Monday, February 1, 2010

The grid expands to my closet

Oh, you thought I had done all I could do with the grid ? That although the grid started by covering a dinner, laundry, and household tasks schedule; and then expanded to also include what we need to do in the morning to be able to leave "on time"; and then expanded to include a lunch schedule so as to make the most efficient use of leftovers but now it can do EVEN MORE !!!

Yes! The grid now tells me what to wear in the morning. In this case, it's so simple I don't even have to write it down - it's a virtual grid in my head.

Let me back up a bit.

A couple months ago, Elaine gave me a book called Unclutter Your Life in One Week. She claims to be friends with the author, Erin Rooney Doland. I read this book at the same time as I was reading The Tightwad Gazette and reading them together was very thought provoking. I really started to think realistically about how being organized can save me money. For example, if my pantry and refrigerator are organized I will be better able to make use of leftovers, cutting down on the need to buy additional foods for lunch. If my sock drawer is organized and if I stick to my laundry schedule, I will see that I have AMPLE number of athletic socks for jazzercise and I will not need to buy more.

Erin's book has a step by step plan for organizing your life in one week. In most cases, it works. In others, it requires some tweaking. For example, she says that you can organize your closet on a Monday morning before work but that you have to have all your laundry and dry cleaning done. That took me two weeks to get all my laundry and dry cleaning done, so I had to plan ahead to get ready to organize. The reason she starts with your closet is because for many people that's where you start your day. Makes total sense to me.

It took me three naptimes to get through my closet, but the result was fantastic.

The first thing I did was do a quick purge. I'm on the regular call list for the thrift store and they do a pick up roughly every 6-8 weeks, so there wasn't much to purge. The next thing I did was pack away all my spring and summer clothes that were still in my closet. That gave me some breathing room on the racks.

Then I started sorting and here's the categories I came up with: dresses, skirts, pants, blouses that button up, blouses that pull over your head and don't button up, sweaters that can be worn by themselves without a shell underneath, cardigan sweaters that require a shell, knit shirts, and then my favorite, sweater sets. I tried to fold as many sweaters as I could, but some just had to be hung up. I occasionally dress up on my days at home, and I occasionally dress casual at work, so I decided not to differentiate between "SAHM/WAHM" clothes and "work day" clothes. Within each category, items were facing the same direction with hangers turned the same way (obviously). Further, they were arranged by color, with darks to the right and lights to the left. My mind just naturally categorizes by black, brown, navy, gray, red, pink, cream.

Once these were all categorized, then I started going through the misc. bins in my attic. I found it hard to part with clothes that are only 1-2 sizes too small. Since I have space in the attic, I kept those.

When I stood back and looked at my closet, clear themes started to emerge and I developed the following formula for my work days:
  • Monday, work day: Fitted black pants, blouse, knee highs, dress shoes or dressy boots
  • Tuesday, work day: Colored pants (fitted color pants go with blouses, less tailored pants or those with pleats go with sweater sets), shoes as appropriate
  • Wednesday, SAHM day: corduroy pants or colored jeans, knit top or sweater, casual shoes
  • Thursday, work day: Less tailored black pants and sweater set/sweater, dress shoes
  • Friday, WAHM day: corduroy pants or colored jeans, knit top or sweater, casual shoes
This works for me because I don't care if I look great or am wearing the latest style. I just want to look decent and fairly pulled together. It also means that I am wearing more traditional dress clothes to work which leaves my casual clothes for my SAHM/WAHM days. It got so where I was wearing the exact.same.pair.of. (dirty) jeans. every single SAHM/WAHM day and I really wanted to look nicer. The IRL neighbor that I stalk never wears jeans and almost always wears long skirts and looks so nice and pulled together.

So there you have it. Yet another use for the grid. I'm going to post photos of my closet and February's grid on Wednesday during naptime.

Stay tuned !!!


Stacy said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

As if The Grid isn't the absolute greatest thing on earth already, it is now getting better?!?! No way possible.

I would add clothes to my grid but I'm pretty much a rotate-through-the-same-outfits-every-week employee already :)

Elaine said...

I sent this link to Erin.

Erin said...

Your wardrobe sounds fantastic! I'm so glad to hear that information from the book is helpful :)

And, Elaine wasn't pulling your leg, she and I have known each other for more than 20 years. (Wow, 20 years ... I suddenly feel old! ha!)

Fiona said...

This is funny ... mostly because I work with a guy that has the same mental grid of clothes he is to wear that week ... there are 2 of you now!

{sue} said...

I think I'm exhausted.

I'm going to be in big trouble when I go back to work. Wearing the same yoga pants day and night for 72 hours probably isn't going to cut it.

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