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An organizing pro has some ideas for you

This time of year I always get geared up for spring projects. I make lists. I look around at things that need to be done. I plan.

Or I try to plan, anyway.

This week, I wondered this: What does a professional organizer do this time of year? So I called one.

Linda Birkinbine runs a local business called Keep it Organized. She said of late she has been giving some attention to clothing.

“I’ve been going through my spring wardrobe, pulling out some things and donating them,” said Birkinbine, who for 20 years has been a member of NAPO (the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals).

Another project: Sorting through her daughters’ prom dresses and donating them to the 13th annual Colvin Cleaners Gowns for Prom program. (To learn more about participating in the program or actual event, which takes place from 3 to 8 p.m. April 9-11 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, visit colvincleaners.com or gownsforprom.com.)

Birkinbine recommends going through not just clothing but also scarves, jewelry and other accessories as well as grooming and beauty products.

When you are digging through closets, she added, assess the light situation. In her own closet, she decided it was a bit too dark. “Most of my wardrobe is black,” she said.

Now could be a good time to think about upgrading your closet lighting – even going a little glam with a crystal flush mount ceiling light, which is what she picked out for her closet.

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Some other tips she shared:

• Go through winter boots and shoes. Instead of just stashing them in a closet, sort through them, clean them up and, if necessary, take those that need some work to a shoe repair shop.

“This way they will be ready for fall,” Birkinbine said.

• Schedule any professionals you need to hire for pool opening, window washing, power washing, landscaping, etc. Birkinbine is freshening up her home office, for example. Once she chooses a new wall color – she has several large swatches up now to view during different times of day – she will line up a painter.

• Take winter coats that need to be professionally cleaned to the dry cleaner. Some may even store your coats over the summer. “It frees up closet space for you,” Birkinbine said.

• Finally, send out any area rugs that need to be professionally cleaned.

(Or, when the time comes, take washable mats and rugs to a laundry with larger capacity washing machines than you have and do it yourself. Just be sure to read the care instructions first.)

Email: smartin@buffnews.com

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