When my husband and I became empty nesters, I really believed that not only would we have more room in the house, it would be a cleaner house.
After all, no more children would be around dragging home their high school memorabilia — none of which could be tossed in the garbage.
No more children with their school projects on my kitchen table. No more spare shoes in the family room overnight. No more book bags and coats shoved on hooks in the utility room.
After getting over the initial mourning period of having no more children around, I began looking around my house. Surprisingly, there were some distinct possibilities for my husband and I to reclaim some of the room for which we’ve been making bank payments.
Looking in their bedrooms was painful at first. Not seeing my babies in their beds physically hurt me for a time. But in time, rather than see the empty beds, I began to see a lot of stuff they would never reclaim. Stuff that was left for their parents to deal with.
So, we began our cleaning odyssey.
My HGTV instincts kicked in, and I eventually turned those bedrooms into lovely hotel-quality rooms. The paint is fresh. The bedspreads are new. The junk is removed, and the walls are poster free.
Satisfied with that, we moved on to the bathroom.
Again, fresh paint, some new colors, a few new towels and we called it done.
We looked around, and it was good.
After donating loads of teen clothing to charity, we finally had some closet space. And I was certain I could finally realize my dream of having a space for my summer clothes and a separate space for my winter clothes.
The plan was to use those closets in our now spare bedrooms for the off-season stuff. Then, when the seasons change it was only a quick few trips from closet to closet to make the appropriate swaps.
Only problem: my summer clothes and winter clothes at some point have merged into one.
Turns out, I still wear a lot of my summer clothes in January, only with a sweater or jacket on top.
My husband has an easier job of separating the seasons. If his shirts are short-sleeved they go in the summer closet, the long-sleeved ones in the winter closet.
If only my life were as simple.
And that explains why our closet looks as it does.
My husband never complains about my half being packed to the brim. He never says a word when I can’t find something to wear amid a closet loaded with clothes.
But they’re all the wrong colors for the season. Every season.
Last week it bothered me enough to do something about it. With sheer determination, I headed to that closet to separate the wheat from the chaff. I was not going to stop working until I had the summer stuff separated from the winter.
Pacing myself, I started with something easy. Blouses. Well, this might be a summer blouse, but it looks cute with a sweater over it. And, it doesn’t need ironed so I really do need to keep it in the rotation.
And thus it went.
Skirts, slacks … same deal.
Finally I thought I might have more luck with my shoes. After all, sandals can only be worn in the summer. Even I should be able to make that call.
Checking through, many of my sandals needed tossed in the garbage rather than moved to another closet. In the end, I carried one pair of sandals to the summer closet.
My husband never said a word when he saw my untouched half of the closet.
Gosh I miss my kids being at home.
Once they fly the coop, there’s no one to blame for a messy nest. Especially an empty one.