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New York – May, 2004

CLEANING OUT YOUR CLOSET

In New York, space is at a premium – especially in your closet. Luckily, there’s an entire industry ready to help you spring-clean. By Beth Landman

CROSS IT OFF YOUR LIST

APPROACH: Pixieish Linda Rothschild zips through your closet in no-nonsense style, making sure your most-used items are accessible before stowing others away.

PROS: There’s a staff of six, so you can always get an appointment. Your organizer sends your discarded items to charity or a consignment shop, and sets up smart systems so you stay clean after she’s gone.

CONS: Rothschild isn’t very helpful about what to discard, and she doesn’t offer fashion suggestions.

RATING: *****

INSIDERS ADVICE

Linda Rothschild explains what to look for in an organizer.

1. A GOOD ORGANIZER MUST GE EMPATHETIC and creative – New York apartments have terrible closet space, and original solutions are often required. If she asks, “How could you live like this?”, it’s not a good sign.

2. BE WARY OF SOMEONE WHO tells you exactly how much time it will take to organize your closets before seeing them. If you have a lot of clothes and shoes, a minimum of four hours could be required

3. DON’T TRY TO TIDY UP BEFORE the organizer comes. It’s important for her to see the real state of the closets.

4. THE ORGANIZER SHOULD BE KNOWLEDGEABLE about products. Do you need wooden or Lucite hangers? Should bins or boxes be fabric or plastic?

5. A GOOD ORGANIZER SHOULD ALWAYS be one step ahead of you, not waiting for your direction. It’s her job to make this a painless, not torturous, process.