Closet Chronicles: The Beginning

Even if it doesn’t feel like it yet (sorry, Midwest!), spring has officially been sprung for close to a month. As the seasons start to change, I’m more inspired than ever to identify and step out of my clothing ruts and try something new. Similar to my devotion to New Year’s resolutions, I like to take time in late April and early May to do a good spring cleaning for the closet and the soul. And wow, does my closet need it (see below).

sanfranista's closet

Even though I clearly love fashion and am always on the hunt for something different, I realized recently that I end up buying variations of the same piece over and over again. There’s almost no color, very few patterns other than plaid, and there’s a gaping hole between “I could wear this to a dive bar” and “I could wear this to a black tie dinner.” It’s time for me to shake things up.

In addition to culling and supplementing my closet, I also want to transform the space itself. By some logic-defying miracle, the small studio that I share with my husband boasts closet space that generally exists only in the Midwest and television shows set in New York City (Carrie Bradshaw’s closet, anyone?). Despite the ample space, my clothes, shoes, and accessories huddle together in messy clumps that do little for cultivating an aesthetic and preventing me from seeing what I own.

So, starting today, I plan to take the next two months and give my closet and wardrobe an overhaul. You’re welcome to join me if you’ve found yourself in a similar position! Like any good plan of attack, I’ve broken it down roughly into steps.

Step One: Assess the damage. I’m going to go through my closet, dress by dress and shoe by shoe to determine what I have now and what I’m lacking.

Step Two: Cull the herd. Once I’ve assessed my current closet condition, it’s time to free up some space by donating or setting aside items I don’t wear. Time to take the gloves off!

Step Three: Revamp the space. Before purchasing new items, I need to create a space that works and that makes me feel confident. It’s time for the closet makeover.

closet1Step Four: Find the inspiration. Before I buy, I like to spend some time checking out trends online and doing walk-throughs of my favorite stores to see what’s available and get some ideas. Then, I’ll make a list of what items would add the most to my closet.

Step Five: Time to shop. I’ll look for a few new items but focus mostly on organizing a clothing swap with friends and checking out thrift stores in the area. Hey, I’m on a budget here!

Step Six: Bring it all together. Now that I’ve organized and revamped my closet, it’s time for me to enjoy the fruits of my labor and see how I feel.

Who else is feeling the closet-cleaning itch? How do you go about it, and what works best for you? Any important steps you think I’m missing?

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Five Quick Snaps

Before starting my new job this week, I zipped back to Minnesota to see my family and celebrate/mourn the end of choosing my own schedule for work. My experience there can mostly summed up by the word “tea” and the phrase “young adult fiction,” but we also slipped in a trip to the zoo. This bear was sacked out with his rear end up against the glass window. No shame. Perhaps we can all learn something about unselfconsciousness…

Another zoo moment- the elusive sea dragon.

Further evidence that spring has sprung. If you’re ever around the Financial District on a Thursday, heading east toward the Ferry Building and the farmer’s market is well worth your time.

Ok, so I know that cats are the “it” animal right now, with cute little videos and them dominating YouTube and with the Cats of Instagram feed growing every day. But I still think guinea pigs are pretty darn cute.

And sometimes, even the shy ones get their own personal spotlight.

Happy Friday, everyone! Any big weekend plans?

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Sanfranista in India, Sarah in India

As I flew back from Minnesota on Monday, I powered up my iPod for the first time in a year. Looking through my library brought me back to college, when so much of my life focused on making mix CDs and moshing at punk concerts. I know that scent memory powerfully links past and present, but there’s nothing like hearing a long-forgotten song to bring me screeching back half a decade.

I’m writing this post on my iPhone while flying back to San Francisco on Monday night, and when it goes up on my blog Tuesday morning, I start my first day of work. I will have opened the door to a life in fashion as I close the door, at least for now, on being a therapist. I know I have a penchant for the dramatic and can get misty at the drop of a hat, but it feels like the start of something new and so different from how I’ve ever lived.

Before I started writing, I cued up the ambiguously-titled “On The Go 6” playlist on my old iPod. Clearly, I was in a major pop-punk phase, since it’s dominated by New Found Glory, Roses Are Red, and Fall Out Boy. As faulty as my memory can be, I remember exactly where I was when I made this playlist. It was the end of 2006 when I was traveling in India, and I was dreaming about this guy Jim who I’d met six months before.

I was sure I’d never see him again, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him.

I’d gone through a lot of changes while traveling, from chopping off a foot of blonde curls to witnessing gender violence and realizing that I had to do something about it. The day I made that playlist, I had no idea that soon I’d be dating that daydreamed-about boy and that one day he’d become my husband. I had no idea that learning from women in India would shift my future career from actress to therapist.

I didn’t know these things, but I had the same feeling then that I have right now- that everything was about to change in the most amazing way.

So, with the punchy chords of Good Charlotte ringing in my ears, I’m suddenly 19 again and excited and scared and strangely ready to take the next step forward in my life. I hope you don’t mind coming with me- I have a feeling I’m going to have a lot to say.

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