Lost and found.

My closet has become something of a… situation.

We included a lovely, large master closet when we built this house a year ago. Other than my pantry, it’s probably my favorite room in the house. It’s got beautiful drawers and cabinets and cubbies for days. I remember unpacking my clothes into it, thinking, “We’ll never fill this much space!” And somehow, it’s FULL.


I may have alluded to my addiction to dresses once or twice. I feel about a new dress the way Carrie Bradshaw feels about a pair of shoes: It’s always good to have another. And this, ahem, NEED has resulted in an overstuffed closet and too many clothes. At least in my half.

Many things in my closet either don’t fit or don’t fit into my life anymore. I don’t have a full-time job anymore that requires me to have a selection of corporate-friendly attire. I rarely wear heels these days. As I started peeling through the racks, I saw things I hadn’t worn in YEARS but I was holding onto them for some reason. Did I love the pattern? Did I hope it might fit properly again someday? Did I hope that GRUNGE was going to come back in style? Did I wish it looked better on me than it actually did? Before I knew it, I was pulling items off of the hangers and starting a pile.


I didn’t stop with the dresses. I attacked the sweater section and the rack of shirts and blouses, too. The pile started to grow. And it kept growing.


By the time my energy ran out, I had a nice collection of empty hangers and a neatly-folded mountain of colorful clothing to share with someone besides myself.


I could actually see what was hanging in my closet, and there was room to move the hangers back and forth on the rack.


I discovered that I may need to tone it down with the hotel products (there’s an entire plastic tote filled with tiny shampoos).


I could safely get to the little jewelry nook without tripping over stuff.


And I FOUND stuff, you guys. Good stuff.

A ticket stub book that I bought before we moved. Inside, I found tons of concert tickets I’d stashed there!


I found an old photo of John with his parents and brother, which I immediately put into a frame.


I found a lovely pair of earrings, made by a friend, that I’ve never worn and forgot that I had.


I found an awesome pile of funky fabrics. My favorite is the rainbow one in the front!


I found some beautiful prints that I’d stashed before I was able to get them framed.


I found a bag filled with souvenirs from an extended vacation (I save everything!).


And this. I found THIS.


It’s the journal I wrote in every day during the very first road trip in Betty. I had scoured the house, desperately searching for it, since we moved in.


It’s nowhere near filled- I only used it on that first 17-day trip. But it’s overflowing with details and memories of each campsite, every meal, even what songs we listened to as we trekked across the desert and along the coastline.


It was on this trip that I decided I wanted to write. It was on this trip that the idea to start some kind of online travel journal started to form in my head. I have hundreds of photos from the trip, but to read my in-the-moment descriptions of our experiences takes it to a different level.

“The sun played hide and seek with the clouds, so we bundled up in hoodies to watch the surfers flow in and out of the waves, their heads bobbing like apples in a barrel…”


“Waving goodbye to Grandpa and Edie, I marveled at how the universe knows just what you need. The love of my family had brought me back to center…”


“The map was deceiving. The miles of streaming desolation piled upon each other and each hour seemed longer than its 60 minutes as we drove through terrain like the moon…”


“For days, we’d inexplicably landed in the most ideal camping spots imaginable, without reservations. And now, our good luck brought us to camping paradise: a luxury tent in an endless clover field, shaded by majestic redwoods. My inner tree-hugger lives!”


I settled in to a chair and turned page after page, getting lost in the memories of that trip. What a time in our lives! Both newly freed from bad job situations, we reveled in our freedom that summer. No children. Not even a dog, yet. No obligations, no schedule. We hit the road with loose ideas but no set plans.  We let today’s adventure guide us into tomorrow’s. We learned that we make great traveling companions. And we certainly fell more deeply in love. We laugh about it now- we knew that since we were still smiling after spending 2 ½ weeks in a 13-foot trailer together, we were ‘meant to be.’ There’s a line in the journal that reads, “It will be hard to top this. Each day is better than the last.” I was talking about the vacation- but I feel that way right now, too.

I set the journal aside for another day and toted my giant laundry basket of give-aways downstairs. Phase One of the Great Closet Purge of 2013 was super successful, so far. I’ve still got to dive into the stack of too-tight jeans and have all of the dresser drawers to pick through. But who knows? Maybe I’ll find another long-lost treasure tucked away somewhere. In the midst of getting rid of things I didn’t need, I rediscovered something I’d never throw away.

Plus, now there’s room for a new dress on the rack. 

12 replies »

  1. We have the exact same ticket stub diary, I bought it for John a few years back after he mentioned wanting to keep the stubs somewhere. It’s fun to go back through and see where we’ve been.

    Good for you cleaning out your closet, I know I really need to go through mine. I have a ton of stuff in there that I know doesn’t fit and is either going out of style or I never wear anymore. I just can’t seem to part with some of it yet.

  2. First, I want to go through your giveaway pile! Second, I love the travel journal…I always keep one when I travel, although mine is less poetic and more objective, so now I’m inspired to be more creative! Third, I want Betty and your closet 🙂

    • Tobi, I could part with the closet- but I’m obsessed with Betty!
      I loved writing about our experiences each day on that trip. We’d chat together about the highlights over dinner and I’d end the evening with a smile on my face. Reading it almost two years later is really fun!

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