Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Autumn: Fall Wardrobe Organization

Rayon Pashminas, at Wrapables

Happy Autumn Equinox!

With our Indian Summer weather here in Seattle, I'm struggling with what to wear every day. Mornings and evenings are chilly, so I'd want long sleeves, but our afternoons are very warm or even hot. I definitely need to layer. It's not time for a coat, and a sweater is even a bit much after 10am. I still want to wear sundresses, floaty and soft, so it's time to get out lightweight sweaters and cute wraps.


- Put on some music that makes you think of fall. To me this means Loreena McKennitt, Mediaeval Baebes or Miranda Sex Garden, Throwing Muses, Enya or Stevie Nicks to me.

- Get some exercise. Take a long walk, run briskly in the mall from sale to sale, put on some music and dance, mow your lawn, or go for a bike ride.

- Catch up on emails tonight. I've gotten my mail email box down to 45 - instead of saving all these, I should reply, archive or delete them.

- Need to wash your car today? I'm taking advantage of the warm weather, and it takes me less than ten minutes to thoroughly wash and dry the car.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Fall Closet Organization

You may live in an area of the country where it's still very warm. But for me, it's time to clean out my closet, put away my summer dresses, and get my sweaters, heavier skirts and velvet leggings out of storage. I'll keep a couple sundresses nearby on hand for this warm week though.

I personally handle this project by removing absolutely *everything* from the closet and dumping it on my bed. This sort of forces me to actually get my project done so that I can sleep in my bed tonight. (I usually find I don't wimp out and just throw unsorted clothes on the floor and climb into bed.) I then give the closet a good vacuuming, wall washing, and baseboard dusting.

Next the items dumped on my bed go through a sorting and evaluation process. I try a lot of the pieces on, skipping things I know still fit such as Tshirts and elastic skirts.

Items either get thrown out, donated, or put into storage bins. I'll remove the label that says "Fall/Winter" and replace it with a label that says "Summer." I don't quite have a walk-in closet, it's a bit small to store things in. And since I'm storing my store merchandise in the garage, I might as well store my own things in there too, so that's where I keep my clothing storage bins - three of them.

Now I take the Fall/winter clothes out of the storage bins and fill the closet back up with those items. But first I sniff them to see if they need to be laundered after spending a few months in plastic. I'll evaluate to see if I need to try anything on to see if it still fits - I do think I've gained weight over the past five stressful months.

Time to put away bathing suits, skimpy tank tops, shorts, and sandals. It's still too early to get my holiday gowns out of storage, so I have a bit of extra room in my closet for now.

As I put things away, I'll inspect for damage, wear and tear, and see if any clothing needs to be drycleaned first. I don't want to put away dirty clothing.

Anything I haven't actually worn this sumer needs to go through an honest evaluation. If I haven't worn it, is it because it's ugly? doesn't fit? Because I no longer have as much of a partying lifestyle as I used to? Because I shoved it back in the closet where I couldn't actually see it? Anything I can't envision myself actually wearing next summer I need to throw away or donate. I keep a plastic storage bin in my trunk that I can put donation clothing into. Next time I drive by a clothing donation bin (Usually at Safeway or other grocery stores) I can stop and donate clothing.

Shoes, lingerie/pajamas and foundation garments (bras, stockings, panties) I'll save for sorting another day. As it is, I will have to hustle so I have time to sort the entire closet before going out to the store to get supplies for the soup I'm making tonight.

Why is my closet so cluttered and messy? Mostly from two things: Lack of controlling myself at stores, and lack of honest evaluation of which clothes I actually end up wearing and which should find new homes. I HONESTLY do not need any new clothes this season other than a skirt to replace the torn one I threw out this week. I just need to stop going into stores, since I am on a tight budget right now.

If you sort your closet tonight, be sure to lay out something special to wear tomorrow - something you haven't worn in a long while that looks pretty on you.

LOVELY BLOGS: Things Your Grandmother Knew

This homemaking blog focuses on home economics, above and beyond living simply and living green. It focuses on thrift in food, nutrition, consumerism and household management. She finds and republishes old newspaper and magazine articles on the topics.

I've learned a lot already from the posts I've read. Currently she's blogging about selling your unwanted things online, daily care of wooden floors, avoiding mistakes with poisons, and making your own lingerie boxes.

Things Your Grandmother Knew

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