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Our old house had windows, lots of windows, and not very many interior walls. We were short on space for bookshelves, wall art, and most of all, closets. We always said if we built a new house we would have closets. Lots of closets.

We are building a new house and we have spent a lot of time with our architect commenting that we needed more this or less that but always we return to closets. Lots of closets.

As things have unfolded with the new house planning we have discovered how much space a list of “we want this” things actually take. When we realized we were going to need a new house we made a list of all the things that were important to us. Some were important to do and some were important not to do. For example, in former houses we have had oddly shaped windows we could not afford window coverings for. My spouse said, “NO IRREGULARLY SHAPED WINDOWS!” He did not exactly yell it like ALL CAPS would imply but he certainly meant it. I was right there with him.

On our list of things we want are closets. Lots of closets.

Our architect has been wonderful taking our “we want this and we want” in stride. I suppose he is patiently helping us learn what “want” means in space. The first plan he brought to us had lots of closets just like we asked. Lots of tiny closets in the lots of tiny bedrooms that fit into plan with lots of space he designed for us. We learned that if you want lots of good sized bedrooms full of lots of closets you lots and lots of space. We have lots of space in our new plan.

Cut the bedrooms, leave the closets.

Suddenly it occurred to us that we did not have very many things to put in the closets so we really did not need lots of closets after all. It was a desolate feeling.

I am still struggling with the clothes in my closet. My spouse seems to recognize his but I am still trying to figure out what I have.

Without realizing it, I have amassed a huge number of black pants. I brought 3 old pair out from the fire: the pair I had on and two pair I grabbed as we left. When my sister came right after the fire, she brought me two pair of black pants; one pair of sweats and one pair of casual pants. They were re-runs. I had worn them, recycled them to her and she recycled them back to me. Five pair of black pants. I bought a pair of on-sale black knit pants for work. I bought two pair of on-sale dress pants for work. I bought a pair of pants to travel in. Nine pair of black pants. Each one pair made sense. When I go into my closet and look at the row of black pants they don’t make so much sense. One at a time they make sense but together they look like a mistake. I suppose they are a mistake.

I have made a few mistakes with ordering our new household’s worth of things. I ended up with two hot pink tunics with orange trim. I bought one for $7 out of the on-line bargain bin at a good store. I am not sure if I ordered two or if the order got mixed up but I have two. Hot pink is not my color and orange is certainly not my color but since there are two I always have one to wear. My spouse has two purple cashmere sweaters. The first one I found right after the fire. It was 75% off I thought it was a great thing to replace some of his 20-year collection of cashmere sweaters. Last week I found a purple cashmere sweater on sale 75% off that was just right to help replace some of my spouse’s 20-year collection of cashmere sweaters. Of course, what was a good idea once was a good idea twice except when only one is needed.

So, we need closets, lots of closets.

I got sick again so the laundry hamper in my closet got full. When I went to wash tonight I pulled item after item (including 2 pairs of black pants) out of the hamper that I did not recognize. I had to study them to remember (a) if they were mine and (b) what they were. I did recognize my neon florescent, green tee shirt I got two days after the fire. That one stands out. It was my sifting shirt. The other things I have to ponder which is a very strange experience. Tonight I pulled my nightgown out of the dryer and looked it wondering what it was, it certainly was nice fabric, “Oh! Right. My nightgown.”

So, we need lots of closets. We don’t know what will go in those closets. What we do have in closets we may not recognize. But, we need closets. Lots of closets. Perhaps when we recognize what we have in our closets and we acknowledge what we do not have to put in closets, we will recognize our lives again.

photo of a closetThe closet in our basement bedroom we finished not long before the fire.