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Closet Organization: The Fun Way

Staying organized can be a struggle. I’m extremely organized at work, but in my home life, not so much. I’m not sure why there is such a difference, but I will say I’m doing my best to change that and do better in my personal organization. My first step: my closet.

I am huge into fashion, and with that comes an overstuffed closet with too many clothes, and of course, I can’t get rid of everything because, what if I need to wear it 5 years from now?? I know, I have a problem, I’m working on it. But, for now, I have found some awesome tips and tricks to help with organizing my closet, on a budget.

  1. Use slim velvet hangers. I used to just use whatever hangers the clothing came with, or whatever I had in my closet. I had a great variety of plastic, wire, those clear metal, so on, and so on. No organization, and some of them took up so much space. A great trick is to swap out with the velvet hangers. Not only are they great because nothing is going to slip off them, which was a problem I was struggling with before. The second great part about them is that they are so slim, they take up half the space of some of those other bulkier hangers. Now, my closet was completely overstuffed before, but now I can actually shift my clothes around and see what else there is for me to wear. I got mine at TJ Maxx for about $10 for a 25 pack, so it isn’t too bad at all. You can also color-coordinate, so mine are black and pink.
  2. Hang tank tops on shower curtain hooks. No, I’m not kidding. You can put them on a hanger in your closet, or you can buy an over the door closet hanging bar that you can then easily slip the hooks onto. From there, simply load up about 4-5 tanks per hook, and voila, instant space! Get the hanging bar from Bed Bath & Beyond and the shower curtain hooks from the dollar store.
  3. Use a shoe organizer on the other door. I personally have an extremely small, cramped closet, so I don’t have a lot of spare room for my shoes. My solution: hang them on the door. I can fit two sandals per slot in each one, ensuring that I have plenty of room for all of my shoes. The downside is it doesn’t work too well for boots, but with everything else on the door, you have enough space on the ground. TJ Maxx or Walmart have these, and they’re pretty affordable.
  4. Put a small storage container in the closet on the side. I don’t mean anything giant, just a three drawer one you get from Walmart or Target. I put my jeans, leggings, cardigans, and long sleeve shirts in mine, and it frees up a ton of storage space that I would otherwise be lacking. Plus, it’s in the side of the closet, so it doesn’t take up space that my boots could be living in.
  5. Get a scarf hanger. I personally love scarves, but it’s not always the easiest to store them. With a scarf hanger, I can fit my probably too large (especially for Florida) collection of scarves all in one spot and they hang nicely in my closet using the space of one hanger. I found mine at Bed Bath & Beyond, but I’ve seen them at Ross and TJ Maxx as well, and I’m sure you could find one at Walmart or Target.

Everything I’ve suggested will not only help you get some necessary space in your closet, but nothing is too expensive. I’m always looking for the best deals, especially when it comes to something like organizing my closet. As certain fashionistas say, I like my money where I can see it, hanging in my closet. Now, with these tips and tricks, I actually can see everything in my closet!

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Ways to Own 2017

I don’t know about y’all, but I had a rough 2016. It was full of ups and downs, and while I learned a lot about myself, it wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies. With that being said, I’m a big believer in the new opportunities that a new year can bring us, if we are open to accepting what comes, and taking opportunities when we can. I’ve pulled together a list of ways to help you own 2017 and make it a great year for you.

