Day 17: The Bedroom Cupboard

We have a strange cupboard in the bedroom. It’s deep and tall and I’d find it far more exciting if I could open it and travel to different world to have tea with a satyr. I don’t understand its purpose, or at least the purpose during the 1950s. Some guesses I’ve had over the years include hat boxes, luggage, and bed linens. In fact, it is the same linen closet I have in the hallway, just sandwiched between two closets.


I used it as a repository for things I don’t need, use, or know I have while I waited for inspiration to strike. The only items I used regularly were 2 of the 10 sweaters. Those would be the two in the front, folded as neatly as possible.

I took everything out and pretended it was Christmas. Yarn! I always wanted to start knitting. Ski gloves! These will come in handy the day after never in Southern California. A darling coin purse, change included! I’ll save the 83¢ in case I run out of gas on the side of the road and need to buy a vial of vapor. The boots met my approval, as did 50% of my purses.

Once I cleared everything I out, I had plenty of room to store all of my sweaters plus a few more still waiting for me in stores. I had a small pile of thick, classic sweaters from nice brands I stored for later. “For later” meant, of course, when I lost weight. The sweaters weren’t far off in size. They could work. Better stated, I could push it, but I’d be a fat girl in a little sweater.

I almost put the too-small sweaters back in the cupboard. Almost. But I decided getting back to a more comfortable size should be something I celebrate with a new sweater, not something I acknowledge with something I wore 10 years ago and kept because it was expensive. The more I thought about it, the more holes my argument developed. If I kept the small sweaters when I was too big, did I have to keep the large sweaters when I was too small? It seemed that no matter my weight, keeping clothing that didn’t represent my current size celebrated a failure from the past or yet to come. I put them in a bag for Goodwill.

The sweaters that fit me and make me feel put together are right where I can reach them.

New here? For the next 31 days I’m living according to the famous William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” You can learn more about the project here, and catch sneak peeks of my projects by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (I’m @pancakesfries).

Comments
27 Responses to “Day 17: The Bedroom Cupboard”
  1. Edith says:

    Very wise words! I am clinging to clothes from ten years (and twenty pounds) ago, partly because I have such a hard time finding pretty clothes that fit, no mattwe what size I am. But who am I kidding? I’ll probably won’t fit them ever again. I don’t want to be remembered of failures from the past or yet to come, so I guess I have some purging to do. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Awesome. Last night I went through my wardrobe to cull clothes and gather donations and I finally bagged up a bunch of clothing that someone gave me two years ago that are (and were at that time) several sizes too big. I had a similar thought process – there is no healthy reason to hang on to these and to have a wardrobe ready in case I ever go up 4 sizes! I dropped them off at the clothes drive at school and have no regrets! And the bonus – I can close my dresser drawers now without them getting stuck!

  3. Very wise. Makes me want to clean out my own closet again…

  4. Heather F says:

    I think we’d all like to have tea with a satyr. Wouldn’t we? I thought that was just common knowledge. ;)

    Just wanted to say good for you on giving those sweaters away. I did a purge like this about a year ago. Shortly thereafter, I got on the exercise and eating right campaign and lost twenty pounds. The one conclusion I came up with was that even tho I had given away my skinny clothes, I’m not sure I would’ve wanted to wear them even if I could fit into them again.

    Sometimes it’s just best to let go.

    Am loving your 31 day journey!

  5. Karen F says:

    SO true about the sweaters, and I’m guilty of doing the same thing. I think I have clothing of every size up in my attic. I could open my own secondhand clothing store. I never mind getting rid of the too-big stuff (“I never want to be that size again!” well, guess what…) but I ‘ve usually held on to my favorites in the smaller sizes. When I stop to think about how old those things actually are, and how long it would take me to get back down to that size, well no matter how much I spent on an item, it just doesn’t make sense to keep them. I like the idea of celebrating a weight loss with new clothes better, anyway!

