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Packrat Be Gone

    • Before you start, assemble some neutral colored hangers in non slip velvet- like Huggable Hangers and black plastic garbage bags. The thin matching hangers are good because they will give you more space to hang clothes, the clothes are protected from stretching out and the consistency of hangers gives your closet eye appeal. The plastic bags are for things to toss and for things to donate. Return/recycle the metal hangers to your dry cleaners.
  • Make your bedroom closet your main working closet. Save a separate space to store out of season clothing, formal items and clothing that you think is classic, but not exactly for today.
  • Remove clothing from the closet and hang on a clothing rack or place on the the bed. My favorite rack is the Fol-D-Rak because it collapses when not in use and is easy to store.
  • Dust and vacuum- if the walls are dingy, you may want to paint. (I like a crisp white, but some experts like bright colors.)
  • Try on everything. Do not return clothing that doesn’t fit or look good on you to the closet.
  • Take inventory of what you have and start to edit. Ask yourself how many of your jeans still look good, how many white blouses do you need and so on. If you have twice as many of any item than you need, it’s time to shed a few.
  • Let go of clothing gifts that you don’t love. Remember, it is not the person that you are letting go of, it’s just an object.
  • Cast a cold eye on sweaters and tees that have started to lose their shape and pill; toss out anything that looks ratty, doesn’t fit properly or is stained.
  • Check to see if repairing an item or altering it will be more costly than the item is worth. It may be smarter to toss and replace.
  • Hang on to stuff that makes you smile. Your Christmas sweater or the reindeer pin that your kids made you when they were in second grade does not count as clutter.
  • Arrange your closet like a boutique. Divide up clothing by item. Hang skirts with skirts, pants with pants and so on. Then break it down by color and type of clothing. I don’t hang my sporty clothing with dressy items. Keep the closet floor uncluttered.
  • When deciding to keep or toss an article of clothing, ask yourself would you buy it again- the answer will be the tell.
  • Fold tees and thin sweaters with your Flip Fold. This is a really cool template that helps you fold your tees and sweaters so that they look like the ones at The Gap. Don’t stack too high. Again, divide by color and use. Use dividers to keep stacks neat.
  • I use vertical hanging shoe bags to hold my shoes. That way I can instantly see and access. Make sure that your shoes are in tip top repair and condition. Re-purpose shoes that are uncomfortable (that will never change), scuffed, cracked or worn and cannot be repaired. Your shoes tell the world a lot about you- it’s said that your shoes are a window into your soul (no pun intended).
  • Hang the scarves you wear on the velvet hangers, use jewelry bags or clear plastic (labeled) containers for your costume jewelry and earrings.
  • Belts should be rolled or hung on a belt rack. Belts are usually a ripe area for editing: discard belts that don’t fit, are out of style, worn out or stretched.
  • Remember, no two people organize the same way, make sure that your organizational system suits your personality. Staying organized is a learned habit and one that takes time and discipline to master.
  • Sort through your discards and donate your excess to your favorite charity or to a women’s shelter. Always keep one of those black trash bags in your closet so that you can continue to edit throughout the season.
  • Most of the closet organizer tools can be found at WalMart or Target. If you really get going, The Container Store is the mecca for organizing divas.

Cleaning your closet is crucial before going shopping.  Once the closet is free of the clutter, you will know what you have, what you still love and are excited about wearing and what needs to be added.

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