  1. Start and actually keep an exercise regimen. I’m terrible about this, I start working out, get into it, and then something throws me off track. This is actually really bad for more than just the obvious physical health reasons. Exercise has been proven to help relieve stress, anxiety, and help you to sleep better. It also helps to boost your immune system, and give you a healthy outlet. So yeah, I personally am joining a yoga class, as well as starting a dance class. And this time, I’m sticking with it. If you don’t want to start in on this alone, find a gym buddy. In college, I went to the gym every day because I had friends join me. It makes it more fun, and holds you accountable for actually going.
  2. Let go of the past. I can hold a grudge. Not my finest feature, but it’s a part of who I am. However, I’m trying to learn to let go of things, and letting go of being wronged is a great start. The people who caused the damage aren’t harboring it, so why should I let it continue to affect me? In some cases, it’s something silly like a fight between you and a good friend. Do you really want to hang on to that anger, or do you want to try to mend a fence? I personally have made it a personal goal to forgive those who have wronged me and move forward. We can’t change the past, but we certainly can change the future.
  3. Wake up earlier. Hear me out, ok? Studies have shown that it’s actually healthy to wake up early. You know what else is healthy? Taking that time that you’re awake when you’re usually asleep and having some quiet time. For me, quiet time is sitting on the couch with my cup of coffee, and my cat sitting next to me. I don’t have my phone, and I am not planning my day, I’m just sitting there thinking. I may be having a conversation with God, or going over the blessings in my life, or something else. Either way, it’s helping me handle my stress, and focus on the important things in my life.
  4. Drop the phone. Our attachment to our cell phones is getting downright ridiculous. If I can’t go to lunch with a group of people without having at least two on their phones at some point, we have an issue. Life is lived outside of your phone. You could be missing out on something great because you’re too busy reading and watching what someone else is doing. Not to mention, it’s not the most polite to be glued to your phone when someone is trying to spend time with you. Show them that they matter, and put your phone down. Facebook and Instagram will still be there in a few hours.
  5. Tackle the hard stuff. Each day, when you first wake up, make sure that you tackle the hardest part of your day immediately. It’s extremely tempting to procrastinate and put off that task you’re dreading, but it feels even better to knock it out and enjoy the rest of your day. Once that task is done, it can only get better from there.
  6. Be positive. When it seems like your whole world is going wrong, it can be hard to be positive. Find happiness in the little things. Be positive that life is going to change, and things are going to get better. You’ve survived every bad day so far, so keep it up. Remind yourself that life changes quickly, and storms can blow out just as quickly as they blew in.
  7. Spend time with family. They’re your base, your anchor in this crazy world, and they’re not around forever. Enjoy the time that you have with your family while you have it. We don’t know what life is going to throw at us next, but it’s something that could take us away from that home that we are so used to. So enjoy the time you have together. Visit your grandmother, make time for your little brother, have some family bonding time. Whatever it is, or whoever it’s with, it’ll be good for both of you.
  8. Drink lots of water. This is something I’ve struggled with and am working on. I never drink enough water, I’m not sure why, I just don’t think about it, and then a day passes and I’ve only had one bottle of water all day. Not the healthiest. Drinking water has been shown to help keep your skin young looking, keep you healthier, help your organs and system, etc. There are lots of benefits, so make it a priority.
  9. Pay it forward. Nothing makes you feel better than paying it forward. I’ve had a few situations where some kind stranger has helped me for absolutely no reason other than they wanted to pay it forward. I can tell you that one particular instance was after an extremely hard day last year, and it came at a time when I was overwhelmed with worry and sadness. That little something helped me immensely. I don’t know who it was, but I will always know what she did, and while she may not know what it meant to me, it gave me a ray of light when they were in short supply for me. You never know who you’re going to impact in a positive way.
  10. Save. Save up a little bit from each paycheck. Whether you’re already saving for a new car, that Aruba vacation, or a down payment on a house, save a little bit more. It’s nice to have something stocked away. It gives you added security, and an emergency fund if you need it. At the end of the year, you’ll have a nice little stockpile of cash for whatever you want. Treat yourself to a spa day, donate it to a charity that’s close to your heart. Whatever it is you want to do with it, you’ll have it, and you’ll feel that much better.

The Lone Single in a Sea of Couples

Ok so maybe the title is a bit dramatic, but it gets the point across. In my friend group, I am the only single person in the area. My best friend is married, my other friend is in a relationship, then we have another married one, and so on and so forth. I, on the other hand, am not married or seeing anyone now. I did attempt to change that with a dating app (see my previous post, it didn’t go well), and I’ve tried to meet people the old fashioned way at bars, etc., but it’s not always so easy when everyone you know is seeing someone.

  • Couples go with couples. Now usually, I don’t mind not getting invited to stuff that I know is just a couple going, because as we all know, three’s a crowd. However, sometimes that means you miss out on fun invites, because they didn’t want you to feel awkward. So instead of it being couples, let’s make it a group! Group outings are always fun, and don’t have the added pressure of everyone needing to be paired up. Just sayin…
  • Everyone is trying to set you up. I mean EVERYONE. “Oh you know who’d be great for you? My second cousin twice removed who I haven’t seen since I was five, but he’s single now.” Well great, except you don’t know anything about your second cousin twice removed, so you’re now telling me it doesn’t matter who I find, as long as I can get in a relationship. Standards? Throw them out the window! Personality match? Who needs it, as long as you’re with someone to join in on being a couple.
  • Holidays. Holidays can be so great, I personally love Christmas, but one of the things I hate that always comes with any holiday is the inevitable question “who are you dating?” Then there’s the other end of the mistletoe, the candy hearts, etc. I don’t have a Valentine, I don’t have anyone to kiss under the mistletoe, and I’m ok with it. That’s not what Christmas is about. Valentine’s yes, but that’s a different point. Christmas isn’t about being in a relationship, it’s about being with family and friends, the birth of Jesus, and being kind to one another. That’s the reason for the season, not to make out with someone under a plant.
  • Society pressures. Sure, you go out with some couples, and it’s clear that you are the only single one. Who cares? Apparently, society does, because you read so much about how sad it is to be single or how important it is for a woman to have a man. First of all, I’ve been doing great without one so far, so yeah I’d like to meet someone, but need is too strong of a word. Second of all, what about being independent? What about focusing on a career and becoming financially stable? Finishing your education? There are lots of other important things in life rather than being in a relationship. Even friends do it to you though. “We need to find you a guy so you can have fun like we do.” I know they mean well, but implying that I can’t have fun without a guy is saying that my life is dark and depressing without one. I can still have fun in my life. Yes, having someone to share my life with would be awesome, but I don’t want to settle on someone just to not be alone.

