Friday, September 20, 2013

The way I organized my Zumba accessories

If there's one thing a crazy Zumba girl like me likes almost as much as Zumba clothes, it's accessories. I'm talking about the bracelets and all the little hair do-dads (clips, elastics, etc.). I have managed to collect quite a few in the last six months or so and yes, if you're counting backwards in your head the number of weeks since my bright color makeover, they do in fact coincide. Prior to that, I never bothered with hair things or wearing bracelets to class. Back then, I'd put my hair back with black elastics and call it good; very utilitarian. I've never been one for leaving my hair down for Zumba. At least not since that faux pas my first class. If you look at Zumba's online store, you'll see a lot of pictures of the Zumba models with their hair loose and flying everywhere.
Prime example!
This looks great in photos, it really does, but I know for fact that it's completely impractical. Aside from my very first class, I've left my hair down twice at home. Once, I wanted to see what it would be like...would I look like the model while I did Zumba on the Xbox in my living room? NO! The answer is no. It got it my eyes and blocked my view of the TV, it got snagged under my merengue arms, and I was constantly spitting it out of my mouth. After three songs, I paused and quickly got something to tie it back with. The second time was by accident. I got into practicing and I was so focused on the song I was working on (and on and on - hello Zog) that I really didn't notice until I was so sweaty that it was plastered to my neck and cheeks. So the point here is that if you have long hair, it's a good idea to tie it up/back in some way. And in that case, you may as well have some fun with it and tie it back with some style and flash! Forget black.

Since acquiring so many lovely bright tops (and couple pairs of bright capris), I thought I'd shop for hair ties and clips that match and/or coordinate. Walking through the aisle in the grocery store where these things are sold, everything was black or brown or burgundy or navy, or worse still - tortoiseshell! Oh my no... Great for everyday professional wear, not so great for Zumba. Where were all the bright colors and neon things? Walking a little further down the aisle I saw the little girls' section. Hrmm... Meh, so be it...and besides, why should kids have all the fun? So as the weeks went by, I kept an eye out in all the usual stores I shop in to see if the girls' hair section had anything new and gradually I accumulated. I accumulated them into a box in a drawer. Things got very jumbled up very quickly. I'd grab an outfit for class and start rifling through the box in the drawer searching for not only what matched my outfit, but for a -pair-. I was forever finding one of something and then having to dump a bunch of it out to find the other. In the last two months, I wised up and started saving the original cardboards that the hair clips and elastics came on and I'd keep them on that and put the whole thing in the drawer instead of putting them all into the box individually. That was (slightly) more organized and I was able to find (some) matching pieces.

If you caught my post on Wednesday, you'll know I recently discovered how to navigate in the ocean that is Pinterest. Well, in the course of my travels I found a great set of boards called DIYnCrafts. Approach with caution for these boards are like the Sirens. They'll lure you, the unsuspecting Pinterest sailor, in with their songs of inexpensive organization, recipes, and tips for re-purposing things. One thing I found while exploring their Pinterest page was an inexpensive way to organize scarves. You buy a package of shower curtain rings from the dollar store and then hang them on a regular clothes hanger. Loop the scarves through the rings and you're done. I have a bunch of scarves and all of them are hung on the same one hook so this idea really appealed to me and I decided I would do it.
And then it occurred to me...couldn't I do the same thing with my hair elastics? My bracelets which were sitting in my socks basket? My hair clips? That last one might be a challenge...but I knew I wanted all my Zumba stuff out of that drawer and organized. So I bought three 12-packs of shower curtain rings from the dollar store. $3 for 36 rings, yay! It turned out to be more than six rings... The bracelets and free-floating hair elastics were easy, I just put them on a ring according to set. The hair elastics that were still on their cardboards... I debated taking them off and putting them on a ring but I noticed the hole in the cardboard where it used to hang on a shelf in the store and what do you know? The ring fits right through that. So I just hung up the whole thing and -that- gave me a great idea for how to deal with all the little clips whose cardboards I'd long since thrown away. I went to the recycling bin in search of a suitable cardboard box.
Spaghetti box, perfect...and there were two of them. I needed to make some new cardboards to hold the loose clips. I opened them completely so they were flat and then cut them apart into pieces based on the number of clips divided into their sets. Of course I wasn't finished yet... Spaghetti boxes are really kind of ugly. I thought the cardboard needed a little sprucing up, so I went and dug up some bright colored wrapping paper.

I wrapped the cardboards and then I spaced my hair clips along the sides evenly. Once I had them arranged to my liking, I traced their outlines on the backside. I took them all back off again and used a one hole punch to put a hole in the cardboard that I could slide the clip through. This was to keep it from falling off the cardboard. Lastly, I punched six holes at the very top in the shape of a triangle to make a big enough opening to get the ring through. Why a triangle? I don't know, it seemed easiest I guess. I did one of these for every set and suddenly there was no more clutter. Everything was easy to see, each piece was paired with its match.
When everything was on a hanger, I could keep it in the closet on the same bar as all my Zumba clothes. That made getting ready for class on Wednesday night easy. I was able to grab accessories quickly, along with a top and pants. So that was my little DIY for the week, and note that I still have six empty rings... Whatever shall I do with them... More scarves? Probably not. More hair thingies? Possibly. More bracelets? Getting warmer.

And now for the finished product:

If you look at the picture above on the far left, there's a little photo tied to one of the fold-over elastics. That is Suzi Fevens of Nova Scotia, Canada. She is raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada and I got them by donating on her page. Congratulations on reaching your most recent goal Suzi.

Best advice: Organizing is fun when it's easy and inexpensive so go to your local dollar store and give it a try. Some of my Pinterest post was a little tongue-in-cheek, but I was serious about the "150 Dollar Store Ideas" thing. Doesn't everyone have a jumbled up drawer like mine? In the bathroom? Kitchen? Laundry room? You know you've got at least one. I already had hangers and wrapping paper siting around unused, so this whole project was $3. Before I read about the shower curtain ring idea, I was actually looking for some kind of jewelry box to keep it all in and that definitely would have cost more than $3; and it wouldn't have helped with the scarves.

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