Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Housework is hazardous; not doing it again

closet pic
All clean, lots of room now
In the midst of cleaning out my closet, I smelled a funny smell. I wasn’t sure what it was. I know that at times, one or more of my cats sneaks into the closet at night. They know how to open the wooden bi-fold doors. In fact, they are pretty darned good at it. I wondered if perhaps they had forsaken their litter box. But thankfully, I knew this was not a cat-related smell. With six cats: four inside, one inside-outside, and one outside, I know ‘that’ smell. This wasn’t it.

I decided to clean out my closet because I have just plain run out of room. I keep seeing signs that now is the time. I’ve taken notice of various emails from well-meaning organizers and self-help gurus. I’ve seen ads on Facebook about cleaning up and cleaning out. And it dawned on me that I washed my clothes last week but have kept running into the laundry room for clean clothes. I just never put them away. There was no good place to put them due to the frustration of reaching for a blouse hanging in the closet only to take it out and find it needs to be ironed because it was crammed in so tightly with everything else.

Then, a friend of mine decided to clean out her closet. She had been sick and lost some weight. She is no longer my size, but she used to be. So, when she offered to give me some of her clothes, I was happy. I am not a clothes hound and rarely buy anything new, so this would be great. When I got home though, I wondered where I would put them.

All signs pointed to the need to go through my clothes and get rid of the things I no longer wore. I still had clothes dating back 20 years when I worked for a living. I was a journalist and had to have a decent wardrobe. I had always reasoned that they were just too good to throw out.


As I started going through my closet, I tried to think of the coming winter and what would keep me warm on those cold, winter evenings. I thought about the few things that I’d bought in the last several years. Those were all keepers. Then I looked through the rest. I tried to not think about the memories or the circumstances of when I bought them or who may have given them to me. The pile on the floor continued to grow. The closet still wasn’t very roomy, so I did it again, with a little less regard for the past. I was thinking only of the present and perhaps the future.

Another thing I did was dump those wire coat hangers. Oh, I’ll keep them in the garage because they often come in handy for things other than holding clothes, but they no longer have a home in my closet. This is a real plus because I’ve always thought them to be completely annoying as they bent into the oddest configurations and seemingly wound themselves around one another into a tangled metal sculpture. Who needs that?


All the while I was doing this, I this odd smell persisted. I poked my nose into the depths and it seemed stronger in the corners. But I could see nothing. Then I looked up. There was a pillow form I was saving for a project sitting next to the light bulb. It was smoking! I grabbed it and ran it under the faucet.

I almost made fast work of cleaning out the closet, by burning it down. Thank goodness I caught it in time. I know I’m not in the mood to evacuate a disabled husband, four inside and one inside-outside cats, my computer, and whatever important papers I might grab.

So much for cleaning house. It is dangerous. I’m not doing it!