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into the wardrobe little ways to bring some order to your clothes closet
by Yee-Fan Sun
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I have never been a terribly tidy person by nature. Itís not my fault; Iím convinced the conditionís genetic. My entire family has a predilection for amassing clutter; we have a real gift for shuffling it around, piling it up, making it grow. Sadly, weíre also impatient sorts; clutter management, which tends to require some investment of time, is something that generally falls by the wayside. My baby brother is the sole member of my family whoís ever shown even a modicum of ability in the organizational department; even then, I suspect itís more by sheer force of anal-retentiveness-fueled will, as these days, now that heís a busy med school student, Iíve noticed his closet no longer sports the perfect color organization we once mocked him for as a kid.

My own closets, then, have always been a bit on the chaotic side, the kind Iím thankful to have a door on, so I can easily ignore the jam-packed messy contents inside. This tactic served me just fine when I was a kid, blessed with the ample storage space of my parentsí big suburban abode, armed with a decade or two less of accumulated stuff to cram in. All grown up now, and a dedicated city dweller to boot, Iíve found myself faced with a pesky problem: I have more stuff than ever before, and less space in which to actually hide it behind closed doors. This then, is why Iím slowly being forced to reform my bad closet ways -- to confront all that mess, and figure out some way to enforce order upon it.

Other closets are easier to turn a blind eye to, but the clothes closet has become a particularly hot area of contention in the battle against chaos. Itís the one closet I have to look at every day; trying to figure out what to wear, Iíve discovered, is rather difficult when you have three shirts haphazardly piled onto a single hanger because you were too lazy to get some new ones when you ran out, and half your skirts have slid into the black pit of your closet floor. Slowly then, Iíve been making some improvements. Nothing radical, mind you. No knocking down walls to expand my closet space; no pricey custom shelving configurations; no consultations with closet organizer specialists. (Who knew such people even existed? Yet magazine articles are always suggesting that those of us with closet problems call in the pros.) Cheap changes, little changes. But amazingly, changes that actually help.

If you too have come to dread the thought of facing your clothes closet each morning, itís time to take control of the situation. Check out these easy tricks for making your messy closet more manageable Ö

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