Saturday, November 8, 2008

Workin' on My Closet Organization, Yo

Today in my closet, I discovered that I own a special maternity shirt that's specifically for wearing underneath maternity overalls. Like, the shirt comes to just beneath the boobs, with a big cutout for the belly. Um, OMG what? Reader, I cannot believe that I: a) bought such a shirt; and b) that I ever wore or considered wearing maternity overalls. It was from that Motherhood store. In my defense, this dated from my first pregnancy, eight years ago, when I was clueless about most things.

I found the shirt in a sarcophagus-sized rubbermaid container in the closet. The sarcophagus was filled with clothes that I packed up in California, two and a half years ago, to move to our new house here in Atlanta. And then I never touched them again. There was some good stuff in there. And there were some not-so-good moments. The role of Tim Gunn was played by my mother-in-law. At one point this afternoon, I was modeling a J. Crew white brocade bubble skirt with inverted box pleats. I got it on super clearance, all right? She was studying me skeptically, while I said things like, "Is the length wrong?" and "Picture it with a different top!" She said, "It's just bad. Really bad. Bad all over." So into the donate pile it went, along with the Motherhood top, and a batik dress from one of the times I decided I was really bohemian.

Clothing storage and organization is not one of my talents, and knowing that the situation was reaching critical levels, my mother-in-law had offered to come down and tackle the issue head-on. She is a treasure. So yesterday and today, we went through all of the clothes in my closet, both hanging things and clothes stashed in the sarcophagus. Shoes too. I think I hit upon a way to keep this from being totally daunting and unmanageable. I started with a completely clean bedroom. (My mom had helped me put away all of the clean laundry that had been sitting around in my room, bless her.) I started at one side of the closet, and only brought out a handful of hanging things at a time. We assessed each piece, and put it in one of these piles: Donate, Ebay, Garbage, and WTF? Kidding, actually it was just Donate, Ebay, Garbage, and Keep. The keepers I just carried right back into the closet, and then brought out another handful. Then we did the same with the sarcophagus and with the Mountain of Jeans that was overflowing a laundry basket in the corner of the closet. These weren't even the jeans that I wear. These were strange, forgotten jeans from some other lifetime, or a parallel dimension. Does everyone have those or is it just me?

This afternoon I took eight green garbage bags of clothes to Goodwill. Not absolutely all of them were mine--one bag or so was baby clothes. And I feel as thought a great weight has been lifted from the house. I still need to organize the hanging things better, like by summer and winter, etc. But it helped me realize what I have a lot of--sweaters, cardigans, and jackets--and what I need more of--layering tops and good-quality tees. And it was great to take a real inventory of what I have, and know that there was nothing lurking in a storage bin somewhere.

Plus my mother-in-law kept the kids while we went out last night, AND got up with them in the morning, two mornings in a row. We BEG her to move in with us, but she insists on having her own life. Hmmph. Hope y'all are having a good Saturday!


Keely said...

I think everyone has those jeans. My husband has his, and then somebody else's, and possibly a third person's. They've been in a pile in our (teeny) bedroom since we moved in, and I'm pretty sure they were in a pile in our last house, too.
Also - can I steal your MIL? I'd offer you mine in exchange, but I like you.

Cassie said...

Sarcophagus... HA!

Thank God for mothers-in-law who insist on cleaning out closets. My closet would still be a hot mess, with me rocking in a corner of it, if not for Cindy Lou and her spectacular organizational know-how. That woman is a machine.

*MARY* said...

My mother-in-law lives on the other side of the world, darnit.
That shirt sounds ridiculous, why no photo?

The Stiletto Mom said...

I so need to do that. I've done it twice since we moved into this house. I've also changed sizes twice since then so I have varying degrees of clothes that don't fit combined with "stuff that just needs to disappear". My MIL lives just outside of Atlanta and is awesome as well...perhaps it's something in the soil there!

Becky said...

Cleaning out closets does seem to be a specialty of mothers-in-law. Maybe it's like, your own mom cannot be objective enough about all your crap?

And Keely, I don't know what it is with those jeans. And it's hard to throw them out, because, like, jeans!

Mary, I'm sorry there's no pic of the shirt, but without the pregnant tummy, I couldn't really do it justice. I actually looked online for a similar thing, and I seem to have owned the last one in production. LOL.

It was definitely something that needed to just disappear.