Thursday, October 18, 2012

My closet demons

Remember how I spent four hours of my life last week sorting my daughter’ clothes? Well, that project was so successful and rejuvenating that I decided that Wednesdays will be my one big-project day of the week.

This week, I tackled my closet. As you can see here, it’s no small feat (pun intended).

photo 1

While last week was all about reliving sweet memories of my daughters as I went through their clothing, each item a reason for a smile, this week’s project was more of a mixed bag. It wasn’t so much that each piece of garment recalled a certain event – although there were those too – but it was mostly related to the different periods of my life.

The first to go were the “corporate attire” that I tossed on the bed, where the giveaway pile sat. I couldn’t wait to be rid of them, because it made me remember things I would rather forget. Like the horrendous commute. The cubicle farms. The office politics. The measly (but most important) two hours a day that I got to spend with Little Miss for the first two and a half years of her life because I had to make a living.

And yet I was hesitant. Is that life really over for me? I’m not going to stay at home forever. What if I get a job someday? What if I need these?

If you’re going to have a job, you’re going to get paid right? You’ll be able to afford new ones then, because who knows if you’ll still fit in the ones you have now. Besides, do you honestly think these will stay in vogue forever?

I think that’s my voice of reason. I don’t always like her; especially when she’s right. But I do listen sometimes, and this was one of them. So goodbye fitted suits, merino wool sweaters, cardigans, cuffed trousers, and pin-striped shirts, and good riddance dry-clean-only.

Next up, souvenir gear.

photo 2

I used to collect tee-shirts and hoodies from my travels as souvenirs, but my closet had enough of it. And so I moved on to jewelry instead. Today, I knew that, after years of carrying certain clothes around with me just for the sake of preserving the memory, it was time to let go.

I found this San Antonio Hard Rock Cafe shirt at the bottom of the drawer. I don’t even remember the last time I wore that, but I still remember the trip. I was there when I was an undergrad student in Illinois. Let’s just call it, “a long, long time ago”. I was on a Texas road-trip with some Malaysian friends, and I remember the River Walk, and how pretty I thought it was. And naturally, I remember The Alamo. Hah! Sorry – I just had to.

And the one from London was hard to give up. I loved every moment of my trip there. From my first tea service near the Covent Gardens to my experience of the intricacies of the London Underground network. It was amazing, but the person I was there with was from another lifetime. And I wanted to keep him there.

After giving those up, it was easier to move on to the other items that held far less meaning. Like clothes that were so yesterday. Although some of them have been with me for so long that it went through an entire style cycle. You know, when something’s trendy, then goes out of style and comes back years later to rule the glossy fashion magazines again? My chunky heels survived the cut because of it.

Then there were pieces that have been enshrined in the closet from being too big or too tight, preparing for the what-if’s and waiting for that someday. I decided that that day is now. After all, if I’m happy with the me that I see in the mirror today, shouldn’t my clothes reflect that too?

Finally, I moved on to the last bane of my existence: socks and underwear. So many little pieces to go through; so very time-consuming. But it had to be done. I didn’t give those away; they just filled a trash bag. I went through every drawer, every closet nook, and even the closets in the other bedrooms. Up until today, I had clothes in my daughters’ room and My Guy’s office. Ones I had completely forgotten about because they were never easily accessible.

It’s wonderful to have everything back in one space. Organized (somewhat). And nothing is bursting or crammed into a corner. Everything has its place, and is exactly where it belongs.

 photo 3
Six hours later, I had seven garbage bags of clothes to be donated, one to be trashed and a soul that feels like it just went through a cleansing. So much to remember. And so much to forget.

Even then, the skeletons will always be lurking somewhere. But at least now I know that they’re definitely not in my closet.

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Have you had a heart-to-heart with your closet recently? What does it look like? Clearly you can see that I have a thing for shoes. And maybe even clothes. What about you? What’s your vice(s)? Maybe we can form a support group?