The first order of business after deciding not to buy anything new for a year was making peace with my closet. Over the years I had read books, saved articles, attended — and even taught — classes on organization, but somehow never managed to extend what I learned to my wardrobe.
Every so often I’d tidy everything up and attempt to organize it, but after a few weeks the chaos would return.
Part of the problem was too much stuff — hangers crammed so tightly and stacks of sweaters piled so high that it was impossible to see what I had — but mostly it was laziness. Since I basically wore the same 10 things every week, my ‘uniform’ of jeans and some type of knit shirt languished on the closet floor until I felt enough mercy — or shame — to wash them.
But realizing that I would have to rely solely on the contents of my closet for everything I would wear over the next year was the wake-up call I needed: time to start practicing what I’d preached.
Where to begin? With a little motivation. Closet organization is not rocket science, and there are a bajillion resources out there — books, magazines, blogs, talk show segments — to help.
All basically come down to some form of three basic principles: Sort, Edit & Organize. Read more…
Back when I started this blog, I wrote about how my experiment with not buying anything new for more than a year greatly influenced the desire to edit my life in other ways.
Although it’s now been several years since my self-imposed moratorium ended, that experience continues to influence how, when and why I shop, and what I shop for.
This is not intended to be a condemnation of shopping, nor a judgment on what others choose to do. Rather, it’s something I tried that had a profound, lasting, positive effect on me, and I share it with the hope that it might help someone else.
So here goes…
Why I did it.
During the annual Labor Day International Street Fair in Orange, I checked out a few of the shops that line the streets of the charming downtown — mostly to get out of the heat. Turns out it was my lucky day — in the Antique Depot on Glassell Street, I found a brand new leather jacket for $24.
A black leather jacket had been on my wish list, mostly inspired by the iconic Francoise Hardy photo, and although this one wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, the price, quality and classic shape were too good to pass up:
But after just one night at home, the jacket had filled my closet with an overpoweringly sweet, musty stench — no bargain was good enough to justify that smell.
Armed with my research, I decided to take the $24 risk. Spoiler alert: glad I did.
Most days the mail routine at our house is on autopilot — pick up at mailbox, drop off at recycling bin — interrupted only to deposit the rare piece of real mail on the kitchen counter.
But last week was different. As I absentmindedly leafed through the back-to-school flyers headed for recycling, it occurred to me that for the first time in nearly 15 years I have no need for school supplies.
Out of nowhere, I am reduced to tears. Read more…
For years I bought beauty products by one simple rule: whatever magazines told me to buy. While some things I actually liked and used, much of it I ultimately gave — or threw — away.
Since the process of editing my life means streamlining routines and reducing clutter everywhere, I decided it was time to tackle my overflowing makeup stash, keeping only what I use on a regular basis. Read more…
I discovered the original Saveur recipe for this tart on a friend’s Pinterest board. Bacon AND caramelized onions? I’m in. But the “slab” of bacon, bacon fat and butter the original calls for seemed like overkill.
After substituting oven-baked turkey bacon and olive oil, the result still tastes decadent but is a little more calorie friendly — even with a toss of freshly grated Parmesan. And despite the 10-minute preparation/rest times, it comes together pretty quickly since you can mix the batter while the bacon’s in the oven and the onions are caramelizing.