Tuesday, March 14, 2023

If You Give a Girl a Closet

 If You Give a Girl a Closet


People who know me know I don’t like clutter. It makes me tired. Stresses me out. So this week has been particularly exhausting with clutter of my own making.


Yes, I said it. 

created the clutter.


It didn’t start out that way. It started with the simple notion of making some room for Mike’s clothes after we’re married. 


As a first grade teacher, I  read a story by Laura Joffe Numeroff  to my students called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It’s a wonderful book. Here’s the opening:


“If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.”


It’s one of those “one thing leads to another” kinds of stories.


Which brings me back to my closet.


 I set out to complete one simple task: clean the closet. 


It was pretty easy to create a pile of “school teacher clothes” I haven’t worn since the eighties. I also tossed the “professor clothes” I haven’t donned since I retired from the university in 2012. 


I soon had a pile of donation-worthy skirts and tops on my bed. 


Then there were the square dance clothes and the comfortable but totally out of style clothes I keep for working in the yard, painting, or camping. 

And of course the collection of “when I lose ten pounds” clothes. You get the idea.


The pile grew. I boxed everything and hauled it out to the car to donate later.


I smiled at the progress I’d made. Still, as I studied the space, I wasn’t satisfied. 


This is where the mouse story comes in. 


You see, I decided the best way to create new space in the master closet was to divide the remaining clothes by season. I decided to put a collection of seasonal clothes in my guest bedroom closet. 


There was one problem. When I moved into this house, I stored boxes of family photos and memorabilia in the guest closet... Along with framed artwork, foam mattress pads (for when the grandkids needed more bed space on the floor), quilts, paintings, and …well…lots of “stuff.” 


It was time I cleaned out that closet. 

No problem. I was on a roll. 


But…when you give a girl a closet…and it’s filled with memories…well, you are soon swamped in a pile of clutter. 


On the bed. On the floor. On the chest. In the drawer. 

(See? It’s even starting to sound like a children’s picture book.)


Only the picture was terrible. If strangers had walked in, they would have condemned the house as one of those scary places where hoarders are found buried alive.


I’m not kidding! This was crazy! 

Total Mess Not Fit for a Guest!


I plowed my way through. I read every old birthday card before tossing it in the trash. I got rid of the school pictures of children I don’t know. (Why don’t people put names on the back?)


I sorted the rest and carefully boxed up the good stuff I wanted to keep. 


You don’t have to say it. I already know my three daughters will go through everything one day after I’m gone and wonder why in the world I treasured all that junk. 


But I also know they’ll want to keep some of it.

They’ll box it up, take it home and put it in a closet….and…


If you give a girl a closet…





  1. Oh my gosh Becky, I laughed until I cried!😂Reading this helped me to realize I'm not so unique.🙃Alway great stuff!! Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much...for the comment, the support, and the encouragement!


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