things continue to change rapidly around us. advice, rules and regulations given yesterday can change by the morning. here in Athens, GA, we went from a voluntary to mandatory shelter in-place within a day. that’s why it’s important to pay close attention to what your local, state, and federal authorities are saying, as those rules and regulations can vary albeit slightly from state-to-state, city-to-city, and even county-to-county.
i’ve said it all week, and i’ll continue to say it throughout these trying times. here on the blog, we’re going to continue to keep it positive. and we’re going to continue to be here for each other. our lives have now all been touched by COVID-19 in some way shape or form. but that means we need to reach out and support each other that much more. many of us are connecting with friends and family using FaceTime. one of my sons now plays boardgames virtually with friends using the Zoom app. i encourage all of you to continue to check in with friends and family through video chat, phone calls, and text messaging. remind the people in your life that you love them and that you’re there for them. it means the world. trust me.
i’m sure a lot of us are watching even more Netflix or Hulu these days. and maybe some of us have gone up to our attics or basements and pulled out our vinyl collections that were collecting dust. but if you’re still looking for something to do, you’re in luck. i’ve gone through my YouTube catalog and pulled together a list of tutorials and advice videos that, not only can you watch from the comfort of your home, but also do at home. these are my how tos when dealing with shelter in-place. remember, though. these videos have been collected from years past. if there are tips and/or suggestions that you can’t do at home, don’t do them. safety first. always.
for those of you who have followed me throughout the years, i’m constantly changing my hairstyle. a few years ago, i went with a pixie cut and put together the above tutorial on different ways to style it. and just for fun, i put together a little retrospective of my hairstyles.
a lot of you have reached out and said you’ve spent recent time at home cleaning your closet. i talk a lot about closet cleanses and reorganizations. the video above is full of tips, tricks, and hacks on how to successfully clean your closet. and below, i’m reposting a tutorial i wrote up a few years ago and have shared frequently since.
since we’re on the subject of closets, i want to share my closet cleanse tips. twice a year, i ruthlessly purge my closet to keep my wardrobe streamlined and in tip-top condition for the upcoming season.
the first step for a clean sweep? dedicate an afternoon to your busy schedule to assess your closet and go through every item in your wardrobe. i know, i know: a million other priorities compete for space on your ever-expanding to-do list. who wants to sort through pencil skirts, cardigans, and that swoon-worthy dress found on the final sale rack. but I promise, devoting an afternoon to sort through your clothes is time well spent.
if you are like me, you’ll uncover old fashion mistakes made throughout the season, weight lost or gained (let’s face it ladies, weight fluctuates), or maybe, just maybe, it’s finally time to retire that beloved go-to blazer. (you know the one, it has a shiny sheen on the elbows due to years of love, but you’re reluctant to part ways.)
it isn’t easy to rid your closet of items that no longer fit or have sentimental value, especially when you’ve shelled out major cashola for the purchase in the first place. but keep calm and carry on.
since I am a bit of an organization addict—i’m a Virgo by birth and have a strong penchant towards planning and systematizing—i wanted to share my method for a wardrobe detox. whenever i sort through my closet i put on a great playlist— still loving the Doobie Brothers or Steely Dan—I pour a glass of wine and ask these three questions:
a. does this fit?
b. have i followed the ‘one year rule’? i.e., if i haven’t worn it in a year, it’s time to let it go. (ruthless, i know.)
c. is this item damaged, e.g., moth holes, broken zippers, pilling or missing buttons? or can it be repaired? having a great seamstress and shoe cobbler is a must.
