Summer Sale

Summer Sale

There are sooo many good sales out there right now. It is THE perfect time to get a jump-start on your fall wardrobe, even though it is STILL July.  Getting organized NOW will save you TIME AND MONEY later. A pre-fall wardrobe consult will get your summer stuff in order to put away and get you on track for an organized autumn.

Need more motivation???

I am offering a sale! If you schedule a session with me before the end of July for the month of August or September you will get $50 off a 3 hour session, so for $150 (normally $200) I can:

Take your closet from this…

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to this…

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or your child’s closet from this:

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to this…

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Not sure if you need the full 3 hours? My hourly rate is $15 off! $60 instead of $75!

In 1 hour I can…

organize your jewelry and accessories…

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help you move into a new space…

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convert all your hangers…

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organize your drawers…

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pack for a trip!

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Every consult I do is unique and personal. There is no “one size fits all” type of service. YOU are unique. YOUR life is unique, so YOUR needs will be customized to you.  Every service starts with a phone call so I can make sure you get exactly what you need.

Don’t forget I can help you find money in your closet! I work with many local consignment shops and I will do the work for you. I will go through and tell you what you can get money for and what you can donate. And I take it all with me when I leave so you can clear the clutter.

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My clients have ranged from 8 years old to 80, and include women and men. You cannot believe how many men really appreciate having a clean and organized closet space. It makes a great birthday or anniversary gift.

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Personal shopping and styling services are also available in a package or by the hour. Sometimes it just takes a fresh set of eyes to shop your own closet and put together your existing pieces in a whole new way, without ever having to purchase anything new. If you do need to add to your wardrobe I work to shop within your budget to find what you need.

I found this Kate Spade bag for a client at a designer consignment shop for a steal! It was brand new and still had the original price tag.

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I can also help with finding the right details to make your closet perfect for YOU.

This ottoman is the perfect piece for inside a closet. It doubles as a seat and a step stool, and adds some fashion to your decor.

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Anxious about going through all your STUFF? I can bring coffee, wine, or snacks. Whatever  you need to relax and make it fun! I absolutely love my job and can’t wait to help you get excited about your wardrobe too! Email me today at suzannegaffney@msn.com or call my cell at 610.517.2983 to set up your appointment!

real style is being yourself

Drawer Wars

Find calm among the chaos in your drawers….

I am a completely visual learner. I need to see something to understand it. I am also a visual dresser. I need to see it to wear it. My closet is lacking in the space I want so my dresser drawers have to be used wisely. I know for many people, especially my own children, folded clothes in drawers do not stay nicely folded. Unless you are a man, or, you opt for the LIFO method, (the LAST shirt put in is the FIRST one out), you will usually find  yourself rifling through a pile to find what you need. You end up with a jumbled mess, squeezing everything in just so you can jam the drawer shut.

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The Solution?

STEP 1 – Empty the drawer.

Take everything out of the drawer and throw it onto the floor or the bed.

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STEP 2 – Sort.

Are you really wearing that white t-shirt with the yellow in the underarms? No. Or for that matter please don’t. Scared you won’t find a new one? Write it down in that essential notebook I keep bugging you about. And trust me, when you don’t have one it will force you to go out and buy one. Holding on to a bad one just because you are afraid of not finding a new one is bad logic. It’s like when you keep dating the jerk guy just because you are afraid of being alone.

The going, going, GONE pile.

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STEP 3 – Rethink how you fold.

The usual method looks something like this:

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Try folding in thirds, like this:

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STEP 4 – Organize.

I prefer to sort by color. Printed t’s go in one column, solid colors in the others. I don’t worry about v-neck or crew-neck because when you fold in thirds you can see the neckline. Although I do keep all my short sleeves in one drawer, tanks in another, and long sleeves in another one. Yes, I have a t-shirt problem.

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STEP 5 – Admire your clean and organized drawers!

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*INSIDER TIP – HANG YOUR FAVS.

I do have some favorite t’s that are my go-to pieces, they are the ones that I prefer to hang to dry. I like to keep those out and hang them in my closets.That way wrinkling is never an issue, and they are right there in my view when I need them. I can grab and go.

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* INSIDER TIP – PACE YOURSELF.

Truth be told this really doesn’t take long. You can do it while are watching tv at night, while you are on the phone with a friend, or in between sets up sit-ups, (not me, but maybe you will). You can even bribe a child to help you. Keep going and you can apply this method to all of your drawers. I do the same thing with my “I-don’t-excercise-but-I-wear-excercise-clothes.”

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I organized the zip-ups on the right, and yoga tanks on the left.

