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Getting rid of, the lime green sequel

We knew we had a mold problem. Everyone who lives under redwood trees has a mold problem. At least it was better than when we moved in, and you could smell it on everything. Then, we replaced the heavy, soggy curtains with blinds, got rid of the mildewed wool carpeting, and lined the entire crawl space with heavy plastic.

But still, we had a mold problem. Years came and went, and shoes we didn’t wear would start to fuzz. We’d say, boy, we really should deal with that mold problem.

Back when no one yet knew what green would mean!

Suki/Siouxsie in her lime green skirt when no one yet knew what "green" would mean!

Then came the Summer of Getting Rid Of (which follows the Winter of Getting Rid Of). I called our friendly painter (shameless plug: T. Paul Sek and his wonderful wife Debbie, who do all the research we don’t have time to do, who tackle other people’s mold problems, their allergy problems, and their irritation with nasty-smelling paint with cheer and Certified Green weaponry). We set a date, we started to unload the closets. And unload. And unload.

The kids and I were about to take off on five days up in the Sierras with a friend, and so I demanded of my husband: Don’t put anything back in until we decide what to Get Rid Of! I returned to find the enormous pile intact. Secretly, I’d hoped that he or some kind faeries would have taken care of it, but no such luck.

The closets were gorgeously clean, and coated with some stuff that mold doesn’t like the feel of. It was almost a shame to put anything back into them, but we attacked the pile.

On top were the things that we knew we were probably going to keep. The everyday clothing that we’d been wearing regularly went back in, though I managed to grab some frayed, stained, and unwanted items as they made their way back into the closet. I was ruthless with my own stuff, removing all the socks I don’t really like, the t-shirts I really don’t wear anymore, the shorts I’d always hated. Goodbye, clothes, hello, Goodwill!

Then came the dressy clothing that we wouldn’t wear very much anyway, but you just don’t want to replace. My husband has fewer than one occasion per year to wear a suit, but who wants to buy a new one? Back in they went. I stopped a few pieces of my own nice clothing that I’d never really liked and put it into a separate pile for the Daisy Store. (Have you been there? Fabulous! Around the corner from OSH on 41st Ave., and all their proceeds go to the Family Services Agency.)

Then came the loads of clothing I was keeping for various reasons, all of them unrealistic and sentimental. Clothing that doesn’t fit me anymore and is already out-of-date. Even if I lost those inches around my middle, would I wear them? Clothing that I was saving for my daughter. I have fond memories of my older sister and me dressing in my mother’s old fancy party dresses from high school. We loved them so much — we felt like princesses in them. My daughter, however, has decided not to wear girls’ clothes at all, much less princess outfits. When she plays dress-up, it’s in knight gear and as a samurai warrior. Is she really going to wear that stuff? And then there were the pure sentimental items: the dress I was married in didn’t get sent to the Daisy Store pile, but that suede dress I’d never wear again did.

Years and years of stuff I was keeping because “you never know when you’ll need it” went straight into the Goodwill pile. That which had visible mold on it went straight to garbage.

The haul to the Goodwill was easy. There was nothing in there that I will remember enough to miss. The Daisy Store pile, however, is still tossed over the couch in our bedroom. I feel like there is a lot of my history in there. Can I really get rid of the lime green miniskirt that I used to perform in? I have a picture of me with my thick bangs and eyeliner performing outside the student union at Stanford wearing that skirt. It’s hard to give up pieces of my past that bring back such memories like nothing else.

On the other hand, someone else without a mold problem might actually wear it. I’d like to think of some other skinny teenage girl finding my lime green skirt and thinking, Wow, this would be perfect to perform in!

Then again, she’d probably look at it and laugh. This is one of those relics like my mom used to wear in those old photos of her in her college days…

But I won’t think of that. I’ll remember that I don’t need these things, and someone else might. Our closets are now airy and newly painted. We installed a better fan in the shower room, and the drolly named “Dri-Z-Air” in the wettest closet. I may be down one lime green skirt, but on my last visit to the Daisy Store, I found a fabulous, shimmery red dress to wear in the evenings when I go out…

…out with the lime green, in with the shimmery red! Now, that’s progress.

Posted in Health, Parenting.


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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Your Garden linked to this post on July 18, 2010

    Getting rid of, the lime green sequel ? Avant Parenting…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. That organizing energy – Avant Parenting linked to this post on December 30, 2011

    […] while I indulge my OE: So far I have reorganized our homeschooling supplies (oh, so satisfying to Get Rid Of) and prepared two of our garden beds. I also made more headway on transferring all my recipes to […]

  3. Mommy brain – Avant Parenting linked to this post on December 3, 2014

    […] This is me performing when I was studying at Stanford. I have blogged before about my beloved lime green skirt! […]



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