Thursday, January 23, 2014

The closet shopping challenge



A little challenge from  Mary Jane Maffini

We’re well into January and for those of you in Canada and the northern part of the USA, we have to watch out for the creeping winter blues. They’re as much a danger as storms, black ice, frostbite and all the other surprises that winter has for us.  

This week I remembered an idea from a friend: it’s easy, takes no time and costs nothing. Every day try to find a forgotten item in your closet or cupboard and wear it. 

I may have rolled my eyes at the time (not in front of her, of course). How could something so simple make any kind of difference? And yet …

Charlotte Adams "taught" me that we wear 20 percent of the clothing in our closet. Twenty!!!  And we probably wear only twenty percent of our accessories and jewelry.

So how much effort could it be to dip into the furthest reaches of your closet/dresser/jewelry box and find one item every day that you like but have not worn for some reason?
I decided to give this a try.  So far, it’s been fun.  

If you know me, you know I like a bargain.  Sometimes that means you buy that bargain and never wear it (so it’s not such a bargain). But yesterday in my own shoe rack, I found these red loafers, bought at a deep discount, comfortable as slippers, but rarely on my feet. Now I feel like I have a new pair. 

 






This little pin has brightened my Monday. It was five dollars many years ago and was lingering, forgotten. I had have fun with it and the price is right. I don’t intend to let it get ‘lost’ again.









The ten dollar scarf is a bargain souvenir of a trip to Florida some time back. It had slipped to the far end of the closet and was never seen again. The lovely soft color reminds me of Florida, but it sure perked up my winter coat.














 So: three items so far this week and $0.00 spent.        

I’m looking forward to the “archaeological” digs for the rest of the month.  And yes, I remember that I am the one who was celebrating the 18-year-old sweater just last week.                     
Anyone want to accept a challenge for closet shopping? Let me know if you find something fun in your own closet, cupboard or dresser.  Or anywhere else!

I’ll draw from the comments for a copy of Organize Your Corpses, the first Charlotte Adams book.  If you’ve already read it, we can find another to substitute.  I'll shop on my bookshelf!




43 comments:

Kaye Killgore said...

I've been raiding my t-shirt drawers on a regular basis looking for t-shirts I haven't worn lately. I need to do that with sweatshirts too. I loved Organize your Corpses.

Tammie Wheeler said...

I rarely wear jewelry, but I was thrilled recently when I came across some silver and turquoise earrings recently. I wore them for 3 days straight, and fell in love with them all over again. You're right, Mary Jane; it was like they were "new" again!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks, Kaye! I am so glad you liked it. The t-shirt drawer can be a gold mine.

Hugs,

MJ

Jeannie D. said...

I did this just the other day. I was cleaning out a closet in my book room. I found a pair of "Clarke" sandals that I had gotten a good deal on and they were still in the box! I also found a pretty, cozy scarf that I had forgotten about. I have worn it every time I leave the house this week. Especially with the Polar Vortex! I am going to join you in a daily trip to the farther reaches of my closet's and drawers and see what other fun things I can find. Thanks for the idea!

mary kennedy said...

This is such a great idea!! And winter is the perfect time to tackle those closets. Thanks for posting, this inspired me.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Silver and turquoise sounds lovely! That was a real find for you, Tammie.

Enjoy them!

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

You're way ahead of the game, Jeannie. Congrats on the Clarkes and the scarf. That Polar Vortex calls for extra neckwear.


Hugs.

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Hope you find something amusing and lovely, Mary! You are a busy lady, so hope you have the time.

XO

MJ

Alicia said...

I found a great leather tote bag last week but your post has inspired me to get a stool and see what else is buried up there. Hugs

Vicki Delany said...

Thanks for the reminder. Funny how we sometimes don't see things in front of our eyes because we are so used to them.

Barbara T. said...

Your books are motivating me mentally to get my closets organized. Still reading, so I haven't been motivated physically yet. Love the pin and red shoes. I am trying to work on a spot a day to get rid of clutter. Finding fun stuff that way, too. Easily distracted!

Kendra Prince said...

If Charlotte can organize corpses, then maybe there is hope for my closet (hopefully no bodies in there...) And since you're doing such a great job on cleaning out the closet, MJ, no more snarky comments from this Texas girl about sugar in the cornbread. ; ) Blessings on your day! Kendra

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Oh yes, we don't want to be confined to the 'low hanging fruit", Alicia. I hope you have some great finds!

Hugs back!

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Exactly. I may never need to shop again, Vicki. Looking forward to seeing you although not in my closet!

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Life is full of fun distractions, Barbara. I hope you have a good time with the books. A spot a day is a great strategy.

Hugs,

MJ (always distracted too)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks, Kendra. Btw, I did try the cornbread both ways. Much better with savory food without sugar. I have to concede that. The cornmeal muffins and bread are not a very Canadian tradition, so I have to learn things the hard way.

Hugs to you in Texas.

MJ

Sue Farrell said...

