<i>Key to An Organized Life May Begin in the Closet</i>

Contributing Writer, Isabellas

Are you reduced to a pulp of quivering frustration every morning because outfit searching is like beating a path through the Amazon? Are you constantly late for work in the mornings leaving behind a mountain of clothes and shoes to clean up after a hard days work?

Are you spending the night before or the day of a big event trying on everything in your closet only to have to run out to shop at the last minute? Is your wardrobe cram packed but you have still nothing to wear?

If yes is the answer to any of these questions, then your life is severely compromised and hampered because you are either too unorganized, overwhelmed or just plain lazy to bring order to your closet.

The consequences mean less time with your partner or kids, a lowered sense of self-esteem and countless other negative feelings and time lost. If you can identify with this and are sick of the chaos, then it’s time to do something about it.

As with anything you want to change, you must have a plan and put it into action. If done right the results will have more of a dramatic impact on your life than you could ever have imagined, the only requirement being a little time, organization, planning and action.

As women, we go through several life changing stages that define who we are at the particular point in our lives. We are constantly re-inventing ourselves to become who we need to be to go through those stages but much of the time those stages can bring about feelings of depression, loneliness and low self-esteem.

If we can learn who we are and how we want the world to perceive us, only then can we learn how to package and present ourselves. Before we can package and present, we have to purge and organize.

This in turn brings a stronger sense of self, which in turn boosts self-esteem, which is required to get through all of the stages with ease, grace and style.

How do we accomplish this? Define what your stage is. Have you just had a baby? Are you raising kids? Searching for Mr. Right? Experiencing a midlife crisis or in the middle of menopause?

Next define what your shape is. What is it that looks good on you? It’s usually the things that make you feel like you look good when you’re wearing them. What are your best colors? They are the colors that make you the happiest when you have them on. Does everything fit correctly?

If it doesn’t fit perfectly get rid of it. If it doesn’t look good on you get rid of it. If the color doesn’t complement you or if you don’t feel you’re at your best while wearing it—get rid of it! Every pair of shoes you haven’t worn in the last year, get rid of! This goes for jewelry, cosmetics, toiletries and anything that is mucking up your life and taking space. The ONLY way to accomplish the goal of perfect packaging and higher self-esteem is to clean it out and straighten it up. If you can’t accomplish this on your own invite a trusted friend to help or hire a professional.

Packaging starts with undergarments. Get fitted professionally for the right size bra and don’t wear undergarments that pinch skin or fat around the sides. Try boy-shorts (not tight) or go without, no VPL’s allowed.

Now get organized. Separate all seasonal clothing and store. Hang as much as possible nicely and facing the same direction preferably on plastic or padded hangers—no more wire hangers. If possible hang outfits together. Fold sweaters, tees and denim in small manageable piles by color. Hang shoes in shoe racks or in door pouches, or you can label the boxes with pictures of the shoe on the outside of the box.

Make a corkboard with nails or hooks to display your jewelry and hang it in your closet or on the back of a door. Make a belt display or hang them with outfits.

Whew! This all sounds like a lot of work and maybe it is but the time and money it will save you as well as the self-esteem it will create will make you a new person.

Ever seen those people that look put-together all the time? Does it seem like they get waited on first? Receive the promotion first? Have the man of their dreams and are seemingly content and happy all of the time? Well, they do and they are and you can be too!

Follow this outline and get through life’s stages happier and looking put-together all of the time. You won’t even have to make a trip through the jungle in the mornings, especially before you have coffee.

Kim Abdo is owner of Isabellas, an upscale fashion store located in Tulsa’s Brookside on 35th Street just east of Peoria Avenue. The phone number is 744-9100.

Updated 10-26-2006

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