purging

Are You Ready?

A recent and sudden change in a family member’s living arrangements, translated into a recent and sudden change in mine. Of course, this family member, who for the sake of privacy shall be named Alice, is always welcomed.  I would do whatever necessary to ensure a warm and welcoming environment, especially if the circumstances leading to this sudden change weren’t so good.

The guest bedroom was ready with furnishings so there was no problem in deciding where in the house Alice would stay and call home for a while. My most important concern was to be sure that she was comfortable and felt welcomed without the slightest hint of this new arrangement being an intrusion – no matter how long this living arrangement may last. Of course, Alice need not worry, my home is her home forever more. I’m pretty sure Alice knows this, but I still wanted to be sure there was no hint of her feeling like a burden.

As soon as I received the news, I quickly did a survey of the guest bedroom. The dressers were full and so was the closet. I needed to make space for incoming clothes and personal items that would now call that room home. Was the room ready to be comfortable and welcoming? I had been using the room as my own personal valet service, and sure, I could empty out drawers and create space for Alice’s belongings, but where would I put everything?

Once I began to see just what was being stored in the room, it was easy to come to the conclusion that what I was storing, I was not using. I hadn’t used much of it in a long time, so there was no point in transferring it all to a holding spot elsewhere in the house. It was easy to make the decision to donate much of it and before I knew it, a donation bag was chock full.  I had become my own client, asking myself the same prodding questions I would pose to anyone facing the decision to let go of long-owned and long-ago-used things.

As far as the personal mementos and other decorative items, I knew I was keeping those and needed to find alternative places. I had other closet space and shelves that had room to spare, so those items quickly found new neighborhoods where they could settle down. That was the best part of this quick bedroom re-set. Luckily, thanks to previous purging and ever-evolving organizing routines, empty spaces were readily available, and I didn’t need to do much re-arranging. No robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Of course, there is still some refining to do. Not all the clothes that were transferred from one closet to another, or from one dresser to another will stay there. Let’s face it, I’m sure I have more than what I need. I see another full donation bag in my not so distant future. Alice is settled comfortably in her room, and that really is all that matters.

Your phone is ringing and your living arrangements are about to change. Are you ready?

Practicing What I Preach

It had to be done.  I knew it.  It was the right thing to do.  It’s what I would have advised someone else to do.  Get rid of them.

Sigh.

My most favorite boots, and dare I say my most favorite footwear had to go.  They had ripped,although I don’t know when or under what circumstances it happened, and they no longer held the value they once had. Truth be told, I purchased these beauties as a result of returning another pair I had received as a gift. So often in the past I have kept a gift just because it was a gift or I didn’t want to be ‘caught’ not wearing/using/displaying it. Thankfully I have since grown out of that mentality.  I’m a big girl now and can return or exchange items to suit myself, still keeping (I hope) the spirit and intention of the gift.

I did what I could to salvage them.  The first thing I did, of course, was to try to get them professionally repaired.  I found a great little while-you-wait shoe repair shop.  It’s barely a hole in the wall and received good reviews.  I had good luck there in the past, so thought for sure this would be a quick and easy repair.  The rip was neatly contained within a seam; a few stitches and we’d be done.  Not so.  The cobbler looked at it this way and that way, and said the only way the rip could be repaired is if the stitching was perpendicular to the seam.  Against the sleek lines of the boot, it would look pretty messy, the other boot would have to match, and they’re not leather so…wait, what? They’re not leather?  I’ve been living in a fool’s paradise thinking I’ve been wearing leather boots?  I’d have to ponder that one later.  I asked about gluing the seams together and was told it wouldn’t work.  There was really nothing that could be done to restore the natural beauty of this boot. 

Of course I went straight home and crazy-glued the rip myself.  The glue dried nicely and looked good as new.  Then I put on the boot.  Rip. Maybe if I always wore the same color tights as the boots, it wouldn’t be noticeable.  These boots were made for walking, running standing and sitting, and always looking good.  Could one small rip really make a difference?  I tried to convince myself that there was a way to keep wearing these boots because after all, they fit the criteria of what to keep in your closet:

Do you love them? Check

Do they fit you well, now?  Check

Do they make you feel good when you wear them?  Check, check

Do people compliment you when you wear them?  Check, check, check

But, alas, they also met these criteria of when to let go of something:  damaged beyond repair. 

Farewell, my pretty boots; you served me well.