Ditch and Rise! Out with the Old in with the New

In last month’s article, we poked at the idea of stepping up our game and dressing the part, arriving to the work place dressed with an end in mind. We are into the third month of the year and there is still room to improve what we already have.

The dynamic relationship between the old and the new gives us the ability to transform and stay relevant in our style.  When we encounter our “old,” do we let go? Or do we learn how to keep? Each approach is both valid and substantial to consider.  The “new” – do we not bother at all to reach for it? and if we do, how do we go about reaching for it?  In addressing these questions, we reach deeper into our theme of stepping up our game.

Let us jump right into it. To actively do this you may need to stop hoarding! Yes hoarding – you know what I mean (she couldn’t possibly be talking to me, right?).    Well, do you have a bunch of clothes in your cupboard that you do not wear? Do you keep buying and buying clothes but somehow no matter how much you buy, you still feel like you do not have clothes…?

Well, the urban dictionary describes Hoarding as:

“(Adj) A word that describes anyone that feels the need to find, collect, keep, pack ANY and EVERYTHING because they do not know how to throw things out.”

So you are not a Hoarder, but your cupboard is full and so is your house, and so is your kitchen.  When you reach into your cupboard, you reach right in the front and leave the pile in the back. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the pile in the back is the stuff you are hoarding. Well it’s time to deal with it. Are you ready to “Ditch and Rise”? I am here to help.

The term “less is more” is usually used to describe the minimalist look but some of us live in on the opposite and need to keep it in mind when we shop and deal with our space.  Lets start by looking at the two main parts of building a new, fresh and efficient wardrobe for a fresh new year:

  1. Letting go
  2. Starting afresh

Step one: Letting go…

Never an easy topic.  Simply because we are human beings and are built to bond, that feeling of “home” and “comfort” is evidence of that bonding process.  In meeting clients on a daily, this seems to be the hardest part of reforming people’s perceptions of themselves. People attach feeling to most things. This is probably why you are so offended when I refer to you us as hoarders – I’m not any better. Okay let me rather call us “people in a process.”

People keep old clothes for all sorts of reasons. What I find incredibly interesting is that people keep their clothes for sentimental reasons, ie first dates, hand me downs, etc.  There is really nothing wrong with keeping clothes for these reasons. The key thing is making sure they are not just stuffed at the back of your closet but that you are actually wearing them and they are of use to you.

TIP 1: adapting the “sentimental pile” to current trends

Adding belts and (or) using old items as accent pieces is the trick of longevity vintage clothes.  Apply this to your sentimental items – IT WORKS!!!

I know you are sitting there thinking, “What in the world is she going on about?”

So you have a coat your grand mo/father gave you last year that (s)he used to wear when (s)he was your age. Its colourful, has textures. (S)he in her/his time spent a whole lot of money on it and has been saving it for you.

  • To usher it into this century, get a very simple “modern” belt, Could black or brown to rev up that old engine
  • Take it to the tailor to take it into your exact size
  • When you wear it, try not to focus so much on what complements it but rather what makes it pop out. Your options could be “all black” –that usually works- or “all white” (ladies only). This will really bring our eyes to focus on it.


Step two: Starting afresh….

Useful practice in keeping healthy wardrobe space away from the “hoarder” tag is to empty out your closet annually and give away some clothes to charity, a younger version of you, or if you are the entrepreneurial type, have a yard sale. It creates an opportunity for you to start afresh.

Do this with the “break down to building up” attitude.  Empty out your wardrobe and with each item ask yourself these question?

  1. Have I worn this in the past year?
  2. How many times have I worn it?
  3. Will I wear in the next three months?

If your answers happen to be “No,” then SELL IT!  Yes, let it go – there is somebody in desperate need of that garment AND YOU could be their link to it.

There many ways one could start this process, but having done this you are now at the doorstep of building up.

TIP 2: You may not need to do all of this, but pick the organizing tip that best suits your needs.

  • Color coordinate your wardrobe
  • Separate your work clothes from your comfort clothes
  • Segment your clothes, pants, skirts, and tops, each in its own area

And my favorite one…

  • Organize your shoes in pairs facing you…. this will help keep them in better shape and also not to neglect wearing what you have in your wardrobe .A little effort will go a long way in refreshing your space.

Now that you have done this, give yourself an “A” for effort and a pat on the back for being a champion.

Now, let’s take this further and rejuvenate your lounge space because we can.  This tip will help in buying new furniture and or just rearranging it.

TIP 3:  Create and design your lounge around an accent piece.

Find an item that may already exist in your lounge or purchase one item that you simply love. This item is unique and draws your eye every time you look at it.

It could be a chair, or cushion or art or anything that nature that speaks to you in this season. Let’s call this piece your accent piece.  Focus on placing this piece in the best place in the in the room, ignoring every other item in the room.  Once you have done this, find interesting ways of positioning it, then position all the other items to complement this piece and what you have done with it. This will definitely mean moving things around.

Piece by piece, think, “how can I position this item to best complement my accent piece?” and in no time, you will have a new and fabulous lounge!

Adapt this idea to every other place in your home, be it the kitchen or bedroom. Works every time. You might find you are already doing it.  If that is the case, master it and you maybe on your way to becoming a décor guru.

TIP 4 (extra): Revamping your kitchen is easy

Revamping the kitchen area will be simple if you focus on your crockery, cutlery and dishwashing cloths.  Once in a while you could do a similar trick to my last tip…let go of those ragging cloths, mismatched set and reward yourself with a new pair.  You deserve a break – something new to refresh your soul.

Who knew you had a fresh start right at the tip of your hands?  A little effort here and there may make a significant difference and it seems you too can do it, so why not give it shot?  Hope these tips were helpful!

Next month, we will be discussing trends and how to adapt new trends to personal style and varying body types

I believe in you.

Maxine Jafta


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