Cleaning Out The Clutter


It’s not that I haven’t made a stab (or even a concerted effort) at cleaning out my closet in the last twenty years.  I have.  But, until yesterday, I hadn’t been ruthless.  I just couldn’t bear to part with those accumulated items that seemed so appropriate when I acquired them and then never were.

You know.  The glitzy Christmas blouse that just didn’t drape right.  I’d lose track of its ill-fit as the months progressed, then plan on wearing it but, as the time grew near, I just couldn’t.  Sometimes I’d get something to take its place and, then, a new problem might erupt – the ‘good’ black pants had faded to the point of no return and they just wouldn’t do with the new Christmas top.  And so it goes – a closet full of tired, mis-matched, maybe-someday clothes and that constant lament, “nothing to wear!”

So, yesterday I culled, tried on, discarded, pitched.  Not exactly joyfully, but with a certain smugness that comes of doing a long-postponed chore.  Two bureau drawers and two-thirds of my closet – done!  One big black garbage bag full.  My plan is to finish up today and beat feet to Good Will tomorrow while I’m still feeling virtuous.

Good Will Bag #1

When I boasted of my progress to my closet-mate – perhaps hoping that I could be a role-model in this particular activity – he said:  “Wow!  How can your closet still look so full?”  It wasn’t that he doubted my diligence.  The Good Will bag and empty hangers were obvious evidence.  On reflection, his comment might have been a translation for, “No need to shop for replacements; it looks as though there’s still plenty to wear.”

In a way, I think my closet is a sort of physical manifestation of my mind.  Over the years, my brain cells have filled up.  I access the useful information when I write – often returning to old ideas and combining them with new ones.  But the more clotted up with data my mind becomes, the harder it is to locate what I need.  How lovely it would be to fill a box with worn-out thoughts to take to the Memory Recycle Center.  I wonder what would then be revealed, hidden back there in the dark recesses of my brain.  Probably a best-seller or two just waiting for rescue!

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