December Goals

It's December 8th and I'm just now getting to my monthly goals.  December is such a busy month for us bc besides Christmas we have several birthdays. 

#1 - Top of my list is to slow down.  I mean realllllly slowwwww dowwwwwwn.  Some days I feel I'm torn in a million directions and seriously I hate that feeling.  If I must sit down, close my eyes and just breathe for 2 minutes that is what I'll do because it's not pretty around here if I'm a wreck.

#2 - Is it too late to put a gift guide together?  Probably but I may squeeze one out over this weekend.

#3 - Decorate.  Omg, Instagram is full of gorgeous home decor and I have not done one single thing to Christmas this place up.  I know there are those of you who adore Christmas.  Would you please come over and decorate my house?!

#4 - Try to stay out of stores until after the holidays.  Is it just me or have the stores been nuts since before Thanksgiving.  The lines are so long and there is a frenzy in the air.  Isn't this supposed to be a peaceful time of year?

#5 - Through all this remember that the holidays are a highly charged time of year for me.  So many expectations and comparing.  I must check myself daily and not get sucked into society's idea of a perfect family/home/holiday/etc.

Do share your goals in the comments bc I love reading them.


My New Closet With Costs & Details Galore

So this is it.

A far cry from this.

I'm stupid in love right now.

I haven't had much time to style it yet.  I've somewhat organized the drawers but I know with time they'll change.

This is the plan and how we squeezed every square inch out of the space.  And the great part about a Closet World closet is that it's actually built in.  All the shelves can be moved and if I want to change the configuration, say add hanging bars or subtract shelves it can be done.  This is a tiny closet, only 4 feet wide.  There are six drawers.  Each drawer is 16" square and vary from 5" deep to 10" deep.  I paid $1650 for this and I have to say it was worth it.  How can a closet make me so happy 😄?

That vintage suitcase is now holding my journal and my morning inspirational reading.  This could easily be stored somewhere else if I need the space for more clothes.

Can you see up there on the very top of that shelf (v hard to photograph)?  This will be great for extra storage.  ATM, I have my silk scarves in the Chanel box.  The center box holds my summer t-strap sandals and the box to the left is holding my extra Hanes V-neck Tees because I don't need all 12 of them at once.

Before they came to install we wrapped the closet in bead board to help blend in with the character of the old house.  I am so glad we did because it is gorgeous irl.

This is all my jewelry piled onto an old ironstone platter.  It's a collection of my mom's pearls and some of mine.  It's all junk but I don't care bc I love it all. My favorite perfume that I cannot say enough about.  I swear it lifts my mood 100% when I put it on.  And side note, right now it is a gift with purchase.  Last year when I got mine for Christmas they included a separate box of beautiful Chanel makeup samples that were lovely. I'm also keeping The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Spray here to spritz my sweaters with in between use.  It's all so gorgeous I could die.

This is the top drawer which is 5" deep.  It holds my sunglasses and clutches.  Right now I have my 5 belts rolled in a box until I find a better solution for them.  Ikea has great closet storage items and I'm dying to go and check them all out.

The second drawer is storing my unmentionables so I skipped showing that 😬.  This is the third drawer which is holding my short and long sleeve tees and a couple of warm scarves.

The fourth drawer is holding my cardigans and a couple of sweaters. I love these Laundress Lavender Pouches too.  Little everyday details are so sweet.

The fifth drawer is holding my pajamas.  Boring, sorry L.

And finally the sixth drawer which is the deepest at 10" is holding exercise gear.

It has the capacity to hold 18 pairs of shoes which you can see is not full, proving what an 😇 I am.

One of my favorite features is the pull out clothing bar.

Overall I'm thrilled.  Like I said in my last post, as hard as it was to pull the trigger on this, the harder part was actually purging.  It was a ton of agonizing work but I can't tell you enough how good this feels tho.  I'd like to say that everything in the closet now is perfect but it isn't.  There are 2 dresses hanging that are too short.  My workout gear is really in bad shape too.  I have 2 dresses in my mending/alteration basket and I really want to sell my Everlane Vneck cashmere sweater in order to get a crew neck but these are all minor issues.  I still have things in the basement that I'm going through and donating and finding new homes for via my my eBay and also giving away.  If there is something I have and you want just ask because there is a good chance I'm getting rid of it! 

