tutorial roundup | how tos when dealing with shelter in-place

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.

how to style a pixie cut

kerastase conditioner | R+CO styling paste | R+CO texture & shine

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. 

biossance

boden pencil skirt, boden breton tee, talbots utility jacket, gucci bamboo handle handbag, boden yellow suede sandals

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears items from Rachel Zoe's Spring Box of Style

three must know closet hacks

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.

closet cleanse

1. purge

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.

2. sell

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.

3. charity

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.

4. rubbish

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. 

5. organize 

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.

lingerie is organized by color, size, and type. these are folded and tucked inside lingerie storage units. place a linen sachet inside for a special treat.

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.

laundry hacks and tips

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

laundry room ideas

must have Amazon beauty products

mascara | charcoal teeth whitener | eye gel | lip liner | lipstick

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.  

neal's yard remedies frankincense lift serum and cream

StriVectin Line BlurFector

a beauty update from SiO

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35 Comments

  1. margaret ann hurt wrote:

    I love looking at your website because I am 70th years old but I still like looking good. And was not sure what was too young me or what made me look good at my age. I love the commercial with Maye Musk when they said you never old to care!

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • it’s good to know there’s no expiration date on looking good. take care!

      Posted 3.22.20 Reply
  2. Christine Jones wrote:

    Thank you for continuing to send these out!

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • thanks for stopping by, christine! take care.

      Posted 3.22.20 Reply
  3. Denise Weir wrote:

    Here in Northern Ireland my husband and I are self isolating, we’re a high in good health but considered in the Vunerable category. Were lucky to have a garden and are close to the beautiful Co Antrim Hills and coastal are that have been made famous by Game of The so we can go out into the country or coast safely keeping a safe distance from others is no problem so all in all were ” happily” making this our new norm. Take care of you and your and keep up your wonderfully thoughtful posts xx

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • so happy to hear you are making the best of your time. take care!

      Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • Sylvia Espinoza wrote:

      Great to log in to your post on these days that all seem like each other! You have a gift for encouraging, right up there with the gift for fashion sense. God bless you for sharing your gifts.

      I give you credit for my use of white vinegar for all of my laundry loads. Were you also the one to teach us to use detergent sparingly on dark clothes, then add a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse to keep them from fading, because, Lady, it works! Have used this method for a good while now, and it works. Even already-faded darks look better!

      A trick I use if a stain comes suddenly where I can’t get to baking soda is, if in a restaurant for example, use the powdered sweetener for the same effect of absorbing the oil right away. Works wonders, too. I used to carry an envelope or two in my bag for the kids’ stain mishaps~

      Posted 3.22.20 Reply
      • thanks so much for sharing your tips, Sylvia. i love to hear what works.

        Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  4. Sangita M wrote:

    Love the closet organization tips. Using this quarantine time to get everything organized and in better order. Thanks Beth for all your tips and positive vibes.I look forward to them everyday. Be well.

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • and we can never be too organized! take care.

      Posted 3.22.20 Reply
  5. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    All good looks and lots of good ideas here. I’ve been baking, cleaning, reading, taking long solitary walks in nature–all of it is helping me stay calm. I am kicking myself that a year or so ago, I finally tossed my sewing machine, as I am now wishing I could make masks from the pattern on the CDC site for all those medical folks on the front lines. We are most definitely staying in place. It’s making me appreciate many small things we have a tendency to take for granted. We all need to be kind and reach out in whatever ways we can to those who need it.

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • all good things to do with our time, Suzanne! and, yes, let’s continue to be encouraging and kind.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
    • Joanie wrote:

      I got rid of my sewing machine a couple of years ago, too, and now I wish I had it. I could sew some medical masks for our helpers. So, I made a monetary donation to Meals on Wheels, food pantries, restaurant workers organization. We can help the vulnerable. “Look for the helpers”-Fred Rogers. From, Joanie in Iowa

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  6. Gail wrote:

    I love your hairstyles! They always look timeless and versatile. Have you ever done a topic on “how to/what to look for in choosing a hairdresser?
    Thank you for your positivity during these times!

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
  7. Kathy wrote:

    Thanks for continuing to send out positive messages in this difficult time. While I am currently in a city that is not on complete lockdown, we are all doing as much shelter in place as possible. Because my job is considered “essential” I currently have these 2 weeks off for rest etc and I’m really enjoying cleaning and organizing. My house has never looked so good. There’s always a silver lining!

