Geralin Thomas, owner of Metropolitan Organizing, which is based in Raleigh, N.C., and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, offers some tips on how to purge your closet and stash seasonal items on the cheap:What better way to start off the New Year than to de-clutter your wardrobe space. Make room for all of those cute blouses, sweaters and dresses that you got as holiday gifts by getting rid of the duds in your closet that haven’t seen the light of day in months.
S&P: The start of the New Year seems like a perfect time to clean out your closet. For someone looking to de-clutter their wardrobe space, where should they start?
Geralin Thomas: In order to help determine what to keep or toss, start with the items that need mending, ironing, alterations or stain treatment. Sometimes, you’ll look at an item and think, “Oh, that isn’t even something worth altering or mending — I’m OK with donating that item.” Or you might think, “Ick! I’m allergic to ironing and this garment is either too much trouble or too expensive to maintain. I’m willing to live without it.”
What’s the best way to make room in your closet for any fashionable gifts (i.e., clothing, shoes or jewelry) received over the holidays?
Fortunately, there are many clever products and storage solutions to help hang, fold, stack, stash and store everything from shoes to scarves or t-shirts or coats. If you’re thinking about ways to give your closet some breathing room, take a good look at what’s in your laundry hamper. These are typically the clothes you like best and wear most often — these are your keepers. So, what about the clothes that haven’t been in your hamper for a long, long time? Donate some of those to [a local thrift store or Goodwill] to help give your new treasures more space.
Are there any cost-friendly organizational systems that you’d recommend to help fashionistas get their closet spaces in order?
Yes! Why not store your off-season clothes in unused suitcases? Suitcases that you already own take up no extra space and can be moved from room-to-room easily. I’m also a fan of keeping shoes in drop-front boxes. Your shoes will stack nicely and there’s not a tumbling tower of boxes every time you need a pair from the bottom of the stack.
What’s a quick and easy way to personalize your closet space without spending a fortune?
I have two tips: First, find words that describe you best like romantic, chic, earthy, dramatice, funky or hip [to help choose a theme]. Then, to personalize your closet, look for three or four components or accessories (i.e., rugs, drawer handles, hangers) that might go along with your newfound theme. Also, consider the materials used for these items (i.e., wood, steel, glass) and or colors.
Another tip is to use valet hooks in your closets. I’m a fan of these, because they are very helpful when planning outfits. Valet hooks are used to hang pieces together to see how an outfit might look. They are especially helpful when photographing outfits for one’s personal “lookbook.” You can also use them to help prep your outfits at night [in preparation for the next work day]. Use them to hang your outfit and accessories so there’s no “What do I wear today?” guess work in the morning. Hooks are inexpensive and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.
To learn more about Geralin, check out her Web site at www.metropolitanorganizing.com. Or find a professional organizer in your city by visiting the National Association of Professional Organizers Web site at www.napo.net.