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A New Space By New Years - Part 3 - The Closet

The 6-part series dedicated to helping you de-clutter your home in time to start the new year off right!

Part 3 - The Closet

It’s the smallest room in the house. You can barely fit an arm in there and you operate strictly by feel, since there isn’t enough room for your head. That’s fine, though, because after all, that is where the monsters live and you don’t want them to attack your face while you’re looking for your raincoat. I’m talking about the closet, of course.

Unfortunately for you, the holidays are here and you may need to make room for your guests, you know, just in case they bring more than one scarf among them collectively, let alone multiple coats. It’s time to evict the boogeyman and get your closet back. Here’s how:

1. Yank the coats out and spike them down on the floor. Feel free to do a touchdown dance. You’ve just completed the scariest part of the job – tangling with the boogeyman on his turf – and won! Once you’ve got everything out (coats, hats, and anything else you may be storing way in the back), take a minute and separate everything into piles.

2. The piles. Make one pile for things you use regularly. This should include your day-to-day outerwear plus one or two nicer coats (think “Sunday best”) but no more than that. You don’t need five coats that look identical to everyone else. They aren’t very different if the defining factor is the style of the buttons. Make an executive decision and stick with it.

Next up is the pile of items that you don’t necessarily want to throw out but you don’t need taking up space in your closet. Take any coats or other items that you just can’t get rid of and box them up. Put them in the attic or basement or any storage type of room that can hold it. But what type of items should you box up?

Usually, it’s obvious to everyone except you. Here’s a hint: if your high school letterman’s jacket isn’t already in a box in the attic, then do it now. Whether you can squeeze into it or not is beside the point. It’s a keepsake, not a valid option for wearing outside of your house under any circumstance. This is non-negotiable.

That brings us to the third pile, the pile of ill repute and broken dreams. It would be easy to make jokes about the styles and sizes of clothing found in this pile, but here’s a better idea – DONATE! Donate the entire pile to charity.

Take it to Goodwill or, if it is an overwhelming pile, hire a professional service like College Hunks Hauling Junk to swing by and take it off your hands for you

Also, many communities have local coat-drives during the holiday season to benefit people in your own neighborhood who are outside and freezing. If you’re never going to wear that old coat, why can’t someone else?

3. When putting the “keeper” pile back into the closet, organize the items by use. Put your day-to-day outerwear toward the front and the once-in-a-while type clothes toward the back. The most important step, though, is to leave the very front of the closet unoccupied. If you want to impress your guests, give them a place to put their coats.

That will set the tone for the evening by showing off your hospitality. Plus, let’s be honest – at the end of the night, no matter how much you enjoy your guests’ company, you don’t want them playing musical coats or doing battle with that closet monster.

You want some peace and quiet. It will definitely expedite the process if your guests can find their coats quickly.

Once you’ve cleared out the closet (and possibly helped some less-fortunate people in the process), you will notice that it’s not as big of a hassle to go places when you can easily find things in your closet. You’ll save some time and you’ll save some aggravation, but most importantly, you’ll save the family from the closet monster!

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