Saturday, July 4, 2015

52 Four Week "Wait-No-More" Organizing Challenge! Week 4 - Master Closet (and a link party)

Truth be told, I am feeling a little sad that this is my last "Wait No More Challenge" reveal.  I know this challenge wasn't for everyone, but it sure did this girl's body, mind, soul and home a whole lot of good! 


Little by little, our master bedroom closet had been falling apart.  Piles were forming, clothing needed to be pared down and just about every last drawer was holding a dirty secret.  I shared those secrets earlier this week here, and although I barely hit my deadline, I was shooting our final photos at 10:50 p.m. Friday night!  Whew!  Down to the wire!

But before I get into the nitty gritty, let's take a look at a few of the before photos:


This room is tucked far in the depths of our lower level and can become easy to neglect since Bryan and I are the only folks to use it or see it.  There is no pressure to keep it clean or tidy, other than for our own satisfaction.  Because our closet area was feeling that neglect, we were feeling frustrated.  Each day when I wake up, I head directly to our closet to select my clothing.  When I lay in bed at night, it is the last space I see before I close my eyes.  This space really does impact us more than we realized, and I knew it was the perfect candidate for our final project of the organizing challenge.  Clothing piles, jewelry piles, missing makeup, messy drawers galore... our closet was begging for some love and attention.

And let's be honest, my hubby uses his wardrobe and a couple smaller drawers and the rest is on me.  I have no idea how clean or messy his storage areas are, and I am OK with that!  He was off the hook for this project with the exception of a little vanity lighting project.  I had a lot of work ahead of me.

As always, I started by emptying out every area of the room that needed to be organized this week.  That included my wardrobe, drawers, jewelry and vanity area.


I was hoping to post more over the course of the week as I worked, but I ended up giving every last spare second of my time to the project and making a big mess while I tackled it all at once.  We had a very busy week, so I didn't even get started on the space until late Tuesday evening.  And I ended up being surprised at how big of an undertaking it became.  By the last drawer, I was definitely ready to be done, but at the same time, I was completely in my element.  I have so much love for taking a messy space and sorting things down, thinking things out and putting small special touches on them.

(funny how I didn't even notice my dresses jumbled in the bottom drawer when I put them away, but seeing them now they bugged me enough to go fix them after writing this post)
 
This space has really evolved over the past few years, and I think it has gotten better with age.  We started with a blank slate in 2011, and because we were refinishing our entire lower level, we were on a very tight budget.  Our closet area also has lower ceilings due to duct work, so when it came to finding concealed storage for Bryan and I, we were a little limited with options.  We selected two very inexpensive and generic wardrobes from IKEA.  We also added a single four-drawer dresser from IKEA as well.

Slowly but surely we have been expanding the storage, and who knows, maybe someday we will splurge on a "real" walk-in closet design.  But for the most part, we have had no issues with storage space and are content with what we have.  What REALLY surprised me this week, was how much I actually was storing in this space.  After I emptied all of my closets and drawers onto the bed, The pile was almost as tall as me!  (Picture on left below is after I emptied only the wardrobe, I eventually added in all of my clothing drawers as well.)


The photo on the right shows my sorted down piles.  I began by touching every last piece and going through the keep/purge questions.  Anything that I said, "no" to, was tossed to the floor.  All "yes" items were categorized into new piles.  This post is going to get quite lengthy already, I am going to focus more on the sorting/purging/future organization portion of the closet next week.  But I am excited to say that I was able to say goodbye to:

  • 48 tops
  • 23 bottoms
  • 12 dresses
  • 3 belts
  • 4 scarves
  • 10 tank tops
  • 10 pajama/lounge pieces
  • 4 pairs of shoes

That is 114 items!  Say what?!  And I still had so much to store, I was actually hoping to purge down even more.  Where have I been putting it all? #crazytown

Before putting my remaining clothing back, everything was attacked with a steamer and iron.


I did re-arrange things a bit when putting all of the clothing away.  All swimwear went up in the woven basket, only shirts were hung in the closet portion, and I switched up some of the Elfa drawers.





I have used the roll-folding method in the past, and went that route again due to the amount of clothing be stored within each drawer.


