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Clothing Care and Organization

Its springtime folks! And that means it’s time for a little Spring Cleaning. Time to fling open the shutters and roll up your sleeves and reclaim your space as a home, and not the den of hibernation you spent the winter in. Perhaps a light cleaning will do the trick or maybe an overhaul is in order. Whatever the case may be I thought I’d share some of my most favorite new uses for old things with y’all, so while doing your spring cleaning you can keep your eyes peeled for some of these otherwise overlooked items.

A Tape Cassette Case

if you haven’t shipped all of these off to the Smithsonian yet, you can repurpose it as a fantastic storage case for your earbuds. A great way to keep them neatly stored away and knot free.

Rubber Bands

I am a super fan of the rubber band, it is my MacGyver go to. But my favorite use for it keeps closets looking spit spot. Slipping a thick rubber band onto each of end of a hanger will keep those strappy little tanks and summer dress from slipping off and becoming unsightly heaps of strappy things.

Magnets

For those little metal office trash bins that seem to always lose their plastic liner at the bottom, try using magnets as trash bag holder! Just pull the trash liner over the rim of the trash bin and set at least 4 magnets around the edge to keep the liner in place.

So, those are some of my favorite new uses for old things. What are some of your favorite new uses for old things? Be sure to share them with us!

Post authored by Josh Schulteis

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Do you neatly set out your outfit each night for the next day? Don’t lie. Who has time for this right?! Well here are some tips to save yourself endless outfit conundrums in the morning. Its easy! Take the time to put the following systems in place and your dressing dilemmas will be a thing of the past.

For the majority of your wardrobe:

Color coding your wardrobe is a great way to make outfits FAST! Start sorting items by type of garment (pants, tops, etc.) and within each garment category by color, then by style. So, if we start with tops; we pull all of the white ones, we sort the white tops by sleeve length – and VIOLA! If you need a white tank ASAP – you know exactly where to find one. Do this for each garment type and never “lose” your favorite anything ever again.

Try storing belts on a belt hanger, ties on a tie rack and accessories, jewelry, scarves and other extras in clear hanging pocket organizers. This way you will be able to see everything and choose wisely. No more rummaging through drawers.

Try this for the busiest weeks:

Staging your wardrobe is another great time saving trick. This involves a bit more up front time, but is worth it – I promise. Stage your wardrobe for a particularly busy week on a Sunday afternoon, when you have some time to breathe and the most up to date look at your schedule for the upcoming week.

Purchase 5-7 suit hangers, a top hanger with pant hanger clips. Clip pants or skirts to the bottom half and drape sweaters and accessories over the top. Hang any additional layering pieces (camisoles, etc.) directly behind the suit hanger so you have everything at the ready.

If you hate suit hangers, and some do, try hanging the individual pieces in your outfit in the following order one after another in your closet: bottom layer (camisole, layering pieces), pants or skirt, top layer (sweater, scarf, etc.), accessories (belts, etc). For dresses, drape sweaters and accessories on one hanger and hang behind the dress – this way you won’t have to take anything off the hanger to get to the first item you need to put on.

A note on hanging sweaters. Hanging out is not something we want our sweaters to do for any great length of time. Nothing is worse than “hanger bumps” where your shoulders should be. Drape sweaters over outfits for short periods of time in your closet (if you stage on Sunday for the week that is fine), or try hanging sweaters over a hanger bar as opposed to on the “shoulders” of the hanger.

Start your day calmly and end it by putting things away properly. Look great and feel great. Simple as pie.

Post authored by Maria Skopas.

Have you ever looked into your closet and made the realization that yours is a black hole simply by definition? Items go in, but never come out. Don’t worry you’re not alone. Here are some ideas to help de-clutter and make sense of the abyss that has become your closet.

Good Lighting

If you are blessed with a light bulb in your closet, try adding an adapter that can create up to 2 more light fixtures for you. These can be found at your local hardware store. If a light fixture is not in the cards, get one that is battery operated. They are easily installed with either adhesive or by screw and come in all shapes in sizes.

Label, Label, Label

Instead of just piling items on top of one another, try bagging or boxing like items together. Label them for quick access and watch your closet transform. For example, pair cardigans with cardigans and V-Necks with V-Necks… you get the gist.

