More on clutter: demoting and archiving.

A friend thoughtfully set up lunch so I could meet her friends Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo. They have a consulting business called “Visual Therapy” to help clients edit their closets and buy clothes that suit them. It was a fabulous lunch—not often do I discover people who want to discuss the finer points of closet-clearing by the hour.

It’s times like this that make me realize, once again, how lucky I am to be living in New York. Lifestyle consultants! These guys have appeared on Oprah! And I had lunch with them—and they even gave me a copy of their new book.

Nothing to Wear has some great clutter-clearing suggestions I haven’t seen elsewhere. For example, if a beloved item is still flattering but not in great condition, you “demote” it to more casual use. Inspired, I “demoted” my (somewhat tired) favorite green sweater from go-out-to-dinner status to everyday status.

Most clutter-clearing advice urges against keeping clothes for sentimental reasons, but in my experience, that’s not realistic. People cling to certain items. Nothing to Wear says that it’s fine to “archive” clothes, but that those clothes should be stored outside your active closet. One thing I’ve noticed when helping friends clear their closets is that when they consciously decide to permit themselves to archive some clothes, they’re often able to cut down the amount they want to keep.

Now I know people may think it's a bit frivolous to spend so much energy analyzing and fighting clutter, but although it sounds like a magazine-cover slogan, it's true: clear your clutter, clear your mind.

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