Ever have one of those days where you head straight for the cookie jar? Can’t resist the bar of milk chocolate calling your name? Or perhaps it’s the scent of warm bread from the market on the corner luring you in like you have no control? Does that sound familiar to you? Yeah, us too.
It’s that time of year. Time to say “Adios” to your sundresses and sandals and unearth your boots, sweaters, jackets and scarves. Chances are, you will encounter some pieces that might not have ventured outside of your apartment since 2005. Parting is always such sweet sorrow but the “Great Seasonable Wardrobe Swap” is a perfect time to put your closet on a diet and get rid of some unnecessary clutter. After all, you need to make room for the holiday sales! The UDC crew is great at detoxing our diets but when it comes to closets, we needed some guidance. So we turned to revered NYC organizer and owner of Urban Simplicity, Korinne Kubena Belock, and asked her to share her expertise on successfully transitioning seasonable wardrobes and clearing out the closet crap along the way.
According to Korinne, “Other than a good workout, nothing makes me feel lighter and more energized than clearing out my closet.”
We hear you, lady. Now please, HELP!
Korinne’s Tips for Creating a Healthier Closet
1. Make It Happen
- Pick the perfect day. Maybe it’s rainy outside or your husband or kids are otherwise distracted.
- Schedule time on your calendar to complete the project. Depending on the state of your closet, block out four to six hours. Putting it on your schedule will make you commit to getting it done.
- Set aside plenty of space to spread out. When you are organizing, the mess is always going to get worse before it gets better.
- Do a little prep before diving in. Label five large boxes or bags – Repair, Toss, Donate, Keep, Giveaway (to family or friends) – so you immediately know where to put an item when you remove it from your closet.
- Sort the keepers before putting them back into your closet. For example, you may realize have four black sweaters. They might all fit, but do you need four?
- Come up with a system to categorize your clothing. This is definitely a personal preference sort of thing. For example, I keep all skirts and pants together sorted as suits, dress pants, and casual. I al
so keep them sorted by season. I classify shirts as dressy tops, day-to-day tops, t-shirts, button downs, and beachwear. (I hit the beach often!) I also keep my blazers and sweaters together. Finally, I group dresses together – from dressy to casual and sorted by season.
3. Ready. Set. Purge.
- If you haven’t worn an item in six months or a year, get rid of it. Figure out what time frame works for you, set the rule, and stick to it.
- Get rid of any clothes that are uncomfortable or just plain unflattering. Have your most honest (yet lovable) friend come over to give you an opinion as you try on questionable items.
- For one month, put shoes you wear on a separate shelf. This is the best way to figure out which shoes you actually wear. At the end of the month, get rid of what you don’t wear.
4. Keep Flexing the Muscle
- Schedule time on your calendar either once a year or every six months to re-organize your closets. Depending on how often you shop, once a year might be enough.
- Keep a box or bag in your closet. As you come across items you no longer like, put them in the box to be donated at a later date.
- Use the one in, one out rule. For each new item you buy, make a decision to let one item go. It will keep you from over stuffing your space.
Korinne Kubena Belock is the founder and owner of Urban Simplicity, a professional organizing company that will streamline your life and design custom systems to make sure you stay organized. Whether you are trying to balance your work and home life, running a business, or planning for a life-changing event, Korinne will make the most of your time and space, and give you the peace of mind that an organized life brings so you can focus on the things that matter most to you.
Korinne has ten years of experience in political organizing and worked for Mayor Mike Bloomberg, as well as elected officials from the United States Congress to The White House. After a decade using her natural talent for organizing people and creating efficient systems to get politicians elected, she now brings her experience and energy to help New Yorkers live better lives.
Korinne combines a passion for an organized world and a love of problem solving with a sense of humor, cheerful attitude, Southern charm, and the persistence to get results for her clients.
Urban Simplicity was featured in Daily Candy. Check it out here.
Believe it or not, the grocery store can be a pretty intimidating place. There is a lot of uncertainty out there. Do you need a list? When is the best time to shop? And is it ok to buy the store’s brand? Well, we’ve got ya covered. Here are a few tips from us to make your trek to the store a detox-friendly success!
