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I Have (Absolutely) Nothing To Wear

I Have (Absolutely) Nothing To Wear

“I have nothing to wear” (sigh!) Is this what you say when facing the closet each morning?

We’ve heard it countless times — we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. It’s wardrobe fatigue (I totally made that up just now). But, yes, it does get boring.

And although it’s entirely possible to look well put together every day without repeating a single outfit in a year, I bet you have never used your clothing collection to its fullest potential.

Imagine approaching your closet, knowing what you’ll wear that day, convinced that it looks fantastic.

The Wardrobe Capsule

Susie Faux developed the concept of the “wardrobe capsule” in the ’70s.

The term referred to a collection of high-quality essential items of clothing that would stay in style to wear across multiple seasons.

According to Faux, a woman’s wardrobe capsule should typically contain at least two pairs of trousers, a dress or a skirt, a jacket, a coat, a knit cardigan, two pairs of shoes, and two bags.

The idea was to update the collection with seasonal pieces to provide something to wear for any occasion without buying many new clothing items.

The wardrobe capsule makes the closet more manageable and enjoyable using better quality, fewer clothing pieces.

In 1985, American designer Donna Karan made the capsule concept famous when she released her “7 Easy Pieces” collection.

The capsule idea has evolved these days – Instead of limiting the collection to 7-11 items, the current capsule limit is about 30 items, including shoes, handbags, and accessories. (It’s still an improvement from the two or three full closets many women own!)

The Stylebook App

A couple of years ago, I discovered an app called Stylebook. Stylebook is your closet in virtual format, at your fingertips.

It starts with cataloging pictures of your clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories so that you can combine these into infinite outfit possibilities.

The images that populate your virtual closet come from your closet, online stores, social media, and other sources. However, no matter the source, each clothing piece looks magazine-worthy. The app makes the image-gathering process effortless.

Once the wardrobe is uploaded into the app, you may record details about each piece for future reference (fabric composition, color, size, brand, how to launder it, and more).

Stylebook helps you prepare packing lists for trips, keeps statistics on the styles and colors most worn, and even has an outfit calendar planner, eliminating the chance of repeating outfits within the same social groups at the same gatherings. (Yes, I know!!)

Befriend Your Closet Again

The Stylebook app removes the boredom of wearing the same things over and over or the same way and eliminates the stress of getting dressed.

Including all your clothes, shoes, and accessories in the app takes some time — it is the most time-consuming part.

But once that part is complete, it’s easy to get addicted to playing with the many possibilities the closet holds.

Every person who invests time, effort, and money in organizing a closet deserves to get on board with this app.

The Stylebook app works for men and children alike.

Check it out! And if you need help getting this going for you, reach out to us. We’ll be thrilled to help you with this project.

How He Finally Found Flow at Home

How He Finally Found Flow at Home

Years Went By

During a recent trip to Puerto Rico (I’m from PR, if you didn’t know), I listened to a good friend talk about his place- a condo with a killer view and more than reasonable space for a bachelor. This friend also has excellent taste, so his place looks nicely put together.

During a recent trip to Puerto Rico (I’m from PR, if you didn’t know), I listened to a good friend talk about his place- a condo with a killer view and more than reasonable space for a bachelor. This friend also has excellent taste, so his place looks nicely put together.

But for the last decade, he had tried to sell his condo.

During that time, the property had been on and off the market. And although my friend had done everything within his power and seemed to do it all right, the sale never went through for various reasons.

All the while, he had felt emotionally detached from his own home, as he said.

Deciding To Flow

At some point during those years, his life significantly changed – It sped up exponentially. Consequently, he was spending much less time at home. The timing was ideal because now, he did not need to spend so much time in a place he did not love.

However, he thought maybe his path was not to sell his apartment after all and that he probably needed “to flow” with his home instead.

And by “flowing,” he meant he had decided to align his actions and feelings with the energy of his dwelling so it could be the source of joy he wished for – a home that would delight and support him. (I swear I had nothing to do with his decision or process – this was all him).

