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HOUSEKEEPING : Getting Organized Starts Behind Closed Doors--Closet Doors

November 12, 1994|From Associated Press

Is your closet a disaster area pleading with you to put it in order? Here are some tips from professional organizer Stephanie Schur on reclaiming a closet:

* First, sort through everything in your closet, and remove everything you never wear, as well as clothes that are too small, worn out or outdated (you'll be surprised how much room you'll gain). As you sort, earmark giveaways or charitable donations.

* For the remaining items, make three piles: one for clothes that need mending or altering, one for out-of-season pieces (store them in a labeled box underneath your bed) and one for current wearables (return them to the closet).

* Arrange current clothing by category (skirts, blouses, dresses, pants), then by length, then by color. (Underneath the short grouping, store your sewing basket, extra hangers in a bin or a laundry hamper.)

* Purchase sturdy hangers (wood or plastic) that will last as well as hold the shape of your clothing. Face all hangers in the same direction.

* Hang books, shoe racks, peg boards or an organizer on the inside of the closet door. Install a high shelf for things that you use infrequently or for out-of-season items. If your closet is deep, add a second pole--behind the original--for clothing worn less often.

* Adequate lighting is a must--so you can clearly see what you have. Painting the interior of the closet a white semi-gloss also brightens the space.

* Use covered plastic bins for long-term--and airtight--storage of photos, household deeds and personal memorabilia.

* For the linen closet: Group towels by size, then by color; store sheets in sets according to bedroom. Put frequently used items on lower shelves. Designate one shelf as a whatnot area. * Label every box, bin and container.

* Once you institute these systems, make a point of putting things away as you go. Keep a basket by the staircase for accumulating daily clutter; at the end of the day, distribute the contents to the appropriate closets.

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