Packing for a Cold-Weather Trip with a Professional Organizer Part One of a Four Part Series Carol is going on a 16-day trip where there will be cold weather. NAPO organizer Denise Levine gives Carol some practical tips to keep her luggage to ONE suitcase. next video >>
For some people the line between “I want it” and “I need it” becomes blurred. One of the best organizing tips that I can offer you is to be awake, aware and intentional about your choices. It’s not about good/bad or right/wrong so much as realizing what you are doing in order to make the best choice for you. If you love shoes, for instance, but your closet and wardrobe are a cluttered mess you can try the following. Gather all of your inventory and sort them by category into a visible area or on a surface. How many of each item do you currently own? How many do you have adequate storage space for? TIP: you want all of the items in your closet to be visible to you so that you can wear them! As soon as you identify items that you no longer want to keep sort them immediately into bags or containers to “discard”, “donate”, “sell” and do each when you are done sorting. Count the remaining number of items within each category and set that as your limit. Make an agreement with yourself that you will not exceed this number and that for every 1 new item that you purchase, you let go of an older one. TIP: do you want to reduce your inventory? Change your agreement! For every 1 new item that you bring in, 2 older ones go out. Determine how you will contain, label and organize each category and what you will need to use or purchase in order to re-organize them back into the closet. Do you want clear shoe boxes? Or do you want to use distinct labels (photos, written) for boxes that you can’t see into so that you can readily identify what is inside of them. Each… read more →
Does any of this sound familiar? I waste so much time trying to figure out what to wear in the morning. I end up wearing the same top and bottom each time. My wardrobe is basically two or three colors. Everything goes with black, right? There is only one way to organize your wardrobe and closet…the way that works best for you! Sometimes my clients love their clothes and actually have a lot of items, but their complaint is that they don’t know how to expand their wardrobe and create multiple outfits. Out of boredom or frustration men and women end up wearing the same things repeatedly. Recently, I worked with someone and together we created 54 outfits from less than half of the items in her closet. During one of my “Shop In Your Closet” sessions she didn’t have to purchase one new thing and found 54 new outfits!! You can organize your wardrobe using one basic rule…it’s my “3-to-1 rule”. For every bottom (pant, skirt, jeans) you create 3 different options for tops (jacket, shirt, sweater). You can now organize these combinations in your closet so that you don’t have to recreate them from scratch. There’s no rule that says we have to organize our clothes by color or item (all the sleeveless, tee shirts, etc. together). Do the same thing with accessories, too. You can group the ties, belts, scarves, etc. with those outfits and hang them together. You’ll save so much time, feel and look great, and oh yeah, the compliments will start rolling in, too. Have fun with it.
I was reading something this morning entitled, “Treating Yourself Well” and it reminded me of why I include image and wardrobe consulting in my professional organizing services. My mission is to help busy individuals streamline their lives so that they make room for what is important to them. This includes being able to create and enhance your individual style. Why is that important? It makes sense to me that while we are striving for efficiency, promotions, the right partner, and simply to be the best person that we can be we deserve to: Feel our best, most confident self inside and out. Project our best self in how we move throughout the day. Share our unique gifts and strengths with everyone we interact with. My Outside In Approach is not about helping you figure out what to wear so that others will like the way that you look. What excites me is when I see a client look at his or her reflection in the mirror and smile, stand up straighter, and say things like “I never would have tried this on!”, or “My gosh, that is so me! Thank you.” I can see your beauty, star quality, and how to bring that forth no matter what you are putting in the way. Yes, confidence comes from the inside but the synergy between external and internal factors is very powerful and motivating. Yes, it really is all about you! The perfect time to identify your style and align your image and wardrobe with what you want for yourself is always NOW. You don’t have to wait for the kids to grow up, or to lose five more pounds. Look your best every day, in the body that you’re in today!
As an Image and Wardrobe Consultant in San Diego I know that not everyone will go shopping with me. But that won’t keep me from sharing these tips! Think of me as your virtual consultant… Designers – find the brands and designers who create clothing that fits your body well. Build your wardrobe around those designers. Classic pieces – consider investing more in well constructed pieces that can be worn for several seasons. Trends – don’t be afraid of trends; spend less on those types of items. Accessorizing – have fun with it, be bold, and remember that less IS more. Color – if you absolutely love a color that doesn’t necessarily compliment your skin and hair color, wear it on the lower half of your body or as an accessory (shoe, bag). Metallic – these are still in style and like accessories…less is more. Alterations – a good seamstress is your friend! Make sure that your clothing fits the most challenging part of your body and then alter the item, as needed.
