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Does your wardrobe seem like an exotic country to you?

Mysterious, impenetrable? Does the thought of opening your wardrobe doors strike fear in your heart? Transform your wardrobes from frightening to friendly with these helpful organising tips.

SPACE: Don't waste space storing things you don't need, like or use! Clear the clutter! Your wardrobes are prime real estate. Just because you paid a lot of money for something, don't let it guilt you into keeping items you know you won't use or wear.

KEEP THE DEAR NEAR: A key organising principle is to store things near where they're used. That means items that get used frequently should be located up front and center in wardrobes for quick, easy access. Only wear that fancy dress once in a blue moon? Don't give it pride of place in your wardrobe; move it to a less accessible location. As the seasons change, move the past season's things from their prime location and replace them with the current season's items. If circumstances -- like starting a new job or losing a significant amount of weight -- require you to rethink your wardrobe, be sure to devote the time necessary to reorganising your wardrobes so they continue to work well for you.

WASTE NOT WANT NOT: For maximum flexibility and efficiency, I recommend using adjustable shelving wherever possible. In the event your shelves aren't adjustable, adding mini shelves, floating shelves or containers with shelves or drawers to existing shelving will reduce any wasted vertical space.

SPEAKING OF CLOTHES: The items you decide to keep should be in good condition, fit you well, be a style -- whatever that style is -- that you like and will wear and make you feel good wearing them. Not sure whether an item should stay or go? Ask yourself these questions: When did you use it last? When will you use it again? What's the worst thing that would happen if you got rid of it? Would you buy it again the way it is now? What kind of comments do you get when you wear it? Would you be embarrassed to give it away?

GROUP ANALYSIS: To make getting dressed faster and easier, group your clothing by category, i.e., dresses, dress pants, work tops, jeans, skirts, casual shirts. You can refine it further by arranging each category by color, from light to dark.

FIX IT: If items you like and want to keep are in need of alterations or repairs, get them done now so you can use and enjoy them. What are you waiting for?

LIGHTING MATTERS: A poorly lit wardrobe makes it hard to find what you're looking for, wastes time and creates frustration. Sound familiar? If so, install lights! It can make a huge difference in whether you love or loathe your wardrobe space.

PRACTICAL & VERSATILE: Upright plastic bins have many practical uses. Use them to store umbrellas, gift wrap, tennis/squash rackets, bats, yoga mats, etc.

MAINTENANCE IS A MUST: Staying organised is easy if you devote a small amount of time to it every day and put items away. If you let things pile up, it will take you much longer to get back on track! Continually reviewing and purging unwanted, unused and unloved items from your life -- and wardrobe! -- is the only way to maintain control over your things.

STILL STRUGGLING - ph 0800 22 88 24