I went to Sydney the other weekend. Even for such a short trip I find it’s worth taking the time to try on each intended outfit before you set off.
Before getting into this habit I would continuously feel frumpy and unstylish while away. The effect of this on my getaway was that I wouldn’t feel quite myself and I was constantly wishing that everyone knew that I wasn’t like this at home. At one point I felt that the solution could be to have a huge sign follow me around that read ‘I’m travelling! Not feeling quite prepared! Don’t usually look like this…”
However, that’s not the route that I have gone down. The packing advice given by Lauren Conrad in her book ‘Style’ sums up how I approach my travel outfit planning: “Dressing stylishly while on the road involves creating outfits from a small array of pieces – accessorizing and styling tricks then come into play to make the pieces different.”
So really it all comes down to bringing a few key pieces to create the illusion of an entire wardrobe. As much as I’d love to wear specific outfits while away if those outfits can’t easily mix and create other outfits with the others, then it stays home. Putting the time aside and trying the outfits on ahead of time is the key here.
The process of packing for Sydney started a few days before my departure. I asked myself, what do I have on? What outfits do I need to construct? And came up with
-a night time outfit (and a twist in case a follow up night out occurred)
-a family day event outfit
-travel outfit for there and back
I also started making note of products and items that I was reaching for in the lead up to the trip. Usually, if I’m able to pack my toiletries on the day, I’ll pack as I get ready that morning and think about the day before as well (the lyrics “your hair never falls in quite the same way” comes to mind). I packed my hair straightener rather than my VS Curl Secret as the straightener is multipurpose – same concept as outfits really. If I have to choose between something that can do two things over one thing, the multipurpose item wins every time.
And this is what it looked like in my carry on when all packed up:
If you’re wondering what those blue cubes are… those are Space Cubes by Eagle Creek. They have changed my life. Quite literally. They make travel much more streamlined and my suitcase feels constantly in order. Here I’m using a little one for undies and pjs and then a larger double sided one for outfits which I’ve separated by pants and the tops that go with them.
A good place to start, if you are feeling like an organisational overhaul is right for you but you aren’t sure where to start, is to think about each space’s purpose.
What do you want out of your house? Your room?
For me, I want my house to be a welcoming place of refuge that allows me to recharge and supports my life outside in the world and online. I want my room to be a place of comfort, to feel at peace when sleeping and also when prepping for the day ahead.
Now break it down further. In your room, say, what is each storage unit’s purpose? What is each shelf’s purpose? What do these areas house?
I have a shelf for home admin, a shelf for small jewellery and accessories, a shelf for knits and a shelf for larger knits. I sort my long shelf on the top of the wardrobe to store items that I don’t need often (dance and swimwear, my laminator, travel bags and my repair kit) but I don’t overcrowd it. It’s important for me to feel that everything has space to breath and to relax (a la Marie Kondo) but also the more orderly each shelf is, it’s easier to mentally flick through items when I may need something.
Thinking about each space’s purpose and where each belonging will call home will assist in streamlining your organising overhaul. By getting firmly in mind what it is you want to reflect back within the space, your overhaul gains direction and purpose. Good luck!
Every so often take stock of all your products and possessions. Ask yourself, what aren’t you using? In your room? Bathroom? Pantry? What can be used up? What have you forgotten about but can actually use? Have you thought of new uses for underused products or possessions since eyeing them last? Put your money to use! Don’t let things collect in corners and go to waste. Consolidate products and group like with like to save yourself from overspending.
Taking stock is something that I will do before making a purchase. Needing to replenish my shampoo the other day, a quick scan of my bathroom storage left me feeling pretty happy. I’m good for electric toothbrush heads for a few months, razors – check, all my face products are at a healthy level so I’m good there for a while and my loo roll container is at capacity. Life is good!
As Anna Johnson says in her book Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less “I like to mend, polish, rearrange, clean, and reorganise my clothes and favourite things when I can’t afford anything new. Often I’ll find many things I can sell or give away, and that helps the chain of plenty to get moving again. It also makes me feel really full (and sometimes ruefully foolhardy) to see what I already own and to put it into active use before accumulating more. Yesterday I used my coffee press for the first time, because I finally noticed it, and I smiled. My next check comes on Friday and I have a nice big jug of iced coffee in the fridge to sip while I wait it out.”
I’ve mentioned previously that the brain tends to stop seeing things once it’s gotten used to seeing them. By giving your things some attention you renew your connection to them which in turn makes them seem more useful than previously. And viola! You’ve repleted!