Style is not dependent upon your age, body type, occupation or income. You know a man has style when he exudes confidence from the inside out, as well as the outside in! You only get one chance to make a first impression! Consider the benefits of looking your best for every occasion. Clothes that fit well look better. Current styles say, you care. A little splash of color is great, too. An Image Consultant can help you build a basic wardrobe or enhance your current wardrobe. There are great times to consider working with an Image and Wardrobe Consultant: Career or job change Retirement Interview Starting to date (again) Change of season Special occasion Vacation Now! You can check out examples of different styles on my Pinterest board:http://www.pinterest.com/deniseimage/male-styles/
You don’t have to be a designer to know how to look your best. In fact, you don’t have to spend a lot of money either. Check out 1 of my new Pinterest boards for some ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/deniseimage/mens-casual/ Here are the basics: Go through everything in your closet and dresser and get rid of: worn, stained, ill-fitting items. You deserve only the best! Do the same with your ties, shoes, boots and belts. Take anything that needs altering, repairs, polishing, etc. to the cleaner or shoe repair shop immediately. Donate any item that is in good condition and that you no longer wear. For instance, work suits or winter jackets that you no longer need. Take some time to go to the men’s department in several stores. Check out what is currently in style, the fit, colors and details. Consider what you will be comfortable purchasing to update your wardrobe. If you don’t like shopping, browse men’s fashion magazines and ask your partner, friend, or a professional to shop for you! TIP: turn all of the hangers for the items that you are keeping the “wrong” way. After you wear something, place it back in the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. At the end of the season you will see what you don’t wear and can donate!
One of Professional Organizer, Kathy Wadill’s 9 recommended strategies in “The Organizing Sourcebook” is “Weed constantly”. As your San Diego Professional Organizer I am declaring that Wednesdays are a great day just for that…weeding. You already know that organizing is an ongoing process rather than something you do once and it stays that way, right? Imagine that if every Wednesday you spent 30 minutes weeding out the things that you no longer need or use, how easy it would be to maintain your living and work spaces! Let’s take the clothing in your closet, for example. Looking at the photo you will notice one of my favorite strategies: resetting the hangers. This is an easy and visual way to assess which clothes aren’t being worn. Here’s how: Turn every hanger backwards. Each time you wear a garment and hang it back up, turn the hanger in the correct direction. At the end of each month, or least season, look at the hangers that are still backwards. This would suggest (except perhaps for formal wear) that it’s time to donate or consign. NOTE: If during the month you notice the items on backwards hangers, it’s a great reminder to wear those things and enjoy them, too. That way, you are not wearing the same things over and over again! It’s not about discarding everything. It’s about using, wearing, and enjoying the things that you still like. Try this strategy and POST YOUR COMMENT about your results on www.outsideinorganizer.com
I recommend that you keep it simple! You can update your wardrobe several ways. First, by accessorizing with a color that is trending. Remember, it doesn’t have to match, it simply needs to complement what you are wearing and add POP! You can also accessorize with a “statement piece“. What is a statement piece, you ask? Think of it like a piece of wearable art…an oversize designer tote bag, a single large piece of artistic jewelry, or a shawl worn in a unique way (slung around the hips, or draped backwards). TIP: don’t try all of these at one time. Another way to update your wardrobe is to add a completely different style. For example, a vintage brooch worn on a modern vest. Try a retro, 60’s style tunic over leggings. Mixing styles is a creative way to express yourself. Again, follow my “one-at-a-time rule” and keep it simple. Have fun and shop at thrift and consignment stores where you can find well-priced treasures.
According to the dictionary, image is defined as: “a representation of the external form of a person or thing in art”. Key word #1: representation. Does your image represent your true self? If not, imagine how it might that affect your confidence, personal interactions, or professional relationships.You only get one chance to make a first impression, why not make it a positive one? Notice how people react to you when you wear the “right” color, for instance. More importantly, observe how you feel and behave when you feel good about the way that you look. Key word #2: external. How you look, what you wear, your stance, etc. are no substitute for the more important things such as your health, well-being, and education. There is a synergy between the external and internal that can be very positive. For instance, we all know that even if you work from home you need to get up and get dressed as if you are going to the office. It’s no substitute for time management but you are more likely to be in a productive mindset if you act as if you are going to work! A skilled image consultant can help you analyze what is working and what is not working. It’s about becoming your best self and enhancing your strengths. Let your external representation illuminate your inner radiance!