The Best Laid Plans

At this very moment, I have hanging in my closet a really nice fleece jacket.  It’s the kind that zips into an outer waterproof shell and creates what Columbia Sportswear once termed a “clothing system” but now calls an “interchange”.  In other words, I once had a super-dee-duper winter parka.  The time it got washed with three crayons hidden in Biggest pants’ pocket only heightened the jacket’s awesomeness?  I mean, what jacket wouldn’t be improved with subtle blue, green and red streaks all over it?  But right now, I only have the fleece insert hanging in my hall closet.  Why?  Because somewhere out there, in the wild blue yonder, is the shell to my winter parka.

No, no one stole my jacket, although somebody probably got it for a steal.  Because it appears I have donated it to charity.

It was one of those train-wrecks-disguised-as-a-good-idea moments and it goes like this:

Back at the start of June, Mister Soandso and I had some out-of-town guests and the four of us went to the beach for the weekend.  Being the Oregon coast, the weather was crappy and the forecast was for no better.  Both Mister Soandso and I took our best rain gear along for the trip.  However, our guests needed some appropriate attire (scuba gear would have worked well, in hind sight!) so we stopped at a Columbia Sportswear store so they could shop to their heart’s content.  Which meant that both Mister Soandso and I picked up a few things as well.

In the hullabaloo of packing to return home, some stuff just got put back into the Columbia Sportswear shopping bag for the return trip.  That bag sat in my laundry room for a bit, then got carried to this room and that room, you get the picture.  The important part to grasp here is that I don’t actually know what all was in that bag.  I just remember seeing my shell in there.

Well, a few weeks ago, I decided that there was just too much stuff in my house and I started an honest-to-goodness purging campaign.  At least once a week I try to drop off a bag or two of stuff at my nearby Goodwill.  It is simply amazing how many tee-shirts three children can outgrow, not to mention all the other stuff a family of five accumulates.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not an actual hoarder.  Its just that the acquisition syndrome sneaks into your house one day when you’re not looking and then goes wild.  A Twitter friend of mine, Sandra Wickham, encourages folks to get rid of one thing every day as a way to lighten the load in your home.  It is a great idea and one I’ve been doing with relish.  However, here is where that mystery bag comes into play.

The other day I looked for it.  Really looked so I could finally put the dang jacket in the hall closet with its fleece.  And I can’t find it.  Anywhere.  I have looked all about the house and the dang thing is gone.  And I’m pretty sure I know where it is.

Yep, I’m guessing that in the decluttering fervor, more things got put into the bag and the whole shooting match was dropped off at Goodwill.

Which leads me to this point.  What else was in the bag?

My imagination is running wild.  Shoes? Socks? A pair of undies?  We have no idea.  But an even more pressing question is this:  what was in my pockets?  A receipt from the grocery store?  A used kleenex?  A tampon?  A fifty dollar bill?

I have no idea but the options are driving me nearly insane.

So take it from me, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry via a decluttering fervor and a careless trip to the Goodwill.  So go on, get rid of one thing.  But make sure you know what’s in the bag before you drop it off.

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9 thoughts on “The Best Laid Plans

  1. My wife and I used to own a pre-press business, preparing originals for printing. Many important originals were lost, sometimes by us, sometimes by customers.

    I worked with a cartoonist to prepare a cartoon each month for a trade publication. One of the best cartoons we created (long lost, of course) showed an island in the South Pacific, with a bewildered castaway standing on a shoreline covered with originals that drifted in with the tide. The title was, “The Island of Lost Originals,”

    Oh, well, I guess you had to be there.

  2. By the way, one of the companies we created originals for (and where I performed some computer training, as well) was Columbia Sportswear. Small world.

  3. I have a mantra that goes as so “for every new clothing item I purchase, I must get rid of one item.” Two for two, three for three etc. Because the way I see it, the new item is replacing another item that I used to wear regardless if it is that old or not. Every one deserves nice clothes and not just the old ones we throw out. Granted I still have far too many clothes for my own good, but a donation truck visits our house every other month and every time I have at least a small bag in that contribution.

    Oh, except the outer-lining to an old Columbia jacket. It originally was not mine, it was my brother’s — when he was thirteen, therefore, putting that liner to the age of tender age of 18. Every year I dig the old thing out of the closet and my sister says, “You are **still** wearing that?”

    My brother stopped wearing his coat a few years after he got it not knowing I would still be wearing it 18 years later. Hopefully the new owner to YOUR lining will wear it as long as I have worn mine.

  4. My husband just took a bag to Goodwill that had been sitting in the garage. A bag that I had just received full of almost-new hand-me-downs for my boys from their cousins. Yes, always check those bags, first…and check with the Boss, too! 😉

  5. Gaaah. Your post reminded me that I really, really need to throw out about half the stuff in my closet. And hubs’s closet. And the basement. And a few of the kitchen cupboards…*runs away*

    • Hey now, hey now. You are not allowed to stress out about this stuff. It isn’t as if it won’t happily wait for you to get to it. Although it does breed if the conditions are right. But then, you knew that, right? It’s the same conditions that dust bunnies like. {hugs}

  6. I love the one thing a day idea! I’m sorry to hear about the parka. I’ve been there myself – and done that – and wondered afterward what else I don’t remember getting rid of. On the flip side, we’ve had boxes in the garage “to be unpacked” from our old house since we moved here…six years ago. I periodically look at them and think “there was NOTHING I packed at that house that I didn’t NEED to bring – we got rid of a dumpsterfull of stuff when we moved…WHAT THE HECK IS IN ALL THESE BOXES???”

    My house isn’t any less cluttered than the old house, yet I don’t notice anything missing. I toy with he idea of just giving all the boxes to goodwill unopened, but every once in a while I do remember something that’s out there, and I just haven’t gotten the courage up to dump it all….yet…..

    • Getting rid of 1 thing is helping! (Both the clutter and my sanity!) I don’t always get it out of the house daily, but I do try to put it in either the trash, recycling, or charity bag daily. I figure by the time the kids leave home, I should have their rooms pretty well organized and pared down. LOL! 🙂

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