Five years ago, when we moved into our home, I stood at the door of my cavernous walk-in closet and thought, "There is no way I will ever be able to fill this thing." Flash forward to the present.
Standing in the doorway of the closet I wonder, "If a person can no longer take a step into the closet is that a sign the thing needs cleaned?" Sure, it's tempting to shut the door and ignore the heap. What I mostly need out of there is my work clothes and since the lay off I'm perfectly fine with living in my pajamas and slippers. You have only to see me dropping my son off at school in the morning to know that's true. But, my gym shoes are in there and even I draw the line at grocery shopping in my slippers. Gas stations, yes. Grocery stores, no.
One of the main reasons my closet got to this point is a hereditary genetic defect that runs through my family. We're part squirrel. We love to gather up stuff and then stash it away for later. And, if we can't find a reason to keep something we pass it off on someone else so that it can go sit in their closet for a year or ten. My Grandma is the master. Nobody visits her and comes away empty handed. Today, I scored two semi used legal pads, 10 coupon inserts that may or may not be expired and several newspapers that may or may not contain articles that would interest me.
Everything gets dragged out of the closet and goes in individual piles. The giant bag of beads that my mother passed down to me three years ago is relegated as my sister's problem and I set it aside for my niece. You know those little pamphlets that hotels put in their lobbies advertising local attractions? I have to take them. All of them. I have a big bag full. Things to do and places to see in cities that I will probably never go back to. But, there is a very slim chance that I might visit again. And if I do, there is an ever slimmer chance that I will wish to see the World's Largest Thermometer. You never know, so I mark them as keepers and back into the closet they go. Magazines that have been stashed away for the recipes they contain. Glancing through them I can't even remember which dishes tempted me. An embarrassing amount of organizational materials. All in their original packaging. I make a solemn vow to myself that this time they will get used and throw them back in. They will never see the light of day again. A skeleton. Literally. For some reason a bag of Halloween decorations has ended up here. Which brings me to "the box". The box of impossible dreams. The box full of clothes that no longer fit. Not by a long shot. I tell myself that I have to be honest about this. Those outfits have been packed up so long they've gone out of style and back in again. I consider Goodwill. Then I consider that I'm looking at this the wrong way. The box should be held on to for motivational purposes. Inspiration to lose weight and be a size skinny again. Plus, it's just easier to toss it into the back of the closet.
Digging myself out from under the piles of shoes, picture frames, some kind of art project that was started before remembering that I lack talent, well read books and purses, it suddenly hits me. What am I doing? My snow boots are downstairs in our laundry room. And they totally go with green polka dotted pajama pants.