Category Archives: Brilliant ideas

Wardrobe Management for Chaotic Fashion Victims

Also posted on busydarling blog

Time for another post, and time for another useful (or, so I like to imagine) ADHD post. But, also quite useful for anyone who likes organisation or who owns more than five tee’s.

My recent project (almost finished…) was to switch winter and summer clothes. The reason behind the switch is overview: there technically is enough space in my wardrobe for all my clothes, but I find it easier if I can’t see the stuff I won’t be wearing for a while for obvious reasons (such as summer dresses being a bit chilly in the snow). I have a lot of clothes, and I’ve impulsively bought too much over the past years. I’ve been guilty of buying something I NEED or MUST HAVE double because I forgot that I already owned something similar… And simply put: being organised as much as possible really helps if you’re a chaotic type.

In my previous home I had a walk-in closet (shuffle-in-sideways), which was ideal. I lived there for a year, before that most of my clothes have been stuffed inside a small wardrobe, boxes, or simply somewhere in my room. Every now and again, I’d discover things I didn’t even know I had. When I got the walk-in, I organised the stuff and had space to put it all. Then I had to move, and just had too much stuff. And somewhere, I got a brilliant idea: to turn the hooks on the hangers, and I worked it out to something that works, more or less. So, here comes.

If you have ADHD and like pretty clothes (or simply own clothes), your wardrobe is likely to end up looking like this:
Less-than-ideal. So, here’s the plan:

– Heaps of clothes.
– Iron, ironing board (skip if you own wrinkle free clothing only)
– 3 corners, bags or baskets, or any combination of the above
– Storage bins/space (I have ones that double as poofs)
– Wardrobe closet
– Hangers
– Pen and paper
– Bakers twine, string, ribbon, whatever.
– Help, but not from a rat

1) Start by designating an area/basket/bin for things to toss, things to consider, things to store.

2) Then start with something easy, like shoes. Get all shoes on one heap, clean out closet space where shoes were. Try on shoes, check their state.
TOSS: everything that is not fitting, too worn or simply something you haven’t worn in ages and shouldn’t have bought in the first place. Don’t literally toss straight away, wait till the end of the method.
CONSIDER: The shoes you can’t make up your mind about.
STORE: the shoes that will only be taking in space for the next half year because the season literally is wrong for them.
TIDY UP: The rest. Put them away neatly, paired and sorted. If needed, cleaned. I took a pair that needed fixing straight to my ‘to do’ pile in another room. You can put a piece of paper in the shoes, which you’ll remove when you wear them, so next time you do the wardrobe switch, you’ll know what you haven’t worn. I skipped this, as I don’t have a massive amount of shoes.
WRITE DOWN: what you may need to get, now that you have a nice overview of what you have.

3) Easy wasn’t it? Next: socks and underwear. Same procedure.
TOSS: non-fitting, worn or torn.
CONSIDER: Well, no-brainer, really…
STORE: Things you won’t be wearing, such as thermo undies in summer season
TIDY UP: Everything you still have left, and keep it sorted. I use two old storage bins as sock- and underwear drawers as I bought a wardrobe without drawers
WRITE DOWN: what you may need.

4) Now, for the most work…. clothing. Same procedure once again. One big heap, or… if you’re ‘advanced’ you’ll now already have a closet with ‘marked’ items, which you can remove immediately and TOSS, more about that later. Clean out the closet. Sort out the clothing, AND the clothing from storage.
TOSS: clothes you’re not wearing anymore, clothes which are ripped beyond sublte repair, stained, don’t fit, are worn or which you shouldn’t have bought anyway.
CONSIDER: well-fitting things that you may or may not wear
TIDY UP: Iron what is needed, you’ll thank yourself later. Sort: shirts with shirts (I have a pile of sleeveless, short sleeved and long sleeved), trousers with trousers, etc. Now here comes the catch: Turn hooks on hangers ‘backwards’ when hanging them, put folded clothes in the closet inside-out and tie a piece of string to the things that can’t be folded inside out.
WRITE DOWN: what you need.

5) If you’re anything like me, you’ve broken that up in pieces. You can do the same with your bags and accessories, I’m sort of sorting out belts and have forgotten about sports clothes. Now, pick up the CONSIDER heap/bin/bag. Go through it impulsively: would you feel happy in this: TIDY IT UP. No? TOSS.

6) The TOSS bag.
Put the great stuff up for sale, or give it away to someone that will give it a good home. Consider doing a clothes swap. Take things in reasonable condition to the YMCA for example, and the rest goes to recycling. H&M has this new thing for recycling fabric. Smile, you now have space!

