Friday, October 14, 2011

Skeletons in the Closet

Last Sunday, the second day of my very busy weekend, I tackled the dreaded straighten up the closet job.  I say dreaded because I just knew that many of the things that fit me last fall/winter were not going to fit.  Even when things fit it takes me at least an hour to make the swapover.  With the added task of trying things on I knew it would take longer.  Not to mention that my closet is not a traditional closet.  It is built under an eave of my house so it's larger than most.  I am actually able to store off season clothing on one side of the closet, in addition I also store our seasonal bedding and window treatments there.

As I got into the job I got a surge of energy and decided to really clean my closet out.  I went through all four of my totes, plus a steamer trunk.  I organized everything by what fits now and 2 sizes down that I decided to keep.  Everything larger or smaller went into bags for donation.  I also got rid of things that I haven't worn in a season or two, regardless of size.  In the end, I took 4 bags of clothing and 2 bags of shoes to a donation bin.

Three and a half hours later, it looked fabulous and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders!  Amazing what happens when you get rid of the skeletons in the closet, which is basically what all those really small sizes were.  Everytime I opened the closet door, I felt like those clothes were taunting me.

Here's a photo for you.  Shoes and clothing on the left all the way to the end - and yes, besides the shoes on the floor rack, that entire top shelf is boxes of shoes.. Steamer trunk at end (it's holding all my goal size clothes!), along with a tote full of various handbags.  Other totes (hey - Mr. Helen has some totes too!) and storage on the right.  But doesn't it look so neat and organized?  Ahhhhhh....

The only issue was between getting rid of things that were too big, or small, or plain old worn out (I threw that stuff away),  I was left with only 2 dresses and 2 shirts and 1 pair of casual slacks that fit me.  This left me with the task of quickly finding some slacks, shirts, blazers, etc., as our weather is finally making the turn into full-on Autumn.  I made up my mind that I wasn't going to spend a lot of money because I'm hoping once I get going on whatever plan the specialist will have for me, I will quickly be able to transition to the next size down tote which is full of things.  I decided I would buy 2 pairs of black slacks, 1 grey, and 1 brown; 5-10 shirts/tops, and a couple of sweaters and blazers.  That is what I have been working on this week.  Sunday, I had to make a run to BJ's which is our warehouse store.  They have clothes there.  There is one particular brand of Diane Von Furstenberg slacks that I know fits and when I went there on Sunday, I found just one black pair in my size - yay!  Monday evening after work I went out and lucked into a sale at Macy's where I found grey and brown, then walked over to JC Penney and found another black.  Slacks done.

Wednesday after work I went out on the hunt for blouses and tops.  I decided to go to Burlington Coat Factory as I've had good luck finding blazers there.  This is a store that is definitely hit or miss but if you hit, you'll hit the jackpot.  I was lucky and did just that.  I didn't pay more than $15 for any one of the tops I found.  Hurray for bargains!   I also scored one black blazer which I did not photograph.  Since I wear so much dark base colors I try to find tops with zing.  And may I just say after taking photos of all these things, I have newfound respect for catalog clothing stylists!

I also found a couple of silky tops... the pink one is actually more of a dark rose color but all the color correction in the world couldn't seem to fix it - and look at the detail on the neckline of the purple one.

I also had to breeze through the shoe department - naturellement - and found 2 pairs of flats to replace some of those I had gotten rid of.  I actually wear flats quite a bit in the winter with jeans and with dress slacks, depending on how much I'll be on my feet.  I liked this one style so much I bought it in Pewter and in Black Suede.

All in all I think I had a very successful week and believe it or not, all of these new things cost me just under $200.  While it doesn't thrill me to spend money on things that are a size I don't want to be and I hope are temporary, I feel so much better mentally having things that fit well and also look professional for work.

To top it all off?  A great fall manicure.

The Grape Lakes, by OPI
(unfortunately a discontinued color but one of my favorites so I have 2 bottles set aside)


  1. First Happy birthday to Little Helen. And congratulations to Mom Helen and Mr. Helen.

    I love your new outfits, especially the silk tops, great colors.

    And you did some hard work on your closet, it looks great.

    Have a great weekend Helen.

  2. Funny thing I just took a nail polish quiz to find out my favorite shade (they said red).

    They said I take life too seriously and I think it was because of the closet question. They asked if my closet was organized by types of clothes and all facing the same direction. Of course! (and by colors together too but they didn't even ask that question).

    Love a clean closet. Also, love your new pink top with the ruffles around the neckline. Very cute.

  3. You bought more shoes?? Ha! I would expect nothing less! Love all the colorful tops.

    And happy birthday to your baby girl! Time really flies, doesn't it??

  4. I love the tops, especially the print ones (but that may be me projecting a *tiny* bit since prints hide my belly, lol) and I'm so glad you will have those pops of color with your dark base - you are going to be styling! Also, nothing feels better than when you wear clothes that you like, that fit, and that holds true no matter what size.

    I am impressed and jealous of your shoes. Itching to go shopping, but that is a ridiculous notion as I can't put anything on my right foot at the moment. Sighhhh...can you call me every day and describe what shoes you are wearing? That's not weird, right?

    Love that you have a carpet runner in your closet, and I love how big it is!

    On the nail color, I have a bottle set aside of my favorite blue. They keep rotating out the blues and I didn't want to be caught without it, so I completely understand your extra bottles!

    Happy Birthday to Little Helen - I hope she has a fabulous day!

  5. You have inspired me to purge and shop! I might take a half day today and do just that. Seeing as it is Friday and all.

    JC Penny has really good specials going on right now, don't you think?

    I miss BCF - I loved shopping there. Now I do with consignment and TJ Maxx.

    You must like in an older house to have an eave closet like that. They are very handy!

  6. You rock! You had a mission and hit it straight on! I am never that organized in, well, anything. Great buys!

  7. WOW--you got some great bargains, getting all that stuff for $200!! Love the nail color, it is very similar to the color I am going to put on my toes this weekend! Not OPI though, which I really like.

  8. 91 years old!! I will no longer complain.:)
    I love your closet - my grandparents home was the same - huge closet on the top floor that they stored everything. Loved it!!
    Love those colors. I've been trying to steer away from dark colors myself and getting more bright ones.

  9. Okay so I think I need you to go shopping with me for some bargains! You really made your money go far. I try to do that too and I am so happy when I get something cute for a good price!

    I agree with you that no matter what size you are it is a mental healthy boost to have clothes that fit properly and are flattering.

    I did a closet purge at the beginning of the summer and got rid of the the smallest size of clothes that I was hanging onto. It took a huge weight off my shoulders to not have them staring back at me, taunting me everyday.

  10. Happy Birthday little Helen. Love the purging and bargains!!!! Hope the week ahead is a good one Helen!!!

  11. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I need to emulate this post in my closet!

    have a fantastic monday, Oh Helen!

  12. Doesn't a good closet cleaning make you feel good? Even when it forces us to acknowledge the size we are isn't a size we own, it's worth it. It's important to wear clothes that fit and make us look good, no matter what size we are.

    And a nice score out shopping too! Those loafers are adorable.