Mentally Preparing for “The Project” (The First in My ‘Get off Your Ass’ Series)

It’s time. The situation has been critical for months. It’s been looming large and I’ve arrived at a point that I can actually do it. I no longer have other tasks that are more pressing to use as an excuse. No more procrastination… I must clean out my closets and dressers. This weekend, because it’s supposed to rain.

I have three closets (two of which are double-wide) and two dressers (ten drawers total) stuffed to the gills. One closet contains coats (the oldest being nearly 20 years old), the other two clothing. Shoes cover the floor of two of the closets. By way of contrast, Mel has one double-wide closet and one three-drawer dresser. Oh, and maybe a box of clothes in the basement. There is some serious closet space inequities in our house.

When I say the situation has been critical for months, I mean that I haven’t put away my laundry for a year because it won’t fit where it’s supposed to go. There is always a laundry basket on the floor of the bedroom with clean laundry in it. Or it’s piled up on the upholstered bench (what do you call those?) at the end of the bed. Or both. It’s just ridiculous. I’ve been promising Mel for months that I would take care of it. I’m so glad she is fairly patient and doesn’t nag.

Even more ridiculous is the fact that I wear less than 25% of what own. There is a range of at least four sizes and most of it doesn’t fit me. Some of it is business type stuff that I no longer wear because I’m in academia now and can get away with casual dress, or business casual for meetings and functions. There’s also brand new stuff that I’ve never worn. With tags even. My mother, in her quest for bargains, sometimes ignores my tastes.

Most of the clothing is from before I got together with Mel and is now way too femme for my tastes. Over the years, she’s encouraged me to be comfortable and drop the really fem-in-nine stuff. I was never really comfortable in that kind of clothing anyway. Give me jeans and tees, or khakis and polo or button-down shirts, along with Birkenstocks, Doc Martens or Land’s End mocs any day. Having big feet and weak ankles has always made me partial to sensible, stable shoes.

Every piece of clothing will be scrutinized. If it doesn’t fit, it’s gone. If I haven’t worn it in the last 12 months, it’s gone. If I’m not likely to wear it again, it’s gone. If it’s in poor condition, it’s gone. I must not waver, I must not make exceptions. Shoes too. Pumps will be pitched. Sandals will be sacked. Only sneakers, Birks, Docs, mocs and boots will be safe. For the clothing and coats, I’ve planned three piles: trash, charity and eBay. The new-with-tags and nicer, never/rarely worn stuff can definitely be sold. There is a great market for larger-sized clothing on eBay. I should know… I’ve bought enough.

Wish me luck!


  1. I admire your courage! I’ve reached the mental and physical saturation point myself this year, but haven’t found the energy to do anything about it yet.

  2. I’m decluttering too. Right now I’m on paperwork. Clothing needs to be done again soon. I’ll wish you luck and you can wish me luck, how about that??

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