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SI Swimsuit rookie Jena Sims knows a happy home is an organized home. The Swim Search open-casting-call alum, who celebrated her 35th birthday in Mexico last month, is candid about the fact that being super neat isn’t her biggest strength, but she has learned the power of cleanliness and how impactful it can be on her mental health, well-being and daily productivity.
The nonprofit CEO discovered the Rainbow method awhile ago, and it truly has changed her life, making getting dressed, putting away laundry and packing so much easier.
What is the Rainbow Method?
If you’ve ever seen an episode of The Home Edit or Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, you’ll certainly recognize the method of color-coding your clothes as a simple yet highly effective way to keep your closet, pantry, bookshelves, linen cupboards, craft bins or storage cabinets neat, organized and easy to go through.
“This method involves sorting your items by color and organize them by the spectrum of a rainbow. In other words, ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet),” professional organizers, entrepreneurs and TV stars Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin explained. “This is partially a design decision because things in rainbow order are pleasing to the eye, but even more importantly it creates a visual flow that naturally clicks with the brain. Our brains innately recognize this pattern, making it a natural scheme for making sense of where we put things. Plus, it’s prettier than other methods, so people are more likely to maintain it,” the ladies add.
How Sims incorporates the method
The mom of one, who shares son Crew with husband, professional golfer Brooks Koepka, primarily uses the method to keep her closet as clean as possible.
She’s also slowly developed an appreciation for donating old clothes and baby stuff to local women’s shelter Hannah’s Home—and that helps a lot with de-cluttering as well.
“If someone were to describe me, they would automatically say, rainbows and glitter and sparkle. My G Wagon is rainbow holographic. It is so out there, so anything I’m automatically just gravitated towards, anything rainbow, it’s definitely how I express myself,” she says.
The swimwear designer mentions that she hired some organizers when they were moving in to help and discovered the technique.
“They had these rainbow bead bracelets around their wrists, and I asked them [about it]. They said that is how they’re mentally aware of how they’re placing the clothing items in the closet,” she explains. “If they get stuck on which color goes next they look down at their wrist because it’s not exactly ROYGBIV—there’s all different types of colored clothing like there’s neutrals or grays and browns and blacks.”
Her thoughts and praise
Sims’s closet is organized by type of clothing—tops, pants, outerwear, socks, shoes and workout sets all have their own areas, and each section is color-coded, starting with the lightest shades and ending in the darkest.
“Other than just the fact that it is aesthetically pleasing when you walk into a closet, it’s just [easier to see] everything,” she shares. “If I’m looking for a pink shirt, I know exactly where to go because they’re all right there in the same section. So I find that helpful when I’m getting dressed or I’m putting outfits together.”
Sims adds that it also helps with packing and unpacking—she considers herself a champion at throwing together a suitcase in a short amount of time that will actually be useful and convenient to navigate while on a vacation or work trip.
“It helps with packing because I think about, ‘O.K., I’m going to be there for a week, so I’m going to need three workout sets, two hoodies, two cocktail dresses, four T-shirts, two pairs of jeans, etc.,’” she continues. “So I know exactly which section of the closet it comes from.”
Sims and Koepka built their Florida house from the ground up, and moved in in 2021. Her biggest advice to anyone moving soon, whether it’s homes, apartments or even just rooms, is to do the de-cluttering before you shift spaces.
Her last big closet and office clean-out was a few months before she welcomed her baby boy in July. It was a difficult task, but she thinks being in “nesting mode” was really helpful. She notes that she has to be in the “right mood” to part ways with clothing.
“I [was like], ‘This is not even my style,’ and after I have a kid, I’m not gonna wear this Revolve, cut-out dress,” she shares. “Just being aware of seasonal changes and lifestyle changes helps.”
Sims is honest about the fact that she is super sentimental and loves to hang on to things—she even has the sweater from her first date with Koepka, which she knows she’ll never wear again, But she also won’t ever get rid of it.
“Some days I wake up, and if it’s getting tight in there, I get so frustrated that I can’t squeeze another pair of jeans into that one section. Then I just decide, ‘O.K., I’m gonna set myself a goal and get rid of 10 things today,’ and I count by hangers. Once I get on a roll, it helps you, but my No. 1 advice is you just have to be in the right headspace for it,” she says. “You feel 15 pounds lighter when you can move the hangers from left to right and there’s some space in there. There’s no better feeling.”