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Tiaras and Trucks

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Space for Sweaters?


I miss my childhood closet.

Each time I’m visiting my parents, generally once a week, I climb the stairs of the 1970’s colonial and peer enviously into the room they still call “Angela’s room”.

Over the years, gold shag carpeting and yellow wallpaper gave way to delicate blue and white paper and blue plush carpeting, then finally a cream Berber and spring green walls.  The feminine, off-white furniture has been pushed around in every possible layout.

The closet remains unchanged.

Ryan and I don’t live in a 1970’s colonial.

People generally sigh wistfully when they hear our house was built in the 1920’s.

“Old houses have so much character,” they say, looking around at the built-in bookcases and coved ceilings.

I generally sigh in frustration as the seasons change, and I try to rearrange our closets.

Our house has two relatively large linen closets, but our master bedroom has two miniscule closets, built into the part of the room where the ceiling slopes, rendering much of the already cramped space unusable. 

When we moved into the house, and Ryan had time for projects other than tucking Abbey into bed for the third time each night, he carefully measured and engineered a series of shelves in our closets, trying to maximize the space.

It was a valiant effort, and it generally works for him.  Also, he has generously allowed me the entire dresser for my things.

I still struggle.

Shoes in boxes, so they can stack?  Out of boxes, so I can see them easily and cram my size sixes into the corners?

Bags in the hall closet or my closet?  Accessories on shelves or in boxes on shelves?
 
Clothes hung by color or clothing weight or length?

Every configuration seems wrong.


I try not to think of my childhood closet, empty and open, at my parents’ house.

Innocently, I grew up taking my walk-in closet for granted.  Graced with clothing bars and shelves and oodles of floor space; I never filled it, even as a teenager.  I would laze on the floor, reading books, writing in my journal, whispering into my pink, plastic phone.  My closet was a little cave, carpeted and safe.

My current closet is a little cave as well, cramped and dark, littered with mismatched shoes and belts that Abbey pulls on and off with interest, abandoning them and moving along to eye my jewelry box.

In the 1920’s, I guess people weren’t concerned with whether they had room to add a pair of jewel tone heels to their fall shoe collection.

My old house might have character, but I miss my childhood closet.

prompt:
This week’s prompt is to use this image for your inspiration and begin your post with those words…”I miss my childhood…”

The image is a lined sheet of paper, the writing in a child's handwriting, and I originally had a different concept for this week's piece.
Then it got cold, and I tried to find something warm to wear.

Labels: , ,

41 Comments:

  • At September 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    I hear you! We too have an older house and storage can be a real PITA! I do find it funny you still look enviously at your childhood closet, but I get it. Space...something we can never have enough of in an older home!

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 8:51 AM , Anonymous Amy said...

    I totally get it! Our first house had NO closet space.  We still don't have much but way more than we used to.

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 8:56 AM , Anonymous Melanie Pennington said...

    I had a walk in closet as well. I still have dreams about walking into it and discovering lost items from my youth.

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 9:36 AM , Anonymous Missy | The Literal Mom said...

    OMG - I had a walk in closet too.  And now I don't.  And my husband and I share.  And there's never enough room.  Yep, I miss my closet too.  :)

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 9:46 AM , Anonymous Abby said...

    That's so true, although I have the opposite thing now in that I kind of have a walk-in closet at my house and didn't as a child. But what I miss is being younger and moving my winter clothes down to the bottom rack of my closet in the fall and the summer back down there in the spring. All the "back to school" clothes I was excited to wear got pushed to the front, with all the summer clothes relegated back to the top.

    Great memory ;)

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 11:36 AM , Anonymous Evonne said...

    I miss my childhood closet as well.  Two racks to hang lots of clothes on and still room to play in there.  Now, our closets are teeny.  My daughter has the biggest, but the steps to the attic on one side means we can only use half.

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 11:42 AM , Anonymous amberpagewrites said...

    My last house was a 40s bungalow. And oh my lord, I know what you mean. The closet space was ridiculous. I was glad to see the back of that place (for a lot of reasons).

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM , Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

    Okay, I wish I could sympathize but you lost me at built in bookshelves.

    *Envy*

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 2:20 PM , Anonymous Elaine said...

    I really liked my closet growing up too!  I had a little bookshelf in there and I would go lie under the clothes and read.  It was so cozy in there. 

    But I can't complain about my current closet.  It's quite roomy. Wanna store some shoes in mine?  What size are you? ;-P 

    xo

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 2:49 PM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    Oh, I miss your closet too...it sounds wonderful! Especially in your teen years. Great piece, Angela :)

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 4:11 PM , Anonymous Julie S. said...

    Great post! I loved my childhood closet as well!

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 6:06 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    I have a huge closet but it's still not big enough. Now it isn't a walk in or anything like that but I hang up almost everything so there never seems to be enough room in there.
    My old house had zero closet space! I hated it so I totally understand how you feel!

