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"D"-clutter the closet
by Paula Eichermuller
copyright 2001

With national clutter awareness week behind us (March25-30), hopefully you were able to take advantage of that time to reduce and regain some control over the clutter in your life.  If not don't worry it's no too late. Spring is finally here and what better excuse to reduce the clutter than by spring cleaning.

One of the best places to start your spring cleaning is your closet. Nothing says spring more than putting away those bulky winter sweaters and replacing them with pastel spring dresses.

It has been said that we only wear 20% of our clothing only 80% of the time. So what are we doing with the other 80%? We are saving them until we lose weight, get another job, have time to repair, build a bigger closet, etc.

Lets face it, if you have been using these excuses than it is time to "D" clutter!  Hopefully you will be able to use my "D"clutter method to reduce and regain control over your closet clutter.

When trying to determine what to do with all of those things in your closet, ask yourself the following questions:  Have I used this in the past 2 years?
Does it fit? Will it really EVER fit?
Does it even belong to me? Is it beyond repair? Is it here for emotional reasons only?

You get the idea now lets get started.  Start by getting 5 boxes and label each one with one of these words, DUMP-DONATE-DOLLARS-DELEGATE-and DECIDE.

DUMP- This will be the hardest box to fill as parting with some items can be downright painful. However when you finally realize that you will never use this item again and that it is just taking up valuable space, this box becomes a little easier to use.

DONATE-This box should lift your spirits. This is my favorite box and always seemed to get filled more than the others. When sorting through items I imagine someone else wearing one of my business suits on a job interview and making an incredible first impression. Old business suits can be donated to a great organization called Dress For Success. They can be found online
If you really have a hard time donating to charity maybe you can donate it to a friend or family member so you can see someone getting use out of it. My friends love the fact that I am a Shoe-a-holic, each spring they all get to choose a pair of my out dated shoes.

DOLLARS- Let's face it one of the reasons we hold onto so many of our things is because we paid a lot of money for them! If you have any items that fall into this category you can bring them to a consignment shop. These store sell your gently worn clothes. They earn a small commission and you get money for clothes
that have been cluttering up your closet for years.
Another way to make money with your dollar box is by having a yard sale. What a great way to clear the clutter and earn a few bucks.

DELEGATE- There is bound to be at least 10 items in your
closet that don't even belong there. These items could be clothing you've borrowed, your child's soccer cleats your husbands bowling ball, etc. These things need to be returned to their proper home/owner. By removing things that don't belong to you and putting them into the delegate box, you now have one less decision to make
by giving this responsibility to others.

DECIDE (LATER) You have had to make many decisions today.  Even after giving and throwing stuff away you are still faced with items you just don't know what you want to do with. It's ok, put these things in the DECIDE box and go through it at a later time. It is very important to put a date (2-3 weeks max!) on this box so you don't put if off indefinitely. Go as far as to put it on your master list so you have no excuse not to do it. When the
day arrives to clean out this box you will look at these items differently now that you have been living with an un cluttered closet.

Now it is time to organize. Here are a few ideas for putting your closet back together:

Store bulky winter clothes in plastic storage bins. Move these bins to the back of the closet or maybe under your bed.

Hang all shirts together on one side of the closet thus making room for taller storage type units under this space. e.g. A cardboard chest of drawers for storing pantyhose, belts, purses, accessories ,etc. Move your shoe rack under the longer hanging items such as
slacks and dresses.

If you don't use a shoe rack you can put them in plastic shoe boxes and stack them this way.

This project is not as overwhelming as it seems.
Once you start to see a little progress you will be motivated to keep going.

Don't forget to reward yourself for a job well done!

Reprinted with permission from Paula Eichermuller's Sunshine Organizing Newsletter. Get your FREE Bright ideas Pak, and great organizing ideas by visiting her website.



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