Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Your Shitty-Chic New Year's To-Do List

I always start off the new year with a to-do list. They are mostly things I have been putting off since Thanksgiving when the holidays gear up (like getting my passport renewed) or things I wanted to do in 2009 but never really got around to it (like painting my kitchen/living room in my tenement). The whole idea is to purge your life of things that are cluttering it up and to streamline. Here is the Shitty-Chic January 2010 to-do list for your wardrobe, your home, and your life. Enjoy and here's to gettin' shit done!

Wardrobe to-do's:

1- Try on everything in your closet (except summer items). If it doesn't fit, decide whether it can be made marvelous again by your tailor, should get a new lease on life at the Goodwill, or is headed to the glue factory. You must leave out all emotion and get real with yourself. Brutal honesty is what we are going for, so enlist a real friend if needed. If you headed into a shop today and tried the garment on, would you buy it? If you haven't worn it in a year it's time to clear out the dead wood unless it is something designer, vintage, or fabulous.

2- Find yourself a good tailor. This can bring back garments on the brink of going the the Goodwill and make newer items fit like a glove. Always get jeans hemmed, collared button downs fitted, and dresses morphed to a flattering length. I use GG Cleaners & Tailors at Thompson and Grand. They are marvelous.

3- Take any shoes that are looking worn, need new heels, etc. to the shoe repair shop immediately. I notice that I wait, and wait, and wait some more to get this done until I have one pair of heels left (I'm really not a huge shoe person). Paying $30 to get your shoes rehabbed is much less than buying new ones, and they will look like brand new. I go to Louis Shoes on 77th between 1st and 2nd Ave. Arty's on 8th Ave. between 22nd and 23rd is also amazing.

4- Coordinate your hangers. I think I would jump out the window if I had a mix of hangers, but maybe that is a little OCD peeking out. I like the white plastic ones I get from Kmart (and right now they are on super sale). Just as long as things coordinate.

5- Go through your socks and undies drawer. Trash any undies or bras that you wouldn't want to get caught wearing on a hot date. Socks with holes are no bueno, and there is nothing better than putting on a new pair.

Home to-do's:

1- Install dimmers. This is a no brainer when it comes to lighting. I did this about a year ago with no help of an electrician, and it was really easy and costs roughly $20 per socket. Head to Home Depot where they have the best price and great selection. I saved the old fitting so I can take my dimmer with me when I move out.

2- January is a great time for an uber deep cleaning. This way you get in the habit of doing it every six months. Move the furniture, clean out the sofa cushions, and scrub your tile. Also, go through your fridge and cupboards. Look for things that have expired or look completely unappetizing.

3- Painting is one of my projects this coming month. I have gotten tired of the yellow in my kitchen that makes me want to strangle small children, and I am switching so a lovely blue called "Soft Chinchilla". Yum. Painting is the cheapest way to change a room you have tired of. It will run you about $25 a gallon at Home Depot plus the $10 painter's kit with rollers, brushes, etc. which I always use.

4- This is a bit more extravagant, but installing a soft-close toilet seat is really the ultimate luxury on the home front. Really, if I could live in a soft-close world I would. Home Depot has seats made by Kohler for under $50. How often do you buy a toilet seat? Go for it!

5- Purchase some really nice hand soap for the bathroom. It's the little things that make a difference in life, and this is an affordable luxury for anyone. Anthropologie has great little soaps that always seem to be on sale.

Life to-do's:

1- Start writing thank you notes. Yes, with pen and paper and stamps and envelopes. Shocking, I know. How much do you love getting pieces of mail that aren't bills or magazines? This is fast becoming a lost social grace, and I am determined to not let it die!

2- Schedule all your doctor and dentist check ups in January. Not only does your deductible renew at the first of the year, but scheduling in a certain month every year helps you to not forget. AND, be sure to go to the dermatologist once a year for a skin cancer screening no matter how pale or tan you think you are.

3- Get yourself a planner. I always get the Moleskine day planner in red. I just love writing things down, but do whatever you need to keep organized (blackberry, outlook, etc.).

4- Start working out. I am totally not a gym person. I like to run outside, do yoga, etc., so find whatever works for you. Maybe you want to ride your bike to work or go power walking in Central Park with friends like soccer moms (not that I do that or anything...). Just find something you like and mix it up every now and then. I find that I sleep so much better when I am working out and am an all around happier person.

5- Don't be too hard on yourself! There are a lot of inflated expectations with January 1st like it's some magical day. News flash: you can start doing things any day of the year. Just remember that clutter leads to chaos in your life, a soothing home environment is your getaway from the day, and being organized leads to making time for yourself.

What is on your to-do list to start the new year?


  1. Great post! Going through the wardrobe is an excellent idea, I will be doing that this weekend! My sister loves when I clean out my closet, because the first stop is her, then Goodwill after she "shops". And I feel you on the hangers - I prefer the huggable hangers from Target / BB&B - a little pricey, but they force me not to pull my clothes off hangers by one corner, and nothing slips off. I love them! I've had to buy them slowly though, so I'm a mixed-hanger gal right now and it does drive me crazy.
    You are right about having a good tailor too - Robert just took 2 blazers to get fitted for only $35 each, and will be taking all his dress shirts to be slimmed, much cheaper than replacing his entire work wardrobe!
    Also on my new year's to-do list: charity work. I've focused plenty on myself in the past year, about time I focus on others.
    Happy New Year!!

  2. I love it Nikki! I also took a ton of stuff to the tailors over the past few months and have breathed new life into some great items that were looking not so flattering. Good call on the hangers too. I am horrible about stretching the necks on shirts with hangers. So lazy. Haha. Happy New Years to you and Rob!


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