I have so many "work" clothes in my closet that I haven't worn for years since I started working from home. Now that I'm going to retire in a couple months I think I'll start your closet shopping and start wearing those "work" clothes around the house and shopping. It will get me out of my jeans and t-shirts that I have been wearing every day.

suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Debbie LaFleiche said...

What a fun idea. I might have to try it. Thanks for the post.

Barb W. said...

I have several heavy, all-wool sweaters way up at the top of my closet. Haven't worn them in years. The Polar Vortex is to blame. I got them down and have been wearing them. This "Yooper" is glad I didn't have to really go shopping for new ones.

auntie fruf said...

Those shoes reminded me of a similar most comfortable pair tucked awae in a plastic shoe box. They will definitely be on my feet tomorrow. Thx so much for the reminder to look for hidden treasures.

SandyG265 said...

Since it's been so cold I raided a cedar chest I haven't opened for a few years looking for sweaters and found one I didn't even remember having.

Lynn Stadel-Paterson said...

I went through my jewelry box and came across a pin my mom bought me for Christmas when I was 16 it's a bicycle with different colour stones around the wheels and I also found 2 other pins, a clock pin that my mom used to were all the time before she passed away and a RCMP pin that always remind me of my dad who worked for the RCMP before he passed away.

I shed a few tears but they were happy tears remembering of them fondly.

Ronna Lord said...

Lost a lot of weight, so loads of items from closet just went to Good Will. You would be board to death if I described them all. Though I know my boardome would be relieved if I got to win and read your book!!! I'm an organizer from the old school!! Just ask me where anything I own is in my house. I'll be able to sent you to find it !

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I hear you, Sue. The only things I miss from my day job days are my jackets!

I bet you'll feel really pumped up when you head out in your "new" threads.

Hugs.

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Let me know if you do, Debbie!

Hugs,

MJ

Karen B said...

I found my Land's End lavender fleece scarf that a son & DIL gave me years ago. With the miserable cold temps in MN I don't even stick my nose outdoors without it now!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

You "Yoopers" really get the weather! So glad you gave them a workout and didn't spend a dime.

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Glad to help you find your "new" shoes!

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Brought to you by the sweater elves, perhaps! What a nice surprise in this perishing weather, Sandy!

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

What a great group of finds that was, Lynn. Thanks for sharing it. I find family jewelry brings back lovely memories.

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I am a big admirer of old school organizers, Ronna! And congrats on the weight loss and sending those clothes to Good Will.

Fingers crossed for the draw!

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

That Land's End lavender fleece scarf sounds just perfect for when you do stick your nose outside, Karen.

It's well below zero F here in Ontario (minus fifteen now I think), but I know MN is really really cold.

Hugs,

MJ

Rachelle21 said...

I like the idea,but I first have to be able to get to the closet. We have laundry baskets my husband uses so he does not have to get to his dresser drawers. He use crutches and likes things close.I did give a bag I had not used to a rummage sale, today.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Giving a bag to a rummage sale is so freeing. And as for the laundry baskets, what a great idea for someone with a mobility issue. My hubby was in a wheelchair for eight months, so I know you have to problem solve.

Hugs!

MJ

ladyvyvian said...

I lost 85 lbs. since 2009. I had surgery Oct 1 and since then have lost another 25 lbs. I have been finding clothes that were too small until now so I am having such fun getting into clothes I haven't worn in a very long time.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

That is fun and quite an accomplishment! Over the years I too have lost about 60 pounds and I still often buy things that are too big. Then they don't fit right and I can't figure out why I don't like them. Then I have to give them to my daughters.who are taller with bigger shoulders. Congrats on your newfound wardrobe.

Hugs,

MJ

Jane R said...

My husband and daughter have given me so many pretty pieces of jewelry. But, I have a tendency to wear 2 or 3 favorites most of the time. One of my resolutions has been to try and wear different earrings every day. So far it's working and I have 'discovered' many new pieces lurking in my drawer (and I love the pin you 'found'!)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks, Jane! I think it's so important to wear the jewelry that has special meaning, especially gifts from family. I'm going to try to use your tip!

Hugs,

MJ

lavendersbluegreen said...

I actually have been going thru my storage in order to choose donate-able and keep-ables... I have a big ol' pile of donates and also have found a cool scarf in oranges and reds that really goes with my new cane, lots of shoes I have not worn in ages, funky shirts and all kinds of stuff I have not worn or even seen in forever if at all. I love rediscovering this stuff!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks for sharing that! You have a way with words and I could really envision it all.

Keep on having closet fun!

XO

MJ

Vicki said...

I made the same resolution as Jane R did, to wear a different pair of earrings every day, even if I didn't leave the house. I did good for awhile but then slacked off. I need to get back to doing that. Yep, I need to go shopping everywhere! And clean out all the spots that currently hold things I had to stash in a hurry when company was coming.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I get that company's coming stashing panic too, Vicki!

Hugs, MJ

Karen B said...

Hi MJ!
I'm thrilled to have won your book - thank you again. :)
Karen B