    • Jules says:

      It’s always easier to get rid of the big stuff, right? I’m right there with you. I came to the same realization with the sweaters. Yes, they are classic in shape and style. Yes, I could probably wear them again. But why? I do such a great job acknowledging my failures…I should do the same with my successes.

  6. Monica says:

    I have been going through all my clothes and last week I had the epiphany to try on the clothes that I have been holding on to for thin me. Not only were they a size or two too small, but the proportions were off. You see, not only has my waistline changed over the last few (9-10) years, but so has fashion. Go figure, O_o, and duh. Nothing like rewarding yourself by putting on an old midriff skimming cropped (think Friends) sweater.
    I keep forgetting how many built-ins American houses have. It seems you will have all of yours all looking awesome by the end of the month. Open them proudly with a flourish and a song for all who visit your house.

    • Jules says:

      That’s another good point. Even if I get down to that size, it won’t fit the same. A lot has happened in the 12 years since I’ve worn that sweater!

  7. Shaina says:

    I absolutely love the entire paragraph about the too-small sweaters. It’s a very positive outlook and a healthier perspective of yourself.

  8. Ditto about the too-small sweaters. Such a healthy attitude.

  9. Lisa in Seattle says:

    “These will come in handy the day after never ” is going to be my favorite phrase on the Internet all day.

  10. May says:

    I have this exact type cupboard in the master bath of our 1930s home. On the one hand it is a great amount of storage space. But it isn’t nearly as useful as one might hope because its depth and big boxiness makes it hard to use. Whatever goes in first disappears surer than a magician’s assistant.

  11. Kelly says:

    One should be comfy and at ease in Narnia, not fidgeting in old sweaters. ;-)

    I love your odd cupboard (and your broom closet, too). I miss the quirks of older homes, here in my builder-grade shoebox.

  12. Susan G says:

    Fantastic-looking cupboard now! Although it leaves me still wondering how to get to Narnia…

  13. HeatherL says:

    Good for you! I never save things that don’t fit. . .except dresses! I just can’t get over that one. I realize it is silly to be attached to clothing. A gray sweater is a gray sweater, but the sleeveless brown lace dress with the pink underlay I wore to my rehearsal dinner 8 years ago is so me, that I kind of like to just keep it around. If I ever go down 2 sizes, I am sure I will wear it everyday–even when I am gardening!
    Also, I have a high deep shelf like than in my crica 1948 coat closet ( which is so deep it has two rods) and it has basically become the place where my husband hides things like boxes for new-ish electronics, light fixtures he hasn’t installed, and unfortunately, my umbrella.

  14. Zakary says:

    Looks great, you are an organizing machine.

  15. Jenn says:

    Nice clean up and way to go on letting go of things!

    I’m generally pretty good about not hanging on to clothes, but I do have two dresses whose style I adore, that are classic and very flattering to my figure, that fit even. I haven’t worn either in a long while because the cotton has no stretch/give so they’re not very comfy to wear with my movement heavy (child wrangling!) lifestyle. I paid more for them than for any other single article of clothing ever (including my wedding gown because I wore my grandmother’s) which is probably the reason they’re still in my closet. I really need to just get them out of here!!!! Going to do it right now.

  16. Dorien says:

    I’ve done this too. I always kept things I didn’t fit in anymore for ‘when I lost weight’ but they only depressed me so I got rid of them :) Now I only buy clothes that fit me. I am really glad however, when something is too big :p xo

  17. Sarah says:

    New here and totally inspired! I love that quote but I would really love to LIVE that quote! I did clear out my closet this weekend – but I think I may need to go through with a stricter eye!

  18. Pinja says:

    Love love that quote and attitude about sweaters that are too small (or big for that matter), I’m so going to be inspired by you and finally throw out/goodwill all the clothes I’m going to wear *someday* (when I’m thinner, better, more lovable…). I’m good like this and I’m living for today!

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Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.