Jane Green
The Official Home of New York Times Bestselling Author

Decluttering my closet

May 2nd, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 10.39.39 AMI walked into my closet yesterday and very quickly walked back out. I have been doing this a lot recently. I am extremely talented at acquiring new things, and terrible at getting rid of the old. Every square inch is crammed, mostly with things I haven’t even looked at for two years, let alone worn.

It does not help that I have clothes in my closet ranging from size 2 to size 12. Every now and then I pull out a size 2 pair of jeans and start laughing, for they seem so terribly tiny, but then I put them back, because one day… one day… I just might get into them again.

Everyone I know is talking about a book by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying. Essentially, you go through all of your possessions, and if they do not ‘spark joy’, you lovingly get rid of them – leaving your home, and of course your mind, clean and uncluttered.

For the past few weeks I have walked into my closet, peered around and, as my eyes have fallen upon a pair of clogs identical to the other eight pairs of clogs next to it, I have asked myself, ‘Clogs? Do you spark joy?’ And then I have thought, ‘Bugger this,’ and walked out, shutting the door firmly behind me.

Yesterday I texted The Chef. Among her many skills is organisation. ‘Help!’ I texted. ‘I need to purge.’ She texted back that she would be over in 10 minutes.

She came armed with giant black bin bags. We started with my office, because it is closest to the front door. I wasn’t planning on purging the office, but as I was leading her upstairs to my closet, we passed the open door and she caught sight of toppling piles of books and papers on my desk. She turned to me with eyebrows raised, and wordlessly entered the office, brandishing a bin bag.

I threw away piles and piles of papers, with only a cursory glance. Old statements. Old book notes. Possibly some important stuff, but hell! If it’s that important they’ll send it again.

We moved swiftly upstairs and filled bags with clothes. Bikinis I will never have a hope of wearing again were donated to teenage daughters, shoes are going to friends, old nighties that should have been retired years ago all went in the bin bag. Every time I stopped to ponder, The Chef stepped forward with an open bag and by the end of the afternoon we both stepped back, delighted.

I now want to move into my closet, a closet that finally, finally sparks joy.

(This article was first published in The Lady Magazine.)


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