My friend, Pats, in Albuquerque, gave me a book, “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up” by Marie Kondo. I don’t know why she gave me that She doesn’t know me! (Actually we’ve been best friends since 7th grade). I started reading it while I was at her newly remodeled home where she has brand new everything, neat and uncluttered.
“Did you read this?” I asked.
“Of course I did,” she said.
I started on the first chapter. I couldn’t sleep thinking about the clutter in my own home back in Texas. My closets are packed, shoes I no longer wear because they’re heels, suits I’ll never wear again, dresser drawers stuffed, sweaters I can’t remember ever wearing, books, papers all over , old magazines I’ve saved from 2001, broken lamps, an old 8×8 TV I can’t use, and every Disney animated movie ever made. And there is more or so much more. I move onto Chapter 2. Still no sleep. The hall closet has more coats than we have people to wear them. Games, some still in the cellophane because all my grandchildren have the same ones, there are cards a blind person can see, poker chips, and a case full of 33 1/3 albums from back in the day.
Chapter 3 is about folding. I’ve been doing it all wrong. Huh. Each article needs to be on end, like a book in a book shelf so every article can be seen when the drawer is open. First you have to discard. But I love everything. And I “discard” nothing, silly girl – Garage Sale! I’m getting the feeling that these garments of cloth are living and breathing creatures from another galaxy, a lost star, Dresshirtopiter or Coveruranus.
I took the book home and began with, what else, my drawers. dresser drawers, that is. Oh look! It’s the swim suit I wore when I was pregnant, fish net stocking (really?), jeans that someone must have left at my house because I’ve NEVER worn a size 6, and a silk nightie! Nobody with 5 children wears silk nighties. Are you nuts! Good grief. That must have been BC (before children). Eeks, I even have slips. Whoa look at all those socks?
Next it’s onto the closet. Moving the shoe boxes out of the way, I discover a brand new pair of tennis shoes I bought in 1995 from the country club when I was playing tennis. I put them on and continue to discard old blouses, dresses that look like some old lady wore (she moved away), 4 bathrobes (summer and winter), skirts, slacks with the expandable pleats in front, and jackets with pointed lapels. As I walked back and forth from the closet to the bed, to the “discard” pile, I noticed my brand new sneakers were falling apart. Big chunks of rubber from the soles were littering the floor. White foam was everywhere. The entire sole folded back to the heel and then just dropped onto the floor. I paid good money for those, too. I had to start a new pile for throw aways.
Then there were the belts. Belts! No one wears belts with elastic waist pants. They all have to go.
Now you can keep things that hold sentimental value so keeping my cheerleading sweater from RAF Station Lakenheath in England gets to stay. It’s all discolored but I’m not ready to part with it yet. So I put it right back on the top shelf. Don’t judge!
I move to my other closet when I realized the author is right about taking ALL your clothes out at once. Just like catsup that you buy at the grocery because you’re out only to find that you already have 6 bottles in the pantry. So with this closet. Same clothes, different season, too little, too old, needs ironing so I never wear, and two Halloween vests I made not to mention 3 sets of hand weights from 2.5-20 pounds, a jump rope, a set of ankle weights, and two ATT 50th Anniversary Trimline phones (I plug one in the computer room just in case I forget one of my cordlesses). I’m actually scared I’m going to find my old Girl Scout uniform from 5th grade. Phew, nope. Must be in the attic.
The book says, hold each item, feel it, and if it “sparks joy”, put it back in the closet. Otherwise, thank it for its service and get rid of it (yard sale!)
I must admit, I didn’t do it exactly like she suggested but one thing is for sure, those drawers make me smile. I see everything in there. Now I don’t want to get anything out. Don’t want to mess up the fruits of my labor. How long can I wear a pair of shorts? There are even empty spaces between my pjs and slips. Maybe I need to go back through my “discard” pile. Maybe I need to go shopping. I have nothing to wear!