The bi-annual closet exchange

Published 6:00 am Sunday, November 20, 2016

When we downsized last year to a much smaller home we got the full effect of what that means to rent a “My Extra Closet” storage unit which was mandatory when we left the bigger home.

At the time it wasn’t such a big deal because we knew we would have lesser closet space in the new home, but thought we would go through our “stuff” and donate a of a lot of it, yea, right!

The classic comments from both my wife and I were, “You never know when I might need this wonderful garment, so I better keep it awhile longer” sound familiar? It was December when we moved and our winter clothes are what we brought to our new home. Everything else went to “My Extra Closet,” problem solved. During January and February we realized there wasn’t much sense in paying for a storage unit when we had extra closets in our guest bedrooms and metal clothes racks in the attic, so we closed our storage unit account and moved those clothes into our two extra closets and the attic.

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Problem again solved.

Then came the summer heat. We now needed our summer clothes in our master closet and the winter clothes in our guest closets. But wait, some of the days in March and April are both cold and warm, so which of the summer and winter clothes belonged in which closet? The answer was a bottle of wine. We then took the winter clothes that we seldom wore and put those in the guest closets and brought some of the summer clothes that we might still ware to the master closet. Problem solved again. However, the problem was a little more complicated than we first realized. When your wife has, at least, 10 pair of white pants, which can only be worn after May 1, which is a mandatory rule set up in the 13th century, and since May 1 isn’t here yet, how do you pick which ones do you actually bring to the master closet since you can’t bring them all? Sounds like another bottle of wine and we haven’t even mentioned my wife’s 2000 pairs of shoes, some for winter, some fall, some spring, some summer, and others for walking, running, the beach, sporting events, cruises, social events, lounging, garden club meetings, going to church, going to mahjongg, sporting events, funerals, Ole Miss events, dinner on the square and believe me, many more places to wear shoes.

Now for all the events that I just mentioned, multiply those by every color that you can imagine in the biggest rainbow you’ve ever seen. Think I’m joking? Yes I am, but only slightly. Ok, back to the closets and attic. When the “switching closets” event happens, for some reason we both want to get it done on the same day, don’t know why, I guess we enjoy stress. There’s only one door in and out of the master closet and we have our washer and dryer in the center of the back closet wall and she has the right side of the closet and I have the left. The door is in the middle of the closet, so when we both want to leave at the same time it’s collision time especially when you have a bunch of clothes in front of your face. On top of that, we always want to go to the same guest closet at the same time, even though we have two guest closets available.

And by the way, why do your clothes shrink after only being in your closet for one year? Between the switching and the shrinking no wonder in one full year it takes at least four bottles of wine and we’re blessed that the wine store is fairly close.

Jim McCauley is a retired Oxford resident. You can reach him at