Spring Cleaning Your Cluttered Closets

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closet clutter (KFSN)

How to get started on one of the least-loved parts of spring cleaning.
It's out with the old at Alicia Alvarez's home in Northeast Fresno. She pulled an old coat off the rack to show us one of the items she was thinking of getting rid of, "Big fur coat, not gonna use it." She admitted, "I do tend to hold on to things. I might need it for that random event. So I have to remind myself to purge and to get rid of some things."

Her master bedroom closet is jam packed. There are purses in a corner, sweaters and even books on top, shoes stacked to the ceiling. We brought in professional organizer Brenda McElory with "Organized by Choice" to help. She says to be honest with yourself: "Maybe there's some you haven't worn in awhile?" Alicia agreed. She had three different sizes from her days of fluctuating weight between pregnancies. Then Brenda says to purge: "The first step is go through and take out the stuff that doesn't belong so that you can then organize the stuff that's left. Have a box for giveaway, for trash, or for relocate."

Alicia tries especially hard to keep up with her kids closets -- because they're constantly outgrowing their clothes. A good rule of thumb: twice a year, when the seasons change. Brenda says after you've purged, create more space. Start by switching out your hangers to the slim nonslip ones. "These are great kind of hangers to use so you can maximize your space."

Also look for opportunities to double up on uses, for example, with suitcases. "While it's not being used for travel, it can be used for storage in your closet." The space under the bed can be another great spot for storage. Next, group like things together. For example, sweaters in one section, pants in another. That way you're not searching through a bunch of things to find what you're looking for. That goes for pantries too. Brenda started organizing Alicia's space, "So you've got some baking stuff here... Chocolate chips and your sugars." Inexpensive bins and baskets with handles can bring it all home... and along with it some calm instead of clutter. "You can just sense a sense of peace and productivity because things are just organized in a way that's efficient for people," promises Brenda.
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