My problem seems to be maintaining this system; taking things out and putting them back without disrupting the other beautifully folded and organized pieces.


Shorts and skirts were combined into a single drawer.  Dresses were loosely draped into the lower drawer.  My only complaint with our current dressing room set-up is that I don't have a proper hanging area for longer pieces.

 
I made, printed and cut new labels to accommodate the changes.  Still loving those adhesive bookplate label holders, Martha!

As I mentioned, I have more wardrobe goodness to share, but it is time for me to move on for now...

Remember my ball-o-jewelry?  No?  Me either!


My DIY jewelry pin board and bracelet holder are back in working order.  And the thrifted white tray is perfect for corralling my earrings.


The jewelry area adds a dash of fun and color to the storage nook, which I am completely gaga over.  And such simple DIY's!  What I love most is that I can easily find jewelry to dress up my clothing each day.  Everything out in the open which makes it really simple to pick something and go on with my day.

Although the jewelry display area was shaping up, I had a lot more to do.  More specifically, a lot of drawers to organize.  I began with my smaller drawers, which were being used to hold my belts and scarves, and the other for my travel toiletries.  I was initially thinking I would have to come up with new scarf storage due to my collection growing.  Turns out, after I purged three belts and four scarves, I had just enough slots in my drawer to roll and store the remaining pretties.


Belts were tossed into a basket on the shelf.

I have been a long time believer in pre-packing my toiletry bag so it is one less thing I have to think much about before I travel.  Because my travel drawer was becoming a dumping ground, my toiletries were temporarily stored in the master bathroom.  Now, they are finally back where they belong!


The box in the front holds my travel toiletry over-flow.


My make-up bag temporarily holds my travel hair dryer and straightener.


I wish I could say that was the extent of the messy drawers, but nope!  They were all jumbled messes!


The top drawer was holding my unsorted sock piles, the second drawer was divided with bins but really had no direction any longer, and the third drawer was a combo of pajamas and paint clothing.

Thanks to some foam core board from the Dollar Store (which I stole from my photography arsenal),  I now have easy peasy drawer dividers.



I also picked up some delightfully scented sachets to keep things smelling nice and fresh in each drawer.


The next drawer kept the original dividers, but now each one has a specific purpose.


And every last sock was sorted, paired and rolled.  Back into our old sock organizer they went!


But the goodness doesn't stop there!  I told you I was a buuuuusy girl!

Updating my vanity area has been on my wish list for quite some time.  I haven't been using it as frequently as I had hoped because the setup wasn't ideal for sitting down and putting on makeup.  The mirror was all wrong from a functional perspective and the lines clashed with the stenciling on the wall,  The lighting from the mini-chandelier pendants cast some shadows and I really couldn't see what I was doing all that well.  Not that putting on my makeup in the bathroom while rummaging through my makeup bag was all that bad... but there is something magical about a vanity.


Both drawers were lined with happy floral gift wrap, and I added a second set of acrylic drawer dividers.


Up until this point, I hadn't purchased a single thing to re-organize the space, but those acrylic organizers are amazing for makeup so I didn't mind the $10 splurge (HomeGoods).  The acrylic keeps things chic, but more importantly, they are super easy to clean.

I also washed all of my makeup brushes and cleaned each item as I pulled it from the powdery bottom of the cosmetic bag (more details to come next week as well).


I am just about to touch on the larger wall mirror, but I also added a smaller desktop version for up close viewing as well (Target).


Now, my absolutely favorite moment in the entire transformation!


Talk about facelift!  I moved the chair out of the way so you could get a good look at the setup; the round mirror paired with new sconces really made the vanity area so much more impactful and useful!


The mirror was a miracle Craigslist find and the sconces were inspired by these, but purchased at Wayfair for a jumbo fraction of the price (and made over of course).


Photographing lit sconces is nearly impossible, but I ended up using "daylight" reveal bulbs and through the frosted glass, they add the perfect amount of light while also deflecting any shadows from the overhead lights.


Everything about the entire setup feels a little too fancy for me (as I sit here and type in my athletic shorts and hooded sweatshirt), but that makes me appreciate this special lux moment in our home even more.  The entire room really feels like a little retreat, and multiple hours later, I am so excited to have it back in tip-top shape!