As he started to plan some upgrades on his apartment, it was clear he could only begin those after emptying several areas that have been storing a lot of stuff through the years. He had not seen, touched, or needed that for long.

As you can imagine, this was not a project he looked forward to doing.

The Unexpected Happened

But then something unexpected happened- as soon as all that stuff started coming out of the many “hiding” areas, he felt a rush of energy compelling him to declutter and reorganize everything in his home. He could not explain it, but that feeling was enough. He took action.

Unbeknownst to him, this was a first-hand experience of clutter causing stagnant energy and the contrasting feeling of unleashing the positive energy that comes with decluttering.

He witnessed how this fresh, vibrant energy carried him forward, infusing his environment with the attitudes and feelings he longed to experience in his place.

Comfort Coffee at home

Becoming Mindful

It might be easy to ignore the draining effects of stagnant energy, settling for the status quo. However, becoming mindful gets us in touch with ourselves, our feelings, their why, and how. Then, it’s easier to discern what should be done and the path forward.

So yes, my dear friend has a beautiful, well-appointed condo that he loves and is no longer trying to sell. He made peace with his home, which is now a place that supports his hectic life and gives him joy.

His Story Is My Wish For You

Listening to his story made me realize his journey perfectly embodied everything I wish everyone to experience.

  • Becoming mindful
  • Making the right decisions
  • Taking action
  • Eliminating clutter and chaos from their lives
  • Shifting their energy
  • Loving where they live

(My friend should become My Space Reclaimed poster child, right?)

It’s simple- once you decide to love your place and act mindfully, your house becomes that HOME that supports your life and speaks of rest, comfort, and joy.

When that happens, life becomes easier, bigger, and better. That’s when you experience the flow.

Lived-In Design

Lived-In Design

Lived-In Design

A client once asked me how some people can have “cute things and display them.” She wanted to know how some live in such a way they have space to display décor items and make them look good. From her perspective, this was impossible.

The question does not surprise me, given that some people engage a Professional Organizer because they no longer want to live in a chaotic environment. That means they call an Organizer because they live in chaos.

But I have thought about this question for a long time and realized the answer lies in that inverse relationship between clutter and design.

What A Stylish House Doesn’t Need

Look at this picture (@flamingos.home). What do you notice? Or rather, what do you not see?Minimalistic design to live-in

You can appreciate this design due to the absence of elements that pull your attention somewhere else, like clutter. 

And clutter happens for two main reasons: 

(1) Owning excessive stuff – Renders even the best storage space incapable of containing and concealing all the stuff.

(2) The lack of decision-making about things at any given moment – Causes stuff to land (and stay) anywhere in the home.

Although most people would not consider their homes magazine-worthy, as long as we have four walls and a roof, we can make the space as beautiful and incredible as we wish.

Elegance, style, and luxury have less to do with money and the size of your home and more with taste, simplicity, and attention to detail.

But it seems challenging for many to envision the possibilities in their homes. Could this be because their homes’ clutter prevents the imagination from visualizing what they desire?

What Happens To That Magic?

Clutter prevents us from seeing the beauty of the home’s potential. But clutter also physically occupies the space that should be left available for new and better things to come into our lives. 

I have extensively discussed the model home magic Vs. the nightmare of moving day. We fall in love with a beautifully designed, perfectly appointed model home, but the magic disappears on that moving day as quickly as it came.

Why does it feel so different even when we selected the same model home, building choices, and décor? This probably happens because:

(1) It is our stuff there now. And our stuff seems less than exciting in contrast to our new home.

(2) We see all our stuff together while moving in. It makes a big difference. But, unfortunately, this remarkable space now seems overcrowded and will be for a while until we get it under control. 

 (3) With the moving process as messy and disjointed as usual, stuff seems even messier and uglier than ever.

 Puff! Magic gone.

Where The Stuff Is

Add to this scenario the prospect of living out of boxes for a while (there’s no time to put things away, and life is hectic anyway). 

At some level, we also recognize that wherever and however things land in the home on that moving day, they will remain for the next three years or so.

Things might quickly improve if we engage some help, like a professional organizer, designer services, cleaning personnel, and such. The new home will probably thrill us again soon. And this better happens soon. A home is one of the most important investments we will ever make. So, we should care how we feel about it.

