Get Organized Month

The truth is too painful for me to want to write about what’s gone on right now. I will talk about my take on this in a future blog entry.

Today I will stick with the original topic I wanted to post on how January is Get Organized Month.

At the end of this blog I will link to the Dressing Well(tm) website. Founder and President of Organization by Design, Inc. Mary Lou Andre featured in her latest video there must-have organizing products.

Andre has created an industry out of talking about dressing in clothes.

One tip she gave I paid attention to after having resisted for years–using acrylic storage. On a recent trip to a Burlington Factory Store I bought for $4.99 each two of these bins. One is bigger and has one tray. The other has 3-divided trays.

The one bigger tray holds 3 wool and flannel winter scarves filed front to back like envelopes with their folded-over sides on top. The divided bin stores 3 pairs of winter gloves.

Cheaper acrylic storage than to be found at the Container Store.

The trick I’ve discovered is to set your limit up front to decide the number of items in an accessories category that you can sanely manage the upkeep of.

Using the Marie Kondo method I touched items I haven’t used at all or wore only once. Into the donation bags they were tossed.

I’ve come to realize that I. Am Not. A Scarf Person.

Along with culling my accessories I’m donating in like-new condition houseware items I didn’t use at all either.

The true sanity-saver is to keep on hand only the things you use throughout the year. I’ve seen firsthand that it’s overwhelming to need to pull out or move aside or rearrange the things you don’t use simply to get to the one item you’re reaching for.

The things you store need breathing space around them.

I study and practice feng shui. It’s my conviction that a closet or drawer or cabinet overstuffed with things that haven’t been used in years causes stagnation.

The flow of chi (pronounced chee) is the life energy in your house or apartment. Blocked chi can drain us people living in these spaces of energy too.

I’ve found that by lightening my load of what I keep on hand I feel more energetic too. This is what it’s like when I got to the point where the only clothes in my closet and drawers are the ones I use every week.

You can watch the Dressing Well(tm) YouTube videos here: Dressing Well(tm) website.

With all the ongoing injustice going on in society it’s my contention that taking a break from the news by doing what gives us joy is warranted.

Watching these videos puts a smile on my face.

I hope followers of my blog can take joy in what I write.

The Year of Freedom

I’m looking at you purple Prince shirt with the flouncy collar. How did you get in there?

What possessed me to think I would wear you when I won’t ever perform on stage in an arena?

These thoughts flew into my head as I tossed the blouse into a new Salvation Army donation bag.

In January 1990 I had my first-ever article published in a newspaper column. It was titled Time to Start Spring Cleaning.

Thirty-two years ago, I was in the vanguard in talking about clearing out mental clutter as well as your clothes. In the dead of winter.

2022 I envision as being The Year of Freedom. It’s time to let go of the things that no longer serve a purpose in our lives.

My recommendation is to find a therapist to talk to. Letting go is a loss not only of what’s hanging on a rod but of the thoughts hanging out in our heads.

It can be tempting to want to fill up this newly empty space. It takes courage to travel light.

Living through the pandemic attests to not keeping around forever in our heads hearts and homes anything that is not useful beautiful and adored.

While I was spring cleaning, I tossed out the teal fringe cardigan because I am not the kind of girl to wear such a creation.

2022 I firmly believe is the year to say: “Good riddance!” to the old and outdated.

Making room for the new and better in terms of our thinking and how we interact with each other.

The power of transformation lies in giving ourselves the breathing room to express ourselves in the moment we’re living.

Our closets should live and breathe too.

In the coming blog entry, I will give insight into the ultimate beauty of letting go of what no longer serves us.

National Clean Out Your Closet Week

The third week in March is National Clean Out Your Closet Week.

Every year I write about this theme in the blog. The Salvation Army truck driver took off my hands 3 bursting donation bags full of belts, clothes, and pocketbooks.

It is strange to be in the position of having size 2 Petite summer pants become so loose that they no longer fit.

When other size 2 Petite pants are so tight not even a snake could fit into them.

Oh–the perils of the sizing system in the U.S.

That’s why a lot of American women run out of a department store dressing room in tears.

It’s not unusual to have pants and jeans of four different sizes in your wadrobe.

2, 4, 6, 8–no one appreciates the guessing game as to which item will fit when you order online and the box arrives at your door.