If the answer is ‘no’ to any of the above questions, then it’s time to part ways. divide your clothes into three piles. sell, donate, and trash.
the items that make it to your sell pile are the ones that are either currently in style or gently used. it could even be a pair of brand new to-die-for jeans that were bought with the goal of losing five pounds. sigh. but take heart. these clothing items have the potential to make you a profit with little effort thanks to an emerging online marketplace for buying and selling clothes.
there are several marketplaces to choose from, all of which have a streamlined experience that makes it possible to list items, ship them out, and earn money or credit toward on-site purchases while sipping in your pajamas. how’s that for convenience? check out thredUP.
if by chance some of your unwanted items are still in good condition, consider donating them to a good cause. of course, Goodwill Industries and Salvation Army are always good reputable choices for your orphaned clothes. but there are other organizations that deserve and appreciate your contributions as well. personally, i love and support Dress for Success—a non-profit organization that addresses and fulfills the needs of low-income women who have left welfare and are interfacing with the challenges of the workforce.
but also consider local homeless shelters, specifically ones that cater to battered women. blogger The Midlife Fashionista opened a non-profit in the greater Boston area called Uncommon Threads. it’s mission is to empower women. trust me on this: it’s easier to let go of clothing when you know it is going to someone in need.
now onto the hard part. those items that can’t be repaired or have significant wear-and-tear must be tossed into the rubbish bin. i know it’s hard to say goodbye to your beloved LBD or your favorite graphic tee, but don’t let your emotions get the better of you. it must be thrown away. i repeat, the item must be thrown away.
it might take more than one try to get into the swing of downsizing your wardrobe, but the reward is a streamlined closet that makes getting dressed in the morning just that much easier, and maybe even fun. but you have to know what you own is working for you. after the closet purge is completed, it’s time to organize what’s left.
once you’ve purged your closet, it’s time to organize the remainder.
a. by category
organize clothes by category—skirts, pants, sweaters, blouses, jeans—and arrange pieces by item and color so you can see exactly what you own. the same holds true for shoes. hang sleeveless dresses or shirts first, short sleeves second, and then long sleeves.
b. stack fold-ables
jeans, sweaters, scarves, lingerie are all items that I fold then stack on the shelf. arrange cedar strips or mothballs on your shelves to prevent moths from snacking on your cashmere or wool sweaters. jeans can be folded lengthwise and layered one on top of the other. same for chinos and leather leggings too.
c. upgrade your hangers
who else remembers the movie line, “no wire hangers!” well, we don’t have to be quite as obsessed as Joan Crawford, but I would advise upgrading your closet hangers. it’s a simple style trick that will extend the life of your clothes. And it gives uniformity. whether you prefer thin velvet hangers, Joy Mangano huggable hangers, or wood hangers, there is a hanger for you. don’t forget space-saving stackable skirt or pant hangers.
d. shoes, scarves, hats, and handbags
store your shoes and handbags where you can see them. use clear shoe boxes or better yet store them on closet shelves or a bookcase. right toe out left toe-in is a space-saving technique. i like my handbags out of their dust bags and visible. “out of sight, out of mind happens” if I don’t! hatboxes are perfect for storing hats with the larger ones resting on top. scarves are color-coded, folded, and stacked.
even in these times, laundry remains a truism. it’s there. and no one wants to do it. me included! but to aid in our never ending struggle with our dirty clothes, i put together the above tutorial video. it’s a collection of tips and tricks i’ve picked up through the years. some obvious. some less so. i’ve aggregated them below for your convenience.
- use 1 cup of distilled white vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of bleach to keep your whites bright
- fabric softener weakens fibers use sparingly
- use cold water whenever possible
- treat grease and oil stains with baking soda as the stain is lifted to the surface. gently scrub with a toothbrush
- hydrogen peroxide works wonders on red wine or lipstick stains
- wash lingerie in a lingerie bag. use a pillowcase in lieu of a lingerie bag
- ziplock blue jeans and toss in the freezer overnight to remove odors
- empty pockets
- use a blow dryer in lieu of an iron
- a dryer rack is a great substitute for the dryer
i’m big on beauty tips and tricks. especially over on YouTube. over the years, i’ve put together videos from 5 essential lipstick picks to my favorite drugstore makeup. i’d recommend any and all of them, but i pulled the above video because it pulls together some of my favorite beauty products accessible on Amazon. online shopping is still available to us and the ease of Amazon makes this video particularly useful right now. and if you’re still looking for beauty product suggestions, check out this beauty product gift guide i put out last fall. it’s full of ideas.