Yesterday, after I wrote the post “gone, baby, gone” a number of unexpected things came up and the day floated by without any activity.
This morning, I got off the couch and started emptying the contents of the small closet in our spare bedroom. You might think it small, or at least I did, until I started emptying it out. From an endless bottom, it seemed, there were suitcases of all sizes, carry-ons, three suitbags including a tan Hartman that I used for business travel when I worked in biotech and travelled business class, believe it or not.
G. helped me to stage the contents of the closet in the big plant room so that we could consolidate and go through what was there. The most surprising discovery is that most of the contents of the closet belonged to HIM!! Clothes and other things that went back FORTY YEARS, including a carryall with music in it from his student days at Berklee College of Music.
Five bags of Goodwill stuff later, we still have things piled up all over the room to go through later today and tomorrow.
One of the things I discovered is that I’ve had similar and consistent taste in shoes for a long time. Delighted, I found an old pair of black suede Birkenstock sandals, a pair of barely worn black Nike sneakers with flashing lights in the sole no less, and a simple but sophisticated pair of black leather strappy slip-on sandals. They looked just like ones I was thinking of searching for on Zappos. It’s kind of embarrassing, but it’s also great to know that I already have what I’ve been looking for (again.) When will this cycle of wish/want/have already ever cease?
We thought we’d take a break since many of G.’s things to go through are still draped over the piano bench, the chair and a pair of new-found old shorts put in the laundry. Over the years, we’ve pared down our clothing so that it’s hung on a stainless rack on rubber wheels like the ones they use in the garment district in NYC. This shows how little we want to have, and that the huge amount of stuff in the closet was not only out of sight, but also way out of mind. And now, most of it is out of the house!
There’s a big stash of luggage that we could use to go around the world in eighty days. But since we don’t travel (at least, we don’t have plans to,) we’ll have to figure out where to store it all for that one day when we just might need it.
To be fair, this house is a Queen Anne Victorian with limited closet space (since the Victorians furnished their homes with huge armoires and other storage units.) We are looking to find places to store seasonal bedding and linens, sheets, coverlets, blankets and comforters which take up so much room.
My collection of handknit sweaters, made by me and a few others, is mothballed in plastic bags to take care of any potential moth larvae. In the Fall, I’ll take out what I will use and handwash a few in Ivory Snow, air-dry and then store in drawers with cedar blocks. It’s a constant battle against these destructive tiny critters and I’ve thrown away more than I’d care to admit.
And so, the “gone, baby, gone” saga continues. Were it not for some intrinsic life lessons that this kind of activity brings up, it would be just one more boring polemic to “simplify,” “de-clutter,” and “clear.”
For me, it feels like so much more than that! Now that we’re part of the way through the small closet, I’m not so anxious about starting the big one next week!