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Sorry for the dark pic but this is the bottoms drawer. I sort it by shorts and tennis skirts, (I tried it once), capris, and full length leggings and yoga pants.

So grab a glass of wine and get going! You will be so proud of yourself! You may even be motivated enough to put away laundry. Maybe. Okay, probably not.

Like the idea but still feel like this is just not fitting into your schedule? Call me! You can go out to dinner and by the time you come back it will be all done! And I promise not to spill any wine while I am sorting 🙂

It’s all fun and games until someone loses a gallbladder.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses a gallbladder.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses a gallbladder.

Do you know what your gallbladder does? Neither did I until a few weeks ago. I was hit with what can only be described as labor type contraction pains in my upper abdomen and ended up in the ER.  For whatever reason my gallbladder has gone kaput so it’s coming out on Tuesday. I feel fortunate there is nothing more serious wrong but none the less I am not looking forward to be being down and out for a few days. In the interim I have a hodge podge of updates from this past week.

#1. Shop Till You Drop

Shopaholics is an annual event at The Princeton Bar and The Whitebrier Restuarant in Avalon New Jersey. It’s the Olympics of shopping and trust me when I tell you I have trained for this all year. With over 30 vendors offering merchandise at 70% off this is a fantasy come to life for me. I was, however, on my best behavior and kept my purchases focused. After a couple of glasses of wine it is easy enough to convince yourself, and everyone around you, that you need to purchase 10 pairs of shoes.  I did buy the perfect pair of warm weather wedges ( perfect for our upcoming trip to Florida) by Toms.

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Who knew they made these cute heels?? They were $30  and they will match 75% of my spring and summer wardrobe. My red Toms flats were my saving grace during last year’s field trip fiasco.

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My good friend Erin, who was brave enough to shop the chaos with me.IMG_2330

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#2. Leopard Love

When it is the Olympics of shopping you need to show up in a competitive uniform. The sock bun is the perfect cute updo to keep my hair out of my face so I can stay focused. Comfy shoes and a hands free bag? Check and check courtesy of a Friday trip to Ashley Austin’s in Kennett Square.  Ashley and Lauren helped me pick out this perfect studded chain handbag (which easily coverts to a clutch with a quick detach of the chain!) and these to die for loafers. Navy leopard whaaaaat??? These are so cute for spring with denim skinnies . Perfect for navigating the major sales of shopaholics!

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#3. CAbi Fever

Some of you may know that I also work as a show assistant to Patty Quercetti, a consultant for the CAbi line of clothing. If you have never attended a show you are missing out. If you host a show Patty brings the collection right into your own home where I help her to set up and have a mini fashion show. You can eat, drink and shop with your girlfriends. So fun! I worked a show with Patty last week and below are some of my favorite looks from the Spring/Summer collection.

*Insider Tip –

I know it feels early but start your spring and summer shopping NOW. The fashion industry calendar does not work like our calendar. Stores get some of the best of the warm weather collection now through March. Take the time now to go through last year’s summer clothing. Edit out any outdated t-shirts, especially the whites. If you are like me I put them away just fine and when I bring them back out it looks like a cat has urinated in the underarms. I don’t have a cat and I do wear antiperspirant so I don’t know what happens. Also take out anything that may need alterations if your size has changed and march over to a tailor. And of course take out anything you know you don’t like or just won’t wear anymore. Consignment stores are already accepting spring and summer inventory. Make sure to take a note of what you are discarding and make a list of any new pieces you may need. It will help you to keep a focused shopping list that you can get started on ASAP.   I cannot wait until warmer weather and I am obsessed with this perfect outfit below.

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image via Pinterest

Until next time,

Suzie, and my gallbladder.

image via newgrounds.com

Less is More

I really wanted to avoid writing the cliché of “It’s a new year! Time to shed all of your stuff!” type post just because I feel like you have heard it all before. But then fate stepped in and I was forced to do a purge of a different kind.

The Thursday before Christmas I had not one gift wrapped and not one Christmas card addressed. I had a lot going on the week before both with work and with family and made the mistake of planning to pack all of my prep work into the Saturday and Sunday before Christmas Eve. On my side of the family Christmas Eve is our big main event, with my sister and I swapping back and forth over who hosts. I like the idea of hosting in theory but in practice it makes me break out into a cold sweat. Cooking and setting a sit-down table for nearly 20 is way far out of my comfort zone.

