Make It Easy


Thursday, June 28, 2001

Get out of the
organizing closet

A few more organizing hints:

>> Be a basket case! If you live or work in an area with more than one floor, designate a basket or two as the receptacles for misplaced things.

Set a basket at the top of the stairs and at the bottom. As you wander around, pick up the occasional escapee sock or calculator that has sneaked into the wrong place and toss it into the basket. When you go upstairs, take the basket with you. On your way back down, grab the upstairs basket and take it with you. Some specialty stores sell these baskets! But, don't wait to have the "right basket" -- even a shoebox will do until it becomes a habit.

>> Come out of the closet. No book on making your life easier would be complete without a comment on your closet. Try this: throw an afternoon party with a trusted friend. By trusted, I mean one who actually will tell you that some of your clothes look horrid on you. Try on your clothes, using every weird combination you can create. Keep a notepad near by and record the ones that make you feel wonderful. One friend takes a Polaroid shot so she can remember the outfit.

TOSS everything else. No, you will NOT get back into those "skinny clothes" one day. No, those pants will not come back into fashion in your lifetime -- and, even if they did, they were awful the first time.

Homeless shelters would love your castoffs -- even your suits. Some have an "interview closet" for their clients to use when they look for jobs. Your suit could help them land a job. If you aren't feeling altruistic, take it to a consignment house and see if they can get a few bucks for it. Either way, it is out of your closet.

Now that you actually have room in your closet, find a classy store (outlets are great for this) and buy classic, solid colors.

When you find a suit jacket, slacks or a skirt that works, buy several in either the same or a few different colors. Accessorize to create your own individual look.

Beth Terry is president of Pacific Rim Seminars.
This column is excerpted from her upcoming book,
101 Ways to Make Your Life Easier. Send questions
on management, customer service and other issues

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