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Another Day in the Country

Too much stuff

© Another Day in the Country

It’s nature’s way of announcing a garbage sale,” my daughter said when I showed her a picture of a closet clothes bar and shelf, lying on the floor with everything but the wall attached. 

Hmmm, I wondered, was her tone just a wee bit unsympathetic? She is especially skilled at throwing things away. One of the jean jackets residing on that bar had been hers once upon a time, and I’d rescued it from her “giveaway’ pile.

The closet, now unnavigable with clothes and storage boxes all over the floor, is where winter clothes were about to go now that summer is upon us.

I’d done some of the switching, ironically not adding or removing anything from that particular clothes bar.

Now I’m eyeing a pole across the aisle and wondering, are you too heavy, too? I’m assuming that’s what did it — the weight. (Weight does us in no matter which way you turn, and there’s only one way to solve the problem: Get rid of it!)

In some ways, pounds were easier for me to shed than extra clothes. It makes no sense. There’s a dress that I wore to my daughter Patrice’s wedding in San Diego 30 years ago. There’s a dress I wore to Jana’s wedding — 20 years and counting. There are long coats from when those were in style. I keep thinking that style will come back in at some point — and now the pole is broken.

I did find a dress from some previous decade that fits again. This made me smile as I’m lugging clothes on hangers up off the floor and into piles on a bed. 

There are so many ways a person gets rid of extra things. I’ve watched television shows on folding and rolling and throwing things away. I’ve read books on sparking joy! I have some time to contemplate while I’m waiting for the shelf and pole to be repaired, put back up, and fortified.

My sister would say, “Take it all to a thrift shop! Do not hang any of it back in the closet.”

I equivocate.

“I mean, really, I just found a brand new dress in that bunch of fallen clothes that fits again, so I can wear to the next occasion where a dressy dress is called for (which I have to admit are few and far between) and it’s good I kept it!”

Really? The truth is that I’d forgotten about that dress completely!

I also found shoes I’d forgotten that. They were sandals I probably got on sale in the fall some year in the past and then put them away until the season for sandals rolled around, but they became lost in the shuffle.

In any household, things get lost in the shuffle, especially kitchen tools that are used only randomly (for me, it’s a that thingamajig that takes the cork out of wine bottles). You almost forget you have them, but when one is needed,

“Here it is!” I call out jubilant at the sight of it.

An old ice pick also falls into that category.

The weight of all those coats and suits from long ago in my office-working life must have pulled everything down.

There were mostly throw pillows on the shelf above the clothes rod. Even throw pillows seem to be multiplying up there on that shelf — each one with a story.

There are the pillows with bunnies on them that I put out only at Easter.

There are the cute pillows with tassels that were in the leather chair I bought at an antique shop years ago. They were pretty to look at in the chair but not functional.

There are blue decorative pillows that Mom used to put on her bed. Mom, the bed, and all the bedding are gone except for the pillows, which match the wallpaper Mom loved. They were still up there on the shelf. No, that’s not quite right. They were on the shelf.

So far, I have one grocery bag half full of clothes to give away. Surely, I can do better! I head back to the guest room, now littered on every surface with items from just one side of the closet. Twenty minutes later, I had two bags full of clothes to release.

I’m trying all the techniques I’ve read about and listened to, hour after hour. This is where the rubber hits the road. Will any of them work? Now there are three bags.

There is a brief moment when I blame the whole fiasco on flimsy closet organizers that I bought when we built Mom’s house.

They just aren’t sturdy, I hear myself mumble, but then I’m jerked back to reality as I scan all the items still hanging on the same kind of organizers on the opposite side of the closet.

I have to admit, I’m just too much of a keeper. And with good old country grit, I head back into the closet, with a supply of paper bags to fill with “giveaway stuff” on another day in the country.

Last modified June 16, 2021

 

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