Oh, finance. You bring so much uncertainty to our lives. When do we save? When is it ok to splurge? And what is up with our 401k given the current state of the economy? To help answer many common questions surrounding our bank account, we’ve enlisted an expert – Trice Pruitt, founder and principal of Cdlofs. Take a look at her insight, and start detoxing those finances today.
UDC: The economy: It’s up, it’s down. We can’t keep up. What’s the status?
The economy can be up, the economy can be down. It really doesn’t matter. You can make money in both markets. You just have to adapt your strategy. However, this is where I see most people stall out. They try to use the same strategy for both. When the economy is up you can get great rates of return with low risk by using bonds, CD’s and the like.
While summer is winding down, fall is always a busy time of year and often comes full of weddings, business trips, holiday travel and quick weekend getaways. The UDC crew is looking forward to a bunch of travel this fall. Julie is getting married and heading on a fabulous honeymoon in September. Jen and Rebecca are heading to Mexico in October and Jen is off to Kenya in November. We are just ‘a little’ excited about our upcoming adventures (and some much needed R&R). With all of these trips ahead, we enlisted the expertise of travel and wellness guru, Linden Schaffer, founder of Pravassa, a NYC-based wellness company that offers incredible health-inspired travel retreats and vacations. Are you notorious for overpacking and still arriving with nothing to wear? Do you come back from a trip in need of a vacation? And how do you stay healthy and sane navigating crowded airports full of stressed out travelers?
Check out Linden’s tips to detox your next trip.
We all have too much stuff, do you really need to bring it on the road with you? These days airlines are charging for every bag you check, so it’s best to try and carry on. Plus, you’ll avoid the lost baggage ordeal which can throw a major wedge in your trip. Pick a few outfits you feel great in, mix and match with accessories and shoes and viola – no more waiting at baggage claim.
There’s nothing worse than having to rely on airplane food or fast food when I’m hungry on the road. Instead of paying for this semi-nutritious food, pack some grapes, kale chips, nuts or fruit & nuts bars to stave off the munchies until you can find a place for a proper meal.
UDC tip: We love Cinch Snack Bars, Kind Bars and organic green apples for easy and travel-friendly snacks. Be sure to stay well hydrated too. Flying can quickly dehydrate and cause fatigue and exacerbate jet-lag.
BOOK A HOTEL WITH A SAUNA OR STEAM ROOM
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, try to book your stay at a property that has a sauna or steam room. Spending just 10-minutes at the spa can help you get over jet lag, sweat out any airplane germs and de-stress your entire being. If you find yourself at a property without these amenities, create your own by closing the door to the bathroom and running a steamy shower or putting a towel over your head to envelope the sink after you’ve turned on the hot water.
GO TO BED EARLY
Use your time wisely so you feel refreshed and relaxed. Most of us don’t get an adequate amount of sleep as it is, so take the time away from home to turn off the TV, shut down the computer and catch an extra hour of zzz’s. If begging off a client dinner is not an option for you, then try to schedule your day to begin after 10am and sleep in.
Armed with your new healthy travel tips, check out some of Pravassa’s upcoming excursions. How does Bali in February sound? Or Buenos Aires in April? Ummmm…We think a UDC retreat is DEFINITELY in order.
Happy, healthy trails!
LINDEN SCHAFFER is the founder and director of Pravassa. Early on in her career Linden realized that in order for her to function at full capacity, she needed to find ways to relax and retreat even if it was only for a couple of hours. An avid yogi for the past 15 years and Pilates devotee for five, Linden turned to both wellness techniques as a way to balance out a stressful career in the fashion industry. On the road she started to seek out yoga studios, spas and saunas; anything that would help with jet lag and offer her a place to get centered. Concluding her 15-year career after successfully launching a multimillion-dollar footwear business for Diane von Furstenberg, Linden fused her personal interests with her business savvy and launched Pravassa In 2009. Linden’s goal is to help all Pravassa travelers learn life changing wellness techniques while in spectacular settings, enabling them to take home the tools to incorporate these changes into their every day life. As a 2011 winner of the British Airways Face of Opportunity Contest, Linden continues to spread the message of wellness through healthy travel around the globe as well as writing articles for MindBodyGreen and Well+GoodNYC.
