How to clean out a closet

by Lorin Michel Sunday, June 16, 2013 1:06 AM

Today was a very ambitious day. Because I got rid of my cleaning people some time ago, it falls to Kevin and I to keep the house clean. We do a fairly good job, but I’ve been so busy with work lately that I’ve neglected my chores. Everything has been in its proper place, and to the casual observer, the house looked fine. Clean, even. But to me, it was dusty. The bathrooms were dirty.

And I desperately needed to clean out Justin’s closet.

Now before I go any further it should be noted that I despise cleaning. It makes my hair hurt. But I do it because it’s easier for me to do it than to pay someone especially because I tend to do a better job. As long as I do it, of course.

The only thing I hate more than cleaning in general is cleaning in specific.

Exhibit A: the aforementioned closet.

His closet has been something I’ve wanted to tackle for a while. Sort of as a precursor to the other closet I desperately need to clean out, which is the closet in my office. It’s an unmitigated disaster, filled with samples of printed pieces from twenty years ago, tax returns, empty boxes from old computer equipment, and wooden crates filled with every word I have ever written since I was a child. All of my short stories, my college papers, my hopes and dreams, and disappointments. Yes, my rejection letters are all in there, too. There’s a lot to go through; a lot that can be tossed. I won’t get rid of all of my past work but the old print samples, the excess boxes, the old magazines. They’re history.

I’m going to need a dumpster.

But I’m not quite ready to dive in there yet. I need a warm up. Hence Justin’s closet. I went up the stairs with several trash bags. Cooper padded along next to me. I put the bags on the bed. Cooper laid down outside the door in the hall. He knew better than to come in there when big trash bags were involved. He might be tossed out, too.

I opened the closet door, stepped back and exhaled.

Then I went downstairs to make some coffee. It seems that you can’t properly clean a closet without the appropriate amount of caffeine. Cooper came down, too, and nestled onto his blanket while the coffee sputtered and spit and gurgled and promised something wonderful with its deep, fresh-roasted smell.

I waited, inhaling the fragrance. Finally, five beeps sounded, signifying the end of the brew cycle and the beginning of the sip cycle. I poured some half and half into my mug, topped it off with coffee, took a sip and allowed the wonderful liquid to warm my body. I sipped a bit more, I listened to some music, I talked to my husband, I talked to my mother, I petted my dog. I poured a bit more coffee and then up the stairs I went again. The door to the closet was still open. The bags were still on the bed. I stood staring, holding my steaming hot cup of coffee, and wishing it was after five so that instead of coffee I could be having wine.

Wine, I’m convinced, makes everything easier. Even cleaning out closets.

I eventually cleaned everything out, loaded up bags of trash and bags to take to Good Will, and then I reorganized. I’ll eventually have to weed through the books that he left behind when he moved out and take most if not all to the library. I’ll have books from my office to take as well.

The way to clean out a closet is to ease into it. Don’t get too bogged down reading things like high school journals that talk about how horrible parents are. Have a cup of coffee. Keep sentimentality at bay, and just be logical, rational; make decisions. Trash, Good Will, other. Separate and conquer. After not too long, the task was accomplished.

And I was ever so much closer to a glass of wine.

That’s when I decided to clean the master bath. Because after that, I could definitely have a glass. Maybe even two.

Celebrating a clean house and one clean closet on this Saturday. I’m definitely living it out loud. 


live out loud

Comments (1) -

6/16/2013 7:35:49 AM #

Glad you're prepping for closet cleaning. There's definitely more to come! Smile

khris United States

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