cleaning · Closet · drawers · humor · panties · socks

Keep It? Trash It? Or…?

I’m in the midst of chaos. Some would call it ‘cleaning closets’. And some would consider it ‘divesting one’s self of no longer needed items’. I call it confused chaos.

As I face vacating my house for 6 months and turning it over to a family of 5, I see the need to make room for their ‘things’.  Emptying drawers and consolidating closets are not tasks for the faint-hearted. Each hanger and every item stuffed into a corner suddenly becomes an emotional landmine.

I started this painful exploration without having any idea of the consequences. I had a plan: make two stacks, one to keep and one to throw out. By the time I had lifted 4 items out of their hiding places, I realized 2 stacks wasn’t working.

I had stuff:

  1. I didn’t want, but someone might
  2. No one would want, or shouldn’t want
  3. I wanted
  4. I wanted but didn’t know why
  5. I wasn’t certain about

You can visualize the dilemma  staring me in the face. How many piles can I manage and keep my sanity? Probably not 5.

But, if nothing else, I am a determined fool, so I delved right in, mistakenly thinking this would be a quick exercise. What, maybe a couple of hours? Not so fast, Margo. This may be a lifetime undertaking.

Do you have any idea why I would have 58 pairs of panties? Neither do I. But there they were, wadded up, rolled up, hidden from sight, just waiting to be unearthed and worn once again. The problem with this discovery is: what to do with this treasure trove of undies. I don’t need that many bloomers, and no one else wants used bloomers, especially if they have been used by someone else.

I do wish my quandary ended there. The next drawer I opened was filled to the brim with socks. Again, just how many pairs of socks does one need? I lost count at 42 pairs and 13 unmatchable singles. Maybe someone will want the 37 pairs I have left after I kept 5 sets I knew I would wear. The singles went in the trash.

This drama continued to play out hour by hour as I discovered long-forgotten items that at one time in my life seemed to be important or necessary or desired for unknown reasons. Pajamas, slacks, t-shirts, coats, toothbrushes, hair brushes, pillows, wash cloths, half-used bottles of vitamins, and the list goes on and on and (good grief) on. I found enough ‘extra’ buttons to pave my driveway, if I was so inclined.

What started as a quick and easy clean out, turned into a back-breaking, unnerving, and frustrating undertaking that begs the question: What inner longing makes me feel I need 58 pairs of panties and 40+ pairs of socks?

That question I will leave to a bored therapist who is writing a research paper on the Muddled Minds of Pack Rats.

21 thoughts on “Keep It? Trash It? Or…?

  1. Having moved far too often in the last 20 years, I sympathise immeasurably. Clearing out and consolidating is not simply a head-driven and common sense exercise, it is more an emotional and heart-searching one that leaves on in turn bewildered, excited and saddened. And exhausted. Let’s not forget exhausted. I wish you bon courage as we say in France. It is not about luck, more about fortitude and strength. 🌸


    1. Thanks for the article and link. I have bought the book too. I disliked Kondo because it was all about throwing things away, never a word about giving or selling or recycling or goodwill.

      Liked by 1 person

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