Photo: Sam Kaplan

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4. Peter Says...
"Now let's hold a mirror up to your coat closet."

I'm guessing this is one of your black holes of clutter. Start by removing coats and jackets that have been warming their hangers for more than a year. (If you haven't worn it since the winter of 2012, will you really wear it in 2016?) Put them in a box for Goodwill. Move the rest of your winter outerwear, including hats, gloves and boots, into plastic bins in the garage, or seal them in a vacuum bag under your bed. Now you have space in your closet for that Goodwill box, which you're going to keep filling this spring with anything you no longer need or love—clothing that doesn't fit, books you don't want to keep. Presto! That coat closet is no longer a safety hazard—it's the halfway point between you and an act of charity.