By Maria Gracia
The clothes closet is one of the least respected areas in the house. It's often stuffed from floor to ceiling with clothing, briefcases, purses and shoes. Valuable clothing rod space has been taken over by vast armies of mis-matched hangers. Books and magazines have managed to somehow sprout out of nowhere. Bed linens are mixed in with towels, umbrellas and shoes. You can barely see the floor. Before you know it, your closet has become clutter central!
Here's some friendly advice. Heed the old saying, "Less is more." You'll save an enormous amount of time, money and stress by thinning out your huge wardrobe.
While you're at the store, pick up a few sturdy skirt and pants hangers. Vertical skirt hangers with clips that hold 5 to 6 skirts on one hanger are a great choice. In addition, pick up an expandable shoe rack and a tie rack if you wear ties.
Keep in mind, as you're doing so, that you probably only wear 20% of your clothes on a regular basis, 10% of them are for special occasions, and the other 70% of them are probably never used at all.
B. Wire Hanger Pile (they're weak, they stick up in the air, and they damage your clothing)
C. Clothes that need minor repairs such as sewing a hem or replacing a button. If it's too much of a hassle to repair it, then don't put it in this pile.
D. Clothes you love and wear at least once a month AND clothes you love and wear at least twice a year (special occasion wardrobe). Your wardrobe should always make you feel good about yourself. If you don't love it or wear it often, it doesn't belong in this pile.
E. Any other items that don't fit into Category A, B, C or D.
If you're still reading this in disbelief, take a deep breath to get over the initial shock, then go ahead and toss it or donate it. You'll feel better in the end.
While you're at it, take all those terrible, awful, lousy wire hangers (Have you gotten the point that I really don't like wire hangers?!) in your B pile and bring them to your Dry Cleaner for recycling or dump them immediately.
C'mon now. Are you still considering keeping something in your A or B piles?? Please, dump it. It's clutter. You'll feel better about it later when your closet is organized, inviting and free of chaos.
Give yourself a 2 week deadline. If it's not done in two weeks, dump or donate the entire basket. After all, if it's not important enough for you to repair, it's clutter. Sound drastic? I wouldn't steer you wrong. It's very easy for clutter to build up, and I want to help you eliminate any chance of it happening to you again.
Do this until you've managed to hang all of your categories of clothing, making sure that all clothing and hangers are facing the same direction. (By the way, if you share your closet with someone, don't mix clothing together. Put each individual's clothing on either side of the closet.)
Now is a good time to set up your brand new, sturdy, expandable shoe rack and neatly place your shoes on it.
You can even pick up a clear, over-the-door shoe bag for small accessories such as hosiery, scarves, jewelry and the like. Don't put shoes in the shoe bag. It may sound funny, but these bags are too flimsy and awkward for the weight of most shoes, plus they collect dirt from shoe bottoms.
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