I possess an extraordinary amount of clothing. I can’t even begin to guess how much is stored in my closets, attic, basement and garage. However, of all the things I collect, I understand why I do it. When I was very young, my mother dressed my sisters and I like we were twins or triplets. Everything the same. And when it was time to start school, we wore Catholic school uniforms which were identical. Eventually, my parents could not afford private school and sent us to the public school. I never thought that I would miss those wool uniforms but just as there was no money for school, there was no money for clothes. My mother would not accept hand me downs from anyone for her children so we wore what we had until they were literally threadbare and split. When that happened, the Home Ec teacher would try to put things back together. When she couldn’t, I had to wear a coat all day or if it was too warm, I would spend the remainder of the day in the nurses office and then they would wrap me in a towel and send me home on the bus. It didn’t happen often but it wasn’t a pleasant experience. And when I came home, my mother would scold me and ask me what I had done to rip my clothing. Growing up was not in the budget. The most embarrassing moment I can remember was when the school called to tell my mother that I needed a bra. I’ve repressed most of that but I do remember how furious she was that “some creepy asshole with nothing better to do than to stare at young girls had better leave her daughter alone or there would be trouble”. She did buy me a bra, just one, and told me that I would grow into it. Not fun.
To this day, I have a like/hate relationship with clothing. If I could, I’d probably wander about in sweatpants and large v-necked t-shirt but I can’t. I need clothing and shoes to maintain a casual but professional appearance at work. I don’t feel the need to pay a lot of money for clothing that I am ambivalent about so I shop at the thrift store and try to make them work. And it does work, I just bring home much more than I need, just in case.
If my entire house was a walk in closet, I might have enough room for everything but it’s not (although at times the entire house looks like a very messy closet). Even worse, I don’t store the clothes I actually wear in closets or dressers despite the fact that I could. Growing up, we had one very small closet and one very small dresser for four girls and since we basically had one change of clothing, a pair of pajamas and a dress for Sunday mass, we didn’t need the closet or dresser. Off season items were stored there and we pulled our clothing off the clothes line as needed. To this day, most of my clothing that I wear regularly hangs on the line downstairs until I need it and off season items are stored in dressers.
So where do I keep the articles of clothing that I actually wear? At the foot of the basement stairs, of course.
Occasionally, other items become blended in and I have to reorganize.
It’s not an ideal solution.
The goal….find one dresser to store the articles of clothing that I wear and start clearing the bags of clothing by donating or tossing anything too small / large or damaged in any way. Maybe then, I have a better relationship with my wardrobe.