Posts Categorized: organize

This Week I Love …

tide pen

… my Tide Pen.

I am a spaghetti sauce magnet. Also salad dressing. And occasionally ice cream. Oh, who am I kidding, my klutzy nature means that most of my meals end up decorating my clothes in one way or another. And although I still swear by Palmolive as the ultimate stain remover, you’ve gotta dampen the stain, douse it in Palmolive, let it sit, wash it, and await the results. (Usually miraculous, occasionally only passable.) Sometimes you can’t make it home to change, and sometimes you end up with a stain that needs immediate triage. Enter the Tide Pen.

This little wonder is ideal for dealing with or pre-treating stains as they happen and works best on “fresh” stains. Just as the manufacturer says, the Tide Pen works beautifully on tomato juice, ketchup, BBQ sauce, grape juice, coffee, wine, tea, and chocolate syrup. I remember going to a banquet with Husband Mike and his coworkers, and watching one of his managers dip the sleeve of her ivory silk blouse in a cherry sauce. I whipped out my Tide Pen and TOTALLY SAVED THE DAY. Some reviewers have had good luck with oily stains, but I’ve had mixed results myself. A few vinaigrettes have needed the full Palmolive treatment. But overall, this product works beautifully in a pinch and can save your clothes from ruination.

Anyone else a fan of the Tide Pen? Other stain triage products to recommend?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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The Value of a Wardrobe Holding Area

under bed storage

My slow but ongoing attempts to downsize my wardrobe continue, but culling has become much harder. I’m down to items that I still love (at least in theory), and am having to make decisions about taste/emotion versus actual use patterns.

One practice that helps ease the pain? I’ve created a holding area for items that I think I can let go, but am not entirely sure I want to cast off just yet. For me, this is a bunch of grocery bags in my laundry room, but the under bed storage box shown above would work just as well. If an item remains in the holding area for more than six weeks and I haven’t missed it, out it goes. And I am confident that it won’t be missed. So far, only one striped shirt has been brought back into rotation. The rest have been donated and never thought of again.

Is this a practice that could work for you? Any other ways you ensure that you’re ready to donate a still-beloved but relatively unworn item?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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Is it Useful? Does it Bring You Joy?


Back in October, HM forwarded this article to me. It describes author and expert organizer Marie Kondo’s philosophy of closet cleaning and organization: Discard everything that fails to “spark joy.” At first I resisted this idea, mostly because I have experienced the antithesis of buyer’s remorse: Donator’s remorse. I know what it’s like to get rid of something in a whirl of organizational frenzy, only to find myself longing for it months afterward. I also believe that the maxim of, “If you haven’t worn it in six months/one year, get rid of it,” can be a little too harsh in some situations. Some items have limited use, but should still stick around for those infrequent but important occasions.

And yet, as the weeks rolled by and I continued on my own style journey, I found that phrase echoing in my brain. Spark joy, spark joy … it sounded extreme initially, but since I was now actively on the road to minimizing and honing my wardrobe, it began to resonate. I love style and dressing and consider it to be a creative outlet, so why shouldn’t everything in my wardrobe spark joy? There followed some merciless purging. Lots of it.

And I never missed any of the items I donated or sold, or regretted jettisoning them. Eventually, though, I hit a wall. I have several solid-colored tee shirts that don’t actively spark joy, some really simple black flats that don’t excite me in the least, charcoal gray tights that I’ve worn frequently but don’t adore. Did these things need to get chucked out with the rest of the non-joy-sparking stuff? They were layering pieces, practical and comfortable items. And I couldn’t envision replacing them with more elegant or exciting versions that actually would spark joy.

So I focused on another pillar of wardrobe curation: Utility. I may not love those black flats, and it’s possible that I may find a more exciting, special pair some day to replace them, but for now they are useful to me. The ultimate goal may be to only own clothing, shoes, and accessories that spark joy – from socks and underwear to snowboots and pajamas – but in the meantime, keeping some pieces that are more useful than exciting will make dressing on a daily basis a whole lot easier. (I will admit that I haven’t yet read Kondo’s book, so perhaps she makes some allowances for utility. But the articles I’ve read about her methods make me think the joy-spark is supposed to apply universally.)

Anyone else been pondering the joy-sparking method of organization and curation? Do you feel like you could enforce it wardrobe-wide, or would you rather make room for practical if unexciting pieces?

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