UDC sat down with skincare expert Caterina Marra-Vazquez to get the inside scoop on how to detox your skincare regime. Check out some of Caterina’s insider tips on how to achieve healthy and glowing skin:
- Throw out any products you have that are more than 1.5 years old- there is nothing worse than putting contaminated product on your face!
- Clean all your products [bottles] weekly- you can use rubbing alcohol and a tissue- it will remove the old, crusty leftovers and keep your bottles bacteria-free.
- Keep It Simple, Here are the only products you really need for gorgeous skin: A basic cleanser to remove makeup, a good exfoliant to decongest pores and remove dead skin cells, a moisturizer rich in anti-oxidants and nourishing ingredients to protect and hydrate, sunscreen, eye cream…and sometimes a treatment specific product (for ex: acne gel).
Don’t clutter your cabinets with eight products that all do the same thing. Cleansers do not need to be fancy, spend the money on a treatment product or a super rich anti-oxidant moisturizer.
- Your body (especially if it is in good health) will clean out some of the chemicals put into it via our beauty products, but too many chemicals can overwhelm it. One easy way to help your body detox- try to maintain a beauty regimen of 75% organic and natural products, your skin will thank you.
- Quality skincare is a good investment- some clients I have will actually tell me they purchase inexpensive products at their local drugstore, I am always shocked by that. Don’t they know that these companies are spending all their money on advertising, marketing and packaging instead of the actual ingredients? I have no issues with spending $50.00 for quality skincare products, such as the BEE Yummy™ line. The ingredients written on the label practically spell “healthy skin”!
Here are some of my favorite products that can easily be incorporated into your beauty routine:
- Bee Yummy ™ Skin Food: Total nutrition for your skin- plus the antimicrobial benefits of Propolis!
- Dr. Bronner’s Soap: Lasts a long time and is good clean fun! You can wash practically anything with it- even your little puppy!
- Organic Coconut oil: Good to add to your smoothies as well as your entire body…when I get out of the shower I literally slather myself from head to toe…absorbs quickly and is the ultimate moisturizer- good for lips and cuticles too!
Caterina is a NYS certified and licensed esthetician as well as a medical esthetician. She began her career in skincare studying ingredients within a product development role. She later studied skin histology with medical greats such as Dr. Pugliese as well as ayurvedic healing elements with Dr. Pratima Raichur. Caterina has worked as a skincare trainer and consultant, traveling across the US teaching estheticians and spa owners the importance of good skincare. Caterina’s focus was and always will be healthy skin.
Here at Urban Detox Club we believe in moderation. And although alcohol isn’t quite detox friendly, we know everyone needs to unwind a bit and many tend to do that at their local watering hole.So, if you’re going to imbibe on a cocktail, may as well make sure it is somewhat UDC approved.It’s no secret that a simple glass or red or white wine, or even a light beer, is the best option when you hit the social scene. The fancy cocktail menu is when things start to get a little funky. One of the biggest ingredients that sabotages our healthy lifestyle is the dreaded “S” word….SUGAR! It’s found excessively in everything from sangria to a mojito. Ask your bartender to replace it with one of our favorite sweeteners, natural agave nectar.Be wary of your mixers. Juices and soda are filled with sugar and extra calories. Instead, squeeze a fresh lemon or lime into your beverage or opt for some sparkling water rather than tonic.We know you’ve heard this before, but after every cocktail you enjoy, sip some of the good stuff – H2O. This will keep you hydrated and hopefully avoid that headache the next morning.We get it, it’s summer, so while the weather is nice go out and enjoy a cocktail on the patio. And because we love you, here’s one of our favorite recipes – a healthy take on the traditional margarita. Just follow it up with a luscious green juice tomorrow morning!Urban Detox Club’s Sparkling Margarita:1 1/2 ounces tequila1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice1/2 ounce CointreauJust a touch of agave nectarA splash of sparkling waterCheers!
