Home Organizing Tips

Are you cleaning out your closets, basements and other areas? Yeah me too. It’s only natural at times like this. Plus we have all that extra free time. The bonus is it needs to be done and it takes out minds off of the news for a little bit.

I gathered some tips to eliminate clutter and get your living space in order.

Choose Joy

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author of the best-selling “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” that you need to check out. She also has her own Youtube channel and a series on Netflix!

Kondo transforms the tedious chore of folding laundry into a meditative activity. She urges that, as part of the purging ritual, you hold each belonging as you ask yourself whether it brings you joy. If the answer is no, then it’s time to say thank you and goodbye.

Less Is More

I’m a firm believer of decluttering and purging what you no longer need. If you haven’t used an item in the past 6 or 12 months, chances are you not going to need it going forward. Sometimes I cheat and say “I may need this again.” Then when I go through a purge again in 6 or 12 months and the items is still there, with even more dust on it, out it goes.

One concept of this is one in, one out. Bring in some new socks, there must be some old ones with holes you no longer need. Same concept for clothing and may other items.

Vertical Solutions

When I last cleaned out my closet, I wish I had more room to hang items. Then I realized I only had one horizontal bar in one section of my closet. If I moved up that bar and installed another one lower, I could double my capacity. This works well with shirts and folded pants. Dresses and items that need to hang full length will still need the extra room.

Furniture with the right storage solutions can help an apartment with toys everywhere become a tidy home.

Is a move of your residence in your future? If so this will contribute to improved home organization. Besides you don’t want to move stuff four times that you don’t need (1. put into box 2. load box into car/truck 3. unload box 4. unpack box 😦 )

What Are Your Ideas?

I’d love to hear your tips on this area. Please comment below and send to me and I’ll include!

Clothing Tips For Portraits

This Is All For YOUR Benefit!

The selection of proper clothing for your portrait is a critical factor in the preparation for a successful portrait.

If the clothing is noticeable in a portrait, it could easily become a distraction. Clothing that does not attract attention to itself is the ultimate goal. It could be the difference between a very successful portrait and just another picture. We can not stress enough how important it is for you to observe the following criteria. It is quite possible that if inappropriate clothing is selected, the photographer may ask you to change your selection before the portrait sitting is made.

Dark Clothing Tends to Slenderize

Darker clothing helps to blend the bodies with the background, so that the faces are the most important part of the photograph. Dark colors definitely tend to slenderize the subject. Light colors seem to add weight to the bodies.

The color of the clothing should always be toned down. Bright colors attract attention away from the face. Colors MUST be dark and not bright. This is ESSENTIAL! When choosing lighter colors, stick to pastels, but avoid pink tones. Pale yellow and pale blue work well, especially with jeans or kaki pants.

Prints and any kind of pattern – no matter how small – become a distraction.

In the case of digital portraits, in particular, small patterns in clothing (even a small herring-bone or checkered pattern) can cause terrible distortions to appear in the portrait that are not originally there.

Avoid Short Sleeve Clothing and Short Pants

Long sleeved clothing is desirable. For casual portraits it is equally important to wear long pants instead of shorts. When arms and legs are exposed to the camera there will be more flesh in the photograph in those areas than on the face, itself. This is a major distraction.

White shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are perfect. A scarf loosely tied around the neck also helps to frame a face beautifully when a collarless blouse or sweater is worn. Neckties should definitely be toned-down in color and with a minimum of pattern.

Group Portraits

Clothing for group portraits must be carefully selected to blend the bodies together. First, decide whether the basic tone of the clothing will be warm-toned (browns, etc.) or cool-toned (blues/grays/blacks, etc.) Then, make sure to follow all of the above instructions. Keeping a group in similar colors focuses the attention of the portrait to the faces and individuals that make up the portrait. Dissimilar colors in groups tend to be more distracting.

Proper Necklines for a Portrait

The most flattering neckline for anyone is something that comes up close to the neck. A wide-open neckline tends to thicken the neck in a photograph. On the other hand, a neckline that comes up to the base of the neck – a turtleneck or a v-neck top is the most flattering. It tends to slim down the person and frames the face beautifully.

Finally, lay out all the clothing onto a bed. Shoes, socks, stockings (dark hose is mandatory) – everything should be included…shoes, too! Then, take a careful look at the collection. If your eye goes to any one item in particular, you can be certain that the same thing will happen in a photograph. That item should be changed.

Clothing should not be too tight or too loose. Clothing below the waistline should be darker than above. Otherwise, even light jeans worn below a darker top could easily attract attention to the lower part of the body and away from the face.

Casual Beach Portraits

For a beach portrait session it is sometimes a good idea to dress in light colored clothing, so that the bodies will blend with the light-colored sand. In this situation all white or pastel clothing works fine. Avoid pink shirts. All white clothing is great. White shirts and jeans work well, too. White shirts with beige pants is even better. Staying all in light tones can be very effective in this type of environment. Still, remember to dress everyone in the portrait similarly. You have to blend the bodies of everyone together, so that the faces stand out. This is essential particularly in a group portrait.

Hair Style and Makeup

Hair styles should be SIMPLE and MUST be off the face. Hair falling down onto the sides of the face (currently very much in style) create distracting shadows. Bangs that come down too low onto the face will keep light from getting into the subject’s eyes – the very most important part of the face. Eye makeup should be blended – no sharp demarcation lines between colors. AVOID WHITE above or below the eyes. It does not photograph well at all. Too much color above and below the eyes attracts attention to itself. It actually takes attention AWAY from the eyes, rather than attracting the viewer to the eyes. Foundation makeup should be blended at the jawline, so that there is no demarcation between the face and the neck.

Glasses

Eye glasses may or may not be worn. Non-reflective lenses, of course, are a big help. Better yet, sometimes it’s possible to obtain a matching set of frames without any lenses. This is particularly helpful, if your lenses sometimes distort the outline of your face.

Final Thoughts

Your portraits are meant to be enjoyed for generations to come. Fad-type clothing should be avoided, unless you are planning to have new portraits made annually.

You will feel very rewarded when you view your photographs. All of your efforts will be worthwhile.

Portions reused with permission from James Hodgins.