Overall, it can be tough to be the single friend in your group. It’s harder to meet people because everyone’s already coupled up, or they in turn only know couples. However, it can also be great, because you get to see those that you care about so happy and so in love, and you can only hope that one day, that’ll be you. Plus, you can still go out to the bars and flirt with all the cute guys you see.

The Hopeless Romantic Meets Tinder (Spoiler: It Doesn’t End Well)

We all know that one girl who is a hopeless romantic. She wants her love life to be like that of a Hallmark movie (if you haven’t watched one here’s a brief synopsis: boy meets girl, they fall in love, have a fight over something, and he does some romantic thing to win her back or he does sweet romantic things over the course of the movie and she has to show her love with a romantic gesture at the end). Point being, it’s full of romance. It has flowers, and special romantic dates, and long conversations, etc. Well, I am that hopeless romantic. When I fall for someone, I fall hard, and I expect him to be putting as much effort into it as I do, and I also hope that it’s for real and will last. I haven’t exactly had the best track record, but that hasn’t dampened my hope for my fairytale ending.

My coworker and I were discussing online dating and dating apps, and he made the comment that I was “close-minded” (he even made a hand gesture for me being like a closed book) because I said I wasn’t into the dating apps and didn’t want to meet someone online. I decided that he made a fair point, and I couldn’t say how awful I thought something was without having given it a fair shot. So I tried Tinder. I have been signed up for about two months, and I’ve decided it’s time to give it up. Let me preface this with the fact that I am not looking for a hookup and instead am looking for an actual relationship. Now, I know Tinder is generally known for hookups, but I had others suggest I try it out that so and so had found love on it, and it wasn’t so bad.

I installed the app, and got to work. Filled out my profile, uploaded some pictures, and let the swiping begin. Within a few minutes, I had a few matches, and I texted a friend to ask what the proper protocol was with the app. She told me she always waited for guys to message her first, so I went with that. Later that night, I got my first message. Way too many smiley faces, and sending me 5 messages at a time was not the best way to impress me. So I continued swiping and matching, and so on and so forth. I got asked out on a couple of dates, but after some comment or a deeper dive into their profile, I figured out that our ideas of “dates” were completely different and not what I was looking for.

There were however, some interesting messages that I just have to share as part of the wonderful dating app experience.

  1. This guy sent an “automated message” asking me to choose from a list why I was on Tinder. Just to give an idea of what the list included: needs attention, bored, wants to meet people, visiting, etc. Now, I don’t feel the need to justify my actions to people, especially strangers, but I was interested how this would continue, so I answered his question and put other, and then research for a blog. When he then asked me if I had a guy’s profile as well, I stopped responding.
  2. One messaged me, I responded same day, then nothing. For two weeks. Then he responds again, I decided to give him another chance, send a response, and next thing he wants my number. When I didn’t respond the same day, I got another message telling me he “sees how it is.” Talk about a jerk.
  3. So many cheesy pick up lines.
    1. Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
    2. I need a band-aid. I fell for you immediately.
    3. I didn’t know they let goddesses on here.
    4. You’re so gorgeous, how are you even on here? (Well clearly my prince charming is a bit lost, so that’s how)

All in all, it wasn’t a terrible experience, but it certainly was not one that I want to deal with again. First of all, awkward small talk, never been my favorite thing. Second of all, it was disappointing how many didn’t want to talk about anything that had substance, and were instead just interested in telling me how pretty they thought I was, and we should go out based on that. I thought the point was to get to know someone, but I guess I was wrong about that. I’m glad I tried it, but I can easily say, I think I’d rather meet someone in person instead. Maybe it was the wrong app, who’s to say, but overall, I’m thinking I’ll stick to real life encounters. Makes things a little less awkward.

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