Recently, I watched an old episode of that famous sitcom about marriage, “Everybody Loves Raymond”. It featured “Debra” getting ready for a special night out with “Raymond”. They had pre-set a time of departure for their night out. When it reached the time they had agreed to, he went to the car to wait. Unfortunately while he was waiting, she got a curling iron stuck in her hair but he couldn’t hear her cries for help. In his frustration, he decided to leave without her. She walked around the rest of the night with a curling iron hanging from her head until he returned. Then the chaos commenced!
Although hilarious, it was a clear reminder of the realities and often the frustration of a “man in waiting.” Beauty is very important and most of us will go to great links in pursuit of that beauty, even if it means being late. I thought sharing my “Top Ten Tips” for a quick departure while keeping the beauty in tact might be a great topic for this month’s blog. Let’s begin with getting organized before the time arrives for beating the clock. Here's my “Top Ten”!
Step 1: Changing Out Seasonal Clothing-First, wash and dry all seasonal items like sweaters or swim suits and shorts that are only used during that time of year. Roll them to save space and put them away in an extra drawer or an extra piece of luggage you don’t use often. A piece of luggage is a great place to store seasonal clothes until next season. It saves drawer space when drawers are limited. Then you can tuck the luggage away underneath a bed or in the top of the closet until time to use them next year.
Step 2: What About Tailoring and Dry-cleaning?- Before putting items away in need of attention, get them done and then stored. They'll be ready to go when you need them next season. This is also the time to make donations of things that are outdated, too small, or no longer needed.
Step 3: Shopping for New Items-As you organize seasonal clothes, make a list of things you need to buy. For example, if you have a pair of shorts but no top to match, write it on a shopping list. Keep this list in your purse. Gather all items that need a match and put them in a gift bag in the car. Then over the next couple of weeks, if you run up on an item to match something on the list, you can retrieve it from the car and try them on together. Once you’ve made your purchase, put it away.
Step 4: Think “Department Store” Display- Another idea I use to speed things along is matching and hanging outfits together. When I go to grab something to wear, the outfit is ready. If you’re unsure about this idea, for fear of flexibility, then hang the shirts and pants that are always worn together, then hang the jeans and tops beside each other in one area to mix and match. Now you have order and flexibility.
Step 5: Do Accessories Matter?- This step has gotten me out the door the quickest. I match accessories to clothing by placing the jewelry in the pocket of the shirt or jacket, or I place the jewelry in a zip lock bag, use a hole punch to put a hole below the zip, then hang the bag over the hanger along with any belt that might be needed.
Step 6: What about the PURSE?- It's a challenge changing purses at the last minute. Recently I finally gave in and bought a “purse organizer” to move from purse to purse quickly. Their not too expensive and they enable you to actually enjoy your “purse” life more by easily switching purses without the hassle. If you’re like me, when you clean out your purses, you’ll find all kinds of things you thought you’d lost like a pair of earrings, a lipstick, or a membership card you needed last week, oh yeah and ten dollars in change. No more hassle with this one piece organizer! Once your ready to head out the door, grab the purse you want and put in the organizer and out the door you go!
Step 7: How's It Hanging?- I’ve always struggled with my purses hanging in utter chaos on a rack with hooks which can be a real time grabber. Last week I realized a way to increase the life of a purse and speed up the choosing process. If you match each purse with another purse of the same shape but smaller in size, you can put a purse inside another purse, cutting the number of purses that need to be hung in half. You've increased the life of the purse by putting a purse inside a purse. The inner purse helps the outer purse hold its shape and the inner purse also holds its shape because the outer purse supports it. Its a perfect marriage! I leave the handles of the inner purse exposed so I can tell what purse is where and “wa-lah” my purse hook is now organized. I can see all my choices and grab one and go.
Step 8: What's in Your Make-up Drawer?- I suggest reorganizing the make up with the change of every season, getting rid of old mascara’s and expired liquids. Most of us would probably agree there are many items we never use or only use rarely. If this is the case, clean out the drawer, placing only the items you actually use every day in the space. Store the rest in a different place. If you have doubles of things, like mascara, eye liner etc., consider making yourself a travel makeup bag. Fill it with the extras you always use. Put the bag in a separate drawer to grab when you’re heading out-of-town so you don't disrupt your regular makeup space. The time saved by easy to find, de-cluttered items will surprise you.
Step 9: A Bad Hair Day?- I do the same thing as with cosmetics. I have a travel bag for hair items pre-packed for trips. I only keep the items I use regularly in the daily drawer. I also bought a couple of dollar store containers for organization purposes. I use a different container for different items. I used double-sided tape to help hold the containers in place so they don’t shift around when I open and close the drawer.
Step 10: How Can The Nobleman Help?- Since our “man in waiting” has much less to do for the “ball” than we do, I suggest having a conversation over dinner about things he can do to help you get ready faster to create less frustration for him. On days like Sunday, we have a standing agreement that once he’s dressed he does breakfast while I get a little peace and quiet to focus on my beating the clock. After all, women are givers all week and this is his change to give a little love. We also agreed many years ago he would give me a 15 minute and 5 minute warning of our expected time of departure. That way I know how much time until the carriage departs and I can plan accordingly.
Clearly, having a plan in place can reduce the clock watching and toe tapping as well as reduce the risk of conflict. By doing the "Top 10" you’re prepared to dress as the beautiful queen in all her radiance, cutting down on the chaos at your palace and putting peace in your powder room again!