Feels good to purge closet

It had to be done. Critical mass had been reached. Something had to go or my side of the closet would burst at the seams.

I had long ago ruled out expanding into my wife’s side. When we moved in, she pointed out the three rods she would be taking and the one that was mine. I thanked her for granting me any space at all and really it was all I needed.

I’ll admit I didn’t do myself any favors by not getting rid of some stuff six years ago when we last moved because it came a lot closer to filling up my little corner of the closet than I dreamed. With the wind howling outside last Sunday looked like a good day to rectify the problem.

I had come to the point where things were packed in there so tightly I couldn’t tell what was in there. Shirt wrinkles didn’t get better in there. They became permanent.

I read an article by an organization expert that said to leave 30 percent of your closet space open so you can find things and keep them organized. I doubt that I ever hit the 30 percent open space mark from the start but I remember having a little room.

You all know how it happens. You get a new shirt or two at Christmas and you hang it in there without taking anything out. You buy new jeans, but leave the old ones in there just in case you have to paint a picket fence or remove a tar baby from the briar patch. Before long you’ve got a real dilemma.

It took me about three hours of checking things out for how worn the item was or how strained the buttons were when I tried on the shirt. Soon I had three piles, stuff that was good and fit, stuff that was good and almost fit and stuff that I convinced myself I would never wear again.

Logo polo shirts from former employers went into the giveaway pile, that orange striped shirt that never washed worth a hoot was banished there along with that size medium flannel shirt that someone gave me for Christmas.

I’m happy to report that there was not still a leisure suit hanging in my closet, but I was a little concerned that I might find one when I saw how old some of the stuff I was pulling out appeared. I think the strata line on my time capsule stopped somewhere around 1986.

I found lots of good stuff to wear while I was in there and I’m happy to report I’m somewhere close to that 30 percent mark. It really feels good.

I’ve thought all week that I would use this story to illustrate how you shouldn’t let your life get too full of things that aren’t important. Then I looked over at my wife’s side of the closet and decided that was a bunch of hooey. Even if you keep your side of the closet cleaned out those around you are going to keep shoving stuff in there.

I’ve offered to help her clean her act up but she saw the huge pile I got rid of and has threatened me that I shouldn’t touch her stuff unless it’s to launder it.