25 October 2016

Clean Up Progress Report

Earlier in October, I wrote this post. Sadly, I wasn't able to get to working on it that next weekend, and the weekend after that, we were in Rehoboth Beach - which was FUN, but not conducive to getting anything done at home.

But this past weekend, I did spend some time cleaning out my closet.  And I actually got a lot of stuff cleaned up and organized.  It's funny - I don't have that much in my "wardrobe" but I also can't spend more than an hour or so on cleaning out/shifting stuff around.  But I got quite a bit done anyway.  By the time I finished, I had these bags ready to take to the Red Cross donation truck near our house.

Now, I still have some work to do, cleaning out.  But the good thing is that once I get started, I become much more committed to getting serious about it.  And I realize that a lot of the things I thought might be worth keeping for "someday" are not things I'm ever gonna use/wear.  So as I continue this weekend, I won't be keeping the things I kept for no real reason, "just in case."  Because I have a tendency to keep things if I feel like there is any possibility in the world that I might wear them, ever.  Which doesn't make sense when - if I really think about it - I know I never will.

On the one hand, a lot of my clothes are ones I've had for years, and still wear.  The problem is that since I have had them for so long, I have a tendency to be surprised when they actually wear out and need to be replaced.  So I'm making a list as I put some things away and get other things out for colder weather of things that are probably on their last legs.  Theoretically, that means that I can hopefully replace them before they completely fall apart.  Theoretically. ;-)

Anyway, baby steps, but some progress.  And at least at the moment, I'm wanting to continue.

19 October 2016

Hair-story, Part #200912078

Well, it seems that way to me, anyway.

This Friday, I'm off to get my hair cut.  The Saga of My Hair kinda sorta continues.  There have been some definite developments, however:

1. I stopped getting my hair colored.  I do miss my reddish hair, but a) it was expensive, b) I don't mind my gray hair (just wish I had more, frankly), and c) I'm pretty sure I was the only one who cared anyway.

2.  I have found two "acceptable" stylists.  Not great, not perfect, but fine.  I can go back to them if my search for someone I just click with fails.  I have three more possibilities.  Sadly, I'm not actually as picky as I sound ... I just want someone who *gets* short hair on women!

3. The above acceptable stylists are pretty reasonably priced for this area.  That pleases me, even if they are not a 100% match for me in the end.

So anyway, I'm going to a new person at a previous place on Friday after work.  I liked the place, but the person I got turned out to be really rude, and only willing to do what they wanted, which was not anything like what I wanted.  But I've heard of the person I'm seeing on Friday, and have stalked them on Instagram, and it seems as if they have a lot of experience with short hair on women.  Fingers crossed.

A lot of my friends think this is all hilarious, because "when you have short hair, why do you need to get it cut regularly?"  Well, for one thing, my hair grows pretty quickly.  Right now, for instance, it's sticking out.  Not like this, which would be OK:

But like this, over my ears (though not as much hair, needless to say):

Also, I've never had this much hair in my life as the woman in the above photo!

My last haircut was one of the acceptable ones.  I had seen a woman on the street with exactly what I wanted.  I stopped and asked her where she got her hair cut, etc., and made an appt later that same day.  When I got to the place, I told the same stylist that this woman had, the whole story, and she said, "Well of course we can do that, it will work just fine!"  At the end, it was "fine" but not what the stranger-on-the-street had.  I kept thinking as it grew, it would look more similar, but nope.  Granted, the woman I saw likely has completely different hair than I do, but it was somewhat disappointing.  Especially since the place had a RESIDENT CAT!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting the above-ear hair at least trimmed, and the rest too.  Even when it's not 100 degrees outside, I cannot stand to have hair down my neck, and it's grown to the point where it's really bugging me.

Who knows?  I may hit the jackpot this time.  If not, it will still be OK.  Just slightly disappointing.

Another thing that falls into the category that my sister calls "White Man's Problems." :-)

07 October 2016

Clean Up, Clean Out, Decide!

This is one of those times of year when I get the itch.  As I put away the summer things - tank tops, shorts, flip flops, etc. - to get out the sweaters, tights, boots, etc., I seriously have to pick up and look at each and every item of clothing I own.  I have neither the money nor the room to have a vast wardrobe, but I do realize each time that I come across the following:

1. Things I bought because they were on sale and I kinda sorta liked them.  But maybe only wore them once.
2. Things I was "saving" for God-knows-what, but it hasn't occurred yet.
3. Things that no longer fit, or are really worn out.
4. Things other people gave me as gifts that I pushed into the back of the closet.

And then I think, Why am I keeping these things?  Why did I buy some of them?  And on and on.

I do a pretty good job of pulling out obvious things that fall into this category, and either giving them away, or donating them.  But there are some things that I keep and really should not. They simply take up space, and there may be someone else who could use/wear them.

I was thinking about this when I read about Slow Fashion October, and have seen Instagram posts by those participating.  The older I get, the more I can appreciate being more thoughtful about things, and especially about what you buy, wear, make, and have.  And everyone has read at least one of the many articles that talk about the waste of clothes donated and then sent around the world.  I also read Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and though it should be (and to some extent is) things I already knew, it did help me gain a certain level of perspective on pretty much everything I own.

At the moment, I am in the throes of knitting scarves and hats for Christmas gifts, as well as knitting things to donate as part of Harry's Hundred.  So I didn't even try to sign myself up to participate in Slow Fashion October, because I want to keep my focus on getting those things finished and ready to go.  I know I will be able to accomplish this goal, as I just have a few more things to do, and it's still early in October.  But I didn't want to muddy my thoughts and get distracted by something else.

But between Slow Fashion October, and Marie Kondo, I have determined what I want to do going forward.  Each time I switch my closet, I'm going to do it in a more thoughtful fashion, and be firm with myself about what I keep and what I do not keep.  A lot of the things I donate tend to be work-type clothes, so I donate them to a local organization that helps women rejoining the work force (similar to Dress for Success, but more local).   And I will make every effort to donate any other things to local groups who I know actually need and use them.

And I've already been thinking that after the holidays, I want to refocus my knitting and also actually start using my sewing machine.  I'm toying with 2017 being The Year of Me.  Nearly everything I knit is for someone else, and I'm always looking at patterns, blogs, etc. and thinking how I would love to make xyz but I'm working on something for someone else and that will take precedence.  I want to try and make things that I can use/wear, and also make things for our house.  I would love to sew and/or knit some pillows.  Nothing elaborate, but something that would make the place seem even a little bit cozier.

So I will start with some baby steps when I get out my more wintery clothes and put away the summery things.  I will try to shop even more conscientiously and not buy something just because it's on sale - but if I actually will wear it and use it.  There are specific items I actually do need, since I have worn them out and they are things I wear nearly every day.  If there is something I would just love to have, I won't deprive myself, but it will also have to be something that I'll actually use/wear/enjoy/whatever.

I'm not a person who has a completely different outfit for every mood, style, occasion.  I have finally realized that 99% of the time, I choose similar pieces to wear, and so many other things - though nice - just are ignored.  So it's time to Clean Up, Clean Out, and Decide!

I am even going to try and keep myself honest by documenting what I can here.

Feel free to join me, and let me know if you do!