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Cleaning Closets... Confessions of a Clothing Addict

Updated on July 23, 2014
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

In my closet is everything any woman could ever want and yet I have nothing to wear

The day finally came.

I knew that sooner or later it would.

I knew that sooner or later it was tackle the job or be taken over by what lurked inside my closets.

I would have to gird my loins and go into battle with my many closets full of many clothes, shoes, purses etc. I only hoped that I might emerge victorious. I wasnt even sure what "victorious" would mean. But I hoped it would be somewhere between keeping my most favorite things and getting rid of my size 4's.

Hah! as though I had ever owned size 4 of anything!

I had been cleaning out my closets since 7 am that morning...a total of 6 hours of blood, sweat and tears and angst over what to keep and what to toss.

When I say "closets" what I really mean is my "in house" department store.

I love clothes. I always have. I cant help myself. I have an addiction. There is no 12 step program, that Im aware of, so I continue feeding my addiction. Its a relatively harmless addiction as long as Macy's and Lands End, and Old Navy dont go out of business and as long as my bank balance can continue to support my habit.

Withdrawal can be a nasty business.

Ive always envied women with precise needs and no inclination toward being frivolous. I envy their ability to walk past a clothing display with a look of near disdain on their faces. Whereas I am drooling and trying to figure out which credit card I can use.

They are also able to open their mailboxes, glance at the gorgeous catalogs and without even opening them, throw them away! Oh! how that hurts my heart to just think about it!

These same women have closets with enough room in them to house an elephant. Not me. I have just about enough room in my closet for me to be able to open the door, grab something fast and then slam the door shut because otherwise..the walls of Jericho could be tumbling down all over again.

However, I am not alone in this addiction to clothing. Lots of women have this addiction and many of you know how weight fluctuates over the course of many years and eventually you end up with pants/shirts/sweaters/jeans/shorts/skirts/dresses in various sizes.

Going to the dentist is preferable to cleaning out a closet and making the gut wrenching decision to throw away your miniskirts from 1967.

That morning, my husband watched as I yanked things off hangers and threw them into piles and listened to me mumble and grumble as I tried things on, hoping against hope that by some sort of magic, that they would fit again.

Mike to Sallie: "why dont you just get rid of those sizes you know you'll never wear again?"

Sallie to Mike (as I glared at him): "could you go get me that big cast iron skillet in the kitchen and also the butcher knife..the REALLY big butcher knife?"

Mike to Sallie: "why?" "what do you need those for?"

Sallie to Mike: "You'll find out."

Men just dont get it. We know, deep down inside that size 8 isnt gonna happen in this lifetime again. But we just cant bring ourselves to get rid of any of it. Because the rationale is based on the "what if" theory. Meaning that there is a relatively small chance that we will stay on a diet for more than 2 hours and exercise for more than one minute and within one week be slender and lithe and then "what if" we are able to fit into those size 8 jeans that we've donated to the rummage sale?

So today, I forced myself to wade into the deep recesses of the master bedroom closet, the guest room closet, the study closet....oh yes! I have clothes in ALL of those closets! I was on a mission. I threw caution to the winds and made piles of things I had forgotten I had. I ooohed and ahhhed over much of it, remembering how much I loved it waaaay back then, but I held firm and eventually got thru it all.

Don't ask me where I found this resolve. Dont ask me how I got the courage to continue on my journey through bell bottoms and hot pants and miniskirts and granny dresses ( dear Lord! Did I REALLY wear that?). Maternity clothes were even hard because there were so many that were so cute and besides they had sentimental appeal!

Goodbye size 8's. Goodbye size 10'. Goodbye size 12's. Ill stop there since saying more would incriminate myself.

Tenacity and willpower took over and at last I was finished.

I looked around with a smug, self-satisfied face and realized that over the years I had literally spent thousands (I told my husband hundreds) on clothes, that in some cases, I had maybe only worn once or twice.

My good intentions lasted as long as it took the next catalog to arrive in the mail. Sigh. This wasnt going to be easy.

Goodwill got my bounty, my closets are neat and tidy and the best part of all of this is that now I have 9,345 empty hangers just waiting to be filled again!


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    • profile image

      Genevieve 3 years ago

      Great stffu, you helped me out so much!

    • Sallie Mullinger profile image

      Sallie Mullinger 3 years ago from Ohio

      Oh me too! Ive often said that I have a jewelry store and makeup department right in my own home!

      I HATE parting with clothes! I have no problem tossing other things out or giving them away, but I rigidly hold onto clothing items. I think its a connection to the past that maybe makes it so hard. Whatever it is, that day, I was ruthless!

    • profile image

      Joan Fryman 3 years ago

      I love the humor in this one. I think all women can relate to this story. I've sorted many clothes and made many trips to Goodwill I've always loved clothes, shoes and jewelry but have learned to get by with less - too much work involved in going through all those clothes. I still have so much jewelry that I could probably open up a jewelry store.

    • Sallie Mullinger profile image

      Sallie Mullinger 3 years ago from Ohio

      Youre very welcome! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      I can relate too, I congratulate you on the clear out. I'm still in denial. But, I do envy your empty hangers...great hub, thank you.

    • Sallie Mullinger profile image

      Sallie Mullinger 3 years ago from Ohio

      Workforever: I think everyone can relate to that!

    • workforever profile image

      piyush bhatia 3 years ago from india , luv u

      I can relate to that