Friday, September 19, 2008

The Biannual Task

I love living in an old house, but I have to admit that there are a few inconveniences, one of which is the decided lack of closet space. This necessitates a twice yearly ritual that I both look forward to and dread in equal measures. The switching of the closets. You see, I keep the current season’s wardrobe in my main closet and the other season in another. So twice a year, sometime during the first real week during which I can feel the change in the weather, I switch them around. Inevitably this results in the unearthing of garments I’d forgotten, so I spend the day trying everything on, discarding some things and rediscovering others. It’s best to do this on a free day, nothing pending and no distractions, which is why I chose the task for this week when the Songwriter was out of town. The chosen day dawned cool and crisp and, after breakfast, I began. I turned Billie Holliday up to a pleasing level, poured myself some really good coffee, opened the windows so the early autumn breezes could blow through and soon, as happens every time, I found myself clad in the most outrageous combinations of various and sundry ensembles .
“Oh, there’s that vintage dress that I love! .... Ooh, those velvet trousers are so very Emma Peel!..... I wonder if those ancient riding boots still fit?...... Look Edward, a Muff! ..... Well gee, I didn’t realize I owned a tam o’shanter!
Soon I am wearing all of these at once, which is a sartorial risk best left to the professionals. But really, it’s so much fun. Music up loud, dogs running in and out, and me in my own private changing room of my own private store where everything is free. It's a bit of a chore, sure, but a wonderful way to see one's seasonal wardrobe in a new light. And the best part is, at the end of the day, I have a perfectly clean, bright, folded and sorted closet and I’m all set for the brand new weather!
Now, could anyone out there use a Tam o'shanter?

42 comments:

  1. :) You just made me grin! Oh yes that kind of organizing can be fun :)

    Cat

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  2. It's like you own private fashion show! What a great way to spend the morning!

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  3. Och wee lassie, will ye noo hoold onto that wee tam o'shanter, for to offer to the laird if he be ridin wi' his hounds by your bonny castle?

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  4. Good to shake out the closets twice a year, especially to good music. I must do the same, but my wardrobe is much less fun than yours.

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  5. I'll have it! ;)

    Pamela, this sounds so wonderful. The only way it could ever be better is with a best girlfriend!

    If only there was a real change of seasons where I live.

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  6. Oh what a great time you had! I don't really have a 'closet' and this summer's been so bad I've already been wearing my winter clothes! Mostly it's t shirt, sweatshirt, warm work trousers, wellington boots!! Not very sexy!

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  7. Thanks for making me chuckle! Think if you add a chocolate chip cookie along with a good friend, your day would be complete!

    Thanks too for visiting my "new" blog.
    Happy week-end.

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  8. Pamela I do the very same thing LOL! Btw I answered your question on the BWOTD.

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  9. Oh Pamela how lovely, I adore your portrait, not nearly as outlandish as your description!
    I'm in the same boat with a 19th century huge house on the mountain, and living in a hovel on the farm for preference. There is one 3'wide wardrobe in a tiny single bedroom with Q-size bed. No room for a chair even. Twice a year, at speed I pack and swap things and store on Mt.Lofty. Our weather is so changeable one so often has the right thing in the wrong place.

    So glad you and Edward made a nice day of it.

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  10. It sounds like you had so much fun! I love this wardrobe cleansing process too...it's amazing what can be uncovered and rediscovered!

    Quiet Paws

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  11. I have visions of Vivienne Westwood. Very daring! :o)

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  12. If I were to switch to my fall/winter wardrobe now, the weather would instantly change to a couple weeks of unseasonably warm. Since I don't want that to happen, I am going to hang on to the summer clothes a couple more weeks, until the danger passes.
    Isn't the change of season a delightful time? I especially love the switch to fall - the warmer clothes just seem like so much more fun. Boots and velvet and paisley shawls - I can't wait!
    You can send that tam o'shanter my way - I cut off my long hair last year so could wear hats, and I have been having so much fun!

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  13. Oh yeah, that sounds like fun. Which I could have been there to help :-)

    I feel that way when I start going through my fabric stash to reorganize. I am heard to exclaim often "Oh, I don't remember ordering that, cool!" I think I a have a fabric addiction :-)

    ((hugs)) Rosie (MumMum)

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  14. Oh dear, I SO need to get busy on the closet. I completely skipped the spring clean and now it is just a plain dump. Since our AC was out upstairs this summer, I've been waiting for the cooler air before tackling it. It's completely out of control! I did completely do the kitchen cabinets this week...ahhh...spices all in a row. Don't you love that fresh organized feeling?

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  15. Hi Pamela. Yes it is always fun changing summer to winter clothes - because there is always something you had forgotten you owned. Love your Elizabeth Von Arnim quote on your blog - does that mean you are a fan of "Elisabeth's German Garden"? One of my favourites and didn't think to put in as one on my blog. Shall do so now!

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  16. I have been catching up on what you have been writing lately and, as always, I am sitting here delighted that I have found your blog.
    If only I had enough clothes to switch out for the seasons! :) Most of my wardrobe does double-duty. But that's okay, it makes me have to think creatively to amke things work.
    I would imagine that a day spent in the throws of discovering long lost friends would be a ton of fun.