Voila, you now have a sorted out wardrobe full of clothes you can and will wear. Gives peace of mind in some sense!!

To Be Continued…
Now, the first time is a massive hassle, I know. But, next season, it will be easier. Things that haven’t been worn in 6 months need to be tossed; unless
– it’s special event clothing
– you had a reason to not wear them, that will change in the foreseeable future; such as my hatred of the colour purple last summer (I normally love purple) or the fact that I had no real reason to wear my ‘neat’ trousers for a season, but I will be needing them soon. In general, you’ll wear fashionable items for a few seasons, unless they’re incredibly dated. Of course, if you have a massive home with no intention to move anywhere ever again, you can have a attic full of ‘vintage’ clothes in ten or twenty years, but my life is fluid and besides, in 20 years time my body will have changed. Bags can be kept for this reason, and shoes.

It helps to keep a smaller TOSS bag around from time to time, and do TOSS things that get written off during the season as soon as this happens!

I found doing this for a year now very handy, and also quite insightful about my own style. I’ve learned that I do not need another t-shirt because I have about 40, for example. I got a few outfit-ideas along the way. Clothes are meant to be worn, not to be kept in closets. I get to enjoy the benefits of an organised wardrobe, wear clothes that fit and have overview in the mornings. (Of course, this requires normal tidying up from time to time). No more looking for THE OTHER SHOE for example. Somebody else gets to enjoy the clothing you don’t, perhaps even somebody who can’t afford it. You may get some cash from selling. Also: reusing and recycling is very eco-friendly. Win-win, right?


Almost warm hands….




So my mother-in-law-but-not-formally-in-law, better known as TDH’s Madre, read about my ‘suffering’ and surprised me with this gift in the mail:



They’re called bike pogies, apparently, and I’d probably call them something else, but the idea is that they keep your hands warm on a bicycle.

It’s 4 degrees C today and I decided to try them out on my 30 min bike ride to church. The pogies come with tie wraps to attach them to your bike and ideally prevent them from getting stolen, however, I think leaving them on my outside-sleeping bike would defy their purpose when it starts raining. I just fastened them with the elastic.

They actually match my bike very well, by the way.

I wore my fingerless gloves and double layer mittens (wool and fleece) as well.

And off I went.

Or, so I thought. Getting my one hand in wasn’t such a problem, but the other one was because I didn’t have a third hand left to keep the pogie open and in place. Used my teeth, very charming.

So, off I went.

Just about halfway I had already lost sensation in my fingers (and toes, for that matter).

Before I got to church I was miserable: I couldn’t feel my feet, my legs felt frozen, my face felt like it had no blood in it (which it probably didn’t), and my brains were feeling slightly frozen too. I’m guessing it was a bit colder than 4 degrees then…

The pogies also had another slight drawback: push buttons at traffic lights. Remember how I got one hand in just fine and the other less fine? Some buttons can be pushed with my elbow, some can’t, and I’m not one to go riding through every red light I see. (I find that a bit anti social, to be honest, expecting everyone to look out for you like that). The velcro strips, intended to keep the water out when you’re not using them, added to the hilarity of getting my mitten back in.

I had 3 frozen fingers when I got there, and it took only 5-10 minutes to thaw. My feet were a different problem!

On the way back they really did prove their worth: they’re wind proof and water proof. It started raining a bit, and even if the rain isn’t that bad… a bit of wet gloves = pain.

Oh my gosh. I am becoming Dutch. I’ve used ‘not that bad’ to describe rain on a bike at 4 degrees C. I’ve been infected with the insanity!

Anyway. This is what my hand looked like when I got home.



It’s really not that bad. I didn’t realise it was only 4 degrees, the forecast was 7 and sunny. (It wasn’t sunny either). I didn’t even have my leather gloves on underneath the mittens, which I usually wear if I’m aware of the low temperature before leaving home. Ok, I may have lost my leather gloves. I experienced discomfort, but not pain.

Although, I think the product would be a lot better if it could provide an extra layer between your hands and the handle bars… because the handle bars are just as cold as the outside temperature… and my hands do not provide enough heat to change that.

All in all, they’re doing something. I do find it both hilarious and brilliant that such a product exists (An is made out of recycled plastic bottles).

And it’s of course really sweet of her to send them to me, out of the blue, just because. (I’m blessed with his family too!)



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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Brilliant ideas, Random


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Touch. Pause. Engage??

So a patient invited me to come check out her rugby club.

Because, well, that’s the most obvious thing for two women to discuss, right?

