Looking at the Purge

It is nearly 90 degrees outside and the humidity level is hovering at 80% – it is miserable in the sun. It is 78 degrees inside in the upstairs and the humidity is still high because the bathroom fan doesn’t do much to remove the steam from the morning showers. Spring took her merry time arriving and abruptly packed her bags to make way for summer. Summer wasn’t due until June 21st but some how arrived before the end of May. And I haven’t completed my spring cleaning! Spring is usually, traditionally, the time to do the big top to bottom deep cleaning of the home. I know why. It is because the weather is mild and there is a slight breeze and a freshness to the air (just a hint of floral fragrance) so that you can throw open the windows and the doors and air the place out. The bugs haven’t had time to move from larvae to winged pests.

Warm spring transition
Awakens flowers and bugs
Pollen and flies swirl

I have been working on doing my annual purge of the closets. I took 3 big bags of clothes to the family’s Sunday Ice Cream Social and they were dispersed among the sisters in law. I ended up taking a scant single bag to Goodwill. So I sifted through another closet and several drawers and had a giant bag stuffed full. After a break I sorted through yet another closet. I weeded out more items. I used the mixed criteria of “Does it make me happy when I look/touch/wear it?” and the “Have I worn this in the last 3 years?” As fate would have it, those items that made me happy when looking/holding them often don’t make me happy when I try them on. I dragged the 2 full bags around in the car and managed to move some items from my closet into the closets of others. I still have a couple more drawers to purge. I’ve switched from the big shopping bags to using 15 gallon kitchen trash bags.

Wipe away the old
Some things are not worth keeping
Make way for the new

When everything is said and done I hope to consolidate my closets (I currently have 2.5 closets filled with clothing) into 2 closets containing winter clothes and summer clothes. I know it is ambitious but it is one of those needs to be done tasks. My next task will be the shoe collection. There was a silly Facebook quiz to determine is you were considered a “High Maintenance” woman. I scored at the top solely on the number of scarves and shoes I own… It is really hard to get rid of some of my shoes and boots, even the ugly ones that are falling apart because they are comfortable and I can wear them when I know it won’t rain. Of course it always seems to rain when I wear them which results in me swearing that I’ll get rid of them (but they are still in my closet).

My worn tattered friend
You’ve been there through thick and thin
And your sole shows it

OK, so I couldn’t just do a straight post. This is a Haibun and it is a travelogue of my spring cleaning journey from closet to closet and dresser to highboy and vanity interspersed with haiku. Still the bags are real and so is the struggle.

18 thoughts on “Looking at the Purge

  1. I understand the struggle. I am still sorting through my husband’s and my mom’s things in the basement. I’ve sold some, given lots away to family, friends and Goodwill. Still lots left. Hoping to have a big garage sale next month.
    Going to advertise is as “A unique sale. Treasures and trash. Junque and junk. Free stuff.” Good luck with your purging. P.S. If you need any really old golf clubs I have them.

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    1. Ha! I have no interest in golf clubs! However if they have wooden shafts they are worth a pretty penny!! I remember having to sort through clothes when my grandmother died. It was sad and difficult. I hope you have some help from your daughters…

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  2. Hah! I have been clearing out closets and boxes etc. from 3 bathrooms, preparing tor refurbish, but also downsizing! I gave away 9 bulky-knit sweaters — haven’t worn a b-k sweater for years! Took about 10 large trash bags of stuff to Goodwill! And threw out 1 medium bag of stuff! And that’s only the bathrooms!

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      1. A little goes to my sister, a lot to Goodwiil, a little in the trash, and the rest in moving boxes. I’m almost done with the bathrooms — next will be paperwork and clothes! The satisfaction will come when there’s less that has to be unpacked after I move!

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  3. My problem I think I wear everything in my closet. I’ll check some day. I need hats. I love hats, my head is too small for run of the mill hats.

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    1. Same here – I love hats but my head is small. All the hats in the women’s dept. are too big. I end up shopping in the kids’ section! I have lots of hats!!

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  4. I’ve been sort of working on that. I don’t want to get rid of everything that’s become too big for me, in case some of the weight comes back once I can eat more than Jello and bananas. So I have piles for a yard sale that may never happen, closets full of clothes that are too big for me, and a tiny corner of a tiny closet with a few clothes that sort of fit. I’m surrounded by clothing and often have nothing to wear.

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  5. Way to go. I need to do some purging too. I have some clothes I rarely wear but LOVE..b/c they are comfortable, or have an emotional tie, etc. Still I need to let them go.
    Loved the Hiabun. 😉 .

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  6. I need to keep your criteria in mind when sorting through clothes. I definitely need to get rid of many! And I think 3 years makes more sense than the one year rule. Some of my clothes are more for special occasions or weddings or funerals – things that don’t come around too often. I know it feels good to get rid of somethings and lighten the load. Hopefully I’ll get inspiration from this! Wonderfully done Haibun! peace and smiles

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    1. Thank-you for the nice compliment! The 1 year rule is craziness. I go in cycles – one year I may be all about the fleece and the next it is the jacket and maybe the following year I’ll be into leggings and long sweaters… So I don’t get rid of things unless there is a reason. I gave away a plaid fleece to a coworker and she has been wearing it for the last 6 years and it still looks good. I mentioned to her that sometimes I regretted giving it away. She offered to loan it back to me – we could share. But I declined. However, if I ever see another one at Goodwill I’m buying it!!

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  7. Loved this…motivates me. …to purge my closet too…not to compose anything. You are one talented lady!!!

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    1. Thanks mom! I still have 2 bags of things in my car ready to get dropped off at Goodwill. The purge is over and I now have some space in the closets – room for a couple really good deals!

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  8. Seven years ago, I gave away five TRUCKLOADS of stuff to Goodwill. I think three truckloads somehow survived. Come my retirement, I won’t need much more than a a closet and a dresser, if that.

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