Now that the married reality star is mom to ten-month-old daughter Bryn, staying neat has become more of a priority as toys, baby clothes and other items begin to pile up.
“You have to constantly try and keep up with it,” she tells me during the Hanes Clean Out Your Drawers event at NYC’s C&C Studios. “But I go into some people’s houses, they have kids, and it is completely a disaster. You have to make an effort, and the truth is, it makes you feel much better. I do believe in there being an emotional benefit because you do feel better. It’s helped me to write my book A Place Of Yes and it’s helped me to do my DVDs. It helps me to be more focused when I’m clutter-free.”
What’s her strategy?
“I clean up as I go,” she explains. “You’re constantly doing it. Mothers, I don’t know how they do it in a house with several kids. I don’t know how single mothers do it. You are constantly straightening up. I have an area for the baby’s toys and I have an area for the baby’s bottles. You find ways to organize. We are often going to IKEA or Target or The Container Store to find ways to organize.”
What helps her most is one of the products she’s discovered.
“I bought inexpensive, clear boxes to organize my shoes,” she says. “I put photographs on the outside of them, so when I open the closet, I can see what’s in the all boxes, and what my shoes are, without having to open up or having shoes out there on their own piled up.”
Bethenny is constantly on the prowl for items to toss.
“Last night, I wore a jacket I thought was a little itchy, so I said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna donate it. I just don’t love it.’ And a dress that I didn’t love, I auctioned it off for charity. I am constantly getting rid of things that I don’t need, and if something comes in the house, I get rid of something.”
She continues, “When I do laundry, I put the clean on the bottom. I’m constantly rotating out clothes. That way, you’re wearing everything and then you get to see what t-shirts are dingy or ratty and I’ll donate it or repurpose it into a rag.”
And, she doesn’t let sentimental value get in the way of letting go of Bryn’s baby goods.
“She has extra toys, and I’m always editing. I always know in my head there’s another baby that could use this. I have so much stuff and I am blessed, so I feel good about always giving away.”
She even gets husband Jason Hoppy involved in her mission to discard.
“It’s become contagious, so now Jason has the bug, too,” she says. “What he hasn’t worn, he gets rid of it. I torture him though, I ask him every day, ‘Do you like this? Do you not like this? So I can get rid of it? I want to get rid of it.’ He knows that I’m always asking him because I want an excuse to get rid of something.”
I personally have a hard time getting rid of clothes and other items of special meaning, and the idea of a significant other demanding I purge belongings sounds terrifying.
How does she say goodbye to her possessions?
“I no longer have a hard time getting rid of things because I now know how good it feels,” she says. “It becomes contagious and it becomes addictive because the more you do it, the more you realize that it’s such a nice feeling to look in your closet and know that you love everything, so it’s actually very liberating. And if you donate to someone who really needs it, then it’s a win/win.”
She adds, “I know that there’s emotional benefits to purging within your drawers. You have to get rid of the old and bring in the new and donate to Goodwill. Most of us only wear 70% of what’s in our closets, so 30% is sitting there with no home. It could easily be donated so people can use it.”
Here are my pix with Bethenny:
Get tips more tips from Bethenny on getting organized by visiting www.facebook/Hanes, and pick up the OK! on newsstands now for her weekly advice column. The cover line is “Kim’s Dream Wedding.”