The Closet Cleaner Cometh

Jan 25

dreamstime_1274813.jpgI am so lonely.

Some crazed woman was here yesterday to clean out my closet, if not my act, and she left here toting 6 large shopping bags headed for Goodwill.

She got in there and dragged things out I didn’t know I had, made all kinds of piles, had me try on things to decide which pile they went in to: a whirling dervish on a mission.

My closet is neater than it has ever been in the history of me, amazingly organized, and I am thrilled and happy but a bit unnerved. I truly do understand the concept: clutter is not just bad for your closets, it’s bad for your head. Maybe even your karma. Don’t want to have bad Kloset Karma. No way.

Besides, the more you have jammed in there, the more you tend to wear the same three things day in and day out. Am I right?

It’s a good idea, especially in these financially trying times, to “shop in your closet,” instead of going forth to Macys or Bloomingdales, where you inadvertently buy the same thing over and over because you don’t remember what you have. Of course, I advertently buy the same things all the time, but that’s another story.

Now. If you’re going to shop in your closet, it has to look like a store, not a warehouse. Sigh. I so get it, I really do. But I feel a little . . . empty. I mean, it’s unnatural to have spaces between your clothes when you live in a New York apartment.

We’ve all seen this kind of closet cleansing on Oprah and Queer Eye and What Not to Wear, but when it happens to you, you need to be brave . . .

(Go to READ MORE.)


Cleaner’s Remorse
I woke up at 6 this morning, an ungodly time of the day for me (it’s still dark!) and couldn’t get back to sleep wondering if She Who Cleans Closets had gotten rid of the orange silk top that goes under the orange jacket. (Phew! She hadn’t.) The jacket is old, but she let me keep it because it’s a great color, great quality, and it fits. No so most of the shoes and boots I was clinging to for lo these many years even though they hurt, because I have a difficult size and never know when I can find another pair.

Should I really have let her throw away all those black boots? I mean, I only have half a dozen left, some of them older than the waiter at dinnerlast night. Was I a wimp for not standing up to her, or wise for letting her have her way? She is, after all, the Clothes Horse Whisperer, not I.

And she’s coming back next week to attack my underwear drawer . . .

She peeked in there! I never let anyone peek in my closets, much less at my drawers.

I know all this is good for me, and I do appreciate all her work. What energy that woman has! And organizational skills! Plus, she gave me some great advice I will now share with you:

Think of the best thing in your wardrobe: in my case, that creamy soft red leather jacket. The one that actually fits. Because I got it from the petite departmenttat Saks -before they closed it: the nerve! Don’t get me started on that.

Anyway, when you go shopping, don’t buy anything you don’t love as much as that red leather jacket. Whew. There’s a concept for you.This woman may have saved me a small fortune, faced with the temptation of all those “bargains” at all those sales these days. You know what I mean, the sale items cluttering up your closet that you’ll never wear but can’t bear to throw out because they were such a good shirleyclosetcleaner.jpgdeal. On the other hand, I find it really, really hard to throw out anything that cost a lot. You can’t win.

Anyway, if the “Best Thing In Your Wardrobe” rule doesn’t cut it, try this one:

Would you bring this jacket (dress, blouse, whatever) on a trip to Paris?
Sacre bleu! That one got my attention, and got me to part with a lot of mediocre stuff, although once or twice I screwed up my courage and answered No, I wouldn’t take it to Paris, but hand it back, woman, I ain’t throwin’ it out. Yet.

How about the rule of throwing one thing out whenever you buy something new? Never worked for me. Don’t have the necessary discipline.

No, I needed professional help with the creeping crawl in my closets, and yesterday, I finally got the help I needed. It was edifying, educational, and in the end, economical.

But I do wonder about those boots . . .

If you live in the New York area, and want the services of this wonder woman (she organizes paperwork, music, your kitchen – your life!) here’s the info:

Shirley Martin

See Shirley at: under “Laughing Around”



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