The January Closet

This January I’ve spent contemplating the year and clearing out spaces. My closet looks so much better! I admit, it makes me happy to look in there and see how everything is in its place.

I let go of several projects. Some ideas enchanted, but, gosh, just deciding I wasn’t going to do them and giving away the materials was freeing. After writing down what I hoped to do and comparing that to the time I had…well, I can’t do everything. For me, being death positive means accepting that not all ideas–shiny objects–can be pursued. Time is limited.

I feel better giving up. I posted some things in my Buy Nothing Group and now have more closet room and fewer things weighing down my to-do list. Whew.

Recently I’ve learned the terms greige (actually I think I heard this a long time ago, but I’d forgotten about it) and cluttercore. Why Kardashian finds all that gray relaxing is baffling to me. It’s stressful. It looks like a place where you have to worry about any stray mark, anything slightly out of place, anything different. To me, it says if everything were the same, think how easy life would be. Gah. It’s horrible and hideous. But okay, to each their own.

I guess I have a bit of an obsession with stuff. On Patreon, I write about meaningful objects. The other day at the library, I checked out the book What We Keep. And a copy of Lost Objects: 50 Stories about the Things We Miss and Why They Matter is on my wishlist.

Sometimes I think the difference between being labeled a hoarder or a collector is simply having the money for every object to have its own dedicated place. Right? If stuff is stacked randomly on the floor it’s a problem. If you have shelf space for it, that’s a display. Over the last year, thanks to my Buy Nothing Group, I’ve gotten a place for lots of things. Seriously. Through the group I received a faux card catalogue. It means glue sticks, handmade zines, index cards rubber bands, googly eyes, and other tiny things each have their own cute little drawer. It’s magic!

It does seem that all this worrying about stuff is part of the general worrying about getting stuff right. January is the time for such worrying, isn’t it? How can I improve, what have I accomplished, what do I want to accomplish and all that.

As I’ve said, I’m taking January to contemplate goals and clear stuff out. The thing I’m happiest about is deciding to take time each month to reflect and plan. I’m calling it maintenance time.

The other day I was listening to yet another story about infrastructure woes. So often it seems like we built something and then refused to deal with maintenance. We do this everywhere, don’t we? The country builds a bridge and then neglects to fund maintenance and on and on. We neglect various home maintenance checks. We don’t go to the doctor for yearly exams (which also has a lot to do with the mess that is health insurance, but I digress). But entropy is real, y’all. Things do not take care of themselves.

You get off track, you drift, you forget, and then you shame yourself about it. But it all seems just part of being alive on this planet. I know many writers beating themselves up for not sticking to a plan, not figuring it out, not matching some standard they’ve held up as what they should be doing. (Not just writers, for sure.) So much negative self-talk.

Sometimes that’s funny and self-aware. Sometimes though…it’s exhausting. (Edited to add: much of negative self-talk comes from depression and trauma. It isn’t turned off with a flick of an inner switch.)

We’re more than our failings. We know this, don’t we?

Anyway, I cleaned out my closet and seeing things well-organized is quite satisfying. (Roll your eyes if you want!) And I’ve already planned on when I’ll go back and organize again (August, for the record). It’s part of my accepting that disorganization will happen and I’ve prepared for that.

Have you cleaned out any closets lately? Find anything interesting?

Thanks for reading!

You can give me more time to make art and write stories. Buy my work on Etsy, join Patreon, or buy a cup of Kofi.

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