My cabinets are clean and neat. The spices are alphabetized. The can labels all face out. I can even put my hands on the nut crackers without a treasure hunt in the utensil drawer. It is time to move on.

Whenever my late mother comes up in one of those “remember when” conversations, we get around to talking about her gifts. We all dreaded getting clothing from my mother. Her main criteria for gift giving was getting the cheapest thing possible without resorting to second-hand. None of us had the heart to tell her that we would have much preferred quality second-hand to another swimming pool blue, acrylic K-mart sweater that pilled and shrunk with the first washing into a some mutant, sweater like garment fit for nothing but the cat to have a litter of kittens on.

Most of us have an embarrassment of clothing. I know I do. I have clothing for every occasion from feeding the pigs to tea with the queen. I have clothes in two different sizes (my real size and my pretend I may get back into size). Since I live in a place with real seasons, I have clothes for the 90+ degrees and clothes for -20. Keeping this inventory organized is a chore on a good day and I have let it go for long enough to be a nightmare. Not only is my stuff a problem but my husband NEVER throws anything away. He has his old bowling shirts and he hasn’t  bowled on a league in 30 years. But not to worry. If he ever needs his silk bomber jacket from the days he served on the volunteer fire department in a town we moved out of 25 years ago, we’re covered.

So today I pull out all the clothes. I will start with my closet. I will replace the lost buttons and tack op the droopy hems. I will pass on the gorgeous suit that has been too tight for 10 years. I figure if I lose the ten pound necessary to wear it in comfort I will be so pleased I won’t mind spending the money on a new one. I will weed out the dress that bind, the shrunken tee shirts and the totally stained blouses. I think the best thing to do is to pass on those things with good life left in them to someone who can use them and remove the buttons and zippers from the rest.  I will turn what I can into quilt pieces or rags and get rid of the rest. I want my closet to function as well as my kitchen cabinets. I also plan to make a list of things I need. It will be a short list. The trick to making this venture a success is getting Bruce to do it with me.

I hope that living in more frugal times will mean a return to quality. I makes better economic and environmental sense to purchase one good sweater than to get 6 that will not stand the test of time. I have black wool pea coat that Bruce got when he served in the Navy, 40 years ago. The coat is still in excellent shape. It has been worn by all of our kids at one time or another and I wore it as my main coat for years. The coat is a keeper as I still have kids who can wear it. I am still wearing the Sorrel boots I bout 15 years ago. I have made some minor repairs on them but they are going strong. I have outgrown both of mine but they look good so they are going to get passed on and I will buy two more when I find a good sale.

You can see where I am headed here. I still need to let Bruce in on the plan. Wish me luck.

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