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Who ya gonna call ...
... when your closets are a disaster zone
By Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen October 10, 2009
Conquering clutter - Professional organizer Judy Besserer turns a messy closet into a well-organized wardrobe.
Photograph by: Photos by Pat McGrath, the Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Citizen
Does your closet look like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? Maybe it's time to contact the pros to help get your household back in order.
Who to call
Professional organizers will help you sort through the mess and create a tidy, accessible closet. For a list of professional organizers in Ottawa, visit ottawaorganizers.com. Companies include:
- Homefree Organizational Services, 613-825-5081, homefreeorganizing.com
- Edited Interiors, 613-831-6398, editedinteriors.com
For manufactured or custom closet systems, try IKEA, Klozets By Laurysen, Home Depot, California Closets and others (see Closet Organizers & Accessories in the Yellow Pages).
Cost: Organizers charge $35 an hour and up. Count on at least three to four hours to whip your closet into shape. Closet systems, whether off-the-shelf or custom-made, will add to the cost (so will a dumpster for all the purged junk).
Common closet problems:
1. Hording obsolete clothing
2. Using bedroom closets to store old college textbooks or your Commodore 64 computer
3. Shame, leading to inaction: "I'm a successful professional but I can't keep my closet tidy. What's wrong with me?"
Service: Free estimate and preliminary consultation --organizers like to know their client before suggesting solutions. Services include help in deciding what to keep and what to scrap, selecting the best closet system, assigning closet space to different items, and a firm reminder that you must purge a couple of times a year to maintain neatness.
Possible bonus: One organizer reports that a client was told by her therapist to hire a closet expert as a step toward neurosis-free living.
Tips: Take castoffs to a consignment shop to offset the cost of an organizer. If one item of clothing always ends up on the floor, install a wall hook just for it. Don't put an armchair or exercise equipment in the bedroom because they're clothes magnets.
Horror stories: Judy Besserer, owner of Homefree Organizational Services, once found a rat skeleton in a badly overloaded closet. In other cases, she says, "People can't even get to their closets because they have so much stuff they put it in bins in front of their closets."
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