Now!  Who wants to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Target!!?  I try to avoid it because it is easy to get sucked in to impulsive purchasing of darling home decor items (heck, I have to put myself on Target freezes), but Target does offer some great products at great prices.  Just be sure to shop there with a list!  And their storage is always spot on.  You can't go wrong heading there for any organizational project on your radar.  Using random.org, one link party participant will be selected to win the gift card at the end of this week's challenge (no need to participate each week to win)!  Time to share your Week 4 stories and projects with me!


I really have been in awe of the projects you are sharing each week!  And each party is receiving over 50,000 views!  Let's break the link-up record this final week of the challenge!

UPDATE!  Congratulations to this week's winner!  #22 has been selected by Random.org as the winning participant of Week Four!  Keep an eye on your email, I will be contacting soon to coordinate your Target gift card winnings!     




I really had a lot of fun this past month getting our time management, cars, bathroom and closet back under control.  And guess what!  The spaces I organized early on in the challenge are still going strong!  Makes me a happy mama and wife!  Truly, they have really been having a positive impact on daily life.   I am so grateful that you followed along and even took on spaces yourselves.  Your comments and encouragement have been priceless to me and why I enjoy blogging so very much.  I will be sharing highlights from all of the parties once the challenge closes.


Although this week was far more work than I initially anticipated, I couldn't feel better about my time investment and all that I accomplished.  Now, I think I deserve a glass of wine, some S'mores by the fire and a ride on the pontoon.  I hope you all are having a beautiful holiday weekend as well.


You can find all of the challenge details in this post here, and also download some FREE project planning printables to help you get started.

52 comments:

  1. Where did you get the table/desk that you a using as a vanity table?!? Absolutely love it! Please email me at lindajwalker@yahoo.com if possible!!!

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    1. I purchased it from Joss & Main quite a few years ago, but it looks like this one: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Home-Decorators-Collection-Crisp-2-Drawer-Writing-Desk-in-White-HO8800/202671597

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  2. I'm a little sad, too! So, what are we doing next? :)

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    1. I always have a list of projects in the works! But I always love doing challenges with y'all also, so I will have to get another challenge going soon. :)

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  3. Ahhhhh. This just made my week!! I salivate over things like this, it's so beautiful and I really appreciate all of the the pix, tips and explanations!! We are moving to a new town next month and I'll have a whole new house to organize (but without a target)!
    I have two questions...
    Do you have a fave brand of flats? I have yet to find any thay dont cut up my heels.
    How do you wear your scarves? Im short and I feel so bulky in a scarf unless Im in heels and a bun, which is impractical for my life.
    Thanks for bringing in a little sparkle!!

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    1. Thanks sweet Nicole! As far as flats go, I was gifted a pair of Tieks and have become partial to them and believe they become more and more comfortable the more I wear them (although they are very expensive). Otherwise, I have found Nine West and J. Crew Factory to have nice flats that last and are comfortable.

      When it comes to tying scarves, my pal Cassie did a great post and I use her tips: http://www.hisugarplumsblog.com/2015/05/lets-chat-tying-scarves.html

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    2. Thanks so much! I love that you actually reply!

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  4. Those foam core drawer dividers caught my eye. Why yes, I have a stash of them too. Had never thought of them as construction material. Your space looks beautiful. It's helpful to learn that even organizing pros backslide and don't keep everything perfect. And that you do have to adapt and change as you learn what works for you and what doesn't.

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  5. Jen! It looks amazing!!!!! I love all the details! Thanks for organizing this challenge. It's been just the motivation I needed to get my house back in order after a year of dealing with a family crisis, having a baby, and an insane amount of travel. I got a late start so have only finished two spaces (need to finish adding the pretty touches to #3 and tackle #4), but I already feel like I can breathe so much easier! Thanks!

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    1. Sorry to hear you have had such a hectic year, yet so glad that you are able to work on small organizing projects. And better yet, breathe easier because of them! Thank YOU for following along! :)

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  6. The foam core board as a divider is pure genius!! I'm going to implement it into our drawers!
    ~Megan

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  7. Gorgeous! I love an organized closet!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

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  8. I'm sad the series is over too! I've really enjoyed it! It has motivated me to clean out my car and my master bedroom. Both needed serious help!

