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Today’s post comes to us via my very helpful, very wise intern, Reja Zaidi. I have always struggled with keeping my closet organized and tidy, so I was eager to hear her tips on this subject. Excuse me while I give my closet an overhaul.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a moment when you looked (at the mess) inside your closet and wondered – how am I a functioning adult/human being? It’s embarrassing to admit, but I’ve experienced this moment quite a bit.
Now you’re probably wondering to yourself – why is this girl writing this post?
Well, I’ve been on a mission – a mission to conquer the constant mess and disorganization of my closet, using all the valuable skills I learned while working in a retail clothing store.
Here are a five tips I picked up while on the job that have helped me – and will hopefully help you – reorganize your closet.
MAKE A PLAN
Have you ever wondered how clothing stores always look so well stocked and organized all the time? How everything seems to fit in all the shelves and racks without spilling over? That effortlessly tidy look actually takes a lot of planning.
Stores can get shipments of new collections from as little as every month to as often as every few days. Each time these new pieces come in, workers are required to do a mass overhaul of the store. They need to make it fit perfectly and look appealing. Even though our closets aren’t as big as an entire retail store, it can only help to have a similar plan for your closet. You can do this by doing your own inventory.
Take a look at how many items you have and rethink where you put it. Have an idea of where you’re going to put all your jeans, your shoes, and so on. If you have an established place where you always put something, you will always have a home to return it to after you’ve used it.
FOLLOW THE SEASONS
Since retail stores get new collections every few weeks, all the clothes they don’t sell tend to add up. When they start getting new collections in for the fall season, they need to get rid of their old collections to make room for the new stuff – hence those glorious end of season sales with huge markdowns.
Unlike retail stores, we can’t exactly make room for the new seasons’ clothes by throwing out our old ones. But you can implement a seasonal rule for your closet. With the fall season rapidly approaching, you can take out all of your summer and spring clothes that you won’t be wearing in the coming months and put them away in storage.
Pro tip: when you’re packing up your seasonal clothes, make sure to take out all the clothes that you didn’t wear during their season and put them in a bag to donate. You can also use this time to throw away any clothes that you’ve worn threadbare and are no longer wearable.
INVEST IN STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Trust me, proper storage units are the key to success. It will do wonders to make organization easier – and they’re not particularly expensive.
You can buy cheap hanging shoe racks that eliminate the clutter from the floor of your closet from your local dollar store. They don’t just have to be for shoes, you can use them for socks or undergarments as well. If you have the time and money you can even look up ideas on Pinterest, or pictures of your favourite celebrity closets for inspiration.
LEARN HOW TO FOLD
If you’ve ever worked in at a clothing store, chances are there is one skill you learned that you’ll never be able to forget – precision folding techniques. You’ll be surprised to know how much folding things properly helps with space.
So how do retail workers learn this magical skill? It’s all thanks to the magic of the folding board. They’re normally a hard plastic board about 10 by 12 inches, with lines on them. You can purchase them online or even make your own using cardboard. Once you have the board you can find videos online that teach you different techniques to fold. You can even ask any friends who’ve worked in retail in the past, or your friendliest retail worker at your favourite store, to teach you.
Learning how to fold properly may not seem like a big deal – but it goes a long way in making your closet more neat and organized.
HAVE A CLEANUP SCHEDULE
Believe or not, retail stores have a separate cleaning schedule to ensure the store remains spic and span. If you want to keep your closet looking clean, you should consider doing the same.
Be realistic with the schedule – for example if you have weekends off, take some time every Sunday to vacuum, dust, and put away freshly washed clothes. If you want to avoid a mass of clutter, it’s useful to get into the habit of tidying up every night before bed. Don’t just throw things on the floor, put them back in their proper place.
A few extra tips you can use for your closet that aren’t retail related:
- If you want to keep clothes in storage smelling fresh, throw a few scented dryer sheets in the bag or box. When you take them out, they’ll smell crisp and clean.
- Get into the habit of hanging your clothes backwards. Then, once you wear an item, hang it in the right direction. Once it’s time to reorganize your closet for the next season, take a look at your closet and see which clothes are still hanging backwards. That’ll help you determine which clothes you never wear and need to give away.
