Recently one of the kids came home looking for a box of collectibles that he swears he left in his closet. Upon searching, he was stunned to find a whole lot of stuff, but no cards.
He finally located his stuff in the basement storage area where I keep holiday collectibles and decorations.
I really thought when all the kids moved out for good, I would have more closet space.
It makes sense doesn’t it? Three kids gone, three closets open.
And I dream of organized closets. I see pictures on Pinterest and in magazines and drool as though a slice of chocolate cake were torturously just out of my reach.
That first open closet called out to me like a Siren from Greek mythology.
I decided to make it the place to store all the photos. My idea was simple, beautiful, highly organized albums, with neat colorful pages, in order by year and tabulated by event.
You know, “real” photos, the kind that take up a lot of space in my home, unlike the digital photos in my phone that fill up invisible space until I’m left with a threatening note that if I don’t delete Candy Crush my phone will fail.
For years I had photos spread all over the house in various boxes, envelopes and dresser drawers. It became a goal to get them all together and in one place. And so I did.
But there was no time to tabulate events or organize by year so I just stuck all the photos in plastic tubs. Turned out to be four tubs, 15 photos boxes and a whole lot of frames in various sizes in a giant jumbled heap.
But they are all in one closet. It felt like good use of the space – at the time.
Then another kid moved out and another closet became available.
Yet another siren sang out to me. That closet I filled with spare blankets and robot helicopters that nobody played with anymore, a Simpsons Family chess game, and pictures I bought that I was going to hang when I redecorated the room, but of course that never happened. From the rod I hung all of my fancy dresses that were only worn once, but I can’t get rid of because I paid too much money for them.
I also managed to squeeze a bunch of Halloween costumes in there too. It was a good-sized closet. It looks like a mess.
The third child left and the siren song was more like a wary whisper. It sounded a lot like “Good grief, what are you going to stick in this one?”
But there’s always something. In the third closet I hung coats.
Sure I have a coat closet, but it is stuffed with coats (I’m sure many belong to the kids who moved out, but left their coats). And when guests come over it becomes a mad rush to “hide the coats.” Because if you don’t there is no room for guest coats and then you have to throw them on a bed in whatever bedroom is the cleanest. Who needs that stress.
In addition to coats, I added a bin filled with all my old purses, hats and beach bags and shoved all the graduation gowns – what are you supposed to do with graduation gowns? I’m sure there’s a Pinterest page for that, but all I see is the money hanging in that closet.
I don’t know how it happens. It’s like magic – empty space never stays empty.
Recently, I listened to a friend lament how empty her house seems now that her children are gone. She then went on to tell me how she changed one closet into a craft closet – complete with a desk and drawers for all her crafty stuff.
She’s thinking about turning the other empty room into a library and filling the closet with shelves. I hate her.
Image credit: Arne Hendriks