• Thin your closet twice a year, in spring and fall.
• Invite a friend to help make choices. Do likewise for him or her.
• To avoid feeling overwhelmed, start with one type of clothing (shoes or pants, for example). Move on only when you've finished.
• Organize your closet by type of clothing (pants, long-sleeve shirts, short-sleeve shirts, etc.), then arrange each type by color, from lightest to darkest.
• Discover what you really wear. Once you've cleaned out your closet, turn the hanger backward. After you've worn an item, hang it back up but face the hanger the other way. Get rid of items you haven't worn in a year.
• Remove from your closet: clothes that are too large or small, or in need of repair, and clothes that you like but don't have anything to wear with. Get rid of things that don't fit. Take clothes that need repairs to a tailor. Snap a photo of "orphan" pieces and show the image to a personal shopper at a department store or a boutique salesperson. Ask for help in finding coordinating pieces.
• For extra closet space, add double-hanging rods or buy a portable closet or wardrobe. (Target, Ikea and J.C. Penney have the latter.)