Life After Moving In

Everyone gets into model homes, HGTV shows (the reveal is grand, right?), Architectural Digest magazine, and all those fantastic home designs on Instagram and Pinterest. However, only a few make the connection between a marvelous design they love and the reality of the day-to-day living in that space. 

No one talks about what happens after people move into a new home or back in with their belongings after a renovation. Having this conversation requires people to confront their mess demons and out-of-control buying. But, of course, nobody wants to go there.

Enjoying the beauty and style of a new home does not happen automatically. After moving in, we must work on it. Even the best design might get drowned in clutter. Clutter is the noise that distracts our senses from the beauty of the space and interrupts how we experience our home. 

The Role of Empty Space

And aside from speaking of design, it is essential to honor space in the home. So many have issues with unoccupied space and try to stuff things in best-left-empty areas (“because I have some space there”). 

However, a house should be a living space, not a storage. Space is our friend, and it is best to make peace with it. Space is to the home like a white mat is to a piece of art – it enhances its beauty by isolating it.

It is possible to have a lived-in design. Clutter has to go.

A Killer Guestroom

A Killer Guestroom

Amazon affiliate: commissions earned from qualified links. 

When we have a dedicated guestroom, can we keep it ready to receive guests? It means keeping it empty of our stuff, decorated with a cozy atmosphere, and perhaps a couple of things to wow guests.

Maintaining our belongings out of the guestroom makes it easier to control our things. It simplifies everything. I can’t imagine the stress it would cause me to have random items in random places in my home, not knowing where’s what.

What The Guestroom Is Not

The guestroom should not be the dumpster for all the unwanted gifts you have received, your wedding dress or formal attire, gift-wrapping supplies, unpacked boxes from your last move, and old pictures in frames you’d rather avoid. Each of these things has a logical place – different from the guestroom. 

If you’ve worked with My Space Reclaimed before, you know the logical place for each item in your home. But if you are still determining the best storage area for any of the stuff you want to store in your guestroom, I will be happy to point you in the right direction.

It is common for people to place random stuff wherever there’s space available. But this practice is incompatible with an organized home. So, for example, would you place canned food in a bathroom cabinet because it has some open space? (And if you answered yes, stop reading now – nothing here will make sense to you).

Keeping our belongings out of the guestroom also avoids the last-minute scramble to remove stuff from that space when guests come over. Or heaven forbids the need to make a little space for a guest or two so they can accommodate their things in the guestroom.

Please don’t do this. It might make your guests feel unwelcome. The message given is that they’re interrupting how you live. I would not feel at ease as a guest in such a situation. I’d hate to feel I’m causing my host inconvenience or additional work.

What Every Guestroom Should Have

So, now that we know what not to place in that guestroom let’s touch on what we should include. 

Besides maintaining the room empty of our belongings, paying attention and intention to the guestroom makes total sense.

We want to ensure the place is comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and inviting.

To achieve that, let’s use simple, neutral décor and cozy ambiance, anticipate our guests’ needs, and implement details that truly make a difference.

We must consider the following elements to create unforgettable experiences for our home guests.

The Bed

Choose a medium-firm mattress (in whatever size you need the bed to be). If the bed frame does not have a headboard, create one or buy a panel to install on the wall behind the bed. The headboard makes the bed feel warm and determines bed placement. 

Select white, solid sheets and pillowcases of the same set. Get two additional pillowcases every time you buy a sheet set.

Invest in four firm pillows (two, if the bed is twin size), a mattress protector, and pillow protectors (waterproof but that don’t feel plastic). Use the bed recipe for that upscale look. 

Minimalist Furniture

Include one nightstand for a twin bed or two nightstands for a double bed, queen, or king size. Add a full-length mirror, whether heavily framed, on the floor against the wall, or a simple long mirror installed inside the closet door or wall. And remember the dresser! https://amzn.to/3svw2vb

Window Dressings

Choose simple curtain panels and modern-looking hardware. When deciding on panel measurements, consider that those come in standard sizes and that the appropriate length for these is touching the floor and lightly pooling at the bottom. Choose darkening / temperature-regulating curtain panels https://amzn.to/3udvTx1 for added convenience for your guests.

