that you have multiple pairs of black pants, you can make more educated decisions about what to keep. Group items together in ways that make sense for you, support your lifestyle and help your processes flow smoothly.  For some, color coordinating is important — for others separating business clothes from casual clothes makes the most sense.  Once you have determined a comfortable equation for the amount of clothing for the storage space available to you it is time to adopt the “one in, one out rule.”  When you buy something new, remove an item from your closet. Hang your clothes in your closet backwards.  When you wear something, return it to the closet correctly.  You will soon be able to see all the items you are not wearing as they will still be hanging backwards.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A good professional organizer doesn’t impose patterns on you but rather asks questions to help you discover an approach you will most likely be able to maintain.


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