Some of you will know, but I’m 1m77 tall, and weigh around 60kg. More supermodel than rugby prop. And then she made her point: you can outrun the rest.

And then I forgot about the whole thing.


And then, somehow, the World Cup Soccer last night landed me on rugby. I rooted for Spain.

And this may be another hair brained idea of mine… but she may have a point.

Look, I’m not Springbok material BUT….

– I can be surprisingly strong. In secondary school I used to be a competitive swimmer, when I really have a body built for lower body strength. I could arm wrestle quite a few of the boys in my class.

-I can run fast if trained. I’m not a top athlete… but I can run faster than most women.

– I have broad shoulders.


– the last time I actually played was in gym class in school. I was upset about the no-tackle rule school imposed, when they lifted that off I was happy. I was less amused when the teacher, impressed that I could do SOMETHING except for not paying attention during baseball, not liking soccer and having too short calf muscles to complete the Cooper test (SWIMMER, remember?) put me in the line up. Me, and 5 guys who were 1.90 tall at least.

Oh well.


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Posted by on June 14, 2014 in Brilliant ideas




So, it’s a new year. And while I have tons of ‘resolutions’ (aka intentions of improving things such as excercising more and being more frugal which I was going to do anyway, regardless of the date, and which I was working on before New Years too)… I have one resolution.


A brainwave idea, more like.

After ordering 230 euro’s worth of sale items on Asos, all of which I can use, really… I decided to quit clothes shopping for the rest of the year.

At first it was a guilt-driven idea, but when I think about it, it’s a good idea. I need to shop less, I need to spend less money on it, and a year is about long enough to get it out of my system and find a new way to deal with it.

I am allowed to buy underwear as needed, and socks and pantyhose (these tend to rip too often).

Receiving clothes is OK.

But, no clothes, no shoes, no accessories. I can MAKE stuff out of things I already have. I can learn to use a sewing machine to alter stuff, if my mum doesn’t hit me over the head with a roller pin out of frustration if I get it wrong again. (Really, how hard can it be?)

It’s a challenge.


Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Brilliant ideas, Dear Diary, Money




My eye!


I decided to take up drawing again, quite randomly. This is the first pencil drawing in my Moleskine sketch book. The sketch book with quality paper and the quality pencils were worth it!
It’s nowhere near perfect but I am pleasantly surprised by myself. After all, it has been years!


Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ADHD, Brilliant ideas, Creative Spirit!, Random


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Busy Darling Takes A Bath

After a lot of things disturbing my sleep, I found myself stressed out. As a way to relax and help myself to fall asleep without experiencing more cramping, I decided to take a nice, long, warm bath. Sounds like a good idea, right?

Well, I forgot one tiny detail. I am me.

I ran the water at around 10pm. Added lavender bubble bath, then decided I had better use baby bath milk because bubble bath is bad for my dry skin. So added that too.

In the meantime, I did a variety of undefined things, such as deciding against doing the dishes. Every now and again I stuck my hand in the water to check the temperature.

I closed the tap, and got caught up in undefined activities until 11:10.

I got my magazine and put on some music and got in the bath.

And jumped out because it was too hot. How did that happen?

Pulled the plug to get some hot water out, opened the cold water tap and somehow managed to remember to close it before the bath was too cold.

Got in the bath. Ah. Nice and warm. Ok, now I am bored and too tired to concentrate on reading. I ended up singing along to a song while inventing bath yoga before getting out of the bath after 5 minutes or so.

Ah, so THAT is why I never take baths!



Posted by on September 20, 2013 in ADHD, Brilliant ideas, Random


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Relaxing… How do we do that again?

I’ve had a crazy work schedule lately.

Actually, I’ve had a crazy work schedule… most of the time… because I work a crazy job. Details details details.


It’s my evening off, and time to relax. Except, turns out, I’m not particularly good at this whole relaxing thing. I don’t know. Too many distractions, a too distractable mind… too many brilliant ideas? I mean, should I go blogging, should I work on my spice rack, should I read a magazine, should I watch TV and what am I going to wear tomorrow?

I have had times in which I can relax. Brief times, an hour or two maybe. Usually when the rest of my stuff is done and my house doesn’t resemble a small war zone.

Usually after a lovely work out.

Usually not when my living room is sprawled with the 10 000 brilliant ideas I think I’m working on. Usually not when I haven’t been working out. Usually not when my diet consists of things that shouldn’t really be considered food combined with a relatively small proportion of actual food.

I need to get my shit back together. AGAIN.

I need some rest.



Posted by on July 30, 2013 in ADHD, Brilliant ideas, fitness, Health, Work


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