Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Closets...Small Containers of Life!

Bursting with life!!!
As many of you know, we are putting our house on the market and I have been preparing for its coming out party in a few weeks. The biggest challenge has been the tiny little rooms where we hide stuff we just can’t seem to throw out, things we hardly ever use or even need, the small areas we store memories…the closets.

I admit, I was not prepared to be reminded of the things I found. So much of it comes under the heading of “what was I thinking?” when I felt the need to store such items. As I cleaned, there were times I smiled, times I laughed out loud, and admittedly times my breath would catch and my eyes would moisten. Take a tour with me:

  • I am in my late 50’s, and in my bedroom closet was my high school prom dress. Seriously. This dress traveled from the house I grew up in, to our first apartment when we married, to our first house, and 15 years later, to our current home. And, now 17 years later, I can honestly say, I don’t know why. I don't even wear dresses, so I couldn't have been thinking of cutting it down to wear at a cocktail fundraiser for the fashionably challenged. I now have finally put it out of its misery. (Although, the anxiety I feel over finding a dress for my son’s wedding caused me to dream recently that I ended up wearing the prom dress. Complete with dead corsage.)
  • In another closet was the art work of my son Kyle who, when in second grade, had to design a poster dealing with home security. Knowing that we kept a baseball bat under our bed, his poster simply read “My Dad sleeps with an old bat”. I kept it then. I’ll keep it now.
  • In three different closets, were three different Pilate balls, three different colors…all still in boxes. Enough said.
  • In my sons’ Trevor’s closet, I found, 2 baseball gloves, 2 pairs of old cleats, broken hockey stick, a high school football helmet, volumes of baseball cards and a well-worn magazine that I’m sure he wished I never found the first time I saw it many years ago. The same magazine that fell from the top of a bathroom cabinet that was being removed by contractors who were remodeling. The same magazine that landed to a spread eagle centerfold and when the workers all looked at me, I could only reply “it’s not mine.” I guess my son did not trash it as I strongly suggested back then. Taken care of now.
  • The downstairs hall closet is where I found an assortment of things spanning through the years. I found four different sized winter coats of mine, all now of which are too big, none of which I wore unless I was shoveling snow. Those who know me well know that I seldom wear coats. But that’s another story.
  • Continuing in that closet I found 7 right handed winter gloves, 9 left handed. None of which matched. Then amongst all the Phillies and Eagles hats and scarves, I found the item that still tugs at my heart more than I expected. Stored in a plastic bag I found the leash and a small container of soft brown fur that belonged to our chocolate lab, Maxine, who died a few years ago. I can still see her brown eyes as she would lay her head on my lap while looking up at me. I so vividly see her lying at the top of the stairwell until both boys were in the house for the night. Only then would she retire to her favorite spot. She amazed me. She comforted me. And I miss her to this day. 
I have more closets to tackle, more cabinets to straighten out, more clutter to organize. Slowing me down are the memories. There are just so many things in our homes that we don't need and will never use again. And yet, discarding them is painful. When your downsizing, space is at a premium. But the clay hand prints from pre-school, the home-made Mother's Day cards, and the pencil holders made from Popsicle sticks have to find their way into the new much smaller home. They are part of what made us a family...and they're coming with me. Now, what to do with all those trophies?

Photo by ImageGoggle


  1. From AgeingGoddess: Tough decisions to make but as the saying goes 'A new brush sweeps clean' and that means no more clutter! The only things i would hang onto are the loving momentos from my children. You will feel like a new person and have a new vitality for life :-))

  2. I am counting on that! Thanks for reading!

  3. I love this post Jo... made me laugh and cry...

  4. Thanks Jess, took your suggestion and ran with it!