Despite my easy-going manner, at least I think I have an easy-going manner most of the time, I can be quite anal about some things. Order is one of those things. Being organized makes me happy. I like to have a plan, and make lists, and then check things off my lists. That’s partly why I love reading mystery novels. I like the world to be ordered, and to make sense. And I like my life to be reasonably well ordered as well.
And that includes my closet and my wardrobe. Sorting and packing away my winter wardrobe, unpacking my spring clothes, and cleaning my closet always gives me a sense of satisfaction. Organizing and tidying clears my head. Gives me back a feeling of order and control.
And right now in our crazy world, I need all the order and control I can get. I think we all do. Feelings of helplessness, that things are spinning out of our control, is a huge stress trigger. Cleaning my closet is like taking back a measure of control. Restoring a sense of normalcy. And both of those can help alleviate some of that stress. At least for me. Besides I love organizing. So there’s that too.
So first up on the agenda was sorting my winter clothes. I pulled all the jackets and sweaters from my closet and drawers, all the pieces I’d be packing away. Folded everything on the spare room bed and made some decisions. Hubby came in and laughed that I was deciding which pieces to vote off the island.
I carted several jackets off to the dry cleaners. Washed a couple of heavy sweaters. And eventually everything was tucked away. Neat and clean and tidy.
Then I sorted through my spring and summer clothes. First my spring coats and scarves came out of hiding. The navy Moncler anorak I’m wearing below will, of course, be in heavy rotation for the next couple of months. As will the navy plaid Burberry scarf I bought to go with it.
Today I’m also wearing my Frame high-rise boot-cut jeans, my Paul Green boots, and a light cashmere sweater from Vince that I bought a couple of weeks ago at Nordstrom. I was looking for a casual sweater to wear under my coat and light jackets that would let me wear my jackets earlier while the weather was still cool. And this loose-fitting, navy v-neck did the trick. Liz picked it out for me. I bought a size large so it would fall loosely, and not cling. You can find it here if you’re interested. I’m sure it will feature heavily in my outfit planning for the next while. I’m thinking with jeans, or with my navy and cream checked pants, or with white jeans. There are tons of options. And I’ll be wearing every single one of them no further from home than my front deck.
In the video below, I take you on a tour of my reorganized spring closet. Don’t get too excited. My closet is tiny, and very modest, and not at all fancy. I try to make the most of the space I have, including the drawers under the spare room bed. Please excuse the fact that I am a beginner at this video thing. When I get caught up in what I’m saying, I forget to point the camera in the right direction. Like when I’m talking about my blouses and shirts and the camera is pointing at something else. Ha.
One of the issues for me this time of year, living in a climate where spring can be very cool, and often late coming, is finding space to bring out spring stuff before I pack away all of my winter things. Often when I was still working, I’d pull out a spring piece here and there and incorporate it into my work wardrobe. Piece by piece my single season closet would become a dual season closet, and get more and more crowded until I was finally able to find the time to do a complete changeover.
This year though, I intentionally planned to make my closet dual season. At least for the first couple of months of spring. First I packed away all the heaviest fall and winter things. I left several fall jackets (my Paige denim jacket, an Akris leather one, and my suede M&S moto jacket) in the closet. And I left the very summery jackets (a linen Max Mara, a tan Elie Tahari safari jacket, and my white Theory blazer) in storage. In a few weeks I’ll change them round. I also left my dresses and summer skirts packed away for now.
The plan is to simply revel in wearing my early spring stuff for a while. Wearing pieces that have been packed away since November makes me feel as if I have a whole new wardrobe. And when the weather gets warmer, I’ll have more pieces to unpack and get excited about. Maximizing the excitement level of a pretty minimal wardrobe.
So for the moment, my closet is ordered and neat, and my drawers are tidy. Sigh. Being organized makes me happy. And helps me to stave off anxiety about the craziness of life these days.
You know, ever since I was a child, I’ve been determined to look at life through rose-coloured glasses. Some days this is easier than others. But I am able to function quite happily if I have something, however small, to which I can look forward with anticipation.
When my back was plaguing me a couple of years ago, and it seemed as if I’d be going to physio for most of the winter, I’d plan a treat for myself after each appointment. Most often, I’d buy a Macdonald’s latte and enjoy it in my car while listening to an audio book. I remember one frigid winter day, sitting in the car with the sun glinting off the snow. I sipped my latte, listened to the last P.D. James Inspector Wexford mystery, and thought how good life could be.
When my brother was gravely ill in 2017, and I was at my Mum’s for weeks, feeling sad and stressed and missing Hubby, I read my way through almost all of the gentle Dorothy Whipple books available on Kindle. When Mum and I left the hospital at the end of the day, we’d stop for a Dairy Queen sundae, and then go home to our books. Worked for both of us.
When I was stuck at home with the Shingles virus a couple of summers ago, I dreamed of the outfits I’d wear when I could get back to my life.
And this week, when the news has been bad, and getting worse. And some people seem to be oblivious to the severity of the situation. Blithely and selfishly endangering themselves and their whole community. And I find myself overwhelmed with despair and then anger, I have to go sit on the spare room bed. Practice deep-breathing, and look at my tidy closet. And after a few minutes I calm down, and find myself thinking, “That blue Max Mara jacket will look so good with those Frame Straight leg jeans and my red loafers.”
Whatever works, people. Whatever works.
I’m not saying that cleaning and organizing my closet solves the world problems. But it sure helped me to clear my head, and feel a bit more in control. I’m confident that all those outfits I’ll plan when things get stressful will no doubt be worn only on the deck and on the blog. But that’s okay. I can live with that.
Now it’s your turn. What are you doing to lessen the negative impact of your confinement, my friends? Some of us, I know, will be more house-bound than others whether by government edict or because of health issues. Many of us will have financial woes, and all the stress that goes with that. How are you coping? And if you’re sick of that topic entirely, feel free to weigh in with whatever is on your mind. If outfit planning cheers you up, like it does me, tell us what you’ll be wearing in your backyard, or on your balcony this week.
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