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Fighting the battle of bulge

For me, January started with an urge to straighten the pencil drawer in the kitchen. Typically, it's in a constant state of disarray, but that's about to change.

This year, I vow to keep the pens aligned, the pencils sharpened and the Sharpies arranged neatly in their own plastic compartment. Tape - both Scotch and masking - will be visible and available. Scissors will be ever-present.

The neatness of the pencil drawer made the jumbled contents of the Tupperware cupboard seem even more... well... jumbled. I looked around and realized that the bedroom closets need a little organizing. Then, I noticed that the bed sheets are looking weary. The throw pillows on the couch are sagging and no amount of fluffing will bring them to a presentable state. The dust bunnies are multiplying everywhere (as bunnies tend to do).

I'm in a rut when it comes to mealtimes and I'd be embarrassed if anyone got a glimpse inside my microwave. My hair and the kitchen curtains are both looking flat, drab and dull. My feet are callused; my lips lackluster; my clothes outdated. Worst of all, my jeans feel a little tight.

It's that time of year. The calendar has turned over and we are ready to see the world with new eyes. We resolve to reorganize, redecorate, rejuvenate and redo. Out with the old and in with the new. It is time to redefine our lives!

The number of to-dos on my list was overwhelming, so I decided to prioritize by focusing my attention on the two spots where I'm bulging the most: my closets and my waistline. I wasn't sure if I could do it alone. Lucky for me, there are a couple of gizmos and gadgets that will make my changes a whole lot easier.

Let's start with the waistline issue.

One might think that a traditional diet and exercise plan would be the ticket. That's just so old-fashioned. While watching TV the other day, I was captivated by a bunch of skinny ladies dancing across the screen. They were using something called Turbo Jam Sculpting Gloves, and they all looked extremely happy.

The TV said the gloves helped them sculpt their abs even faster. Apparently wearing weighted gloves can give you a six-pack in your abdominal region, which explains their enormous smiles. I personally would be ecstatic with a four-pack, but who's counting?

After viewing about 20 seconds of that show, I knew the truth: I need the Turbo Jam Sculpting Gloves so I can sculpt my abs even faster. Even faster - I think that is the key phrase. It implies that I was already sculpting my abs to begin with, which is a very optimistic thing to say. Happy people can afford to be optimistic.

It's also optimistic to think that I can organize my closets without help. Luckily, there is the Super Max Closet Organizing System, available for a limited time. It divides and conquers your closet space, creating a place for everything, so everything has a space. I plan to use it with another innovative device, the Space Bag Vacuum Storage System, which guarantees that it will put more space in your closet by using a revolutionary technique otherwise known as sucking the air out of puffy items like pillows.

Space is exactly what my closets need. In fact, most chaos and disorder can benefit from the gift of space. Organization helped create more room in my pencil drawer. It should work in my Tupperware cupboard as well. The Space Bag will use vacuum technology to increase the area in my closet. When it comes right down to it, much of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation is about space. Space is a good thing. I know it's definitely something I could use more of - especially in my jeans.

Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and freelance writer working with graphic designer Nikki Willgohs to provide writing and design and other marketing services to businesses and individuals. She appreciates comments and can be reached at