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New York Post

Linda Rothschild

Professional organizer has a neat gig

By Wendy Straker Linda Rothschild knows what’s inside the closets of everyone from Heidi Klum to Naomi Campbell and Kyle MacLachlan. Meet the queen of clutter and find out how to clean up your act.

Were you neat as a kid, or did your mother have to tell you to clean up your room?

I was the rebel, actually. Both my parents and my brother were extremely organized, to the point that if the pages of a magazine were crinkled they knew that I’d been reading it. It wasn’t that I was messy-I always knew where everything was- but from the outside I made it look like I wasn’t organized. I think underneath it all. I was aware that I drove my mother crazy.

Are guys intimidated by how organized you are?

I’m not a freak. I’m organized, but I’m not over the charts and I’m not a minimalist- I love my clothes and my shoes and my books. And I have the same issues as everybody else. If I’m traveling or working long days, sometimes things aren’t as organized as they should be. The difference is that after a day or two I can’t take it.

What’s one ritual you keep no matter how busy you get?

I get up between 5 and 6 a.m. every morning and I sit at the computer with my coffee and organize my day. I process all the information from the day before, whether that means sifting through e-mails, notes that I’ve written, jobs that I was on, people I said I would call. That doesn’t mean I’m going to cross everything off my list. It’s not about that. It’s about not forgetting anything and being in control.

Do your male clients ask you to organize their closets before a girl comes over?

We’ve been asked to go to someone’s home while he was out for dinner with his girlfriend and light candles, put champagne on ice and get everything ready for his proposal.

How did you get your celebrity clientele?

I had an article in the New York Times about 10 years ago, and a publicist read it. She ended up hiring me and then referring me to her celebrity clients. And it just grew by word of mouth.

Are there any particularly messy celebrities that you can talk about?

They’re really just regular people. They may have the benefit of more closet space, but other than that their issues are just like ours! I have crazy clients that are celebrities and crazy clients that are everyday people.

What was your first paid job?

I worked at a hip jeans and T-shirt store in Brooklyn. I quickly moved into the position of managing the store and keeping track of the money and inventory.

What are your biggest pet peeves?

One is when people don’t deal with their mail every day. In the time it takes you to get in your elevator and get upstairs, you can sort your mail. But when you take it home and throw it on the dining room table, it becomes a big project. I just don’t understand how people do that. The other is dry-clean plastic bags, because you can’t possibly see what’s in your closet if everything is in dry-cleaner bags. People spend a lot of money on clothes, and then they don’t take care of them. Those clothes are suffocating in plastic bags.