Every so often during the heavy coat, winter season, I’ll make the effort of going to every coat I own and clearing out all of the pockets. Generally I’ll just be throwing out a bunch of tissues that have been worked to breaking point (my nose in winter is something else… which funnily enough I have also discussed here in regards to exercise). My routine is also to add a fresh pocket tissue to each coat’s left hand pocket – my future self always thanks me for this one.
Occasionally however, my clean out delivers unexpected trips down memory lane. Especially early on in the season. This last week I wore one of my heavier coats for the first time and pulled this Post-it note out of my pocket (but no season old tissues, in case you were wondering).
Reading it made me smile – ah yes! Last year, I was President of the Milk Club at my work! I recalled those chilly mornings when I would make my way to the shops to collect the milk that gave all the Club members’ warming coffee and teas throughout the week. It was a nice memory and one that made me reflect on what choices I’ve made since.
So if you’re thinking that your pockets may need some attention, try approaching the task with a sense of curiosity and take the time to pause on what you may find; it might just end up being a pleasant experience!
If you find something of interest… share below!
This may come as a surprise but although I am passionate about organising and am naturally inclined towards being organised, I am not this way when it comes to cleaning.
‘Cleaning’ as I see it is, and as Dictionary.com sees it, is being free from dirt; unsoiled; unstained. Rather than ‘organised’ which is to systematise something… okay, everything.
It doesn’t bother me to put off vacuuming for another few days or wait till inspiration hits to deep clean the bathroom and instead just clean a little as I go here and there. I came to the realisation a little while ago that I am very good at putting these things off because I lacked a fool proof method. In effect I needed to organise how I approached cleaning.
Continue reading “Let’s organise… cleaning!”
It may have become obvious from earlier articles that I have a lot of accessories (proof can be found here and here). I adore them. Often an outfit doesn’t feel complete to me until I’ve matched a necklace to it or thrown on a scarf.
My pieces come to life when matched with accessories. My grey cowl neck top, pictured here, absolutely pops with this orange necklace. The colour helps but it’s also the clash of the cluttered bead necklace against the conservative fabric that make the combination so exciting. The thing about accessories is that if you think it doesn’t go, it probably does! You just have to try it.
The same can be said to adding a funky handbag to a plain outfit. It adds personality and creates an interesting point for visual contemplation.
Continue reading “Accessories rule!”
The other day I didn’t make my bed the moment I got up like I usually do. Every so often I like to think that I could be that person who leaves their bed unmade. It’s like test tasting nonchalance.
And at first I did feel slightly rebellious… but it lasted for about 15 minutes before I caved. I kept catching sight of the bed’s ruffled and used appearance and I felt unsorted… unclean almost. Calm instantly returned the moment I tidied up and I greatly appreciated having the flat and decluttered space back.
Continue reading “Do you make your bed?”
During a recent binging of The Graham Norton Show (how funny is that guy?) a recurring thought kept coming to mind about the women guests’ outfits – ‘Didn’t they consider the couch situation?’
I just don’t see how their stylists or assistants didn’t say, “You are going to be sitting for the entire interview; let’s really put the focus up top and show off your wonderful collar bone/arms/neck/hair…”
Case in point, Jennifer Lawrence points out early on in her interview that she wishes she’d worn a different dress and says later that she’d like to go change. And she’s wearing tights!
Continue reading “In consideration of seating”
I’ve recently moved house and am at that point when everything is feeling like it clicks. Each move inspires me to declutter that little bit further and to ensure that my organisation and storage strategies are flexible. I get a kick out of the fact that each place has its own quirks and I thoroughly enjoy (although it’s frustrating at times too) figuring out how to make it all work.
Continue reading “Welcome to my new home!”
The other day my friend and I were discussing her truly great outfit. It was just so spot on that we couldn’t help but dissect it. She was wearing straight leg jeans, a Mickey Mouse t-shirt with a black crop vest thrown over the top of it (and sporting light blue ballet flats).
The reason why I bring this is up is that she reminded me of the Magic of 3 by saying ‘Something was missing and then I threw on the vest and it clicked’. The vest was the third item in the mix and it took her outfit from plain to uber stylish.
The magic of three cannot be denied. It’s just incredible. I’ve seen this many times when dressing myself and out and about. There was a fantastic article about the recipe which is worth reading as it so accurately shows the power that a third piece has on an outfit.
Bringing a cohesiveness to an outfit and pleasing the eye in such a way creates undeniable stylish appeal. So when you’re next thinking that your outfit needs sumfing sumfing throw on a third piece and feel the click.