A Love Note to Excel

I like spreadsheets.

I use them for just about everything. Wedding? Check. Baby planning? Check. Organizing who gets what for Christmas presents (including when I bought it, when it was delivered and when I wrapped it)? Check.

The one that gets the biggest reaction, though, is that I use a spreadsheet to plan and track what I wear every day. It started when I was in San Francisco, and I would spend 30+ minutes every morning just staring at my closet, immobile, and unprepared to make a decision. I realized I needed to plan what I was going to wear the night before or else I would be late for work every day. So I did. And then I started planning two, three days in advance. And I would look back on previous days and weeks to ensure I wasn’t wearing the same outfit this Thursday that I wore last Thursday. It gave me a sense of control to know that I could just check the chart and throw on an outfit. It also made me feel really spontaneous if I changed something about the outfit or came up with a new outfit on the fly. But for the most part, it organized my morning and it served its purpose.

As the days and years wore on, it became even more helpful. I could look back and see what I had worn a year prior, and see how I could update that outfit with the new things in my closet. I started seeing trends of articles of clothing I tended to wear a lot of (like blazers) or that I desperately needed (nude pumps), and therefore streamlined my shopping. It also helped me be super efficient with packing and bring exactly what I needed – no more tossing things carelessly in my carry-on.

I get a lot of blank looks (or outright judgmental stares) when I tell people, but honestly, it’s been a lifesaver for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also think it’s not that different than the hundreds of fashion blogs that have popped up in the past five years where women take pictures of themselves every day in the outfits they wear, except that it’s less vain and more practical. Although I almost wish I would have done that; I might have a book deal by now!

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