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • we are all becoming so organized and clean! not a bad thing at all. take care and get that rest you will need before you head back to work.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  8. This is certainly a difficult time. I’m really appreciating your posts, positive and helpful. I am a recent widow of just 3 months and am finding it very difficult to be sheltering in place. Living at ground zero of this terrible virus In Washington state we’re having very strict rules. Phone calls and FaceTime help but just not the same as having someone sitting in the same room sharing a cup of tea or a glass of wine. I’m starting the closet reorg today, you’ve given me motivation. Thank you.

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • stress is so hard to manage under “normal” circumstances but you’ve been hit with a double whammy. stay in touch with friends and family through FaceTime, continue to build your immune system, and stay busy with projects. take care!

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  9. Irene wrote:

    Thank you for continuing to uplift and encourage us during this time of difficulty. I am using this time to do the extra chores that seldom get done, and our home will be better for it. May I use this opportunity to reach to your audience, to say thank you to all who read this and continue to work as required. We do appreciate all you do, and please stay careful and healthy.

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • thanks so much for your positive attitude and words, Irene. it’s so important to think about and thank those who show up to work each and every day. from healthcare to service, you are our everyday heroes.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  10. Maura wrote:

    I bought my regular UPS delivery person a gift card to a local chain of coffee and donut shops. His job continues, but with all of us at home, so does online shopping and then his deliveries. I’m using my at home time to shop online. I put items into my “cart,” go as far as checkout to see what the discount would be and then close the web site. Shopping without the stress of credit card bills

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • what a great idea, Maura! that’s so very thoughtful and i know your driver was touched by your actions. thanks so much for sharing.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  11. Eve wrote:

    So timely right now. I am embarrassed everytime I clean out my closet. What possessed me to buy two of everything in black? I agree with you about vinegar and soda. I love using natural things to clean with. I’m new here so I have so much to look forward to on YouTube and your blog. I’ll be binge watching for sure. Thank you.

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • we’re so happy you stopped by, Eve! welcome.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  12. Joanie wrote:

    Hi Beth
    Thank you for continuing your blog during this Shelter in Place time. I really enjoy reading it and getting all of your great tips and suggestions. I am hunkered down at home. It is a good time to remember all of the helpers. Consider giving a donation to your local food pantry or soup kitchen. Beth, you are a strong woman and wonderful role model for those of us of a certain age. Thank you.

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • all great suggestions, Joanie. thanks so much for sharing.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  13. Thanks so much for these videos, especially the Pixie style tips. I have a very short Pixie and my next hair appointment was for this coming Friday. Well, that’s not going to happen, and with my hair growing out to about your length soon, your tips will definitely help!

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • we’ll all be growing out our hair! i grew mine out after we went through a category 5 typhoon. i realized how time consuming short hair can be with regular haircuts. i’m looking forward to the day when i can pull my hair into a ponytail and call it a day.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  14. Katie wrote:

    My adult daughter has set herself up a home office in her spare bedroom so that her pets will allow her to teleconference in peace. She has ordered herself a nice desk but it has not arrived yet. And what was she making do with? A low TV tray – on the floor! I asked her where the nice raised up over the sofa TV tray table is that we gave her several years ago. And she swallowed hard over not having thought to use it. Just everything one can think of is being affected by this virus – spin your head around.

    So far I have managed to not resort to burning the house down in my efforts to rid every surface & object in the house of any possible Covid-19. We have resorted to using all paper products – after the dishwasher broke down. The necessary part is on back order. Yikes!

    Please keep the delicious recipes coming. DH use to never eat but one meal a day with me. And I now feel as though I am feeding a – bottomless pit! LOL

    Trust me! You do NOT want to hear about the master closet redo – fiasco.

    Posted 3.23.20 Reply
    • it at first you don’t succeed try, try, again! we’ve got nothing but time, so lots of tries are built-in.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  15. Mary A Snyder wrote:

    I made a promise to myself to purge my closet last week since we had to self-isolate. Well, I did everything else instead. Thanks for your motivation today – TODAY is the day to clean out – MAKE decisions that are so hard to do with my “beloved clothes”.
    Always enjoy your posts!
    Ann from the beautiful Ozark Mountains

    Faith, hope, courage will get us through this time. Love

    Posted 3.23.20 Reply
    • faith, hope, and love. but the greatest of these is love. take care!

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
  16. Lindsey A wrote:

    Taking a final photo of the fave item being tossed or donated can really help, especially if there is something sentimental about it. Or finding a photo of yourself wearing it. You could even create an online album of “my fave, long passed clothes” and add them there. Knowing you have a solid permanent record of it can be helpful.

    Posted 3.23.20 Reply
    • what a great suggestion, Lindsey! thanks so much for sharing.

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply