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Can dressing be easier? Maybe.

28 Sep

Hey, remember me? I’ve changed my goals (clearly) when it comes to this blog and am going to share when I feel like sharing. No pressure. No trying to make it a job (let’s face it, I’m too social to blog full time plus I like my real job). Just archive some of the home projects I feel like archiving. And when I come across tips that I think will help my friends, I’ll share them.

With those tips in mind, I’ve made serious strides in my closet throughout 2012 and have some thoughts to share.

In January I started the spring cleaning thing and did a serious purge on my closet.

I was inspired by this ebook called “The No Brainer Wardrobe” I downloaded it at Tiny Twig. The idea of having less clothes to choose from intrigued me. I looked at my closet each morning and there were lots of choices but, like many women, I felt I had “nothing to wear.”

In the ebook, it talks about the deleting process:

I think it is easier to start with the deleting process first. First for the
No pile are items that you are keeping out of guilt. Get that guilt out
of your closet at first chance. Don’t keep it because you got it as a
gift and feel bad because you never liked it. Just let it go. Don’t keep
it because it cost a lot of money and you never wore it. You never
wore it, so I doubt you’ll start now. Guilt and shame never make you
feel good. If you need to learn something from your mistake in
order to make the guilt go away, then vow to not buy something like
it in the future. Now, put it in the No pile.

I like the way the author is no-nonsense in how she told you to delete. It helped me a lot. The other thing that helped was visualizing who would get the clothes. I donated many to a local charity that our church supports and made two other piles–one for a guy friend at work who has five kids and a stay-at-home wife who suggested she may like some of the clothes and one for a Tween-aged friend who likes my style (or at least she gives me compliments). I’m small enough in tops that I thought she may get some wear out of some of the clothes. Both gals were appreciative and, even if they never wear the stuff, it made getting rid of them much easier.

The ebook also suggested that you switch all of your hangers to wooden ones. So I did. These were like $18 at Target and since the point was to get down to a limited number of clothes, I didn’t have to buy that many.

Wooden hangers may seem excessive when most hangers are plastic and practically free, but it did make a difference in how nicely my clothes looked. And no more hanger nipples.

I’m also really fortunate to have Molly as a friend. She’s forever chic and extremely talented in recommending clothes and outfits that fit your body shape. In May she came over and we discussed my need for good-fitting pants for my hippy (my word, not Mollly’s), petite frame and skirts tailored correctly. I took three skirts to have hemmed (meaning skirts I’d been wearing too long that were too long) and have been slowly adding to my pant situation.

Molly also put together a “look book” of outfits using my existing clothes. She snapped photos and put them into a binder for my reference. In general, Molly gives me confidence in my dressing. Oh, and you don’t have to be her personal friend to have her do this for you.

Still, after all of that purging, organizing and assistance, I still was spending too much time thinking about what to wear in the morning.

Then last week I ran across an article in the recent issue of More (ps – I really like that magazine). The Deputy Editor challenged herself to wear everything in her closet, like forced herself to wear every single item, and let her co-workers help her decide if they were keepers.

That’s a lot of pressure. I definitely work with some honest (like painfully honest) people who would do that for me. Plus I’ve done all this purging and styling . . . I should be sitting pretty pretty, right?

Well, I’m only four days in and it’s actually been great. I didn’t tell many people at work what I’m up to because I don’t really want their opinions, but it has actually helped my morning routine. It’s made dressing easier and quicker. Seriously.

Instead of marking all of the items with tape and then taking it off before wearing, like the More editor, I decided to just go in a row. Start on the left side of my clothing rack and go to the right. I didn’t rearrange or anything, so things are just in order the way they happened to get hung. I am just doing tops and mixing/matching pants and skirts as I go, but I truly came up with some decent ensembles (particularly by adding scarves or necklaces). Now it’s not “what to wear” but “what could I wear with that top to make it a complete outfit?” It’s fun.

So that’s my latest. I think any little thing that helps us even just a bit is worth sharing. Don’t you?

Am I out?

6 Apr

Design trends fascinate me. It’s always interesting when I start liking something, and I think I’m the only one and then all of a sudden whatever-it-is is everywhere–on blogs, in magazines, at Target. I think I didn’t see this before but I guess I did. These trends must start seeping into my subconscious before I realize their influence.

That’s why this post “Are Coffee Tables Becoming Extinct?” from Hooked on Houses (one of my all-time favorite blogs) is giving me pause this week. It’s actually commenting on another blog post from Stylelist Home about 7 Decorating Trends That Are Becoming Extinct.

I’ve been thinking the same thing lately about some of my furniture–three pieces in particular.

First I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t find a sweet fabric for this ottoman, originally meant for my Dressing Room, and move it into the living room in place of the coffee table.

I mean, I do like my coffee table.

It’s been perfect for stowing toys for the last seven years but I think we could do without it.

I’ve been also thinking I have too much wood in there lately–meaning wood-colored-wood. I got that idea from some post from someone that I can’t find now (Bad Blogger, Bad!) that warned about mixing things up with painted wood pieces. Seemed like a good idea for a room with a lot of brown wood furniture.

Anyway, the other two culprits are both in this photo.

The love seat and the armoire.

I wish the love seat were a full-size couch. When I bought them (in a rush in Ethan Allen when they were going out of business and their phones were ringing off the hook and Cathy was there and she’s a strong influence on me and I got in a frenzy and thought I needed them RIGHT NOW and I thought the price was good and looking back it really wasn’t . . . ) They are decent pieces of furniture. I still like the fabric and lines but they haven’t worn that well and they are very big and very deep. They take up a lot of room, but the love seat is an awkward size. I wish it was just another sofa and then I’d have symmetry and could mirror them in my living room, the world’s longest living room.

And as for the armoire, it seems like only yesterday my husband and I were out looking for the “perfect” armoire. It was actually 10 years ago, and I loved that thing for a long time.

It was so important to me at the time that you not see a hulking TV when you walked into our house. See, it looks pretty when it’s closed . . . but again, it’s brown and bulky. (Seems to be a theme in that room.) Right now we still need it because we’re still back in the Dark Ages with our “tubular TV” but eventually, when we get a flatscreen for that room, it won’t make sense.

Anyway, this is what I love about reading design blogs . . . not that it makes you unhappy about the things you have, but sometimes it helps to qualify your thinking. So tell me, any soon-to-be-dinosaurs that are bugging you?

Home Goals 2012

10 Jan

The Nester, one of my absolute favorites, is hosting a Home Goals Linky Party this week and so it’s the perfect time for me to lay out some of my plans for this year. I created a similar list last year . . . projects I wanted to get done. I put it on the fridge so I could cross things out as I went but mainly so I could stay on task. I tend to get a little ADD when it comes to DIY. I’ll start some project and then see something else that I think is a great idea so then start something else. Writing things down helps to keep me accountable.

So here it is. By the end of May (some perfect cold-weather tasks), I would like to have my Dressing Room complete. I love this room. I spend a lot of time in it, but if I want to be featured on that last page of Better Homes and Gardens,  you know the “I did it!” page (a little goal of mine), it needs some serious work, starting with this ottoman.

At 4′ x 4′, the size is awesome and it’s totally functional (meaning strewn with several items of clothing on most days) but the fabric is dreary and it only reinforces how dreary that rug is (a remnant from the basement). They both need to be changed. So, I’ll be on the lookout for a bright and feminine rug or maybe an animal print and fabric for this ottoman–lately I’ve been thinking a pretty yellow velveteen or something. I was going to do the animal print on the ottoman. In fact, it’s why I bought the giraffe print that became this, but again, that ADD set in and I went another route. Plus I thought it might look like a big ol’ cow or something in the middle of the room. Anyway, I’m also determining if I’m going to try to take on the reupholstering (a major feat) or budget for someone else to do it. Stay tuned!

Next item, those closet doors! (please read “Those closet doors!” with the same emphasis as the stepsisters in Cinderella do when they talk about “These beads! That sash! Why I wouldn’t be caught dead in them!”) Wait, I’m checking YouTube . . . a quick search and I can’t find it (I can find where they rip the sash and beads off of Cinderella but not the one where they discard them in the first place–the bitches). Anyway, these closet doors are deplorable. What is this wood?

It’s hideous and it needs to be covered. I’ve got a couple thoughts on that. I loved, loved what Kevin and Layla did on The Lettered Cottage. Amazing! But mine are sliders and I kinda want to work with what I have, although I desperately need a full-length mirror in there. I have no good full-length mirror in my house (perhaps that’s why I still have this extreme self-confidence thing going). Anyway, I was thinking about wallpapering them, and my friend told me about something with fabric and starch that she saw on The Nate Berkus Show (which I don’t watch but clearly need to start). I need to find out more about that.

And obviously the whole room and TRIM need to be painted. Also deplorable.

But here is the last project I have in mind. I’m excited about this one because I think these are awesome and should make for a pretty easy DIY. I saw this in the Ballard Design Catalog and thought it would be perfect for my Dressing Room. I love the taller spaces for boots.

The shorter one is $360 and the taller one is $600. I found this little wood bookshelf on Craigslist. The listing was “Orange painted book shelf – $10.” Sold!

It’s ugly but it’s solid.

So that’s it. I’m not going any further than May right now. I definitely have more projects in mind, most of which involve contractors, so I’m sticking with what’s attainable at the moment. Small chunks, right?

How about you? Any home projects on your horizon?