Lessons from a former hoarder – Chapter 2: Time to start

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Local Voices

Read Connie’s first reflection here: Lessons from a former hoarder

Connie Simon

With stuff everywhere, I just didn’t know where to begin, so I opened up the closet and took out all the clothes I didn’t like. I put the hangers on the bed, all going the same way. I made a separate pile of the skinny hangers to be brought back to the dry cleaner for recycling. Already, I’m feeling accomplished!

I went one step further and pushed the clothes aside to reveal the dreaded “bottom of the closet.” I took a deep breath and just started sorting the vast array of confusion of mismatched shoes. Once this disaster was all out in front of me & put in “pairs,” I shook my head in disbelief. What had been a constant doink of frustration, had suddenly changed to, “Wow, I have a lot of shoes!” Time to “pass on” those 4″ heels I wore once,
the hand-crocheted slippery slippers that are too itchy,
the bridesmaid shoes I was obligated to buy,
the comfy shoes that don’t go with anything,
the cute boots that are now dry rotted,
the stinky tennis shoes with weird laces,
the several pairs of corn-causing high heels.
Not to mention the Burt & Ernie slippers.

You get the picture. Too many shoes. I kept all the cute ones, after all, I’m not a savage. Time to get out of this closet, I’m getting overwhelmed!

I grabbed a paper grocery bag, not to breathe in, but to put the skinny hangers in. CHECK! One thing off the list! (That is, if I had one) Then I put the rest of the hangers in the closet, IN ORDER. Since when did I have order? Well, there they were, hanging neatly on the closet rod. Not only were the hangers facing the same way, but the plastic ones were together, the wood ones, the non-slip ones, the clear ones, etc. Wow, I was feeling better already! I might have gotten rid of some old friends, but I was getting used to the idea of them making someone else happy. BONUS, I actually had room to PUT things in my closet without rolling an ankle.

I stared at the closet for the first time, confident that it wasn’t going to explode when I opened the door. I actually found some really cute stuff I wanted to wear! Just one very obvious problem. As this wild air of “order” came over me, I was putting things in color order, and realized…they don’t fit. THERE! I said it! Somewhere in the last decade, somehow these cutsie clothes shrunk! I know closets do that, but I’ve now experienced it firsthand. Oh the humanity!

Two plastic garbage bags later, my closet was losing weight, but I liked it. I liked actually being able to SEE my clothes and to SEE PAIRS of shoes awaiting the next day’s outfit dilemma.

One Down, Five To Go…..

Connie Simon


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