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     What’s In Your Closet?

Closets full? Dreading cleaning out your CLOSETS? Not sure where to begin, what to keep, or what to get rid of? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

If your closet is overstuffed, first you must PURGE. You probably have too many clothes…period. So decide which clothes a) still fit you, b) are in style, and c) are in season. Ask yourself when you wore/used it last, when will you wear/use it again and who could use this if you gave it away? Discard things that have no further use.

Find a charity you are comfortable with and start donating your excess clothes, shoes, hats, etc. If you find items that are suitable to give to a friend, or take to a consignment store -- great! Do not save clothes that you have had for years that don’t fit. When you lose the weight, you deserve new clothes. Remember, many people NEED (not just want) your discards.)

Keep your "keeper" items are then placed where they can be SEEN and used. In the closet you dress from daily, separate the pants, skirts, shirts, blouses, etc. This will make it easier to get dressed without frustration.

Do not store furs, suede or leather in PLASTIC. These items need to “breathe” and should be placed in cloth coverings or cloth zippered clothing bags.

Do not store shoes in plastic shoeboxes. VENTILATION is key here. Use the box they came in or buy cardboard boxes.

Use plastic hangers for blouses, shirts, jackets, etc. WIRE hangers are not nice to the shoulders of clothes and allow too many clothes to be crammed into a smaller space. They are “wrinkle magnets”. Use clip hangers for pants, skirts, shorts, etc. They take up less space in the closet and eliminate the crease in the pant legs. I don’t recommend hangers that hold several articles of clothing. It allows too many clothes to be packed into a smaller place causing WRINKLES. Again, not a good thing!

Hatboxes, of various sizes, can be used to store out of season purses or shoes and can also serve as decorative items in the bedroom or on a closet shelf. Belt and tie RACKS are good. Just keep them simple and easily accessible.

Special occasion wear (fancy dresses, jackets, tuxedos, etc) should be stored away from your ACTIVE closet. Storing seasonal clothing in another closet or in containers on a shelf, will give you more active closet space and make it easier to find what you need…with less clothing wrinkles and much less stress.

Once your closet is looking good, you will need a maintenance plan. It won’t stay that way without your continuing ATTENTION. Buy new clothing, etc. on a replacement basis only. Don’t buy it just because it is on sale, if you don’t NEED it. Ask yourself, “Would I have paid full price for this?” Then, if you really want/need the item, One item in…one item out!

Purge regularly and get rid of the articles you don’t wear. Doing it when the seasons CHANGE is easy to remember. Get rid of the items you find you have not been wearing. Remember someone else can use your discards. Knowing it is going to a good cause helps in purging. If you have trouble deciding what to keep, ask a friend to help you decide. This should be a friend who is up to date on fashions and will not allow you to keep something that is out of style just because you paid a lot of money for it! Now go see what’s lurking in your closets!


(c) Ann Gambrell 2002

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