Monday, 2 May 2011

Fancy Clean Out

We’re getting  a new closet. Yes, you all recall the 40 something year-old tantrum, complete with tie throwing and foot stomping. Well, the contractor has been here, the plans are drawn up and now I’m just waiting on a date. And as soon as I get that date (2 days they said! Do you believe it?), I’ll make sure H is far, far away. The thought of living with him while his bedroom is ripped apart is about as appealing as scrubbing my own toilets. No thanks.

Anyhoo, everyone knows that when you get a new closet, you must have new clothes. And new clothes mean the old ones need tossing out. It’s the law. So I’ve been gradually pulling things out and throwing them into a large pile. A large pile in the middle of the floor, thereby compounding H’s ever-growing agitation at the state of his wardrobe. Har har.

The housekeepers have been pretty good about avoiding this pile, after a few misguided attempts at “helping” that resulted in all my rejects finding their way back onto hangars. And I really have to commend them on keeping this pile separate from the one next to it: H’s dream wardrobe. You know, the clothes that he insists on keeping because one day “they’ll fit.” Right. Moving on.

This weekend Nanny #2 called downstairs.

“These clothes, can I take them to the charity shop around the corner? I should do that for you. May I?”

Well, who am I to argue? Been meaning to for weeks, but the thought of lugging huge bags of clothing down the road sounded more Homeless than Fancy and I’ve procrastinated.

“Sure! That would be really helpful. Just don’t throw H’s clothes into that bag!”

“Oh, his inspiration pile. No, I won’t do that. He needs that.”

She’s so understanding.

And then down the stairs she came, lugging two giant loads of clothes in designer shopping bags she’d found in the laundry room. But you know what happened next, don’t you?

When you are a packrat (as I am), it takes a huge amount of effort to throw clothes into the reject pile. My cleanout has been brutal. If it hasn’t seen the inside of a taxi in the last year, bye bye. Itchy? Bye. Too big/small/pink? Bye. And the whole collection of elastic waisted IVF clothes? Ciao bella.

But Nanny #2 felt the need to exclaim over each and every single piece of clothing. “Oh, but it’s beautiful!” she cried, trying to convince me that each and every piece needed to go back upstairs. So I cut her off.

“Look, pick one thing that you want me to keep. There is a reason that each of those made the pile. Yes, I know those trousers are linen but they are gianormous. And that skirt? Every single egg collection. Chuck it. And you are, of course, welcome to keep anything you like.” She clearly needed concrete directions, limits and an element of choice here if we were going to get anything done.

So after much hemming and hawing, one sweater stuffed into her bag, and one blouse back in my closet later and stage one of The Great Closet Adventure is over. Of course, as I think about this, my closet sort of extends to my dresser, doesn’t it? Which means new lingerie. Oh, I’ve got a lot of work to do.


  1. I love a good clean out; am constantly walking round the house with a bin bag.

    CJ xx

  2. Desperately need a clean out here. Am very jealous of your new closet!

  3. Felt briefly inspired until I opened my wardrobes and realised Id have to get rid of EVERYTHING!

  4. I'm quite positive that Nanny #3 will have the answer for EVERYTHING.

  5. oh my goodness, you shame me. Ive just looked down and 2 years on I still appear to be wearing my " I have expanded to 5 months pregnant" IVF trousers.