coming and going…..

 

Recently I went to a client’s home to help her decide what to keep and what to get rid of so she could make room in her closet for some key wardrobe pieces.  One thing that we discovered was to take some of her sweaters and knits and turn them around wearing them backward.   She went wild at the discovery and enjoyed having a new look with an old friend.

Here is an “All Saints” sweater that she recently bought at bloomingdale’s.  She now has a few ways to wear it!

Wear it just simple and easy open over a cami or tank top.

                                                                                                                                                      Here is a criss cross wrap and tuck.  This wrap has snaps sewn along waistline, which makes it easy to adjust and change it up.

                                                                                                                                     Here I flip the sweater around and show backwards.  The back is sexy too!

                                                                                                                                   When the weather changes or things start to heat up, just take off the cardigan and grab both sleeves, flip and make a great scarf out of it until you get an evening chill, then lather, rinse, repeat. (shown without cami!)

 

Some summer fun in Wisconsin…..

Setting up and staging a Huge Garage/Estate sale is a lot of fun, can be very rewarding and an easy way to make quick money. Most items are no longer loved nor needed by one yet widely sought after by another.

 

On my website, theclosetconsult.com I offer a service of setting up and preparing estate (or garage) sales for those that may have recently lost a loved one, downsizing as an empty nester or maybe even single again and cannot think of parting with their items…….yet need to do so.  Over the early summer months my brother in law and I prepared our own giant garage sale in his huge outbuilding with 3 levels.  We had years and years of stuff dating back to the 70’s, most of it junk yet a few hidden gems hidden here and there.  All together it took 5 days of preparing and the sale ran  2 days on the weekend before the 4th of July!

My husband Mark is now my stager, quickly turning a stacked up disaster in to a living room set up.  He really had a knack for it.
My sister in law Debbie is my cashier and bagger. Oh what fun we had when the doors opened and Mark placed the signs strategically throughout the neighborhood.  We made $885.00 our first day.
Our Friend Gus was there too and set up shop on his own level.  Gus made over $700 the first day.  All total……..almost $1600.00.
It is great fun to get to know the stories of the people that pull up and come in to your garage.  We got to know a few.  Sue and Betty, Rick and Brock were our favorites.  Brock was our top buyer of two thermometers.  What a collector!  What a great place to spend our summers and gather with friends new and old as we retire.   Next summer I will be officially retired with Mark…….no more Michigan Ave……unless I can find one up der North.
Day 2 of Garage sale
Day 2 was a bit slower. We did have a few repeat customers which I loved seeing!!!  Many people said we had the best garage sale they had ever been to.  With 3 levels and a variety of antiques, Beatles stuff, shabby chic, clothes and you name it we had a little something for everyone. Few left empty handed, but there were some die hard GS-ers that were focused and specific.  They were able to walk away.  Amazing!
We had a lot of neighbors and locals from the Chetek, Wi. area.   Mark and I even have a few new friends that we may see in Sarasota for golf.  Sher and Bill came yesterday and bought a few new things for their Bar area. He bought our Hamms Beer lighted waterfall sign with a moving scene.  Although some parts were broken, many inquiries by other lookers felt that Bill got a good price. We will soon go and visit them and the sign with a cold beer in hand!
Jim and I made almost $1,000.  Our friend Gus pulled in a pretty big hail too!   We even got a return!  Haha!  We promised customer satisfaction and stood behind it! After rummaging through all of our stuff a nice fresh Wet-Wipe was waiting as our customers exited!
Hosting a garage sale is hard work and very personal! When someone is going through your things you want to tell the story……some people were nice and listened. Here is a picture of Sher and Bill.  They returned today to pick up their loot.  What a nice couple.
Let me know if you have any questions about hosting your own sale but here are a few tips….
1 – start saving grocery bags and cardboard boxes and any recycle bags.
2 – get stickers from the dollar store and start stickering as you place things in to the garage for the sale.  6 months in advance will save you time later.  Do it as you go.
3 – Run an ad in the local paper.
4 – Get flyers around the neighborhood to spread the word.
5 – Save your change a few months out and the day before go to the bank and get
paper money – $50 in singles and $50 in 5’s.  You will need it!
6 – Get sturdy signs posted.  6 around the neighborhood and 1 on the corner and 1
right in front with an arrow – Say something catchy!
7 – Post a HUGE sign where everyone can see “Not responsible for any injuries……shop at your own risk.”
8 – Be friendly and welcome people as they are stepping up – it can be awkward walking up to a group of homeowners on their property.
Good Luck and remember to just have a good time!

Keep, donate or pitch?

 

 

 

 

I like to organize………no question.

But after a full 2 days in the car with a trailer in tow filled with “stuff”……..and a cat, a litter box and a dog well, I was just in no mood to deal with the items you see in the pictures above.

In just a few days and a trip or two to Home Depot………the garage is now like having a big storage warehouse….kind of like Sam’s club (not really) and I simply walk a few steps to get just about anything I need.

The key is this……..start with the space…..how much do you have and what can be utilized for storage?

I decided not to have a garage sale as I wanted instant results and there is a Humane Society Thrift Store right down the street.  Here are a few steps I took to make it easy and efficient as I began de-cluttering the garage.

1 – Set up a big garbage bin as well as a recycle bin.

