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by SixFigureStart | February 16, 2009

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Sitting around in your bathrobe waiting for the recession to end so you can start wearing your pinstripes or your Manolos again is not going to help matters. Throwing them away, however, just might.

You have spare time?so use it to focus on renewal. Now is the time to examine everything in your closet and determine if it has a role in the next chapter of your life.

Getting rid of possessions during a recession maybe seem a bit counter-intuitive, and it may not be easy. But trust me. In a morning or afternoon you can lift your mood, feel more productive, and maybe even put a few dollars back in your wallet.

Feng shui experts believe that completely full spaces block the flow of Chi (vital energy) into your life. Creating space in your closet will allow room for new ideas, relationships and opportunities to flow your way.

Plus, you can donate these items to your favorite charity or local goodwill. Helping other people will make you feel good; so should the tax break. You may want to consider reselling nicer pieces to a consignment store, on Ebay, or other online outlets for a few extra bucks. (How? We?ll tell you in a future column.)

Before you begin, I can?t stress enough the benefits of good lighting and a ?skinny mirror.? If your current mirror looks like a hand-me-down from the fun house, replace it. Then switch on those lights, put on that first piece, and ask yourself the 3 F?s:

1. Does it fit? Be honest.Pants and jeans that are always too tight should go, and shirts that gape in between buttons are never cute, so ditch those too. Look at the sleeve length, hem length and overall condition. If your weight fluctuates, have pants in two sizes: ?skinny? and ?not so skinny right now.?

2. Does it flatter? Does the color look good on you? Are the cut and style appropriate for your body type and age? Consider your best assets and evaluate whether the piece hides or highlights them.

3. Does it function? Does it coordinate with at least three different pieces in your wardrobe? Is it a solid staple or a regrettable sale purchase? Your goal is to have all items in your closet work together and reflect your personal style. Not sure what that is? Hang around?we?ll tackle that in a future column, too.

Go through everything?and I mean everything. Shoes, coats, bags, ties or scarves, gloves, jewelry, and even your underwear and socks.

Most decisions should be quick and relatively painless. No debating the benefits of those nasty sweatpants from college, stretched out sweaters, anything belonging to an ex, or the designer piece that hasn?t seen daylight since the Barneys Warehouse Sale. I guarantee you?ll come up with at least one garbage bag full of stuff you can give up without missing a thing.

If there are things you like but don?t work for some reason, need repairs cleaning or you can?t let go of, toss them in a bag or a box. Next week, I?ll start teaching you how to make what you?ve got live up to its potential. And we?ll do it without spending much?of course.

--Posted by Julie Greene, RecessionWire.com

Screwed: 850 at BMW
Recession Briefing 2.16

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