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    1. Congrats on getting your car and room cleaned out! I hope it feels amazing!

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  9. About hanging longer items. Just fold them over the hanger. It's something I've done off and on with dresses for years. Just be sure you fold them at the waist band if at all possible to avoid wrinkling. Besides that, the space looks amazing!

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  10. Jen, it looks amazing! Back to the gorgeous space it was--and then some! Thanks again for starting this challenge and letting us share some of our success stories as well :) Happy 4th!!!

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  11. Hi Jennifer,
    The transformation is unreal. Especially the sconces - how did you get the wiring of the sconces through the wardrobes?

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    1. Thank you ! I am going to do a specific post with those details this week. Stay tuned! :)

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  12. Great post! I truly believe that in order to organize you need to declutter and give away some things you no longer wear. Your closet looks amazing :)

    www.lelivingandco.blogspot.ca

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  13. I don't really notice a difference between the before and after?

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    1. It is too bad if my pictures can't really show the difference in the way the entire space now feels and functions (it was a mess in/on most surfaces). I was able to clear out a lot of my clutter and a large portion of my wardrobe, add some new small touches and make my vanity so much more practical for daily use. For me, it was a personal win!

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  14. Thanks for the tips Jen, we will be moving in to our new home soon, and I think the closets are going to be too small, Arrgh, I'll be doing a few of the things you've done here to maximise space. As always I love your work! x

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  15. I love how you said you didn't notice the dresses were all bunched up. It's funny how we can go a long time without something bothering us and then one day it NEEDS to be fixed. Thanks for giving us a great example of what purging, rethinking and organizing can do to a space. You spent so little money too!

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  16. Your "purge pile" is truly inspiring!! The space looks awesome!

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  17. I definitely think I left this comment on the travel post (aka the wrong post!) Whoops! Anywho, I wanted to tell you that I am really really glad I found this blog! You are so clever and seeing your posts really help make my day just a little better! This room has come quite a long way! It looks great! Cannot wait to see what you do next!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and inspiration with all of us!! :)

    Kadisha @ chaoticclassiness.blogspot.com

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  18. This looks awesome, Jen! I've been trying to figure out what to do with my own "jewelry pile" for ages and these are lovely ideas. Thank you so much for being an organization inspiration!

    www.emmabyers.com

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  19. That vanity is a brilliant transformation, but my favourite take away is the foam board drawer organizers! Did you attach them somehow to the drawers, or are they just floating between your clothes? I fight a never ending battle to keep my clothes in stacks in the drawers so I think this may just be the ticket - thanks!!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I added foam core to the back of the drawer and to the face of the drawer to create a less slippery/tighter spot for the center pieces to push against, and then used packing tape to attach the actual divided sections. The clothing should hold it together as well. :)

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  20. Organized closets make me so happy!
    Also, I love the addition of paper lining to the makeup drawers! Genius!

    Kristi | Be Loverly

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  21. Vanity source questions! Where did you get the frame and the holder that holds your brushes and what fragrances are those? I loved watching your transformation! Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration to us readers!

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    1. Thank you Lauren! The frame is from HomeGoods, the brush holder is a vase I had on hand, but I believe that is also a HomeGoods find. :)

      xo!

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  22. Hey Jen,

    So when you are about to take on a new organizing challenge, how do you get yourself ready? What I mean is, do you go out and buy your organizing supplies before your start a project or once you are already elbows deep into it? I currently do not have ANY bins, containers, totes, etc... so although I have been taking notes and you have given me advice in the past when I've asked, I still have not started because I get too overwhelmed. Would you suggest I get some to start with or build up on a bunch then tackle my projects? Thank you for all of your inspiration and beautiful ideas!

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    1. Hi Meliesa!

      Great question! Most often I try to wait until I am already done clearing a room and sorting to purchase any new storage, however, there are times when small things bug me for long enough that I know to add it to my shopping list ahead of time. By waiting, I am not over purchasing because I may end up needing to store less than planned.

