Not too long ago, if you said you had a room the size of a closet, it meant the space was probably pretty darn small.
These days, however, it’s not uncommon to have a closet the size of a living room, with more sliding drawers, revolving racks and custom shoe trees than Barney’s or Bloomies or Paris Hilton. So nowadays, if you tell someone you have a room the size of a closet, the room could very well be large enough to seat an elephant, comfortably.
Although I dream about one day being able to fit an elephant in my closet, right now, I can barely fit my clothes in there. We live in an older house, with teeny closets, and apparently, fifty years ago, people either wore significantly less clothes than we do today or they were much, much smaller. Maybe both. Based on the size of my closet, the previous owner was about 3 feet tall and probably spent most of the time naked.
Having come from the city where the rent was actually based on closet space, I was not unfamiliar with the challenges of limited storage. Over the years, I have become the queen of the seasonal changeover; feverishly stripping our closets and drawers bare of winter clothes each spring, packing them up into bins, and hauling them to the attic. Then I do the reverse in the fall. There’s no set time that I do this.
I’m kind of like a bear waking up from hibernation. One day my internal closet clock goes off and then I get the feeling that it’s time to make my family’s life hell once again.
“OK, I need anything that says ‘Summer’ to come down,” I yelled up to my husband at the top of the attic stairs.
“There are ten boxes that say ‘Summer’ up here,” said a miserable voice from above.
“Yeah, I need all those,” I yelled back. Like a well-oiled machine, my son pushed the bins across the attic floor, passed them to my husband on the rickety, pull-down steps, who handed them down to me and my daughter in the garage below. Ten times.
“Wait,” I said, lifting a top off a bin. “This is ‘Camp’ stuff. We don’t need it yet. Put it back.”
My husband examined the bin. “It says ‘Summer!’”
“It is ‘Summer,’ but it’s ‘Camp.’” I responded. “It goes back.” Mumbling evil husband things to himself, he hoisted the bin back up the steps and into the attic. Then he and my son started to come down.
“Hang on,” I said, peering into another bin. “These are bathing suits and towels. We don’t need these yet.”
“The bin says ‘Summer,” protested my husband.
“Well, we’re really only actually doing ‘Spring,’” I explained. More mumbling.
“Wouldn’t it make more sense for YOU to go up in the attic and actually look in the bins before we bring them all down,” he asked.
“No,” I said adamantly. “We have a system. I’m the Ground Floor Gal. You are the Steps Guy. He is Attic Boy, and she is Garage Girl.”
“That’s not a system. That’s a weird bunch of superheroes.”
“Fine,” I said sliding a mammoth bin back across the floor to him. “Then I consider it my duty to make our closets safe for all mankind.”
“Great,” he said. “But who will save us from you?”