Temperature Control

The darkening / temperature-regulating curtain panels will help control the temperature in the room. Also, because chances are the guest bedroom does not have a separate thermostat, ensure that the room’s overhead lighting fixture includes a fan—the fewer items you need to add to the room, the better. Floor fans and space heaters do not contribute to an enticing look in a room.

Reading Area

Space permitting, include a comfy wingchair with a small ottoman, a mini side table, and a floor lamp with directional light behind the armchair. (That’s cozy on steroids!)

Wall Décor

Include limited wall décor that is simple, size-appropriate, and not about you, your family, politics, or religion. 

Strategic Lighting

Lighting is crucial for ambiance and functionality. In bedrooms, warm (yellow) light is the way to go. Use warm light bulbs on all light fixtures in the room, including the ceiling fan fixture. Replace any burnout lightbulb at once and avoid mixing different kinds of lightbulbs (color or power).

Also, add a table lamp on each nightstand, plus another on the dresser. 

A Well-Appointed Bathroom

Ensure the toilet, sink, and shower/bathtub work well without annoying leaks. 

Place perfectly white (preferably new) bath towels on towel bars and hand towels on towel rings by the sink. 

Add a size-appropriate shower mat or rug https://amzn.to/46cSsz1 in front of the shower and the sink area. Avoid toilet covers or mats around the toilet! 

Include a 3-8 gallon trashcan and line in with a transparent trash bag of the appropriate size. 

If the bathroom has a shower, install a new liner for its shower curtain. Better yet, consider a hookless shower curtain (eliminating the need for hooks and including a removable, washable fabric liner). Choose a solid shower curtain in white, preferably. 

Fit the countertop with a tissue box cover and a matching soap dispenser. Place a tissue box in the dispenser and fill the soap dispenser.

Selected Travel-Sized Toiletries

Your guests will probably bring their toiletries. However, it would help to be prepared for those impromptu stays and unforeseen mishaps.

Consider buying these items in travel size, and organizing them neatly in drawer inserts in one of the bathroom’s most accessible drawers.

  • Q-tips
  • cotton
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush
  • mouthwash
  • deodorant
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • shower gel
  • disposable razor
  • hairspray
  • shaving cream
  • nail clipper
  • mini brush
  • mini comb
  • Body lotion
  • feminine supplies
  • wipes

Paper Supplies

Stock the bathroom cabinet over the toilet with extra rolls of paper (without the plastic wrapper!) and a couple of tissue boxes. If the bathroom does not have a cabinet over the toilet, use another cabinet area nearby.)

Available Closet

Include 10-12 wooden, sturdy hangers in the closet.

Add a skinny square or rectangular hamper that complements the room décor.

Include 1-2 additional pillows (with pillow protectors and corresponding pillowcases) and an extra blanket. 

Cleanliness

The bedroom, the closet, and the bathroom should be spotless. Look up to see that the fan and air vents are dust-free and pay attention to baseboards and crown moldings.

Please avoid keeping any cleaning products or equipment in your guest bedroom or bathroom. You don’t want your guests thinking they are expected to clean while staying at your place!

Electronics / Safety

Add a charger for your guest’s electronics on one or both nightstands. Include a small flashlight in the nightstand drawer if the power goes off. Use a plug-in nightlight in the bedroom and the bathroom and a couple of these in the hallway from the bedroom to the bathroom (when it’s not inside the room) and to the kitchen. Include a home automation device (such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home).

Coffee / Water / Snacks

Space permitting, place a coffee maker with a few hot-cold disposable cups, stirrers, and individual serving format coffee accessories (sweetener, cream pods). Add a small decorative box or basket with prepacked snacks (such as granola, cereal bars, and individual-size packs of almonds or peanuts) and two water bottles.

Final Details

Add a clear vase with fresh flowers (with a minimum of leaves) filled ¾ with water.

Include 1-2 unisex white or beige bathrobe and plush sandals in the closet.