Jewelry & Accessories

Looking for a necklace in a rat’s nest of tangled baubles and beads? A clear hanging accessory sorter is the solution you’re looking for. It’ll allow you to separate and see all of your pieces and your bling should be shown off!

Belts

A 6-prong belt hanger will stop the madness and is a quick fix for this storage issue. If you have the drawer space you might try a sock organizer as a new way to bring order to your belt collection, simply roll and sort.

Scarves, Gloves and Hats

Why not use an over the door shoe organizer to store these small, but very important items.

And let’s not forget the finishing touch, a dryer sheet. It’ll leave your closet smelling fresh and clean every time!

Post authored by Maria Skopas

Who doesn’t love a great cashmere sweater or scarf?  Most of us read those bossy labels that tell us to “Dry Clean Only” and obey. However, the harsh chemicals in the dry cleaning process will actually shorten the lifespan of this very delicate (read: expensive) yarn.  Instead, try hand washing your cashmere in cold water with mild baby shampoo. Rinse with cold water and DO NOT TWIST! Gently wring out dripping water and lay flat on a towel.  Begin to roll the towel/sweater into a wrap until you have soaked up all excess water, then lay your cashmere flat to dry. Once your cashmere has dried, store your pieces in freezer ziploc bags or plastic containers (we love The Container Store Sweater Boxes) to keep safe from snags, moths and odors.  Your investment will last a lifetime! This method can be used for wool as well.

If you are thinking “Who has time for this?!” try putting an eco friendly tote in your bathroom, depositing the to-be-washed items within as the week goes on, and washing out your bag full of woolens IN your shower on Sundays while your deep conditioner is taking effect! Wring dry when you get out of the shower while your lotion dries.

If you MUST dry clean from time to time, remember to immediately remove the plastic and move garments to felt hangars. This will allow your garments to breathe. Don’t forget to recycle the outer plastic and wire hangars.

Dry cleaning junkies be warned: you will begin to notice a “shine” on wool from pressing and fraying in fabrics after repeated exposure to chemical cleaners.

Post authored by Maria Skopas

SHOES & PURSES! Need I say more? However, we all may be a bit guilty of not taking care of our prized possessions. Shoes and handbags can last a lifetime if cared for properly (seriously, my mother is still stylishly rocking her Frye boots from Woodstock and LV from her 5th wedding anniversary) so here are some  winter maintenance reminders. You will thank me in 20 years.

Take the time to bring any summer shoes that need re-soling, buckle replacing and strap reinforcing to a good cobbler while you are not wearing them. Any handbags that have fraying fabrics, worn bottom corners or stretched to snapping straps can be tended to by a cobbler as well. For fabric bags, clean with a solution of mild baby shampoo and hot water. Brush the solution onto your bag and use a nail brush to scrub any stubborn spots. This way everything will be fresh when the sun comes out. Our favorite cobbler in the city is Andrade General Shoe Repair at 2750 Broadway, between 104th  and 105th streets.

Hopefully you will have done this for your winter shoes and bags last April, but if not show yourself immediately to the cobbler with your bag of boots and hobos. Ask for rubber soles on all of your winter shoes, and a thinner rubber for soles and heels of all heeled shoes. This will prevent slipping and sliding (and falling) all over the wet floor as you clack into your favorite winter restaurant.

At home make sure your purses and upper shoes are ready for the weather. For leather, a coat of Lexol Leather protector will shoes and handbags look like new!  For suede, brush against the grain with a stiff brush and apply Melotonian “Suede Renew” (available at most shoe repair stores) for a quick pick me up! This will restore the color and gloss to sometimes dull/worn suede.  Don’t forget to follow up with weatherproofing as salt can permanently stain leather and suede.

As the season gets ugly, take a minute when you come in from the cold, snow, mud, sleet… to wipe the muck off of your shoes and bag (we have all been sprayed by a rogue taxi) with a damp paper towel. Allowing the much to dry on your shoes and bags will dry out the leather and suede and eventually lead to cracking.

And if you are reading this and you live in Florida… how DO you wear sandals all year and not get tired of them?!

Post authored by Maria Skopas.

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