Closets: Convenient Catch-all or Portal of Doom?

doorAt the end of the semester, I usually have to do something a little crazy to unwind. This semester, it was cleaning out 10 years of bills. Too tired to think is a great time to tackle a big project as it turns out. You don’t stop to think about what you’re taking on until you’re so far into it, you might as well just finish.

I didn’t realize there was that much paperwork stuffed into the closets until I started pulling it out. Who thinks about the closet until you need something or you can’t stuff any more in?

Once you start hauling everything out, you have to decide what to do with it. It never goes back in as neatly as it did originally. I was ruthless. I just threw out anything older than 2011, figuring that since the IRS doesn’t keep records more than 3 years, why should I? The poor shredder never stood a chance. It expired somewhere in year 7, so the last few years got mixed in with cat litter. I’m pretty sure no identity thief is going there.

In Restless Spirits, coming this summer, Marilee Harper is hired to renovate an old house into a bed & breakfast. The house is a hundred year old Victorian that was originally a sanitorium. No, not an insane asylum. In the days before antibiotics, they were hospitals where the long-term ill could recuperate. Can you imagine what was hiding in her closets?

creepingThere were no real surprises in my paperwork, but it’s not unusual to find stuff in the closet that you’ve never seen before or at least don’t recognize. If you had 100 years of stuff to go through, would you find? I still have video tapes and a film camera; I once helped a friend clean out an 8-track tape player. What would you like to find from the last 100 years? Vintage clothing, a typewriter maybe?

Would you be scared of what you might find in a 100-year old house? Sanitoriums developed nasty reputations. Was it rumor and hearsay, gossip blown out of proportion by Hollywood’s need for drama in a burgeoning medium? Or was there something evil lurking in the closets? There was the afore-mentioned 8-track tape and once, some unfortunate matching sequined leisure outfits in my closets. A sale was involved; we’ll say no more.

What in your closet should never see the light of day? skull

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