      My projects are usually stemmed from frustration, so I just start by emptying and sorting and dive right in (but I am finding that it is really nice to go into bigger projects with some sort of a plan). The only bins I recommend purchasing first are 3-4 large bins that you can use for all of your sorting projects. I keep four clear bins stored in our storage room and they work great for affixing labels to and holding the sorting contents as I work (and to keep things a bit orderly when I take breaks). I use them for Trash, Donate, Keep & Recycle. Otherwise, just make a list of storage needs as you build your "keep" pile.

      I touched on the topic of getting started quite a few years ago in this post here as well: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/01/you-asked-where-do-i-begin.html

      Thank you so much and best of luck to you as you begin to work on your spaces!

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    2. Great!!!! Thank you so much! I will start with the larger bins for sorting and check your previous blog about "How to get started" Thanks again for everything you post! It's wonderful to watch all of your transformations and ideas come to life!

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  23. where are the sock organizers from?

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    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I purchased mine from the Container Store, but I have also seen them at Target (and have used them for other projects as well, they are nice and versatile): http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10000146&N=&Ntt=sock+organizer

      xoxo!

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  24. In love with this! I adore all the little gold accents you use around your home. You have such a lovely style. It's been great fun organising along with you. I'm so relieved to be facing the summer break with some sense of order. Things can get quickly out of control with the kids around all day long huh?!

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  25. What a gorgeous makeover of your master closet! The foam core is a great idea for dividing up the drawer. I look forward to more of your tidying up! Have you heard of the KonMari method for tidying up? It's worked wonders for me when I decided it was time to de-clutter my house. Hope it will also inspire you =)

    Juju Sprinkles
    http://www.jujusprinkles.com

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    1. Thank you! Just started reading it this past weekend and can already tell I am going to love it! xo!

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  26. Checked back to see how your project dressed up. Fantastic! I was so happy that you had replied to my comment on using foam board. I hadn't thought of using fabric on it. You are so cool.
    Sherri

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  27. Forgot to say, love the way your sconces turned out. You encourage me to be more brave in my own projects. You have tackled so many things and they come out beautifully. I heart your blog.
    Sherri

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  28. Very inspiring Jen. I love the entire space, particularly the vanity area.

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  29. Looks like someone read the Marie Kondo book with the folding?! ;-) any change of heart in irganizing after! Considering doing it all at once or would that leave you without any business??? Looks great

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    1. I actually just started reading this weekend but didn't get too far without kiddo interruption. I am liking it already though, and can't wait to read more!

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  30. Fabulous makeover!! What a difference and I love every inch of it, making small changes and making things more functional as much work as it takes initially you'll thank yourself in the long run!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs
    xx

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  31. as usual me heart skips a beat when you work this magic of yours :) it looks so wonderful girlie! and motivates me to get moving our master closet & my vanity that are both such a HUGE mess!! come over and help me, i'll have cookies. xoxo

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  32. Oh my gosh so much great information in one post. Definitely saving this one to the reading list to refer back to. Beautiful!

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  33. Hi Jen, I was dying to get those clear acrylic organizers for your beautiful vanity desk, I was searching for them at Home goods but no luck😢
    They say they might come back(hopefully). Do you know where I can get them? Searched in Target also...Thanks again

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    1. Hi Anju!

      I have also purchase them as a pack at the Container Store, but they are a bit more expensive and I don't see the exact match any longer. Here is another similar option that allows you to mix and match: http://www.containerstore.com/s/office/drawer-organizers/acrylic-stacking-drawer-organizers/12d?productId=11000169&sort=meta:category_74533_sort:A::::Y&ps=60&p=0

      It would be great if HomeGoods brings theirs back because they were fabulous quality for the price. I hope they can hear me typing this right now! ;)

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    2. THANK YOU, Jen! I also hope home goods can hear you. We have no container store near our home; in fact they are opening one in Phoenix in September and hopefully I will get to visit....
      My kids always say "Arizona is so lame, there is nothing here", I think they are right!

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  34. Well, you've got my mind going since yesterday. This post and the one about the app! Do you know your color type and do you follow it? I started paying attention about a year ago and it has helped (sort of). Now I don't really buy any tops out of my color scheme, but I am stuck with a bunch of stuff from before...

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