2 – Clean out your trunk or SUV in the back and leave it open near the bins.

3 – If you can’t donate it then pitch it in one of the bins.

4 – If you can donate it then get it in the trunk/back seat or wherever you can to make it your next step once the garage is clean.  The key is to get it out of the area for instant results!

5 – Decide what is the best system to allow you to move around in the area even when the vehicle is parked in there. Things need to be accessible.  I chose the black shelving units from Home Depot.  About $60 apiece.  Way worth it as you can adjust and they are very strong.  Also, get some “s” hooks and just hang them along the sides for anything.

 

 

 

The garage is the perfect place to work on projects when your vehicle is not in there.  So make it a work area and a storage space so you can keep the inside of your home clutter free.  Simple and easy……well simple……well, just do it and you will be glad later.

Shop in your very own boutique……..your closet!

The one thing I came to realize as a Personal Shopper and stylist for the past years…… everything you have is usually right there in your closet.    Recently, I traveled to a client’s home to spend a few days in her closet……..here is the process that we used to re-style her existing closet.

 

 

 

 

Step one:   EVERYTHING OUT!  All handbags, shoes, boots, and all hanging clothes.  If you have a garment rack, (bed bath and beyond for about $50…..don’t forget your coupon) you will get the job done easily. Put a plain sheet over your bed and lay out your accessories such as belts, scarves and purses.  Along the walls line up all of your shoes and boots, sandals and gym shoes.

 

 

 

 

Step two: EVERYTHING out of the lovely designer shoe boxes, cleaning bags, garment bags and tupperware bins! If you can’t see it, you won’t wear it!

 

 

 

 

Step three: All tanks, tops, blouses, pants, skirts, dresses, blazers, and coats organized by category.  It is important to first organize all of your clothes and then go to step four. You may find something during the process that you forgot about or that looks fabulous with a new recent piece.   Also, try on everything!  If it doesn’t fit it needs to go.  If it has a dust line over the hangar, you know it’s been in there more than a few seasons with no interest.  Hanging on to items because we paid too much (but had to have, yet never wore) is just a bad reminder that you made a poor choice.  Let it go!

 

 

 

 

Step four:  Make four piles. The Great Closet Clean-Out is your first step. Tim “Make It Work” Gunn, fashion guru, advises you to divide your clothes into four piles: throw out, give away, repair, and soul-stirring. Get rid of clothes in the first two piles and take the clothing in the repair pile to a tailor.

 

 

 

 

 

Step five: ALL HANGARS need to be uniform.  You don’t need to go out and spend a lot on space saving hangars (but they are fab). Just stick to one kind throughout for tops and one kind for bottom.

 

 

 

 

Step six: Here is what my client’s closet looked like after editing, organizing, re-styling, re-inventing and changing a few hangars.  She just fell in love with everything in it for the second time.  No shopping required!

Life in Blue Jeans……

Brigitte Bardot—dark denim:  ‘A paragon of European ‘60’s chic, Brigitte Bardot was known to favor (and fill out) her all-American 501 jeans. The French beauty proves the timelessness of the right denim.  A dark denim jean that fits like a dream should be an essential must-have in your closet.’ — From the Miche blog

My new life is basically going to consist of 31 different ways to wear blue jeans…Lather, Rinse, repeat. So I decided to look for styles that would make me feel dressed enough everyday yet comfortable and of course ……… going for chic.

Here is a week at a glance to get me started.   I think you may also be able to use these looks by simply walking over to your closet and re-styling what you already own.  I know it is in there so go find it.  Saves you a trip to the store (during the holidays) and saves you $$$ cash!

Day 1

I will start with my  favorite cardigan in a nice neutral color:

A white tank top

A beautiful deep blue scarf

A woven bag (I am in Florida so that’s ok) and an easy pair of ballet flats

Day 2

I love any kind of layering, especially raincoats!

My clients often ask if you can wear denim on top and on bottom.  Here is a perfect example…Dark, dark denim and a light chambray shirt.   A great look…..

Now where is that shirt that I had?  I know it is       somewhere…….ARGH!!!

Day 3

I love the whole darn look here.  The boxy jacket is perfect after a night at my favorite restaurant………OK, it was DQ………but you know what I mean!

Easy breezy and I absolutely love the red tote bag for a pop of color!

 

 

Day 4

Here is a great way to wear animal print and just show up at the party looking relaxed, casual but very chic.

You don’t have to stand there with your arm up unless you really want to.  It does look good.

 

 

Day 5

I love wearing a blazer with jeans.  It just really makes everything look polished and easy.

The scarf is a nice pattern that sort of blends the jacket and the linen knit top together. Just don’t trip over it as it will ruin the look you are going for,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6

Italian for dinner tonight?  Awesome…….let me grab my fancy lace top!  I am all set!

When was the last time you wore that big wide belt? Give it a try…..it really does look amazing and will even hold up your jeans…..leave an extra notch for afterwards!

 

Day 7

This is pretty much what I want to wear everyday……

Sunscreen, sunglasses, a white tank top, a nice slouchy cardigan made out of soft cozy cotton and my favorite ballet flats.

Add a dog, and a cute suede clutch bag and you are all set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed and got at least inspired to add a layer, add an accessory or just add a dog………..but try something different to your life in Blue Jeans!

See you next week!