New closet, new rules


As described in an earlier post, Cleaning out the closet, I pared down my wardrobe to 50-ish items before moving from my mother’s house to my own flat.  I am slightly ashamed to say that I did rescue one sweater from the purge pile, but I did add another shirt to the purge pile in its place.  I also have a plan to make sure I only possess the articles of clothing I actually wear.  I am going to share that strategy with you now!

I put my hangers in backwards.  Every article of clothing in my closet went in on a backwards hanger.  As I take out items to wear them, and they go back into the closet, the hanger gets reversed to the “normal” position.  At the end of a certain period of time, whatever is still on a backwards hanger gets donated or sold, because I’m clearly not wearing it, so someone else should get the chance.  Some of the things in this closet have the tags on, and they were purchased months ago. Yikes.

Tee shirts are in an under-bed storage bin, all facing down.  As I wear them, they can get put away facing up.  I rarely wear tee shirts so that should be an easy purge in a few months.

Typically, I sort by color, but I sorted my clothes by type this time.  Tank tops, short-sleeve blouses, pants/shorts, dresses, sweaters, dress clothes.  I think, for dresses, pants, shorts, tanks, and short-sleeves, I will re-evaluate in six months and take a look at what I wore and what I didn’t.  For sweaters, obviously I’ll need some colder weather before I evaluate that. Ideally I would like to own only one suit, but my mother (she should get her own tag) assures me that, in case one pair of dress pants rips, I should have a backup.  And a backup for my backup.

I’ll wait a few months and probably pare down the dress clothes too.

I would like to — ideally — end up with a color palette of “stuff that goes with black” or “stuff that goes with brown” and not have to deal with both… for now, I have blacks and browns and I love them both.  Baby steps.

The limbo box

On January 1, 2012, I started the official process of moving into my mom and stepdad’s house to live with them while I “got back on my feet.”  It took me months to move out of my then-husband’s apartment, one box at a time, by myself, to my car, and one car load at a time to my mom’s.

I am tired of carrying boxes.

I have a lot of stuff that I don’t use, but that society insists I need.  This post is about some of those things that other people think I need.

I have been going through boxes and boxes that I brought from my previous apartment, and re-packing the things I think I will truly use, and leaving behind a really impressive “yard sale” pile.  If it doesn’t sell, I’m taking it all to Goodwill, because I am tired of looking at it.

My mother was observing the process when I found a small bulletin board and commented, “How many of these do I really need?” I have four. I mused on the subject, and decided to only take one small bulletin board with me to the new flat.  Then I announced I didn’t need it, and I would put all four into the yard sale pile.  My mother immediately defended the bulletin board. “You’re going to want that!” she insisted, “You can put it next to where you pay your bills!”

I had already decided that all bill-paying supplies and office supplies would be kept in a one-drawer end table next to my couch.

I put the bulletin board in a box.  She looked on disapprovingly.

When I found my iron, I announced that, since I hadn’t used it in years, I wasn’t going to take the iron or my ironing board either.  If she disapproved of my bulletin board discard, she was at arms about the iron.  “You need that! You are going to need that! When you don’t have one and you have to go spend $20 on a new iron you are going to wish you had kept that! Listen to your mother, I know best.” (She actually said that).

I continued to insist that I wasn’t going to use it, but she was very determined I should keep it.  I suggested a compromise: I would keep the things I thought I didn’t need and she thought I did in a box at her house, and if I did wind up needing them, I could come get them.  She agreed.  Bulletin board, iron, ironing board – all into “stuff limbo.”