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 6:08 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    I have a huge closet but it's still not big enough. Now it isn't a walk
    in or anything like that but I hang up almost everything so there never
    seems to be enough room in there.
    My old house had zero closet space! I hated it so I totally understand how you feel!

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 7:01 PM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    I used to have a huge walk in closet at my parents house. Now we fight with small closets. I totally understand what you mean!

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 7:29 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bruno said...

    First, thanks for welcoming me back to TRDC/WOE.  I smiled when I read your comment.  So nice to be writing again... even though you know these prompts stress a sister out.  :-)

    I know what you mean about old houses.  I lived in one growing up.  I hated it, but everyone else thought it was soooo "neat".  Yick.  No space, low ceilings, and walls you couldn't drive a hammer through even if you had power tools.  In our house, George has the walk in closet and I have the small one.  Thankfully, I don't have much in the way of clothes.  George is the diva.

     
  • At September 6, 2011 at 11:29 PM , Anonymous Mssharealot said...

    I've never had a big closet, so I have complete closet envy.  But, even in a small closet, as a kid, I loved to hide in there with all my stuffed animals!

     
  • At September 7, 2011 at 1:07 AM , Anonymous Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

    Oh man!  I used to have a decent closet from the time I was a little girl, until my husband and I moved in together.  We were in a one bedroom apartment and only had two closets.  One in the hall, and one in the bedroom.  I can't tell you how many times I wished for my childhood closet back in those days!! 
    Beautifully written as always!

     
  • At September 7, 2011 at 6:00 AM , Anonymous @katefineske said...

    Love it when a good concept comes together because of a change in weather :)

    I never had a walk-in closet until I moved into our current house. Before we live in our current house that we built, we lived in a house "with character" built in 1954.

    And I loved it. I love our new house too. I especially love how we built a house that we could completely make "ours." But in building our new house, I realized how much tender loving care went into whoever built our old house (that was half the size but with so many little details.) You can put me in the "Old houses have so much character" catagory... Even though they do have small closests. Sorry! LOL.

     
  • At September 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM , Anonymous Emily @ My Pajama Days said...

    So funny! When we were looking to buy our first house together, I really thought I wanted a quaint, charming old house. Until I saw the bathrooms and closets and then I ran all the way to houses built in at least a decade I remember.

     
  • At September 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Hee! Love where you went with this, sister! The closet, the room, the sighs- a glimpse into your past woven with a slice of today? Love!

     
  • At September 7, 2011 at 9:45 PM , Anonymous Working Mommy said...

    What a great memory! I love my closet now as compared to my childhood closet...but I love my childhood house more.

    WM

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:27 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Maybe they're never big enough?  I guess we're just more likely to fill up space if we have it!

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:28 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It's so cute (the old house,) but so much of it is just not built for storage.

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:29 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Isn't it funny how even a little more seems like a lot, when you're used to nothing?

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:30 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    He he.  I actually think my closet was larger than my parents', though their room was (obviously) bigger.  

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:31 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Sharing isn't good, unless you have a room-sized closet :)  Even in our apartment, where we lived before our house, we had a walk in closet.  What possessed me to buy this house????

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:33 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes!  Back to school clothes were so special, weren't they?  I loved rearranging my closet for them!

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:33 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    How funny.  Abbey has the biggest closet, too, but the steps coming upstairs make it so we can only use half of it, though my husband hung an extra rack in there to try to get more room out of it.

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:34 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I will miss our house (if we can ever get out of it!) for many, many sentimental reasons, but for practicality of living, I won't miss it at all.

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:35 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    We DO have great built-ins, I'll admit it.  Bookshelves next the fireplace, a china cabinet in the dining room, cupboard and drawers in the bathroom.  It's just those darn bedroom closets!

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:36 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I wear a six, sometimes six and a half :)  You're more than welcome to borrow anytime you want :)

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:37 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Jen!  It was/is so wonderful.  Abbey likes to play in there when she visits their house.

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:43 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    If only my parents didn't still live there...(just kidding.)

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    My mom will talk about my house being just fine in terms of size.  Easy to say when your smallest closet is larger than my biggest one!

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh those walls!  You have no idea how many times we've tried to hang something and end up tearing out a giant chunk of crumbling plaster...ugh.  How funny that George is the closet hog :)

    Don't stress over the prompts :)  We'll be nice :)

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:47 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I guess when you're little, a small closet would be fun, too!  Little kids like to be in little cubbies.

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Our apartment had BETTER closets than our current house.  Eeek.

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I do love my old house for lots of reasons.  If I had a billion dollars, I would buy a larger old house, and combine some of the extra rooms, while keeping the integrity of the style.  But, I don't, so now I just want a newer house, LOL

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 8:58 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, the bathrooms...don't get me started on the bathrooms.  We're lucky to have two fulls, but our downstairs one is soooo small.

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Now if only I could actually weave my closet into my present day house....

     
  • At September 14, 2011 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Funny, I'm kind of the opposite.  Though I always, always feel so at home at my mom's house :)

     

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