This is phase one of addressing the storage issues in a one closet house.  2018 will be the year of letting go here at The Gardener's Cottage.  Step 2 will be adding an armoire to the office to function as a coat closet.  Of course we will then have to find a place to put all our books that are stored in there and that is going to be hard.  Another thing we are thinking about adding is a sink console with storage in the bathroom.  I love the pedestal sink because it looks so airy but a little bit of storage would be SO nice.  So these are just some things we are thinking about.  Thank you so much for reading and helping me along this journey. I think I've covered it all but ask questions and I'll be sure to answer in the comments. xo

My New Closet Part I

I'm going to try and not make this so complicated but it kind of is.  I don't know what has gotten into me lately.  Whether it's age or just general frustration but getting this closet has been the most fantastic thing. I recently wrote about switching over my summer wardrobe to a winter one here.  It did feel good getting things seasonally swapped out but then just as I was finished, a heat wave hit us again and all my clothes were now down in the basement. Talk about frustrating. That's when it hit me, why am I even swapping out my clothing?  I never did this before I started blogging.  I decided then and there that I was finally going to make this closet work smarter and maybe me too 😌.

I called Closet World and had a consultation with a lovely woman named Silvia who happened to be from France.  She was wonderful because she understood small closets and I gotta tell you she squeezed every inch out of mine.  My budget was set at  $1500 and I went over by $150.  This is a huge splurge for me, huge. But I had saved up the money and got exactly what I wanted.

But all that turned out to be the easy part.  The hard part is going through the clothing again and finally, once and for all trying to get it right.  I took every single item of clothing and every accessory I owned and laid them out and tried them on, one by one, and some things 2 or 3 times.  I came up with a few rules that helped me decide what was staying and what wasn't.

1.  If the item was just too worn out or just had seen its day.  I love vintage clothing much more than new clothing.  But vintage things can have small holes or fading, etc.  You trade that with superior fabric and workmanship tho. So I carefully went through everything and if it was too tattered, it went bye bye. Also, I still need new yoga pants too.

2.  If the item doesn't fit, even in the smallest way it's gotta go.  It's funny how just a little thing like the way a zipper lays or a slight pulling somewhere on the garment will make me pass it up when getting dressed.  I had more things like this in my closet than I realized.

3.  Style. I never thought I'd have a style change in me but I do.  And this I believe is coming with age because I just have to be comfortable, it's a priority now.  No more suffering for fashion.  I cannot even for an hour bear to be in anything too tight or that just feels wrong.  And I want more simplicity.  My lifestyle is so basic and I just don't need a ton of dresses and fancier things.

You may be wondering where Larry's clothes are 😁.  He now has all his clothes in the armoire that I used to dominate. It's all his now.  And basically it's almost empty bc a clothes horse he is not.

So far I've taken 3 trunk fulls of clothing and accessories to my favorite charity shop here in town.  I've sold things on my eBay and I have quite a few more things I will be listing asap.

I will put together a post on the actual process of getting the closet designed and built and what it looks like now.  Like I said, designing the closet was a piece of cake compared to the ruthless purge.  At the beginning of the process it seemed torturous and by the end it was so freeing.  I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

So there is much more coming so stay tuned. x

Closet Inspiration

I am sitting here waiting for the guys from Closet World to get here and install my closet.  I'm so excited I feel like a kid on Christmas morning waiting for everyone to wake up.  I have a lot of expectations about this and historically that doesn't work out so well for me. 😬

The above photo is a pairing of Michael Kors velvet mules that I happened upon at TJ Maxx while looking for hangers.  I thought they would work well for the holiday/birthday season so I splurged and paid the $30 for them.  I have paired them here with an old vintage green sweater and a little clutch that I had made by a gal on Etsy with the fabric I purchased in London at the Designers Guild store.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite closet inspiration photos that I have collected for years while I'm patiently waiting.


Checking In On November Goals

1.  Hanging the mirror over the bed.  Done.  It wasn't easy but it took less than a minute.  Haha.  We put a nail in the darkest part of the wallpaper pattern and to be honest, I can't even see it - and I know where it is.  Granted I'm blind.

2.  Closet World is coming on Thursday to install a custom closet here.  To say I'm happy would be the understatement of the year.  We've been here 10 years and I've waxed and waned over this idea since the start.  I will do a detailed post, including costs for you.  Meanwhile I'm on pins and needles - in a good way.

3.  Having Thanksgiving at a restaurant was such a great idea.  Unfortunately our plans changed because L got sick.  Actually he was severely dehydrated from a long hard hike that morning.  He's just now feeling normal today.  It was scary and a good lesson about staying hydrated that's for sure.

4.  My shopping list is made and I have exactly 3 gift cards to pick up.  That's it.  😁

5.  As you can probably guess, I'm having trouble with making gift guides.  It's hard for me to encourage shopping, esp this time of year because it's being shoved down our throats already and I don't want to add to that.  I did find some lovely things and I will try to get over my anxiety and just publish it. 

Hope your goals are coming right along.  x

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