Beach Buzz | Jumping head-first into closet cleaning | Beach Buzz with Lee Belote

Beach Buzz | Jumping head-first into closet cleaning | Beach Buzz with Lee Belote

Beach Buzz | Jumping head-first into closet cleaning | Beach Buzz with Lee Belote


With the recent sweltering temperatures, I woke up one morning and decided to take a dive. I didn’t dive into my pool but rather my cluttered closet.

I’m not a big fan of spring cleaning. I’m not particularly motivated when the weather is delightful. Who wants to be inside in a dark closet when it’s so pretty outside?

So the blazing heat gave me the perfect excuse to enjoy the comfort of air conditioning while accomplishing my least favorite task.

For the most part, I keep a tidy house. I’m a stickler about a clean kitchen and keeping the pillows perfectly arranged on the sofa. In fact, my kids and husband would say I’m a little crazy.

However, when it comes to my closet, I’m the opposite. I’m embarrassed to say I could vie for a spot on a closet hoarder show. It’s not like I have piles of clothes on the floor, but the answer is “yes” if you ask me about shoes.

All my clothing is hung and/or folded in a cubby, but it’s busting at the seams and sometimes breaking hangers due to being double stacked.

The problem is simple. I don’t purge. We’ve all been told if you don’t wear something in a year, ditch it. Well, I’ve broken that clothing law by at least five years.

To attack my daunting closet chore, I asked myself two questions: Does it fit? Is it in style?

The first question was easy. If it doesn’t fit, it gets immediately tossed. I had a two-hour workout trying on tons of clothes.

Even though the first step is easy, it’s also incredibly depressing for most women. Over time, most females expand in the mid-section. Yes, it’s a distressing fact to any woman older than 40. You can actually be the same exact weight, but clothes don’t fit the same because the law of gravity on aging women is unkind. While trying on a few favorite dresses, I quickly kicked them to the curb because they accentuated a few unwelcome curves.

Next came the challenging part and the core of my clothes hoarding problem. Is it in style? That’s a hard one to answer. Style is so subjective, and I like a little of everything. I have a hard time giving something up if I once loved it and it’s still flattering.

I definitely hit a bump in the road when it came to my collection of jean shorts. I still kept several pairs with rips, lace, frayed ends, colored denim and themed ones for the Fourth of July.

I was a lot better when it came to my assortment of tank tops that came in a rainbow of colors. I ditched a whole stack with no remorse.

I discovered a new category called “identical items.” I gave this nickname to my bundle of black shirts. You can never have too many, but I did. I kept only a few.

Other obstacles included some dresses I wear once every couple of years. They made the cut. I’m a sucker for a cute dress.

I also kept a few things that I know aren’t in style, but I’m certain will someday come back into the fashion cycle. Only time will tell, and they may be tossed on the next go-around.

So, at the end of this purge, I could literally take a real dive. My heaping mountain of discarded clothing items resembled a pile of leaves.

Lee Belote is a Bay Island resident who loves writing about her hometown. Reach her at jlbelote@verizon.net with any great stories, local happenings or new hot spots.



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