Tricks of the Trade: Folding Sweaters

I’ve written about sweaters in the past, and how you should always opt to fold them. But now I thought I’d dive into how exactly you should go about folding them. Follow along to learn how to fold even the chunkiest of sweaters!

Step 1: Lay your sweater flat, with the front side down.

Step 2: Fold one sleeve and side in toward the middle of the sweater. You don’t want to overdo this fold (as that will make your sweater pile much too tall). Instead, imagine the sweater is divided into thirds and you want to fold in just 1/3 of the way.

Step 3: Fold the rest of the sleeve down toward the side of the sweater. This will also help to prevent an overly bulky fold.

Step 4: Repeat on the second side.

Step 5: Fold the bottom the sweater up to meet the top.

Step 6: Flip it around and voila! I like to then pat the sweater down a bit, as to smooth it.

Now what are you waiting for? Go get to folding those sweaters! I know you can do it.

Tricks of the Trade: Closet Breakdown

 

Ready for a breakdown? I thought so!

As many of you know, I have two closets in my apartment. Though since my second closet is really like a glamorized coat closet, I thought I would focus on my main closet for the purposes of this blog post. You’ll soon see that this main closet is pretty sizable and through my efficient placement and thorough organization, I’ve only made it feel roomier.

When structuring your closet, you want to focus on practicality. For me, I have two long rods so I knew that I wanted to hang dresses, skirts, dress pants, and blouses on them. Though I knew that I would also need more storage. Cue: a dresser tucked beneath my blouses.

While this may seem like an obvious storage trick to many, that’s not always the case. Many of my clients have simply left the space under the hanging items underutilized, which is a miss in my book. The only exception to this is dresses, because these are often long and flowy so I would not recommend keeping any sort of dresser drawers underneath them. A shoe rack, however, could potentially work in that space.

In addition to my two long racks, I also have shelves in my closet. One level of shelves is very accessible—well, by very I mean I can reach everything so long as I stand on my toes—while another level is far too high to reach. Given this, I placed the items that I need at arm’s length on the first level, such as all of my jeans, shorts, and sweatshirts. Then on the upper level, I have more seasonal items like bathing suits, hats, scarves, as well as extra purses.

So now are you ready to tackle your closet? Once you’ve got the layout mastered, you can move onto color coordination. And lucky for you, I’ve got lots of posts about that very topic.

Tricks of the Trade: Refrigerator Organization

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Let’s be real, the fridge can get pretty unruly really quickly if you’re not careful about it. Covered tupperware can go unnoticed, jars of tomato sauce can go bad, etc, etc. So how do you keep it clean and orderly? You’ve come to the right place!

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I like to have a system when it comes to my fridge, not only for where each food group belongs, but also for when I go through its contents with a fine-tooth comb. I typically do all of my grocery shopping for the week on Sundays, and when I get home I like to take a moment to go through the fridge. I’ll quickly check expiration dates, throw out anything that looks browned, and wipe down the bottoms. That way, I’m putting all of my fresh food away into a clean space.

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Much like how I organize my pantry, I use each shelf in my fridge for a different food group. It looks a little something like this:

  • Top shelf: All of my breakfast foods, such as fresh berries, bread, eggs, and yogurt.
  • Middle shelf: Dinner foods and beverages. This week, I made a big batch of soup so that’s taking up the bulk of this shelf currently. On other days, you might find roasted chicken or even some lasagna.
  • Bottom shelf: Since the bottom shelf is hung so low, I usually put all of my smaller lunch items here. I like to meal prep my lunches, so once I do, I divvy them into tupperware and slide them on this shelf.
  • Bottom drawers: We have two drawers in our fridge, so I use one of them for fresh produce and the other one for cheeses and deli meats.
  • Side shelves: You can see a glimpse into my shelves in the first picture. My strategy here is pretty simple: I sort from largest to smallest to create an aesthetically-pleasing array of sauces and jars.

Tricks of the Trade: Packing

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If you’ve followed my blog for some time, then you know I’ve written a packing tutorial before. But since that was more than two years ago, it felt like the right time for an update!

Whenever I am leaving town–whether for a weekend getaway or a two-week excursion–I always follow the same 4 steps. They’ve never once failed me, and I hope you find them as helpful as I do.

  1. Go shopping: In your closet, that is. Kick off your packing process by looking through your clothes and pulling out what catches your eye.

