Cleaning out the closet 101

clean cloet

Now, if only I can keep it this way

I’m going to have to get a motel room tonight. Or maybe I’ll sleep in the guest room.

Why, you ask? Because my master suite looks like someone took it and shook it to death. I can’t even find the bed.

For three weeks I’ve been carrying over a dreaded chore on my to-do list. Today I decided it was time to get it done so I could move on to more enjoyable things….like binge reading or learning to play golf. The chore, (I tremble), was to clean out my closet.

best dream closet

Above – My dream closet

Summer is almost over and fall seems to be easing in early. I was anxious to clear out all those summer frocks which I never even wore since I can count on one hand the number of dressy events I attended this summer. Besides I think I sprained my ankle when I tried to step through the mine field of shoes and handbags that had been tossed in the closet when I had company a few weeks ago.

The closet has become a health hazard, but dealing with it was even scarier.

First, I went on line to try to find some inspiration for the dreaded task. The first suggestion was to take every single thing out of the closet and place them in piles. The first pile was for “keepers” and the second pile was for stuff that no longer fits or hasn’t been worn in years. The keeper pile had exactly 10 items and the second pile was taller than the armoire with my TV on top.

The third pile (I made this one up) was for things in pile two that I couldn’t bring myself to part with, though they’ll not be worn again in this lifetime. Things like the size 5 sundress I last wore in 1983. Deluded as I am, I hope that when I go to my eternal rest they will say, “Oh look, she was still wearing a junior size at her age!” Maybe they won’t notice the size 12s flanking that lone wisp of a frock.

I had just cleared out the train wreck in the closet when the phone rang. A friend wanted me to ride to Tuscaloosa with her. That sounded like so much more fun. Besides, this chore was beginning to depress me.

Long story short, I returned to the mess at dark-thirty. Inexplicably, the mountain of clothing to be dealt with, seemed to have grown. Exhausted from shopping, I took the Scarlet O’Hara approach and vowed to “worry about that tomorrow.”

But first, I walked into the empty closet and hung up the new threads I purchased on my roadtrip and headed to the guest room.

The next morning the new purchases looked pretty lonely. Slowly I added back a few old colorful things that coordinated nicely. Before I knew it I had replaced everything in the closet except one Ole Miss sweat shirt that seems to alienate Starkville citizens when I wear it, and a hideous plaid jacket with shoulder pads that qualified me to work out with the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

The effort wasn’t totally wasted. I got to vacuum the closet for the first time in weeks and found my favorite jacket that had slipped off the hanger and lay crumpled underneath an empty shoe box. I started to toss the box in the trash , but had second thoughts. I might need that box one day. Ditto for practically everything else that originally populated the closet.

dream closet II

Hmm, I’d like this one too – but it’s bigger than my house!

My advice to anyone planning to undertake such a monumental task is to unplug the phone and don’t make piles. Just drop the stuff you don’t like into a trash can lined with coffee grounds, dog food cans and greasy paper towels. That’s about the only thing that would prevent me from having second thoughts and rescuing them at the last minute.

(Editor’s note: I cannot lie. The lead closet isn’t mine either. But it is identical in every way except for the contents!)

5 thoughts on “Cleaning out the closet 101

  1. OK….so you thought I was not going to read this, I guess! Now you are definitely in trouble! Coming to Tuscaloosa without calling me is definitely a “no, no”!!!!

  2. But it was a Monday morning after a ballgame weekend! The last thing you needed was a redneck with a messy closet coming to call. You are still my role model.

  3. You are still “not off the hook” on this one. The only way to “make it right” is an announced visit to T-town!

  4. Yes M’am Jenny. You wanna form a messie’s anonymous group? Recovery from our affliction would be more fun! Thanks for introducing me to Messie’s Manual!

    And Olivia. You are my inspiration for leaving behind my messie living. I promise to plan a trip your way to begin my Christmas shopping!

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