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  17. Well, I lived in Texas most of my life, and we pretty much wore the same thing in the summer as in the winter. Well, the trousers got longer and maybe we added a jacket. But since "winter" only lasts a few months, we never bothered to do the whole wardrobe changeover. I'm still trying to get used to having four seasons here in England. I like your idea of trying everything on. Fun!

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  18. It sounds like one of those jobs that you dread doing but then can have wonderful fun doing it! And nothing feels better than a cleaned out, organised wardrobe to greet the new season!

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  19. Hi Save all that work just move to the south sea.same all the year round.just kidding.women like being a little girl again trying on the clothes. what is in or out for the season. can one wear a dress that you may have had for some years.excuse to buy another or do women need anexcuse to buy a new dress.enjoy the exercise.May God bless you and your family.ex blog.will be back thank you.

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  20. I love tam o'shanters. They are very Beatrix Potter.

    Sounds like you accomplished a lot and had fun, too.

    Melissa

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  21. It sounds like such a wonderful time! It's great when something "old" can seem "new again" simply because we forgot about it!

    Gillian

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  22. I so enjoyed reading this, Pamela, you make everything sound such fun.
    My wardrobe isn't very exciting but I do enjoy giving it a good clear out, it seems to clear my mind at the same time.

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  23. A very enjoyable post with a gorgeous illustration, who painted it I wonder? It looks like something from the cover of Vogue, so charming.

    Do you find that just when you have decided that the season has changed, the weather reverts? We are having an unusually sunny,clear blue sky weekend.

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  24. Oh how I can relate to this. I live in a 100+ year old house as well. The house is very small and cozy, needless to say so are the closets.
    My space is valued for the pieces of the past that I have stored away.
    Seasonal wardrobe changes are a great opportunity to clear out the items hardly worn that can find new life at the Goodwill. You'll have a closet all freshly rearranged and someone else will have a new outfit to smile about.

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  25. I'm right there with you on the lack of cupboard (closet) space.
    There again, I love the old 'kitchenette' I've got in my kitchen because there are no fitted cupboards. There's a picture of one over on mine.

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  26. I used to live in an old house with closets the size of the door itself. When the season's changed I had to bag and box it all up and move it to the attic and then move last season's clothing down. I don't miss that about my old house.

    Thanks for the offer of the tam o'shanter, but I have my own...saving it for a Halloween costume should I ever need to dress as an Irish lass.

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  27. Oh, what fun you have had! I emptied my wardrobe last week and sorted everything and put most of it back again, except some for freshening up for the new season and some for a charity bag. I'm pretty bored with all my clothes at the moment, though:)

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  28. I need to do all that again. It sure won`t be nearly as interesting as yours sounds though :) Love the pictures you choose.

    tea
    xo

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  29. I have only now come across your blog - absolutely fabulous.

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  30. I've lived in lots of very old house growing up. My mother's home where she lives now is originally 15th century! It's very small but full of marvellous quirks.

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  31. Hi ~ thanks for the birthday wishes on my blog today! That dog is amazing! :)

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  32. our house is the same way--no closets at all on the main floor, and just very small closets upstairs.

    so my summer clothes are about to be moved to the closet in the computer room, which means my winter clothes have to come out...

    i don't have anything as cool as Emma Peel pants, though. just wools and sweaters.

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  33. It's not just 'old' houses that have small closets, but even moderately older ones (also no attic nor garage nor basement. Lack of storage space is the bane of my existence!) - so I know this ritual well! I will be doing it myself sometime in the very near future - but with less fun sounding clothes.

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  34. I do that with my clothes usually so it feels like I'm getting a whole new wardrobe in Spring and Autumn. Unfortunately it didn't happen like that this year because of the weather.

    The mind picture made me grin of you in velvet trousers a tam o'shanter and riding boots.

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  35. Fall has arrived in Portland and it's time for the wardrobe switch, immediately followed by a trip to Goodwill with those"not another year" items.

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  36. I came to your blog by way of Gina's/bt's blog.

    I love what I have read of your blog, so far. And I look forward to reading more. *big smile*

    God bless and take care. :).
    Olga/Maddie

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  37. I have to do the exact same thing with my wardrobe, Pamela! I even have to wash and iron everyhting first as they have spent the season in the basement closet. I do dream about having a giant walk in closet someday!

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  38. Oh Pamela, this sounds like such fun! Music, coffee, dress-ups! And pleasure at the end of the day in having a perfectly sorted wardrobe!I bet Edward thinks it's wonderful fun too!

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  39. Living in an 110 year old house, can I ever relate to this! LOL!! Great post...I also love the whippet/Grey in the image... I miss my Greyhound so badly:^(

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  40. That's the way to do it...sounds like me.And i LOVE Billy Holliday.
    No dogs in our old house ,but Mr Bee loves to help me by hiding in the closets.
    My husband is working in the (classical)music industry.A symphony orchestra(Mozarts band:)
    He is very often away for days and I like the time alone to do things (like the switching of the closets )

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  41. I've just gone through the same ritual in my home....usually I wait a while longer but after a couple of cool morning I decided the time was right....

    God is so gracious in giving us a change of seasons....wouldn't it be boring to have the same weather throughout the year...

    We were up in the north Georgia mountains at our cabin winterizing last week and it was cold a two mornings...

    Happy Fall to you and Sir Edward...Betty

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!