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2. Lay it all out: Once you’ve selected your favorite items from your closet, go ahead and lay them down on your bed. No need to make this super neat, as you’re just starting to lay the foundation.

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3. Start making piles: In my last post, I advised you to make piles based on type–shirts with shirt, jeans with jeans, etc. Recently however, I’ve been changing my ways and actually setting out my outfits. So instead of creating piles by type, I create piles of actual outfits that I intend to wear on my trip.

I find this to be the most crucial step, as it ensures that you’re only bringing exactly what you intend to wear and don’t wind up 500 miles from home with 10 blouses but no jeans that pair well with them.

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4. Pile it into the suitcase: With your outfits all set out, it should be really easy to see exactly what you’re bringing with you and what can go back into your closet. Simply put, if you have ten extra dresses than days on your trip, you can confidently put those all back in your closet.

When it comes to actually laying things down in the suitcase, I like to revert back to the piles by type strategy. I’ll put jackets with other jackets, jeans with other jeans, and so on and so forth.

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I like to start with the bulkiest items first and gradually layer in my lighter pieces.

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So now that we’re all packed, where should we go? : )

Tricks of the Trade: Collecting v. Cluttered

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Have you ever loved something so much that you start a collection and want as many of that thing as you can get your hands on? I certainly have, and when I come across that thing, it’s always important for me to remind myself about the differences between collecting and cluttered.

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In order to keep your collection from overflowing into a cluttered mess, I always recommend that you pay close attention to the amount of negative space available. Take my bookshelves, for instance. They’re filled with lots of books with lots of colors, as well as a few tchotchkes and several pieces of pottery. Without a clear strategy behind item placement on these shelves, they could easily look and feel cluttered, but with a few simple adjustments, they feel collected and clean.

First and foremost, it’s important to keep space between each item. By having distinct piles of books that are separated from the pile next to them, the shelf looks and feels cleaner and more open. Additionally, I try to balance the amount of tchotchkes on each shelf, such that if one shelf has several, the ones sandwiching it do not. That way, your eye is not torn about which shelf to look at, as there is a sense of balance between each of them.IMG_5728 IMG_5730  IMG_5723 IMG_5727

Tricks of the Trade: Socks

First ImageMy socks need to be organized? – You right now.

Yes! They most certainly do. – Me always.

While I loved a lot of what Marie Kondo had to say in her book, one thing that particularly stood out was the way in which she recommends organizing socks. She describes how people often bunch their socks by folding one onto the other in a large ball. Sounds like something you do? Then keep reading.

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She goes on to describe her belief that socks enjoy being laid down flat, as opposed to being balled up tightly. Though I’m not totally sold on this belief, what I am one hundred percent certain about is that folding socks in a ball only serves to stretch the elastic. Why would you ever want to do that? Yep.

To avoid stretching the elastic and creating a mess of your sock drawer, all of you have to do is gently stack socks on top of one another. Just be sure that pairs are matched together and you’re good to go!

Tricks of the Trade: Organizing Papers

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As we move in an increasingly paperless direction, it can at times be difficult to figure out where to keep individual papers. So, I thought I’d share my tips for what to hold onto, what to get rid of, and how to store all those papers that collect in random parts of your home.

First things first, do a cleanse. Do you need that manual for the microwave you bought five years ago? Probs not. I like to hold onto boxes for big purchases for a few months and once the item proves it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, I get rid of it, along with the dozens of papers it came with. The only thing I hold onto is my receipt—and if you paid for it with a card, you don’t need to hold onto anything.

IMG_5472 IMG_5474  Now that you’ve done a nice cleanse, you should have a much lighter stack of paper with which to work. Let’s hope so anyway. What I like to do is group all my papers together by category and store them in folders. For instance, I have the following folders:

  • Medical: Where I house all of my medical documents, proof of insurance, etc.
  • Professional: Where I house past offer letters, contracts, and the like.
  • Bills: Here, I keep really big invoices as well as my rental agreement.
  • Finances: This folder holds important bank statements, financial goals, 401k information, and my checkbook.
  • Important documents: Where I keep some miscellaneous yet super important papers, such as my college transcript, birth certificate, etc.

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Once you’ve created and filled your folders, I’d recommend reviewing their contents every few months. You’d be surprised to find what you don’t need anymore each time you do so.