Day 11: The monster in the entry closet.
The closet in my bedroom is the one area of the house I am in no rush to purge this month. I don’t mean to brag (of course I do), but my closet is immaculate. Over the last year I have pared everything down so that all seasons fit in one modestly sized closet. I even have my clothing organized by color. The Mister’s closet, on the other hand, is an unspeakable horror. I ask him repeatedly to purge his clothing to no avail. He keeps promising he’ll clean it out, but I know he’s only saying that to keep me out of his closet. Given carte blanche, I’d leave him with three pants and five shirts. Maybe a robe.
I try to put his laundry away, but heck if I know where anything goes. Yelling hasn’t worked. My threats must not be impressive. Dramatically pushing shut closet doors comes across like a comedy. My latest technique is to lay his clothing on a neatly made bed, my passive-aggressive way of saying: I would love to put these away for you but, YOU KNOW. He swears this is the month he cleans out his closet.
I talk a pretty big game considering this is the entry closet.
The entryway is a desolate space in our home used once or twice a month by proselytizers and people selling windows. A couple of months a year we grab a coat if we are going to be outside and a thick sweater isn’t enough. Other than that, this closet is rarely a blip on my radar. Out of sight, out of mind.
I purged the closet of old coats years ago, so almost everything hanging remained. My focus was on taking down the dozens of frames–some with art, some without–waiting quite sloppily for me to work up the nerve to put holes in the wall. That pile I then reduced by half and put the discarded items in the donation pile. Then I tackled the floor, which harbored wrapping paper, one coat off its hanger, and three mirrors from Pottery Barn Kids that I forgot to return.
This was an embarrassing, disgusting discovery. I vaguely remember buying this trio of frames. Vaguely! If I am remembering my facts correctly, they arrived in the mail and were far too small and not what I was expecting. Either I was going to return them or they were clearance items and, therefore, impossible to return. It really doesn’t matter. They were at the bottom of a closet and, until that moment, I had no idea they existed. That’s what matters.
I was already annoyed with myself when I started on the closet, all those frames and prints taunting me. But to find the reflection of my careless spending in three mirrors I barely remember buying? Well. My annoyance quickly escalated into a rage hot enough to incinerate the detritus of a closet benignly neglected. I was on fire. I vowed this was the last time I kicked a roll of wrapping paper to shut a door.
Two hours later I had the floor swept clean, the coats organized by weather, and the hats, gloves, and mittens in a basket. I stared at it for a while and ran the vacuum inside once or twice just because I could. Then I made a few notes about aesthetic changes I would like to make by the end of the month if time permits. When it was time for Mikey to come home from school, I shut the door on the clean floor, on the closet, and on a chapter of my life I won’t ever again revisit.
New here? For the next 31 days I’m living according to the famous William Morris quote. You can learn more about the project here.