Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Coming out of the Closet - Again...

Fall – I love fall. The season to reflect and wake to crisp, colorful mornings… And time to change wardrobes. I made a big mistake when we built our house – one of only a handful in my life (I will stick by this statement). My husband rarely gets to say “I told you so” (he is a wise man – never rub it in on me when I am wrong because you never know what is going to happen). He told me to make my closet larger. But no, I did not, citing extra costs, we had already spent too much, I didn’t need all that room… Stupid, stupid stupid…

So, as you have already guessed, my closet is not big enough. It is a walk-in closet with shelves and double clothes racks but it simply cannot hold more than one season of clothes. Albeit, some of those clothes should be in the trash, probably older than most of you dear readers. I have to change out my summer clothes and winter clothes every spring and every fall, utilizing one of the guest room closets. And shoes, let us not discuss the shoe issue. Okay, I have to put the out-of-season shoes in plastic containers and stack them in the guest closet (God forbid I should have a guest who actually wants to use the closet!). It is a horrible undertaking that I dread and will consistently put off until I can no longer stand it.

Well, the time has come. The weather is cold and I can’t keep traipsing back and forth digging out clothes from the guest closet. I have to make myself do this. I have wheedled for help from hubby and he just grins, walking off muttering something about “I told you…” He never puts the “so” at the end because, well, you know why. The dogs won’t help; they simply don’t see what all the fuss is about. Clothes? Who needs clothes? And the cats – cats do nothing that doesn’t involve them and their wants. So I have no one to turn to but myself. I have to ask myself though – why do I need all these clothes?

I recently read an organization article about clothing. The lady, who was impeccably dressed in her photo (I bet she bought the outfit for the photo shoot), said you only need five casual outfits that are interchangeable. She also said you only need two dressy outfits. Yada, Yada –has she never been to a sale where you simply cannot pass up a hundred dollar blouse that is only a dollar? And what if I don’t feel like wearing what I have? If my choices are limited to seven outfits I am not going out. There must be a middle ground somewhere between too much and too little.

So, aside from Jean who has an entire room for a closet (jealousy is a terrible thing), how do you handle the wardrobe dilemma? I need a direction instead of wandering aimlessly between closets. Give me some suggestions on how to pare down or whatever will make my life easier. Suggestions anyone?

My dream closet - Sigh...


  1. Cue music. "To dream an impossible dream... "

    Aw, Cheryl. I feel your pain. I can't get into my closet right now and probably won't be able to until after Christmas. ~sigh~ My tiny walk-in closet becomes a lean-in closet. The one above is surely a dream come true. But then I wonder how long it would take me to fill that one up and despair I no longer have space. LOL!

    Ross! Ross! Ross!

  2. As with purses, I've found that a bigger closet only means I'll find more to put in it . Not to imply that I have a nicely pared and infinitely interchangeable wardrobe - far from it. I put the winter clothes on one side, the summer on the other, and I cheat by putting out of season foldables (t-shirts, shorts, etc) in the dresser drawers. And I ruthlessly purge at least once a year. I just cleaned out part of my closet last week. Now if I only had time to finish the job!

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  4. Delete Comment From: Okay, Listen Here

    Blogger Jean Hovey said...

    Do what I did. Do it today, unless you have the discipline of Cathy S. Give up an extra bedroom and call California Closets. You will have deep drawers, jewelry drawers that lock, dividers for your purses, double rods, single rods hung to match your height for formal clothes, and many, many darling shoe shelves. You can even have a little cranny custom designed for your ironing board and another for your husband's scuba gear. (Does Dr. Cheryl dive?

    You will not miss the guest who would have stayed in that room.

  5. But if you don't have an extra room (I'm in a two-bedroom apartment) you do what I did last Saturday when I switched out my summer and winter clothes. GET RID OF SOME. I have given up dreams of ever being a size 8 again. Those are headed for the thrift store. Even if it fits and I haven't worn it in two years, it's headed for the thrift store. The rule says "if you haven't worn it in a year" but I'm being generous and giving things an extra twelve months. I have 4 kitchen-size garbage bags of clothes headed for the less fortunate.

    You can buy double hang closet rods; I put one on one side of my closet and can hang blouses on top and pants on bottom. I've had to get real creative in the apartment and bought some of those storage bags where you suck out the air with a vacuum. I put sweaters and sweatsuits in them and by golly they work! They flatten down and slide right under the bed.

    Of course the closet in my other bedroom has my formals and a few off-season things (along with Christmas decorations, HOD stuff, my filing cabinet, my sewing machine (which hasn't been out of the box since I moved), plastic storage boxes of photos from the days before digital cameras, two small plastic bins of baby things I can't throw out, three lamps I'm hoping my son will want and Lord only knows what else). I really need to tackle that closet too.

  6. I can't give up a bedroom, though I have plenty, on the off chance I want to sell this house someday, but I am SO calling California Closets. Jean's closet is beautiful. Mine is walk-in, but far too small. I'm hoping CC can make something better out of it. :)

  7. Lynn--Best people I've ever worked with. Tell them your needs, and they make it happen. Even now, if I want another rod or some shelves, I call and they bring them to my door from B'ham in a few days at no charge.

  8. I am definitely going to do so. That and getting my office finished are my two priorities. Built in bookshelves in the office -- can't wait!

  9. The upside of apartment living: they fix the bathtub when it's stopped up.

    The downside of apartment living: I can't call California Closets and have them modify my closet.

    I just have to improvise and make do.

  10. Jean, I am seriously considering it. I don't really want to add on to the house again and that is the only other solution.

    Cathy, what I should really do is purge like you said. I have too much stuff!

    PM, I have tried the storage bags but my problem is - I forget what's in them. I use them for off-season clothes which works nicely.

    Lynn, you are making me want to call California Closets. I just wish I knew whether to take that extra bedroom like Jean said.

  11. Kathy, I am getting to the point of having a lean-in closet too. I should really try to be neater but I get in a hurry. Things go back into the closet willy-nilly and then I can't find them. It is a nice surprise sometimes when I find a shirt or pants that I had forgotten I had. Kinda like it's new.

  12. I am happy to say that in my apartment I have plenty of closet space, of course, I live by myself and can spread my things out in all the closets but hey, I am the one paying the rent.

    Like most people I have way to much stuff but I hate to get rid of any of it.

  13. Wow! I'd like to get one of those closets, Jean. Perhaps we should all check into CC. ;)

    Cheryl, being able to reach anything in my closet is a daily surprise. LOL! On World News Tonight, there was a piece on pairing down a woman's wardrobe. Apparently, there's a group of women in Seatle who are giving their clothes away and vowing not to buy any new clothing for ONE year! Yikes! Be gone devils!

    Cathy S., a bigger closet does pose its own set of problems. ;) Ross, here I come!