How To Use Social Media More Effectively

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On today’s episode of Guinea Pigging Green, we’re talking about social media. Now, I totally love Instagram and Twitter – I think that they’re awesome tools for sharing inspiration and beauty. Unfortunately, they also have a dark side if you’re not careful about how you use them. For instance, I’ll readily admit to checking for “likes” compulsively and feeling strangely competitive towards those with more followers than me.

So that’s why today’s episode is all about using social media more effectively, in ways that will make you feel good and that take advantage of the positive aspects of these platforms. Our jumping-off point for this episode was a great article from Relevant Magazine: 5 Questions to Ask Before Posting to Social Media. It really resonated with me and since then I’ve been sharing its ideas in conversations and trying to consciously keep them in mind whenever I’m posting content.

In the episode, we talk about finding intrinsic motivations (ie. finding enjoyment in the act itself) for using social media rather than extrinsic ones (ie. enjoying the act because you want the reward that will follow). Personally I find it rewarding and (intrinsically) motivating to seek out beauty in my everyday life, to practice my photography and see slow-but-steady improvement, to find a community of like-minded people and to curate a collection of photos that are special and beautiful to me. I try to focus on these motivations every time I start to fall into a downward spiral of comparison or greed.

I think that it’s possible for these platforms to be a positive part of our lives, but I think it’s important for us to use them in a healthier and more conscious way. You can find the episode, which I think is full of food for thought, on our blog or by subscribing to us on iTunes.

Purge Your Closet!

I am posting today on a serious issue. It is a problem that is sweeping the nation: closet obesity.

My closet before purging

Both hard-hitting and close to home, this issue has infiltrated even the savviest of shoppers’ closets, wreaking havoc on their closet goals and dreams. Does this sound familiar?

Wardrobe Bulimic – You consistently have buying binges at thrift stores and discount clothing joints. You have perhaps 10 things in your closet you’ve owned for more than 5 years. Your style changes as often as your underpants. Your most inspired outfit is the one you just bought.

-From Painfully Hip

Interesting. I think that so often, we impulsively buy crap clothing in heaps, things we don’t necessarily like or need, can’t afford and get sick of very quickly. Then it just piles up in our closets, and although we have tons of clothes we don’t feel like wearing any of it! This is unhealthy for our personal style, our closets’ waistbands (they’re fat!) and, of course, our wallets. So how to prevent, avoid and cease this vicious cycle? Careful thought.

What do you want your wardrobe to do for you?

As my style has evolved, I’ve realized that I have a preference for classic style: pieces that can be worn over and over, reinvented and go with everything. I still adore my accessories: scarves, jewelery, hats, etc, which give my outfits personality and pizazz, but I keep finding myself returning to my easy, classic pieces that never get old. My wardrobe wishes are to have pieces that make sense, make me look great, can be mixed and matched easily and are stylish and fun to wear.

My Wardrobe Wishes

  1. Non-dressy blazer which goes with jeans, skirts, dresses
  2. Simple silk shift
  3. Perfect-fit red & white striped shirt
  4. Boyfriend jeans
  5. Pretty flats and perfect brogues
  6. Trenchcoat/nice outerwear
  7. Basic white t-shirts
  8. Men’s-style dress shirts
  9. Pouffy skirt
  10. Simple sundress

So I ask you: what are your closet goals? This is the first question you must ask yourself before the big purge.  What do you want out of your wardrobe? Is it trendiness, perfect fit and good quality? Or is it comfort, longevity and affordability? Once you have decided what you want out of your clothes, it becomes much easier to get rid of the clothes that don’t fit into your ‘ideal style’. That’s where the purging comes in.

How to Successfully Purge Your Closet!

After the purge!

The trick is to target pieces that don’t really work. Chances are, you probably know which ones those are: the ones you never reach for while getting dressed, because you know they fit you badly, don’t go with anything, or are outdated. Why do you want these clothes clogging up your dream closet anyways? You don’t! So here’s what I think you should do: get rid of them. I know, it’s big and scary. It’s hard work. It’s mentally frustrating. But guess what? It’s doable! I just did it! Here are three tips I have for losing your bad clothes without losing your mind.

#1. Reflect.

Remember how earlier we decided what our closet goals were? Well, while performing this great feat of closet destruction, keep reflecting. It is easy to lose focus, lose motivation and end up right back where you started. Every time you pick up a piece of your clothing, really think about it. Ask yourself: When was the last time I wore it? Does it look good on me? Does it fit? Is it cheaply made and falling apart? or Is it a keeper? Is it good quality? Is it interchangeable with my wardrobe?  If you keep asking yourself questions and giving honest answers, you’ll be purging in no time!

#2. Be ruthless!

Don’t get all mushy-gushy on your closet. If you’re like me, you have plenty of clothes from another stage of your life: clothes you wore when you were with a boyfriend, in a certain key year of your life, etc. Don’t get sentimental! You have photos and memories of yourself during those times. Keeping the clothes in the back of your closet collecting dust will not help you! If one piece was especially important in your life, then hold onto it, by all means, but keep it separate from your wardrobe, maybe in a box of memories? And remember to give yourself a couple days before getting rid of it all, just in case you change your mind about anything. But overall the mission is: purge, purge, purge. Always remember your closet goals!

#3. Recover.

So you’ve lipo-suctioned off a large chunk of clunky, useless clothes from your poor closet’s body. Great! This is good. It will thank you later. Right now, it’s a bit sore and scraggly looking, so fix it on up. Grab some fancy Ikea hangers/boxes, arrange your dresses in a pretty way, display your shoes, etc. This will get you excited about your clothes again, and forget the pain of the slight emptiness your closet may now display. While you’re soothing your burns, look at these closets to further inspire you: Sea of Shoes, Le Fashion Image, various others..

#4. Share.

I know, you’re still licking your wounds. But now is the time to rejoice! Be strong! And see if you can pull it together enough to share. You now have stacks of unwanted (by you) clothes in your hallway, but who says that just because they don’t match your style, they won’t match someone else’s? Offer them up to your friends and siblings! Have a clothes-swap party with friends! See if anyone can re-love any of the things you no longer need. If not, donate them to the Goodwill or sell them to a consignment shop.

Then, dust off your hands, breathe a sigh of relief and relish in the fact that you’re now free to slowly re-build your closet with good quality clothes that fit you perfectly, look amazing and that you love wearing.

What do you think?

Could you bear to get rid of your clothes? Do you have closet goals you’re not reaching? Have you considered a closet purge? Let me know!

xoxo, S.