When my niece was visiting this weekend, I had to get something from my closet while she was sleeping, and my closet is in the guest room. (When we moved here ten years ago, we both preferred the little bedroom with the bay window -- and only one closet -- to the bigger master bedroom with two closets. So the master bedroom became the guest room/my husband's office/the "craft shop.") Now, two weeks ago it would have been a problem to get into my closet; boxes of old clothes and books and shoes were piled three feet deep on the floor. And I share space in there for F's dress clothes (since his bedroom doesn't have any closet, oh those Victorians!). And the suitcases are stored there. And it's really not that big of a closet in the first place (though those crazy Victorians did trim out the insides of their closets with pretty woodwork).
So a week and a half ago I went to town on cleaning my closet. I didn't even set a timer and tell myself I only had to clean for 30 minutes. I spent the whole afternoon. I actually started with my dresser -- since we got a new dresser (an Amish dresser in a Victorian bedroom!) and I hadn't actually gone through my old dresser yet. I held up every single piece of clothing and said,
Is this who I want to be?
My old dresser: empty. My closet: so spare I can walk inside while my niece is sleeping, shut the door, and turn on the light.
What's left is all the things I want to wear -- plenty for me, but meager by American standards. I don't think I have double digits of anything; less than 10 pairs of pants (including jeans, my daily uniform), less than 10 t-shirts, less than 10 sweaters (including sweatshirts).
Two days later I made a list (and yes, enjoyed it immensely) of every time I need to wear clothes: working at home, meeting with customers, co-working with the Magic Wand Collective, teaching Sunday school, it was a long list. But I realized almost everything I do can be accommodated with one of three "uniforms". Honestly, I felt almost giddy for figuring this out. And relieved. And satisfied with the pieces I already have, in my pared-down closet.