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What Are You Hiding? In Your Closet, That Is…

By Linda Ward August 22, 2022 Lifestyle

I’m not talking about secrets that are hidden away in your closet. Also not talking about coming out of the closet with your sexual orientation. This topic is about stuff. Chances are, you don’t really know what’s in some of your closets anymore. If you were to pull everything out, which I’ve done at times, it’s stuff that takes up a lot of space and is not useful anymore! What’s in there? Do you really know?

My Own Story

My sister passed away from cancer five years ago. I miss her every day. She loved to sew and was an outstanding quilter. I have beautiful, quilted pieces that she gave me over the years, and I’ll treasure them forever. Some are in my closet, but I know right where they are, and they aren’t leaving my possession.

When she passed away, we had the task of venturing into her sewing room. It had so much fabric in it, we could hardly walk. She was able to squirrel away bolts and fabric pieces, colorful and neutral, all sorts of sewing gadgets, with patterns, books, and tools for sewing.

Quilters from all over the area came and left with precious pieces from my sister’s stash at a garage sale held in her garage. Our family was able to take anything we thought we would use. Although I don’t really like to sew that much, I took what interested me, which amounted to a very large box of material. At the time, I couldn’t let it go.

I stuffed it away in my top closet where it’s been for four years. I’ve never looked at that box since I put it there. Lately, I’ve thought about that fabric. I know she intended it to be used, not sit on a shelf. I think it’s time to bring it down and see if any of the family or my friends can use it.

Sentimental Value/Fresh Space

Can you relate to this story? Sometimes we hold on to things that have a sentiment attached to them but are of no use in our lives. We can choose to do this, of course, as we need to attach special meaning and sentiment to things at times. In my case, I have limited space that could be put to better use.

Also, who would take care of this stuff when I’m gone? It makes sense for me to go through stuff in my house and decide what I want to do with it. My goal is to eliminate most of what’s gathering dust due to lack of use, and let some fresh air breathe through my home. I want to pare it down to only what sparks a joyful sentiment and is of use.

What Do the Experts Say?

Marie Kondo is an inspiration to me on many levels. In her book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, she talks about how to begin a process of keeping what’s valuable to you. Marie encourages people to focus on what they want to keep instead of what they want to get rid of. That’s a new twist and makes it easier for me. She states to keep the things we enjoy, make us happy and spark a joyful memory.

My Father’s Trophy

Some of what’s tucked away in your closet will spark joy. I have a trophy that my dad won playing in a golf tournament. With it is a picture of him, holding the trophy and smiling his huge warm smile. When looking the trophy over one day, I found a note tucked into the back of it. It was from a friend who played in the tournament with him, teasing him about his win. This brings a smile every time I see it.

Scrapbooking Stuff

I used to sell products for scrapbooking. I had so much product in my home that was not being used that I sold it to a kind lady who answered my Craigslist ad. She was so thrilled to have the items, that it made me happy too! I haven’t missed the stuff and now I have more space.

Time to Take Some Action

Today, I’m bringing my box of sissy’s fabric down from its hiding spot to decide what to do with its contents. Will I keep some? It’s possible. Most of all, someone could really make something beautiful and useful out of it. I’ll try to find that person.

What is hiding in your closet? Would someone benefit from the clothing, the acquired collection of fabric, or other things you haven’t used for quite some time? Bring it out, think it over, and free up space in your home and life. Let me know what you have decided to let go of. Was the decision a tough one? Did it bring someone else joy? Do you regret letting it go?

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I undertook a closet purge last month, intent on halving my worldly goods over the coming year. I don’t want my kids to have to do this later. I donated 10 huge trash bags of clothing–just the beginning! Next, the costume jewelry I’ve collected for years, which none of my family appreciates or wants. And the wedding china that is still in its bubble wrap 38 years later (long after the marriage imploded).”Stuff” just doesn’t mean much to me now.

Linda Ward

Hi Rockergal,
You made me chuckle when you said the china was still in bubble wrap 38 years later, long after the marriage imploded! I totally understand. It might feel really freeing for you to let that china go! You could check into where sometimes they buy china and glassware to sell on their website. Congrats on clearing out the 10 bags of clothing. That’s a huge first step! Keep going–free yourself up from stuff as well as not leaving it for others to sort through someday.

Helena Hollywood

I’m in the process of sorting through old photographs and passing them on to younger friends and former colleagues. When I pass my daughter would just dump them as she would not know people in the photographs. I feel better knowing they will be enjoyed by others in the photos.


I have just finished cleaning out my parents house.. what a huuuuge job! I am the only child, so it all fell onto me, thankfully I had help.
I too was inspired by Marie Kondo , and only kept things that sparked joy and lovely heartfelt memories.
It was difficult to let a lot of things go, ( all donated to local charity) how ever had to be done because there was just so much stufffff.
Have a lovely day from Oz 😊
j. 🦋

Linda Ward

Hi Jules,
You did it, you sorted through so much! It’s an encouragement for us to trim back our stuff, so others won’t have the job you had.

Linda Ward

I think photos are some of the most difficult to throw out! Good for you for taking on this project and getting them to someone who will enjoy them. 😊

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

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