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Tips for Organizing Your Bedroom

Most people have more clothes than they need, want, or wear. But deciding what to get rid of and actually doing it tends to be at the bottom of everyone's "to do" list. Here are recommendations guaranteed to streamline and organize your closets and bureau drawers.

  • Give away or throw away any article of clothing you haven't worn in more than a year. If you didn't like a jacket or pair of slacks enough to wear it in all that time, you won't miss it.

  • Add dividers to your drawers to separate sweaters, scarves, underwear, and various other items that end up in a jumble when there are no boundaries to keep them in order.

  • Organize by outfit. Put together the individual components of outfits—a blouse, jacket, skirt, and scarf, for example—that you think are attractive, comfortable, and color coordinated. Then when you go to the closet to dress for a shopping trip, lunch out with a friend, or a party, you can be pretty sure that you'll look your best without having to spend time hunting for just the right combination. Another way you can organize is by color, keeping all clothing of the same color together. That way it's easy to find items that match or complement each other.

  • Label with safety pins. If you organize by outfit, safety pins are a handy way to label—a single pin on each component of one outfit, two on a second outfit, three on another, and so forth. You can use the same labeling system if you prefer to organize by color.

  • Bag it. Store small, easily lost items such as jewelry in plastic zipper lock bags. Plastic bags are also useful for keeping coordinated scarves and belts with outfits.

The tips above deal with women's clothes but substitute "trousers" for "skirt," "ties" for "scarves," "shirt" for "blouse," and the same recommendations work equally well for men.

Learn more in Prescriptions for Independence, by Nora Griffin-Shirley, Ph.D., and Gerda Groff.

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