It began at 3am on Friday morning with a loud B A N G! I shot out of bed (naturally, hubby slept through the racket…..) and ran into our walk-in closet only to find our closet shelf had given way under the weight of hanging clothes and shirts, sweaters, shoes, and boxes stacked on top. What a mess! Everthing was piled in a heap on the floor. Ugh. There was certainly nothing that could be done at that hour, so I trudged back to bed.
In the morning I surveyed the damage. Fortunately, my ever-handy-man Dad was able to put the shelf back up on the wall and my ‘sound-sleeper’ husband secured it in place with the drill when he got home from work that evening. But all the clothes and boxes were still strewn all over the floor. It was clear that many of these things had not been used or worn in quite awhile and we had truly accumulated too much “stuff” since our last move. In my mind, I began formulating a plan. Some of this would have to go.
In the meantime, with only three days left until my next trip (“Get ready, all you fun Wenatchee guild gals!”) with a follow on trip to teach on the quilting cruise to Alaska, I needed to get us all packed and ready to go. So early Saturday morning, I began to pack the boys’ suitcases for the cruise. As I went through Josh’s closet I realized that most of the items hanging there were no longer his size. So, amid many protests and gnashing of teeth (remember this?) I had him try on everything (and I do mean everything). Much to his dismay. And did I mention protests? One by one, we went through every item in his closet. One pile for clothes to donate. One pile for things to discard. If anything fit, it was hung neatly back in the closet.
As much as I really hate this in-it-for-the-long-haul time consuming task, we were on a roll! I was getting into the groove now. It was time to sort the clothes in his dresser drawers! We tackled underwear, socks, t-shirts, shorts, and so on. One by one. More loud protests, procrastination and complaining from the 16 year old. But I pushed through anyway, determined to figure out exactly what he has that still fits, and what items he really needs to have for his wardrobe not only for the cruise, but for the coming year of school and church.
By the time it was all over, we had filled two extra-large garbage bags with clothes ready for donation. It was a daunting task, but I really felt good about our progress. And everything was so neat. Clean. And organized! I had a shopping list in hand of things I needed to buy for him, and his suitcase was almost completely packed.
Next, I did the same thing for Andrew’s closet and drawers. More protests from the little man, but again, Mom prevailed. We went through each and every item, one by one. His drawers were a disaster. We found all sorts of things he had long forgotten about, including Lego pieces, books, and toys. It felt great to get these all sorted out. In the end, we had another suitcase packed and another large garbage bag full of clothes to donate. Woo hoo!
This task took all morning and afternoon, followed by an evening shopping trip to the mall. But the proof of a hard day’s work was in those clean closets and drawers with neatly folded clothes. (I’m not foolish enough to think they will stay that way for long, though.)
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. I still had our closet to tackle, but I also had momentum on my side. I had conquered the boys’ closets and drawers: surely I could do it again in our closet. So, that’s exactly what I did. I spent all afternoon going through our closet. One item at a time, discarding things that were worn, out of style, or we just don’t wear anymore. I went through our dresser drawers and shoes as well. The process took about six hours. I organized things by size, color and style. And I packed for both our trips coming up. It was tedious and tiring. (And hot in that closet!) But in the end, all our closets are purged and we can actually move the hanging clothes without having to jam everything in together.
Aaahhhhh. Now that’s nice.
Truthfully, I don’t plan to devote an entire weekend to closet clean-outs very often. But it sure feels great to have accomplished such a daunting task! I’m calling this the weekend of THE GREAT EINMO CLOSET PURGE.