” I NEVER ATE KALE BEFORE AND NOW I BUY IT EVERY WEEK” Name: Nicole Saucier Age: 31 Occupation: Relationship Manager at financial services firm Location: Battery Park City (New York, NY) Favorite UDC approved food: Veggie chili is my favorite … Continue reading
Ironically the name of the book happens to be “Six Weeks to OMG! Get skinnier than all your friends.”
This book seems to be just that.
After bringing the book to our attention, we began noticing ads for it in the subway that read:
“Why soda is better than broccoli.”
Is it all about being skinny? Because this is certainly not all about being healthy!
Now apparently, with the soda/broccoli scenario, the author is comparing carb content. However, let’s get serious – coke vs brocolli. Omg! Get real.
The author has gotten some slack for seeming to be targeting young girls who just may not know any better. They want to be skinny and don’t really care what it takes.
Of course this is just another symptom of a much larger problem in our society. There is simply a flood of misinformation. Conflicting opinions and cleverly crafted messages on food packaging, commercials, magazine ads and more are causing millions of us to want to get skinny but be sick or eat the wrong ‘healthy’ foods and get fat.
We realize we live in a country where free speech reigns and we absolutely appreciate and savor this privilege. But we also feel that there is a responsibility that is often ignored.
So what do you think, UDC readers? Should the health and wellness industry including food companies, big Pharma and industry ‘experts’ be more responsible about the message they are sending? Have we reached a new low? And if not, how far is too far?
Summer in NYC is in full swing…humidity and all. When it’s hot outside, it can be easy to perk yourself next to you a/c and watch reruns all night and weekend. Or camp at a bar. We say, “Booooring!” The city is full of amazing and often FREE events designed to get you off your butt and enjoying fresh air.
Here are some of our favs:
TRAPEZE SCHOOL OF NEW YORK
Overcome your fear of heights, rediscover your abs and take in a fabulous view of the city from Pier 40 @ Hudson River Park (West Street & Houston Street). Group classes and private sessions are available. Not only can swinging from a trapeze be a source of physical health, according to TSNY, flying can also improve trust, timing, relaxation and body awareness. Learn more at http://newyork.trapezeschool.com.
HUDSON RIVER PARK
Not only is Husdon River Park home to trapeze flying, it’s a mecca for loads of free, fun summer activities.
A few of our favs include:
Kayaking – Spend a few hours working out your arms in the Hudson. Kayaks are available from Piers 40, 66 and 96 with hours varying depending on location. Be sure to plan ahead and check out more details online.
Summer of Fitness – free fitness classes every Thursday at 5:30PM through 8/23 at Pier 46.
Yogamaya - free vinyasa yoga Thursdays at the 14th Street Park through 9/13. Free mats are provided too!
If you’d rather dance the calories off, check out MoonDance every Sunday at 6:30PM through 8/12 at Pier 84. Free lessons at 6:30pm and a live band at 7:00pm
A popular vacation adventure, you don’t have to venture too far from the city for a thrill. Upstate New York is home to several zip lining courses. Detox from the Big Apple for a day and get intimately reacquainted with nature as you zip past trees.
Two to check out:
NOTE: Do your due diligence and research courses and safety records before your adventure. UDC is not endorsing any of these parks. We just think ziplining is super fun!
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
Craving a little culture? This free NYC tradition is offered by The Public Theater annually. While getting your hands on tickets can be a feat an adventure in itself, these shows are the real deal and feature incredible talent. The remaining show this summer is one of UDC’s co-founder Jen’s absolute favorites: Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim starring Amy Adams and Donna Murphy. Ummmm…yes please!
Tickets are given away on performance days at the box office at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park (show up EARLY and bring a book) or via an online lottery (definitely not guaranteed this way!). A bonus to waiting in Central Park for tickets – excellent people watching. Local musicians and street performers are often out in full force. It’s sure to be entertaining in more ways than one. Learn more here.