On the other hand it is not odd to suddenly fall out of love with the clothes you used to wear.

Goodbye, khakis. Hello, black jeans.

To stay young at heart you should refresh your wardrobe every so often.

The older I get the more obsessed with clothes and dressing up that I’ve gotten.

As a Generation X girl I don’t want to fade into the woodwork.

Millennials can have their avocado toast as they’re so famously accused of coveting.

I’ll take a good coat and boots in this NYC chill that doesn’t warm up until early June.

Fashion is where you find it–and you can find joy in the clothes hanging in your closet.

Donate the items that no longer suit you. Get rid of the pants that no longer fit. Say farewell to the colors that make you look ill.

The spring is here in one week. Having hope is called for.

Editing the contents of our closets can spark joy.

Who wants to spend the morning agonizing because your closet is bursting with items you don’t wear?

Keep the items you love.

Call the Salvation Army truck to take away good-condition clothes that could bring joy to a person in need.

This is a win-win.

Spring Cleaning in December

I identify as an Artist. I’ve always thought that wearing clothes was a form of self-expression.

As the new year comes on I persist in thinking “I dress, therefore I am.” As if the right outfits will take me where I want to go.

It was time to let go of the clothes and the thoughts and the feelings that held me back. Out, out—with the old—and in with the new.

I’m doing spring cleaning in December to get rid of clothes that no longer thrill me.

I’ve tossed blue and faded jeans into the donation bag. An olive cardigan too dull and drab to continue wearing.

The beige-and-black summer blouses I washed out of my sartorial hair too. Couldn’t I command attention without having to wear shirts that made me look like a 1990s office worker? Wasn’t there a better way?

The urge to purge my drawers, closet, and storage rack was stronger than ever.

For me change starts with my wardrobe. Sorting and organizing better what I own. Not bringing into my apartment new clothes that won’t see the light of day.

Like the multi-color zig-zag pattern rayon cardigan. I’m not a disco diva so what was I thinking when I bought it?

Resisting the allure of buying things that catch my eye has always been hard. Who isn’t taken in by an item of clothing that beckons you to believe that if you wore it you would become a superstar? Or at least—a spectacular version of yourself.

At the end of the day to a lot of women a dress is just a dress. They don’t imbue their clothes with the magical power to engineer a positive mood in the wearer.

Only I’m ready to test the theory that dressing up in black jeans and different color pants and colorful tops could cheer me up.

My thinking was that clothes could have the effect of vitamins.

Living through 2020 has been hard for all of us. I firmly believe 2021 will be better.

What better way to bring in the New Year than to clear out your closets?

One day we will be able to go out and paint the town red or gold or whatever color catches our fancy.

Until then I stand by the maxim that whatever gives you joy shouldn’t be discounted in this time when the COVID-19 outbreak is still in effect.

Unlike a lot of people I enjoy cleaning out and organizing my closet.

What gives you joy? Just Do It.

Spring Cleaning in July

I was having an email conversation about the protests with another person. She understood that the root of injustice predates Floyd. She feels it’s a factor of the strictly capitalist American society.

I thought about this:

Buying a ton of stuff feeds into our capitalism-on-steroids where companies exist for pure profit on the backs of an underclass.

Going through a burst of spring cleaning got me thinking. This week I started tossing shoes sweaters and pocketbooks into a bag to donate to the Salvation Army.

It felt wasteful to have bought a tweed beret I wore only once and two sweaters that remained on a shelf unworn for 9 years.

For those of us who carry credit card debt because we buy too much stuff this is a different kind of burden.

Laboring hard at a job to pay The Man–the Billionaire who owns the company–depletes your life energy.

Going forward I’ve decided to set an upper dollar limit for each item I buy like a pocketbook. I won’t go over that limit.

In my burst of spring cleaning I got rid of the stuff that weighed me down. A trash bag lies on my bedroom floor ready to be taken out.

The idea that “Maybe I’ll wear this some day” is the biggest myth going.

These unused items didn’t “spark joy” like Marie Kondo attests things should in order to keep them.

Revelations flew into my head as I filled the trash bag. This was only the start of a great big clean-out.

De-cluttering I can vouch for is often the gateway to making new changes in your life:

Out with the old. In with new people, places, and experiences.

