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We’re all familiar with the cyclical process of closet cleaning: It fills up with piles of clothing and shoes and accessories we don’t wear and forget we even own, we let it grow out of control for a year (or two), then we spend an intense 48 hours trying to wrangle it back into order. And the process begins again.

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As a renter, you may have put up with lumpy sofas or rickety chairs, thinking eventually you'd have "real" furniture in your own home like the kind you see at a carefully staged open house. But you're purchasing a structure; the furnishings typically don't come with it.

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Turn chiffon dresses inside out to avoid snags. Store beaded dresses in their own garment bags so the beads don’t snag on other clothes or each other. Wrap your cotton shirts in acid-free paper. It keeps yellowing at bay and helps maintains vibrant hues.

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It's true that you can never have too much storage. Homes with generous closet and drawer space are a dream. But what if your closet is shy on space? With some clever changes you can carve out more storage in your closets. 1. Use the back of the door. The back of your closet door can hold a variety of items. Add an over the door hanger with multiple hooks, and you can hang robes, exercise ...

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MOUNT VERNON, Va. — Elizabeth Keaney's work dress code might be stricter than yours: Her gig portraying a young Martha Washington at Mount Vernon means she spends 30 minutes a day lacing herself into corset-like linen stays with a fat needle called a bodkin and strapping on hip-exaggerating "pocket hoops." The hoops, plus petticoats full enough to make Marie Antoinette jealous, support her floor-length, full-skirted cotton gowns.

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Since I’ve lived in my current residence, every year I’ve decorated my Christmas tree the same way: lights, baubles, sprigs of faux holly/pine…

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It should really go without saying but none — we repeat, none — of these costumes necessitate darkening your skin (America has a long and painful history of blackface) or pretending to be another race or ethnicity. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

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Carry your own canvas or string tote bags for groceries and other purchases. The key, as with bar towels, is to keep them handy.

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