Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Peek Into My Closet…and My Life

I am in trouble. The truth about my inner self will soon become apparent to the outside world, whether I like it or not.

Or at least to those members of the world viewing my closet.

Careful, extended, thoughtful scientific research on the hidden significance of our cluttered, or clutter-less, closets produces the revelation that they are windows into the mind.

I have no idea why adults would waste their valuable professional time studying closets, but that is an interesting topic for another blog post. Meanwhile…

Apparently the things we accumulate tell others about our mental state and possibly our physical health too. Our closet might indicate whether or not we have attention deficit hyperactive disorder or compulsive obsessive disorder or are on the brink of dementia or have developed some other somber-sounding disorder.

My closet is not neat and has never been neat. It is usually a cluttered mess. I want to own a well-ordered closet, one organized by items or color or use, everything carefully stacked on shelves or hung on hangars, but it rarely happens.

Ever since a kid I used the excuse my closet was too small. Actually the closet was never too small. I owned – and still own – too many possessions for the size of the closet.

There is a universal, undisputable law – Baer’s Closet Truism – explaining that no matter how many closets in a home, they all eventually fill and overflow with stuff.

The closet is an inanimate, empty space waiting for one or more humans to fill it.

I admit I do a very good job of packing the entire space with my belongings.

The scenario occurs as follows:

One item, two items, then a steady stream of additional things are carefully placed in what initially might appear to be a huge space. One day in a hurry I toss items in the closet, eventually filling the floor with shoes, pocketbooks, backpacks and other assorted items. Stuff begins falling off shelves and hangers, remaining on the floor, further creating clutter. I impatiently shovel through the growing mound of possessions attempting to find the one pair of shoes needed on a particular day.

I clean my closet occasionally, tossing things out, filling bags for charity, and carefully refilling the closet with items I need/want/refuse to part with but probably will never use.

Unfortunately my shipshape closet does not remain clutter-free for long.

The scenario repeats itself and before I know it, I cannot find the pair of shoes desired, or the shirt I know I washed and put away, or the new pants never worn but waiting patiently for me somewhere in the deep, dark caverns otherwise known as my closet.

So what does this tell the professionals about me?

What long-winded medical term describes my inability to maintain a neat closet?

How does that infirmity spill over into the rest of my life?

Is my mind as cluttered as my physical space?

Is there some test to find out? Do I want to know?

And perhaps the most important question of all:

If I have a disorder, will my medical insurance rates increase?

Will my insurance company stop covering me completely, throwing me out into the cold, cruel world of the uninsured?

Will I be denied certain benefits because the disorder affects other parts of my life and health?

Will they refuse to pay for blood pressure medication, for instance, citing the cause of this medical issue my cluttered closet and mental incapacity, and not a physical problem or aging factor?

Will they mandate special clutter-free training, requiring attendance at classes aimed at de-cluttering the mind, restoring good health and physical space to my life?

Will I resist, happy with my life, unwilling to change?

Must I stand before a crowd and admit my weakness, my addiction to clutter, and my failed efforts at change?

As part of my cure, am I prepared to wear a T-shirt announcing to the world that I am the proud owner of a cluttered closet overflowing with stuff that probably no one else wants?

The ramifications of my clutter condition are profound.

But at my advanced age, can I really change? Do I want to?

Not likely and probably not.

The only solution that works, and it is only a temporary one, is to move and start over with clean, empty spaces.

I think it is that time again…


  1. This is a very funny post. I have seen those cluttered closets--not in my house, but Ihave seen them.

  2. One reason hubby and I don't share a closet is that mine looks like an overflowing backpack from top to bottom, and his is pristine, carefully arranged with only what he currently uses. I've got clothes from decades back I just can't part with yet. :-)

  3. Don't worry about it. A cluttered closet = a creative mind.

  4. What Tom said. Because I have a cluttered closet too. Being a Type A neatfreak is totally overrated and a waste of creative energy. Says me.

  5. Enjoyed reading your thoughts here -- reminds me I need to empty my closets -- keep too many clothing items -- maybe I'll do that tomorrow...or next week...perhaps this fall when it's cooler.