Monday, February 16, 2015

My Filofax Obsession

My Filofax Obsession

So, as you can see from this array of accessories, I'm obsessed with Filofax.  I blame this discovery, the Filofax company's own blog on their website.  If you love Filofax, go over there and knock yourself out.  I'll be here when you come back.  

My own schedule was my inspiration for the idea to get more organized and start using more tools, like colored pens, highlighters, flags, index tags, color-coded dots, post-its and a label maker.  For a volunteer who isn't even working, my life sure gets hectic from time to time!  And thanks to a request from my Executive Director, I realized I needed a way to track all the work I did throughout the year, so I can give a report at the end of the year to the Board of Directors.  It was the first year she asked for anything like that, and it took me awhile to get it together.  I realized if I had a way of keeping track of what I did during the year, it would make it easier to collect and organize that information at year end.  That led to the color-coded dot system.  

I also realized that my little personal organizer wasn't doing it for me.  I needed a larger writing surface, and I needed more space on the page.  Up until last year I used a week-per-two-pages refill diary.  This year I switched to a page-per-day, and it's working out much better.  I still use the personal size organizer to carry around in my bag, so I can keep track of appointments and information when I'm out and about during the day.  I've had my personal organizer since 2007, and it replaced a personal organizer that I'd had since 1988. 

I recently purchased the Finsbury A5 organizer on sale at  It was a year-end clearance sale.  I bought the refills from the Filofax website, and also from  The problem with shopping year-end clearance sales is that sometimes the refills and accessories you want aren't available on the Filofax website, so you have to go to other sources, like Amazon.  Since they're selling from the Marketplace, it can take awhile to receive your order, and the shipping may be expensive.  Everything was in good condition when I received it, though.  

The Redi-Tags index markers, the Dymo label maker, the Zebra Sarasa color and black pens, the Sharpie retractable highlighters, the Avery dot labels, and the white-out tape I bought from  The orange pen case I bought from  

Here are some pictures for your perusal:

Classic Personal Organizer in Tan, Finsbury A5 Organizer in Raspberry. 

The Personal Organizer, month-on-two-pages. 

The Personal Organizer, pull-out full year calendar. 

Personal Organizer, transparent zip-lock envelope, stamps, train timetables. 

Personal Organizer, World Map.  You know, in case I leave NYC and go somewhere exotic, like ... outside New York. 

Personal Organizer, Transit Map of New York City and Tri-State area.  (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut). 

The Finsbury A5 Organizer, left side open. 

Finsbury A5 Organizer, Avery dot labels. 

Finsbury A5 Organizer, Post-It Flags. 

Finsbury A5 Organizer, right side open.  Note pages, jotting pad. 

Finsbury A5 Organizer.  I use the Avery dot labels and a Post-It flag to show I have an information meeting that night.  Helps keep me on track when I have to make the preparations for the meeting, such as writing an article for the Staten Island Advance announcing the event, and making arrangements for any equipment needed for the venue.  I will also use it for the year-end reporting of events, outreaches and presentations.

 Finsbury A5 Organizer.  Keeping track of things to do when I get paid - very important stuff!

Left to bottom right, contents of orange pen case:  Three hole punch, A5 size, white-out tape, Avery dot labels, Redi-Tag index markers, the orange pen case, Zebra Sarasa pens in black and color, Sharpie metallic marker pens. 

Orange pen case, Finsbury A5 Organizer, Personal Organizer, Sharpie retractable highlighters, Zebra Sarasa color pens.

Top view of pen case, Finsbury A5 Organizer, Personal Organizer, Sharpie retractable highlighters, and Zebra Sarasa color pens. 
I'm sure I will expand the ways I use my Filofaxes as I go through the year.  Staying organized can be a challenge, so I try to work on updating my schedule every few days and I check my Filofax every morning, to see if I have anything going on.  That doesn't always mean I'll do it that day, but I'll get to it soon, rather than forgetting about it or procrastinating and putting it off indefinitely.  I love checking things off those daily to-do lists! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fall 2014 Purchases and Fall/Winter Wardrobe Overhaul

Fall 2014 Purchases

Back in September, I did a complete overhaul of my wardrobe.  I was forced to do this because I had gained weight.  It's amazing how easy it is to gain weight, and how hard it is to take it off, right?  This is especially true once one passes a certain age. 

I had to let go of a lot of clothes that no longer fit me.  I bought new clothes that fit, so I had to make room for them in my closet and armoire.  In hindsight, I wish I had taken "before and after" photos, so you could get a better idea of the situation before I did the overhaul, and how much work it entailed.  

It took me the entire month of September to accomplish this task.  I knew I had gained weight, so when it came time for the Labor Day and Fall pre-season sales, I measured myself in preparation for buying new pants, sweaters, belts, jackets and a coat for fall and winter.  Coach was having its bi-annual clearance sale, so naturally I had to pick up a new tote bag, too.  I love my snapdragon and regatta blue LL Bean canvas Boat 'n Tote, but for the cold months I thought something sturdier and more formal would be appropriate.  Here it is February and I've used it once: for the NAMI Holiday Party in December.  Don't worry, little Coach tote.  Your time will come.  

Once I received everything I ordered, I went through my closet and my armoire and tried on everything - jackets, pants, tops, skirts, dresses, sweaters, spring and summer clothes, and fall and winter clothes.  I made three piles: donate, discard and laundry. 

Here are the donation bags, ready and waiting by the door to get picked up by the Vietnam Veterans of America:  

Here are the clothes in the laundry bags, all nice and clean after they came back from the laundromat:

After I had cleared out all the clothes that no longer fit, and put away all the clean, new clothes, this is what my armoire and closet looked like:  

I think it looks pretty neat!  I added the Febreze Stick 'n Refresh dispensers in the armoire and closet, to combat the dread, foul odor that permeates them.  On the top shelf, left to right, are my fleece sweaters, vests, microfiber fleece scarves, hat and gloves, and the purple afghan my mom crocheted for me way back in 1977.  Second shelf from top, left to right: workout wear, panties, white t-shirts.  In boxes: garment care kit and miscellaneous stuff.  Third shelf, left to right: Workout pants and jackets, fleece and wool sweaters, merino wool sweaters, casual pants.  Bottom shelf, left to right: long sleeve tees, and short sleeve tees. 
Sock drawer!  Organized by color. 
Bra drawer!
Top shelf of closet.  On top, left to right: Handbags in dust bags, shoebox with snakeskin my Dad brought back from New Guinea, where he was stationed during WWII.  Middle, left to right: Stationery my roommate's sister made by hand, black handbag, shoes, red carryall.  Bottom, left to right: Evening bag and shoes, clothing and leather care kits, and shoes. 
Left to right: Belts, handbag in dust bag, jackets, jeans and pants, skirts, jackets and scarves.
The whole enchilada.  

This is the inside of the door of the closet now, after adding Command Hooks.  I have color charts to help me figure out which colors look good together, and finally, a place to hang my belts. 
The reason the whole project took so long was because I had to wait until I received everything I ordered for fall/winter, I had to get the Febreze Stick 'n Refresh dispensers, and I had to wait until everything came back from the laundromat.  The whole process of trying on clothes took about three hours.  I worked on both my spring and fall wardrobes, so I won't have to do this over again in May of this year (I hope!).  I think I sent everything to the laundromat the next day, and I got it back that day.  What took so long was waiting for everything I bought to be delivered. 

I hope you enjoyed this tour inside the realm of my wardrobe.  Not as interesting as Narnia, but at least no one will threaten you with permanent frostbite.