10 Things to Do on a Snowy Evening

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  1. Give your boots some love. Good maintenance is key in extending the life of your expensive footwear. Shower some extra attention on your boots every once in awhile by wiping them free of snow and salt residue and cleaning with a leather cleaner and/or a spray protector. Store boots in a well-ventilated area with low foot traffic and wait 24 hours before wearing again. (For more tips on this process, click here.)
  2. Start a scrapbook. A creative project that organizes your memorabilia can be both productive and fun and it’s a great way to store your memories in a way that they’re accessible and can be treasured more often. Not into scrapbooking? Create a shadow box, organize a photo album, or create a book online instead.
  3. Dream of summer and plan your garden. Just like a hairdresser needs to plan out a cut before he or she even picks up the scissors, those of us who are fortunate to have green spaces must do advance planning in order to enjoy them. Determine what needs to be done and what improvements you’d like to make to your yard or garden and plan accordingly. Do your research and plan a budget to avoid any unexpected expenses.
  4. Make a Someday/Maybe list. I think wintertime is the perfect time to sit indoors and daydream, don’t you? Take an evening, grab a journal, pour yourself a glass of wine and make your list- books to read, movies to see, music to listen to, restaurants to try, countries to visit, certifications to be earned. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Put together a Command Central binder. If you haven’t done so already, you must. The start of a new year is a perfect excuse to get your organizing system under control and I think there’s no better way to manage it than by using one of these. (I explain how to put one together here.)
  6. Have you done a Yearly Review yet? It’s not too late. Figure out how to do one here and get a firm grasp of what you really want for the year up ahead.
  7. Get your shine on. After all of the glitz and glamour of those holiday parties it’s a good idea to clean and store jewelry pieces carefully for the next round of special occasions. Put on a great playlist, grab your tools and give those goods some elbow grease!
  8. Thank the ones you love. I still believe in the power of a well-written thank you note. It’s a great way to keep in touch and shows people your appreciation and care. Didn’t send out Christmas cards? Sending out non-denominational New Years cards also seems to have become a thing. There’s no reason not to correspond now!
  9. Organize those tax receipts now. Don’t wait until the weather is nicer and you actually want to go outside. Use this period of hibernation as a productive way to get things done!
  10. Pick a drawer, any drawer. That’s it. Dump it, clean it, organize it and make a vow to yourself that you will never, ever let it get disorganized again (or at the very least for another year, until you have another snowy evening on which to organize it again).

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I’ve shared with you some of the ways that I spend my snowy evenings- now I’m interested in hearing how you spend yours! Drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com or contribute by commenting below. Are you looking for other productive boredom busters? I’ve got plenty of thoughts on organizing here. Looking for something a little more creative? When I’m not busying myself with some project or another I’m reading or whipping up something in the kitchen. Read all about it here and here.

Cleaning Out My Closet

KBB_mess_of_clothesIt was getting to the point where I couldn’t close my drawers. I couldn’t even get dressed in the morning. I had had enough.

It was time to follow in the footsteps of Eminem, and begin cleaning out my closet. Literally speaking- I’m not so sure how I feel about that metaphorically.

Ideally, editing your closet is something you should do regularly. I like having garbage bags or laundry hampers at hand to use for sorting, extra hangers, and a pen and paper for jotting any notes. Make sure you’re near a mirror!

Put on your favorite radio station or make a fashion show mix for your iPod. Pour yourself a glass of wine, dim the lights- why not invite a close gal pal for a second opinion?

Make sure you have a clean space on your floor or bed and get started! If you’re overwhelmed, start small– choose to empty one drawer, or start big by emptying all the things off your hangers. Then it’s just a matter of going through every piece of clothing you own. Don’t forget your laundry basket! (Just remember to put the dirty stuff back afterwards.)

I like to stick to one major rule: nothing goes back into your drawer or closet unless you are absolutely sure you want to keep it.

The stuff that doesn’t go back into your closet can be divided into two piles:

The discard pile should include things that you’ve outgrown, shrunk, and are stained, ripped or faded. (That includes any socks or underwear!) Check your clothes for funky odors. Retire anything you haven’t worn in a year or more. Try things on and be honest with yourself about what looks good. If the cut or color of something isn’t flattering, or doesn’t make you feel beautiful, it can find a better home elsewhere.

Sort as quickly as you possibly can to avoid lingering over decisions. When you’re done, stick the discard pile into bags to be donated- because that’s what you’re doing instead of throwing out your clothes. Right? RIGHT?

I also have a “pending” pile. It usually includes anything that I like that needs mending, as long as the repair is feasible and I’m willing to devote time to fixing it (or the money to pay someone else to).  If I have multiples of one type of item, I usually throw them on the “pending pile” too so that I can come back to them for re-evaluation.

Really try to keep only the things you’d use, or you’ve promised yourself to use. If your wardrobe seems to be missing certain staples, or you find yourself letting go of basic wardrobe items that need replacing, jot them down.

At the end of my cleaning frenzy, I was left with five shopping bags of donations, and a list of the gaps in my wardrobe so the next time I go shopping, I know what to look for and where to cut myself off.

And I can close my drawers.

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How did your last closet organization session go? Got any tips and tricks for us people who like to hoard a crazy amount of T-shirts like I do? Drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com and tell me how you got your closet from bomb-site to bombshell. Want tips from our fashionistas for wardrobe basics that will help flush out even the most label-starved lady? My sister L writes a great fashion blog that has tons of practical tips on how to incorporate the fashionable into any wardrobe.