Today, I have provided a link to a pretty sad story. A woman died after her clutter fell on her – burying her alive.

To be honest, this story does not surprise me. On cable networks like HGTV and The Style Channel, you see shows where they swoop in and “rescue” families from their hoarding ways.

In viewing these shows, I notice that many of these families start out saying “There was no room in my closet, so I put it……” So, today- and for the next 2 days (Wed, Thur, Fri) we will be doing the closet thing.

What is important to remember, is that in breaking down these projects into simpler and smaller tasks, and over the course of many days- makes the PROCESS theraputic in a sense.

Having an Objective
There is nothing like being able to go in your closet and find whatever it is you are looking for. There is also something to be said concerning having EVERY item that is in your closet loved!

Have one of these mornings?
I find that several of my friends spend a good deal of time in the morning just staring into their closets….or madly looking for some piece. This is because many of us have closets that overflow. This causes our clothes to be “smooshed” and hard to locate.

The time to start is NOW!
By spending some time organizing your closet and learning techniques to keep it that way, you will find that you have a closetful of clothes that you love and clothes that FIT!

As is true with most of my projects, I like to empty the area out completely. So first, you need to pick the area where you will be working. Make sure you have enough room to sort.

Once you have that taken care of, its time to empty your closet. EVERYTHING.
If you have items of clothing in other parts of your house, I would go get them and bring them in also.

Depending on your lifestyle, various categories of clothing will be obvious. Here is a start: dressy shirts, dressy pants, dresses, casual shirts, jeans , tshirts

We will be doing other various items found in closets tomorrow, so those items can be placed somewhere out of the way for now.

The first step is to sort everything into their categories.
Once you have your clothes sorted, its time to evaluate what you have.

This part of the process is usually the hardest for people. This involves going thru each item and making one of 3 choices. (keep, donate/sell, trash)

Some general guidelines for purging:
* If the item is damaged/ripped/stained it can be tossed
* If the item does not fit (try it on to be sure) donate it
* If you have not worn the item in at least the last year, donate it
* If you once liked the item, and no longer do – donate it

Make sure that you absolutely love each article you keep. If something fits but you dont like how you look in it, donate it. There is no sense in keeping it if you are not going to wear it!

I like to also gather “like” items of clothing together while purging. All my white dressy shirts, my black dressy shirts….then all my brown casual shirts, all my black casual shirts…

You may notice that you have 5 or 6 of the same type shirt/pants. Why dont you donate 3? Unless you wear that type of shirt/pant almost exclusively, there is no need for this many.

If you truly have a closet that is overflowing, make sure you donate or toss HALF.
I know this might sound extreme, but your life will be filled with calm without unneccesary items.

Once you have that narrowed down-take a good look at your closet.
Ask yourself if your clothing would fit back in there comfortably, or do you need to resort thru again?

If you honestly need to resort, ask yourself why you are holding onto that item?
Sometimes we hold onto these things as a “just in case” and it ends up just something taking up more space.

Now, go back and look at your closet. Decide how you are going to put things in there. I like to keep all my clothes categorized on the rod–so I have a “section” where all my work clothes are. I also like to keep all the like colors together as well within that category. It may seem a little ocd, but it makes for less stressful mornings.

Whatever system works for you, go ahead and hang up those clothes. Congratulations! You are 1/3 of the way done!

Not QUITE Done Yet
Dont forget to bag/box the items you will be donating. Who and where you donate is up to you, but I like to give to the local programs that GIVE my donations to those in need, rather than sell them.

Make sure that you arrange to have your donation picked up (if they wont give you a date within a week, take your donation to your chosen program.) OR take your donation to your chosen program.

Items that you have designated as trash should be gathered and taken out as well.

It is important that these steps be done as soon as possible. Your objective is to be rid of the clutter, not store it somewhere else.

Tomorrow: Shoes-Why do we love them so?