Spring Cleaning in the Time of COVID-19

Staying indoors in your apartment or house is the perfect time to spring clean.

It’s a great day to get rid of the clutter as well as the thoughts in your head that keep you stuck in one place.

Are readers like I am thinking about your priorities in terms of what you want to keep and what you want to toss in your life?

I’ve decided to engage in spring cleaning as a method of rejuvenation and reinvention in this early spring.

What I’ve learned in terms of setting priorities is that you don’t need a lot of stuff weighing you down.

Yes–I can remember having had 22 tubes of lipstick when I was 40. Count them–22 tubes 🙂

Today  halfway through my fifties I have only 4 tubes of lipstick.

Living on less money while not at your job is the perfect time to get clear in your head that you won’t spend, spend, spend, as a hobby anymore.

Living through this crisis is the natural segue to making these kinds of changes once you’re on the outside.

I’m getting older. Your priorities can change when you go through menopause. I find that while living indoors I have cooled out with caring about things that don’t matter.

Having 22 tubes of lipstick is the not the kind of life goal to aspire to 🙂

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about ways I’ve used to cheer myself up while living through this exceptional time.

These ideas might empower readers too.


Having a Capsule Wardrobe

It strikes me today that having too many clothes is a liability.

Your mental health suffers every morning when you stare at a bursting closet and lament: “I have nothing to wear!”

Seeing everything take up all that space in reality you subconsciously think: “I’ll never get my act together!”

Having a routine and prioritizing what’s important to focus on is imperative at mid-life.

After the arrival of the Uniqlo package over a year later I understood that it can cause distress to be overwhelmed by the act of choosing and using items in your wardrobe.

To wit I had written: “Where would I be able to stuff yet another sweater?”

Having a capsule wardrobe is the antidote.

Ever the radical that I am I created a genius plan that beats Marie Kondo at her own tidying up game.

The solution is to only buy clothes you truly love instead of schlepping home impulse buys.

When you do this you won’t have to stare at a bunch of clothes and ask yourself if you truly love each item enough to keep it.

Choosing and using only a core collection of wardrobe items saves your sanity at the front end.

So that you won’t have to engage in clutter control at the back end.

Elsewhere this concept is calling having a capsule wardrobe.

Most experts say this involves having and using about 30 items of clothing each season.

My goal is to replace the clothes I buy in the future with fewer items of better quality.

Really one hack for front-end clutter control is to know Your Self and determine your Style. (More about creating your own style here in the future.)

Then you’ll be saved from purchasing mistakes that only hang in your closet unworn.

Here I can tell you that limiting the amount of clothes you buy frees you up to spend more time on things you truly enjoy.

Some of us hate to shop–at least in actual stores.

Putting careful thought into the clothes you buy is a good habit.

I plan to go 2 years without buying another sweater, pair of pants, skirt, or dress. I’ll talk about this Fashion Challenge in a coming blog entry.

My goal is to do what experts advise: “shop in your own closet” to create new outfits every week.

It seems about right to have 30 to 33 items of clothing you rotate every season.

For the original source of the Capsule Wardrobe Makeover you can read about Project 333 here.

The Be More With Less blogger edited out her clothes to help herself better manage a medical condition.

I’m confident that this approach can S.O.S.–save our sanity every morning when we open the closet doors and ask:

“What do I have to wear?”

Spring Cleaning 2019

Spring arrives in only two days.

The weather in New York City is going to get better–the meteorologist promises.

In keeping with the theme of cleaning out your closet I want to recommend one genius option for storing things: the InterMetro storage rack that’s on sale as of this week from the Container Store online.

Two years ago I bought the InterMetro storage rack to hold more clothes and a trio of hat boxes on the bottom shelf.

Though I’m only five feet tall I was able to assemble this nifty item on my own. I put it together on the floor and lifted it up and wheeled it to where I wanted to keep it.

It doesn’t cheer me that I have a ton of clothes.

Only the storage rack with the canvas cover can give you extra room for your clothes. You can buy an extra shelf to insert at the top or bottom of this rack.

I still haven’t discovered the remedy for storing pocketbooks so that they’re easily viewed for quick choosing and using.

Taking photos of the pocketbooks can help. Otherwise when they’re not stored out in the open you tend to forget which ones you have.

I’ll have to think about the pocketbook dilemma more and report back in here on a solution.