Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Banishing Clutter (or What the Well-Dressed Woman is Wearing)

My vague anti-clutter feelings reached critical mass this weekend. All the stuff in our small apartment makes me feel claustrophobic even when the sun is shining, so I fear for my sanity when winter returns.

I sorted through the books, which were overflowing all the bookshelves onto the floor in three or four places. One box went to the used book store; three boxes went into the closet. I still like some of my modern history books, remnants of my B.A., but I can't see myself reading them for at least five years now that I've changed fields.

I recruited Jena to help with my wardrobe. Under her stern eye, four large grocery bags of clothes and shoes -- worn, ill-fitting, or unfashionable -- were dismissed from service. Perhaps one-third of what came out of the closet went back into it.

Brooks tackled the big closet under the stairs, and disposed of several boxes of knicknacks and old dishes. (Now I can see the entirety of the full-length mirror at the back of the closet!) The Goodwill delivery from both projects took up the whole back seat and floor of the car.

I felt rather weepy that night, despite how happy I was about all the stuff going away. I don't miss any of it; in fact, I'm still spotting things that need to go. But somehow it was still a wrench. Why is that?

Jena continued her role as personal wardrobe assistant by making up a list of all the things I needed to make the clothes I had left a)go with each other and b)look a bit more polished for teaching. By the next day, she had also located all the items online and within budget. All I had to do was approve and enter my credit card number. I did look askance at the green moccasins (I like green shoes but I've never really liked moccasins) but Jena said, "TRUST me. They're SO IN this year," and ordered herself a pair of lavender ones. Finally, she provided a list of more expensive winter items to acquire as I manage to save the money later. So I have a streamlined closet and a new wardrobe, with no shopping required! Everyone should have a Jena for these occasions. Too bad she can't write my Greek syllabus, too...


the Joneses said...

I certainly could benefit from Jena's services in this area. She even did the shopping for you... how much more could you ask for? Well, I guess if she paid for it, but there's only so much you can expect of a sister.

This post (or piece...) makes the birthday gift that Addie got for you, now on its way, even funnier.

-- SJ

Stephen, Sarah, Nora and Joseph said...

Dana, I just came across your blog via someone else's and must say that you are an awesome writer! I loved reading this post...have you ever thought of writing a book? Sounds like you and Brooks are happy and well. All the best, Sarah