The impressive table set for the holiday on display at the lovely Longwood Gardens.
image via generousgardners.info

After a very long work day Thursday I decided to delve into my hidden shame (aka my basement) to go unpack the essentials I bring out only every other year to host dinner. Our basement is not finished but basically every square inch was covered with STUFF. So much STUFF I had started to basically open the door and toss stuff down there. As much as I can tackle a closet I did not and could not ever bring myself to tackle our basement. And just like Lindsay Lohan’s reputation, the problem was getting worse.

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I bribed my kids to help me bring some things up. My son was the first one down to the basement and promptly came back up.

THERE’S WATER! MOOOOOMMMMM!! THERE’S LOTS OF WATER!

Did I mention my husband had just left for a well-deserved and planned way in advance night out with some of my uncles?

I went downstairs. There was water, all over. Then we all saw something rather large scurry up the side of the far wall. and into the insulation.

image via smh.com.au

WTF????????

We all screamed and ran upstairs as fast as we could. My kids hurled themselves on the kitchen island screaming and crying in fear.

“HE’S GONNA EAT US!!!!!” cried my kids.

I definitely did not have enough wine in the house to handle this was my first thought. My second was that there was water pouring in and I had to figure it out, despite the fact that I feared there was a rabid ferret loose in my basement. Long story short I went back down armed with my husband on the phone but could not figure out what was leaking or why. My husband had to turn around and come back home. We had to call a plumber. We had to call the exterminator. We had to get out the wet vac. Yet again I got more use out of my Hunter boots.

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image via pinterest

The next day we ordered a 15 yard dumpster. I debated hanging a wreath on it. White trash Christmas here we come!

image via feetmeetstreet.blogspot.com

I had to be up and out of the house early to volunteer for both of my kids holiday events at their school. I held my breath in my daughter’s class during morning meeting share time where they go around the room and ask for any new news the kids want to share with the class. Thankfully my daughter didn’t offer up that we had a leak and a furry something in our basement. I held my cell phone close to me while reading The Polar Express to my son’s class, waiting for the call from the exterminator. When I did meet the exterminator at my house he had good news. What we saw climbing up the wall was actually more like this.

image via batguys.com

I can’t believe I actually just wrote that was the good news. We live very close to a very large designated open space field and the exterminator said they had happily moved into our insulation under our sun room. YUCK. Who wants to come over for dinner??? I didn’t tell anyone in my family for fear they would not show. This is harder than it sounds because, according to my husband, I have a tendency to OVERshare with my family. Especially the bad stuff, it’s like a disease where I HAVE to tell someone.

 We got the plumbing issue fixed. And spent Saturday and Sunday basically throwing out the entire contents of our basement. If it wasn’t in a bin, on a shelf, with a lid on it we tossed it. The inventory included a loveseat, futon, two large playhouses, about 5 tons of toys, and just so much extra stuff. What the heck was I keeping random baskets for anyway? We filled the dumpster to the brim. That’s a lot of STUFF.

But here’s the thing. I had been looking at this stuff for years. I could never bring myself to go through it. It was hard and I didn’t want to do it. Looking at the kids baby toys made me sad. Looking at toys we spent a lot of money on made me mad. But once we started tossing it felt so good. Like someone lifted an anvil off of my shoulders. I was so worried the kids would be sad to see all their stuff go but they helped us haul it right up the stairs and into the dumpster. By Christmas Eve morning the basement was practically empty.

And then the best thing ever happened. They took their bikes, their scooters, even the hockey net down into the basement and they played. They played and played and played. With less they enjoyed the basement so much more. We have also talked about finishing it but I saw how much fun they had with just an empty room. They had ROOM to enjoy what they did already have. Yes of course somebody promptly fell on the concrete and I panicked and threatened to make them were helmets indoors but after that they were all good. They were happy. I was happy. And I know I NEVER would have been able to part with all that stuff if it wasn’t ruined and I became forced to.

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*Insider Tip – Hire an outside party to help you shed your stuff.

One of my favorite consults was a very emotional visit. My client had called me because she had a rather large closet and it was packed to the brim. It wasn’t disorganized or messy she just knew she had hit the point of having too many clothes. A good portion of this client’s clothes were connected to her mother who had passed away a couple of years back. They were very close, like best friends. And shopping was a bonding thing for them. My client had also then inherited all of her mother’s clothes. They were the same size. And even after her mother passed she had extended family members who would buy her things that they thought her and her mother would have liked. These items were loaded with sentiment and strong ties emotionally. She called me when she knew she was ready but she knew she needed help.

We worked slowly and carefully. Some items we decided to re-work into her current wardrobe and other items we took a photo and respectfully let them go. I offer options of donating items to women in need as well as taking things to consignment so she knew these clothes were moving on. We talked about her mom, about happy memories, about the shopping tales and stories. She had those in her heart, she didn’t need to keep them all in her closet anymore.

