Spring cleaning but not really

This morning I experienced a few hours of feeling almost ‘normal’ again after weeks of PJ lolling around on the sofa. Decided to celebrate the happy little event with a touch of Spring (erm…Autumn) cleaning. My wardrobe in particular, followed by a brief scrum with the kitchen cupboards (just two, no need to get hysterical about it). But…

The thing is… I’m a bit of a hoarder, you see (a big bit). Especially with clothes. I hold onto them until they’ve not only gone out of fashion, they’re begging to be set free or have begun self-destruction. Each time I give it a try, a little voice in my head pipes up and bids me keep them beyond the sell-by date, as in:

Maybe it’ll fit me next year when I’ve lost a few pounds. Maybe my daughter will decide she loves that jacket after all. Maybe I’ll get a chance to wear this cocktail dress again soon (it cost a fortune!). Maybe my bum will look great in these pants if I stop eating bread. Maybe my son will want this beautiful fabric for a school project…”

On and on it rumbles.

Then there are the emotional attachments I have to certain outfits. The suit I wore to interview when I got that great job, five years ago – sure Goddamn it, ‘t would be bad luck to let that one go! The dress I wore to my daughter’s 18th birthday party – wasn’t that a fun night? Gotta keep that one! The blouse I wore to my mother’s funeral, just one glimpse and I’m right back there, almost hearing her voice. How can I ever get rid of that?!

So I moved to the kitchen. The ice cream bowl set we got as an engagement gift. I was always iffy about them, yet here they still are, taking up a full shelf for 27 years. But they were given with such love! A set of huge plates we bought, what – ten years ago? No! 20, holy crap! – for an extended family dinner. Haven’t used them since, but maybe my son will? Three pepper mills, stuffed into the back of a shelf, because I’m still looking for the ‘perfect one’ and can’t bear to throw out the old ones. Help me Lord. Martha Stewart I am not.

But it’s not just me (is it?). It’s a chore for all of us, right? We start out full of determination, visions of a gleaming, clutter-free house looming before us. We yank things from closets, bravely toss them onto a growing pile for the recycle store, but after a while the doubts creep in and we start picking out a few things that can wait till ‘next time’. Before you know it half the gunk is back in the cupboard/wardrobe and you’re wondering why you ever started in the first place!

Oh well. I’m not completely dissatisfied with the morning’s work and the small heap that’s now lying on the floor, looking up at me, is NOT going to win me over. It’s for the chop and that’s that. Iron Lady, that’s me!

Can’t wait to show hubby. He’ll be relieved I’ve stayed away from his pile of clothes (including the wedding suit he’s still trying to get good use out of). We are a right pair, to be sure.


14 thoughts on “Spring cleaning but not really

  1. I have the exact same problem. I’m still hanging onto my high school jeans (just like everybody else) thinking/wishing/hoping that I’ll fit back into them next year. And I know every girl does, thinking/wishing/hoping, but somehow I still think surely I’ll be different. Perhaps one day I will, and perhaps one day I’ll simply be ready to let go.

    Until one of those things happens, I’ve decided not to stress about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After the funeral, when my father passed away in 2006 I was faced with the huge task of going through his things at his condo (he also had a home where we would visit him yearly – not the condo). The condo had been his father’s and that was where he hoarded…just like the show. When I first walked in and saw it, I began crying and felt such despair that he had lived like that…rotting plastic bags from the drycleaners lining the floor of his closet, a narrow path through each room with boxes and “stuff” piled high. He didn’t even throw away empty shaving cream cans, or pill bottles that were piled 2 foot high all around. I realize you’re not talking about that type of hoarding. Anyway, it took 4 of us 2 days to sort through everything, working frantically, taking 12 truckloads to the dumpster, 2 trips for the Salvation Army to pick up, and a truckload to take back home from South Carolina to Ohio.

    I’ve always been somewhat of a tidy person, but after that experience, I became what you would call a “minimalist”. Whenever my husband or I can’t find something, he’ll say jokingly, “You must’ve minimized it”! Clothes are the only thing I also like you tend to keep a little longer than I should.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that must have been a confronting experience all the same!! Well done for sorting it out, along with the emotional baggage. No, I’m nowhere a hoarder on that level but I do have a dreadful tendency to attach emotions to things, clothes etc… which makes it harder to get rid of them. I know I do it, I know it makes it more difficult, but I still keep doing it… and now my daughter does the same (yikes). I guess some things you can’t avoid passing on, haha. I think my hubby would love to see me minimalise anything, he’s always making jokes about how everything I buy is mega-sized. And so we go.
      Thanks for sharing, lovely to get your insights, and thanks for reading!


  3. All the moving around especially between Taiwan and the US has forced me to whittle down. I did discover that pictures of special items made for a great virtual scrapbook that still allows me access to the memories without feeling like I need to have the actual item. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clever idea! And thanks for sharing, we all deal with the “stuff” in our own way, I guess! I still have far too much of it… But will keep on trying! 🙂 thx for coming aboard! And I wish you good luck with your health challenges!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. When I moved from the US to the UK, I found some jeans at the back of the closet that I couldn’t get a single leg into. Unless someone else was living with us way back when, they’d been mine. Either way, you have to wonder what I thought i was saving them for.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hahaha, heel herkenbaar. Ik heb laatst heel braaf 3 vuilniszakken vol kleding afgevoerd en ingeleverd bij de Kringloop. Ik heb de hoop opgegeven dat ik daar ooit nog in pas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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