Friday, October 30, 2009

Closet organization without spending money

It's time to organize my closet. A more organized closet will make for better wardrobe remixing. I explained the meaning of wardrobe remixing in this post. I need to weed out clothing and accessories I really don't use and organize what I have for ease of use. Lately, I have found myself digging for a particular clothing item to finish off an outfit only to give up in frustration and wear something else totally different because I can't find said clothing item. If I'm really honest with myself, I know I don't NEED and more clothing or accessories. I just need to better utilize what I have. I'm going to use items I already have lying around my apartment to group, separate and organize my closet. So here are a few ideas I plan to implement:
  • Decorate old boxes with wrapping paper to organize out of season clothes. I can't bring myself to spend money on storage boxes, so I'll use boxes I already have stored away to house out-of-season clothes. To make the boxes look better, I'll wrap them in wrapping paper I save for gifts and use index cards to label them. I've done this before with shoe boxes to house bills and records and it's an easy, cheap way to make them look uniform. Labeling them also ensures that I can easily know what's in the boxes without opening them.
  • Magazine holders to store small handbags and clutches. My smaller handbags and clutches tend to get thrown in the top of my closet and it takes time to look for them when I actually need them. Organizing them so I can actually SEE them when I open my closet is a much more functional way to operate.
  • Baskets to store make-up. It's about time for me to go through my make-up and weed out items that are too old to use. After I do this, I will place make-up in small baskets I have lying around. I will also throw away ratty make-up brushes and store the ones I use up-right in cups.
  • Glasses, tea pots and cups to store jewelry. I have cups, tea sets and china that can be used to store some smaller pieces of jewelry like earrings and smaller necklaces.
  • Hangers to store tights and stockings. I've acculumated a large amount of colored and printed tights over the last few seasons since my go-to clothing items are skirts and dresses. Storing tights on hangers ensures that I can actually find the tights I want to wear to coordinate my outfits. I can't find the exact post, but got this idea from this fab style blogger.
I also joined a clothing swap Meet-up group in my area and hope that items I no longer wear but are still in good condition can be swapped with someone else and given a new home.

Do you have any other inexpensive ways to organize your closet?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Holiday Shopping Count Down

I have no idea what I'll be buying for Christmas gifts this year, but I know the holiday season is approaching fast, so I need to start setting aside money for my expenses. I'd like to purchase all of my gifts from artisans on Etsy, local small businesses and my favorite weekend haunt because I feel that I give enough of my money to big-box retailers for the rest of the year. My budget for gift purchases is $200 which I will take out of my paychecks for the month of November. I don't normally start buying gifts until late November/early December anyway. I will put half of my saved amount on a Visa giftcard for any online purchases I make and use cash for the other half. Now that I have a spending plan, I'll start looking around for inspiration for gifts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Swapping books and other goods with my neighbors

There are many reasons why I love my neighborhood here in DC. One of them is the informal book swapping that I do among my neighbors. On weekends that we have nice weather, I find that my neighbors leave boxes of books they no longer want on their doorsteps for anyone to take. Recently I discovered some pretty good books this way such as Fast Food Nation, a few romance novels, and some national bestsellers by authors I've never heard of but that look very promising. I love to read, but I've forced myself to go the library when I want a book to read or occasionally when a book isn't available at the library, I buy books used on So free books are even better, than inexpensive used books or library books because they cost no money and I don't have to remember to return them before they are due or risk fees.

I've even found small pieces of furniture in perfect condition on weekend walks around my neighborhood. I've brought items home such as: a barely used small bookshelf, a wooden chair and a nice large basket. I've even seen larger furniture items like bed frames that I simply didn't need, but were in great condition. I always clean and disinfect everything I bring in the house, but I have absolutely no problem with taking people's stuff they no longer want off their hands! The stuff I've seen people throw away is usually not junk and I'm sure they know when they leave it on the sidewalk that someone will take it before the trash people come to take the unwanted items away. It's also environmentally friendly to encourage reuse of books and furniture items.

On Sunday morning, I decided to leave my own box of books I know I'll never read again (mostly mysteries and romance novels), and they were all taken by the end of the day. It's my small way of returning the favor and encouraging my neighbors to keep the goodwill of book and furniture swapping going.