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Courtesy of Creators.com Matching hangers can set the tone for an organized closet. ClosetMaid custom-designed closets at www.homedepot.com.

It may be a New Year's resolution we can all relate to: getting organized! And that usually means cleaning out our closets. I call my current closet my "situation room." My husband calls it our "dressing room." When we recently downsized and moved into a wonderful Victorian  a true restoration and had almost no closet space (armoires don't quite do it for me)  I knew we might have a few challenges.

But we converted one of the spare bedrooms into a "dressing room," and voila! It became my situation room. So getting organized is one of my top priorities this year. Here are a few ideas I'm going to try. Maybe you can join me too in getting control over your closet  no matter what kind of "situation" you have!

First, I admit that cleaning out your closet is usually overwhelming. That's why many of us never even make a dent in getting this room organized. It's just too daunting a task. So we buy more of the stuff we already have hidden in the back, and the mess just keeps piling up and getting worse. Join the "overstuffed" crowd and take the plunge. You know... Just do it! Or at least get started doing it!

• Do a little at the time. This seems to work for me. I try to routinely get rid of clothes that just don't work for me anymore. It's easier to do this one to two outfits at a time, rather than take everything out of my closet and then put it all back  minus the clothes that don't fit, are out of style or are just downright worn-out. I keep a basket of these clothes by the closet door. When it's full, I take it to a local charity.

• Organize everything by color. Style categories work for some people, too. That's how I do my "black" group — that neutral forms the core "color" of my wardrobe. I do hang all my coats together — the same with pants, skirts, jackets, etc. — and that seems to work just fine. All my other clothes are color-coded, too, and this makes putting together outfits much easier and faster.

• Hangers matter. I am a convert. Yes, I converted to those black velvet hangers years ago, and it has proved to be one of the best closet investments I could have made. Wooden hangers may do it for you - or red plastic ones for that matter. But it is amazing what this simple trick can do to dress up your closet and instantly make you feel a little bit more organized!

• Rack it up. Moveable stainless-steel racks have provided me with unlimited possibilities. I have moved several times over the years, and this tip has made a huge difference, especially when closet space is at a minimum. If you're renting an apartment, you don't have to worry about damaging walls with built-ins either. My new "dressing room" is now home to five of these racks, and I can easily move them around when the seasons change.

• Make it worth your while. I know I hang on to clothes from years ago. (They may be "historic" someday!) But of course, they never seem to fit quite the same way. I wonder why... This year, I'm hoping to start a new trend by actually selling a few of these "treasures." Online consignment stores make this easier than ever! I'm resolving to explore a few of these possibilities.

• Finally, everything should have a place. I have found that this is one of the best tips  if not one of the most obvious. But it does truly make a difference in creating a clutter-free closet. If you have a shelf for your handbags, a hanging organizer for your shoes and a drawer for your jewelry, then you're on your way. There are all kinds of storage systems available now for every "situation." All you have to do is to make sure that after you wear something, it goes back in its place. Now, that's the hard part!

To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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