To provide your guests with an unforgettable stay that could become the stuff of legend, pay close attention to those guestroom details and anticipate their needs. 

11 Key Habits of an Organized Lifestyle

11 Key Habits of an Organized Lifestyle

Organizing is not a project; it is a lifestyle. So, here are 11 key habits of an organized lifestyle. These will make a big difference in your home and how you live.

Make The Bed Every Morning

Making your bed makes the room feel in order and makes you feel accomplished from the time you get up. In addition, this action helps you face the date with a can-do attitude.

Keep A Donation Bag In Each Closet

Having a bag for things you no longer need or want allows you to make those decisions when you think about them. You will have a designated place for these items and won’t need to remember to gather them later. When the bag is full, schedule a donation run. When you put on a piece of clothing that you feel is no longer suitable or is ripped or screams dated, instead of hanging it back (or, God forbid, throwing it on the bed or a chair), you will place that item in the bag.

Create A Home For Everything In Your House

You will decide where things should go based on their use pattern in the home. The important thing is to assign one specific place to each category of items, preferably. If using an object requires storing it in more than one space, set those spaces up. Also, labeling storage areas allows everyone to know where to put things back. And remember, If anything can go anywhere, everything will go everywhere. 

Put Things Back In Their Place

To maintain an organized home, everyone must always return things where they belong. Hence, it is essential to label spaces until everyone knows the proper place for things. “I will put this here for the moment” does not work. It never has. It never will.

Shop Intentionally

The words “free,” “save,” and “discount” act like a drug on the brain. Please don’t fall for it. Before you buy, ask yourself if you need the item and have the space to store it. If not, please walk away. The less you own, the more living area you enjoy in your home, and the less you have to care for.

Remove Extra Packaging 

When bringing home bags or boxes, remove the contents and strip those items of outer packing as much as possible. That is making the stuff truly yours. It also makes the item(s) ready to be organized within your home. This process is a critical step we follow when organizing a space. You want everything as visible and ready to be used as possible. Removing all unnecessary packaging also saves lots of space and makes all items of the same kind look the same. The more homogeneous your collection, the more functional the system is and the prettier your areas look.

Discard Trash At Once

Entertained garbage makes up for most of the clutter in every household. If you commit to removing the packaging of what you bring home, go the distance and trash the garbage instead of allowing all the extra packing to linger around your home until who knows when. 

Process Mail Efficiently

Keep a recycle bin, a shredder, and a tray or sorter to process the mail. Preferably, have your filing cabinet where you process the mail. Most of the mail you receive is junk. Throw it away before it can clutter your home. Also, be a knowledgeable shredder. You only need to shred documents with account numbers, social security numbers, medical information, or bank offers. 

Having a shredder right where you sort the mail immediately lets you take care of this. 

Too often, I find boxes full of documents that need shredding, cluttering my clients’ lives—concerns about safety compound the problem. We accumulate more paper over time when we do not know what to destroy. 

Also, mail sorting and filing systems are critical for processing bills on time and filing what you keep in paper form. 

Plan Ahead

Take a few minutes to prepare for the next day at the end of each day. Evaluate your “to-do” list and set out everything you need to go through your planned errands the next day.

Practice Strategic Scheduling

Scheduling is Logistics 101. College business programs include courses on administration and logistics, with algorithms to determine the optimal sequence of events to complete a project or the most efficient routes to get around. 

Of course, you don’t need to go to such an extent, but you can gain significant efficiency and add more time to each day with some planning.

Clean Out Bags Daily

Whether it is your handbag, weekender, kids’ sports bags, or suitcases, emptying the contents of all bags allows you to assess what needs replacement, washing, trashing, or placing somewhere else. This practice is particularly beneficial in helping you plan for the following day or week. 

If you are a paper kind of person and love to write little reminders and notes to yourself throughout the day, consistently emptying your bag helps you remember that idea you wanted to pursue. Those reminders might be the start of more significant plans in the scope of your life.

Consistency Is Key

These 11 steps might seem like little, but combined and executed consistently, they will make a big difference in your life.