Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Clear My Closet, Change My Writing Life

Organizing My Writing Life

My clothes are taking over my closet! To accommodate my thrift store designer duds, I remodeled my closet twice, then added plastic hangers, bins, baskets, and closet doublers for skirts and jackets, and shelves for shoes. Everything is grouped with its own kind—by color no less. Most of my unused clothes ‘hangin’ around’ look great, but are no longer “me.”

I have a gazillion professional jackets and skirts. After dressing for success for far too many years, a couple of pairs of jeans, cotton T-shirts and my silk jammies make-up my work-at-home, lonely-writer’s attire.

I want to eliminate ‘stuff’ to concentrate on writing. Being a researchaholic, I went to the Internet to get some tips on how to de-clutter my closet.

“Take everything out of your closet,” one expert suggested. If I did that, I wouldn’t have one inch of space in my bedroom to move, much less sort clothes into categories.

  • Keep.
  • Trash or store as fabric to make a quilt—someday.
  • Giveaway.
  • Yes, I haven’t worn it for ten years, but I’m too emotionally attached to let it go.

“Set aside one hour to clean out your closet,” another home organizer advised. She obviously has not seen my overstuffed closet. Then there is the guest room closet storing various-sized wardrobes for every season—‘just in case’ today’s body shrinks tomorrow, next month, next year. (Sigh.)

“Take filled boxes or bags immediately to the car. Drive directly to thrift shop,” a reformed packrat commanded. She promised, “Your energy will soar.” I rationalized: I do not have enough energy, bags, boxes, or room in my car to eliminate the giveaways.

“When you buy a new garment, release an old one,” is another popular de-cluttering tactic. There is nothing like the thrill of finding a $2 designer treasure that I must buy—then realize I donated it a couple of months ago.

Editing My Wardrobe

Feeling rather desperate, I needed an extra motivator to cut down my clothing count. I called TESSA, an organization serving victims of domestic violence and adult sexual assault. Not only did women need job interviewing outfits—TESSA was low.

Being deadline motivated—this post and completing a few more pitch sheets—I pulled clothes from my closet. As the “giveaway” pile grew, my enthusiasm swelled. I wanted to give away more. However, I discovered I still need to iron and put clothes on hangers (forget the bags). A few items require repair or need to go to the drycleaners. I will finish this project today and then work until midnight on those pitch sheets.

Can hardly wait to drive these clothes to TESSA so my closets—and some deserving, courageous women—will experience a fresh start.

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elizabeth said...

That's a great idea to donate to TESSA!

Tiffany Stuart said...

I want TESSA's phone number.