After I left she sent me this message.

It was great working with you! When you left, I ran upstairs to my closet and shouted, “Thank you Suzie” as I can finally breathe without being burdened by my mothers clothing and the multitude of well wishing gifts from my family and friend. Thanks for helping me purge. Knowing that my discarded clothing is going somewhere is a good feeling. I continued to organize by taking my summer shirts out and putting them in an empty closet, so now, I can move my hangers to and fro and push my clothing from one side of the rack to another. Woohool! Life’s simple pleasures, thanks to you!

*Insider Tip Take stuff out of your closet.

Just because you take it out doesn’t mean you have to get rid of it. I try to keep anything I am not loving right now, whether due to style, fit (hello 5 plus pounds of Christmas cookies!), or climate changes in a guest room closet. Some will make it back in to my main closet and some I will find I am better off without. Snag an extra closet in a guest bedroom, fold and store summer clothes in an under the bed storage bin, anything to have less options in your closet. The less that is in there the more you will wear what you have. It actually forces you to come up with different combinations, to see what you really have. Kind of like those iron chef competitions where they have random ingredients to use to make a meal. Except it’s not like someone gave you polka-dot pants and a plaid flannel and is demanding a runway worthy outfit. These are things you love. Wear them!

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image via pinterest

Holiday Hell

image via library.austintexas.gov

That’s right. I said it.  I tried for a better, nicer title, I really did. But this one has been stuck in my head for about 2 weeks. I don’t mean to be all Grinch-like about this time of year but I haven’t run into one woman that doesn’t feel this way.  We all keep giving each other that quick nod of the head when we are out and about saying things like “Are you ready?” Since when did Christmas start to feel like Armageddon?

image via zazenlife.com

Oh and it is only the beginning of December. We want to be full of joy and the giving spirit but I just want to give myself a time-out.

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You know that saying about “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” The problem is when I find myself getting completely annoyed about exactly those small stuff things.

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I feel we are all dealing with it in one of two ways…

Excessive Eating…

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image via pinterest

and/or drinking…

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image via weheartit.com

Which inevitably leads to us feeling all sorts of bad about ourselves and bitter towards others.  But remember, before you beat that other  mommy with a roll of wrapping paper who says she has sent out all of her Christmas cards  AND  finished all her shopping, keep in mind that something had to give. There is a good chance that poor woman has not showered and has no clean laundry. We all make compromises. Figure out what to let go of and forgive yourself for it already.  BE NICE TO YOURSELF. So much of all this pressure is put upon ourselves BY OURSELVES. Be good to yourself and take it easy.

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via pinterest

AND VERY IMPORTANT…

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via pinterest

So how to feel good, how to get back on the groovy train of holiday happiness?  Take control of the things you can’t compromise on. For me it is an organized closet. When my closet is disorganized it feels like my entire life is disorganized. So messy closet = messy brain for me. Starting my day with a clean closet sets the tone for a more clean day.

*Insider Tip –

Try storage cubbies. They help occupy that dead space underneath your hanging clothes. I took mine right out from our discarded toy section in the basement. They had all those cute fabric bins in them that I had high hopes for of containing my sons small cars by type (trucks, racing, small, large). Hahahaha – what was I thinking?

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This room only looked this way for about 24 hours.

They do a much better job at organizing my pants. Skinny Jeans, colored jeans, Flare and bootcut, Black skinny pants, Leggings. These are my go tos to start my day, my uniform during this busy season.  Keeping them folded up high was annoying, I couldn’t tell what was what until I drug it down and unfolded it. And chances are I am in a rush and not getting them put back up high.  A very small thing to be annoyed at, I realize this. But for me it is the small stuff that drives me nuts. So if you make small changes than make you happy then go for it.

Wasted space…

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Useful space…

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*Insider Tip –

Also treat yourself to something. I know that sounds awful and some you will probably say that is against the Christmas spirit but I’m not talking about purchasing a car and putting a bow on it out in your own driveway for yourself and completely neglecting everyone else. I mean something little. A candle that makes you happy, a manicure, a sparkly piece of inexpensive jewelry.

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image via pinterest

In the meantime be nice and gothrough the holidays with a smile. I truly believe that happiness is contagious, annoying sometimes but usually contagious.

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via pinterest

And hopefully when January comes you can sit back and relax. Okay not really but you can try.

image via smh.com.au

Oh and if you are in the area Thursday is Ladies Shopping Day in Kennett Square – you can put my advice into action 😉 And come visit me!!