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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): A One for One Closet Exchange

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A One for One Closet Exchange

Today we are going to clean out your clothes closet. Ah, ah, ah...don't even think about leaving. Read through this and then see if it's something you want to do....or should do. I guarantee that this is easy, AND you'll only have to do this ONE TIME! If you're like I used to be, I had so many clothes jammed in my closet, I couldn't even rightly see what was in there. After years of digging and pulling to get at something to wear, I finally decided to do something about it.

First things first, go get three large trashbags. Make one of them a different color than the other two. For example, get one white and two black.

In one black bag, you are going to put all the clothes that can be considered trash. All the clothes that are ripped, torn, stained, irrepairable and just plain butt ugly will go in here.

The next black trashbag will have all the clothing you want to donate. Weed out the things that you might've thought were nice at one time but not now. Let's talk about sizes really quickly too. It's okay to keep one size above and one size below you, but anything else that is still useable, put it in this bag! Chances are, you won't get back to your high school fighting weight, and if by some chance you did, you'll want new clothes to show off your new figure anyway. If you just can't let it go, keep ONE outfit only.

The third, white trashbag is a kind of "holding pattern" bag, the "maybe bag". You are going to fill this bag with clothes you haven't worn in the last year....be honest! Do not include formal items and your little dirndl and things such as that. This bag is going to live in your garage for 6 months to a year...you choose. Anything that doesn't get used in that timeframe out of this bag, gets a free ticket to Goodwill or another charity of your choice.

Now that your closet is set, we will practice the "one for one exchange" from here on out. That means, in the future, when you go on your little shopping spree, or you come home with a new outfit from the store, in order to hang it in your closet, you have to get rid of one item. You are going to be doing an even exchange. If you bought a shirt, an old shirt has to go. If it's a pair of shoes....yes, you didn't think I'd leave out shoes did you? They are sometimes the worst offenders! They get weeded out just like the clothes!

Now that you have some space to move around and can actually see the back wall of your closet, you're going to group like items and colors together. Start at one end of your closet. Hang up all your casual pants. I like the hangers with the clips rather than folding the pants and leaving creases, but whichever you are used to...go for it. Group the colors together. Then do all the casual long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts. Group your business wear together and have your formal wear in the very back....you get the idea. I even go so far as to leave the empty hanger right there, so I know to put the thing back after it's washed.

So there you have it....simple and neat and a cleaning job you'll never have to do again! Do you have any ideas of how to keep your closet straight? Let's hear it!

Read more decluttering articles at Declutter It's "Organize Your Life" Carnival #12!

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