- Reward yourself after every closet overhaul by eating your favourite dessert, getting a massage, or indulging in whatever floats your boat. Cleaning burns a lot of calories, so you’ve officially earned it. Knowing you’ll get a reward after all that boring work will motivate you to get to it!
When I think about kids watching a TV show like American Idol or The Voice, then they think, ‘Oh, OK, that’s how you become a musician, you stand in line for eight fucking hours with 800 people at a convention center and… then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it’s not fuckin’ good enough.’ Can you imagine? It’s destroying the next generation of musicians.
Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old fucking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too. And then they’ll fucking start playing and they’ll have the best time they’ve ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they’ll become Nirvana. Because that’s exactly what happened with Nirvana. Just a bunch of guys that had some shitty old instruments and they got together and started playing some noisy-ass shit, and they became the biggest band in the world.
That can happen again. You don’t need a fucking computer or the internet or The Voice or American Idol.
Seems these days even weddings are subject to hipster jokes (and by a fashion company, no less). By these standards, having a wedding that is personal to you/doesn’t look like every other boring wedding makes it qualify (okay, well I’ll admit the last section is definitely hipster overkill). But really, the only good thing about non ‘hipster’ weddings is the free food/booze. I appreciate it when a couple takes the time to make a wedding that represents them rather than the wedding industry. It’s also hilarious that they blame Pinterest for making weddings suddenly hip – last I checked, Pinterest was still frequented most by older, already married women.
As the Toronto International Film Festival came to an end this year, some of you may have wanted to take part in the fun but were maybe unable to afford the 20-40$ ticket prices. I’ve been attending the festival religiously since I moved to Toronto in 2003 so I have learned a thing or two about how to do it on the cheap. This advice applies not only to TIFF but also for Hot Docs, Images, Sprockets, TADFF and of course the Lightbox itself now that it is open all year round, along with almost any festival anywhere in the world.
First of all, VOLUNTEER! It is the best way to get free tickets and get into screenings. For every shift you work, you get a voucher (sometimes two or three depending on the shift) which works as cash that can be redeemed for a ticket to any film (except Galas at TIFF which require you to stand in the rush line before the screening if you want to use your voucher). There are also pre festival shifts or year round shifts for some festivals (like TIFF) which means you can be volunteering all year long and come time for the festival you have saved up fifty vouchers. Book the ten days off and see five films a day like the pros do, and it’s all free. Volunteers also get access to 2 for 1 and 4 for 1 deals, which means every day you get an email with a list of films that still have plenty of tickets available and you can trade in one voucher for two or four tickets so you can take friends with you for free.
Another option is becoming an accredited member of the press (or making friends with someone who is), which requires getting yourself published in a magazine or paper that does not currently have someone covering that festival. Get a press pass and you get yourself into any screening free, as well as access to the special Press & Industry only screenings during TIFF. Also, working in the film industry can get you an industry pass, which is almost as good.
Student discounts! These can be great or not so great depending on the festival. If you get to the TIFF box office the first few days packages are available you can get student day passes for any day of the festival for about 25$ which is just over the price of one regular ticket, and it gives you access to five regular screenings for that day. It is an excellent deal and I made sure to take advantage of it for as long as I had a valid student card. If you miss out on the student day passes (as they sell out fast), there is still single tickets which you get discounts on. It’s only saving you a couple dollars for regular screenings, but it saves you half price if you are seeing a Gala. Oh and for smaller festivals like Hot Docs, show your student card to get a button that gets you into every screening FREE. Hot Docs is an incredible festival, sometimes I prefer it to TIFF so be sure to take advantage of that deal.
Speaking of TIFF packages, being ready to order your package right when they come on sale will always work out cheaper and better than waiting to buy single tickets (if you plan on seeing more than a couple films), and you will not miss out on hot tickets that go off sale fast. Packages get first choice on films, so they get to avoid the rush lines completely.
Finally, sometimes you just get lucky if you are in the right place at the right time. I can not count how many times I’ve been handed a ticket by someone who can’t make it to the screening. They don’t even ask for cash, they just give them out. That isn’t always the case, but if you are standing in a rush line and someone comes around asking if you want a ticket be sure to be the first to speak up, because even if they’re not giving it away, they may sell it for cheaper than what they paid.