Too much stuff, continued…

When I was a little girl, my bedroom was always a disaster area.  First it was my toys – they were always on my bed.  At night, I would pull the bedspread down to drag them down to the lower half of the bed to make room to crawl in.  Occasionally because of a bad dream or just to annoy my parents I would go climb into their bed in the middle of the night.  My father couldn’t sleep with me there and would go get in my bed.  I remember waiting for the inevitable “crash” as all the toys at the foot of the bed were pushed off as he got in and then some muttered swearing.  The toys were replaced by clothes eventually.  That drove my father to the brink every time he passed my room.  I eventually rearranged my room strategically so that the bed was parallel to the back wall.  From the door it was impossible to see over the far edge of the bed so that’s where I would toss everything if I wanted to make it looked like I had tidied up.  That made it easier for him to walk down the hall to and from my parents’ room without having an aneurysm. Somewhere in high school I just gave up trying to hide my messiness.  One night I came home after being out with my friends and my room was spotless.  At first I thought maybe my parents cleaned, but I soon realized all of my clothes that had been on the floor were missing.  I threw a fit and woke up my parents demanding to know where my clothes were.  It turns out my father gathered them all up in garbage bags and put them in the storage shed out back.  This was all his idea and my mom was not happy that she was awakened in the middle of the night because of it.  I got my clothes back and my father and I held a truce until I left for college.

Fast forward 20 years.  You’d think with that kind of childhood, my house would be a disaster area.  Nope.  As a matter of fact, if it gets disorganized, I begin to feel very uncomfortable and irritable.  How’d that happen? Somewhere along the way, I developed a slight case of OCD and also spent a lot of time in retail store managing and organizing chaos.  I think it began with Victoria’s Secret.  I worked there on college breaks.  If you’ve ever been in one, you know that all the panties and bras are folded a certain way in the drawers, they are organized by size and by color.  I would spend hours straightening the drawers when we weren’t busy and got a lot of satisfaction from that. 

In my mid-twenties I started working for HomePlace a store similar to Bed, Bath & Beyond.  The chain couldn’t cut it and went out of business about 10 years ago.   Anyways, it was a small start-up with only about 20 employees, so I had a lot of responsibility.  I was in charge of taking all the stuff the buyers bought and then figuring out how to organize it on the fixtures and shelves in the stores.  My boss and I came up with some really unique ways of organizing and displaying towels, dinnerware, etc. that you will still see today in other housewares stores that “leveraged” our ideas.  When you spend 15+ hours a day in a store putting toothbrush holders, shower curtains, glassware, etc. into a 45,000 square foot store, you begin to obsess about it.  I would have dreams about putting merchandise on shelves.  Eventually I left because of the culture (THAT story will be good fodder for a post about abusive work environments) and got over most of the trauma.  However, I was left with PTSD (Post Traumatic Sorting Disorder) that makes me want to have everything neatly organized or I hyperventilate. 

I have found that having things organized makes my life much easier to deal with.  I like that I can walk into my closet and my clothes are organized by item and then by color and bras and panties are folded and colored out just like they would be in Victoria’s Secret.  It makes it easier to get dressed in the morning.

Unfortunately, because of a medical condition I have gained 15 pounds in the last three years.  Ten of those pounds I put on in the last year.  That extra weight pushed me out of my size 10 petite clothes into 12 petities.  I gave up having a breakdown every morning when the 10’s wouldn’t fit and realized I’d have to go out and buy new stuff.  So now I have a closet crammed full of stuff I can’t fit into and it is depressing me.  I decided last week that I am going to take everything out that doesn’t fit me and pack it away for now.  I also found the most fantastic hangers at Ross.  They are those fancy ones with the no-slip flocking stuff that are thin and are on QVC and in catalogs.  They are only $6.99 for 10 at Ross!  Quite a bargain!  I’ve bought a bunch of them and I’m replacing all the plastic hangers in my closet with these.  I’ve already done my suit jackets.  It is so nice to see them all lined up with the shoulders at the same level.  That makes me very happy. I’ll cull out all the stuff I can’t wear and have everything else nice and neat and organized. I’ve come a long way, haven’t I? *sigh*

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