It Happened to Me: I'm a Clothes Hoarder

I have a sickness. My only real goal in life has been to have a house that had a bedroom for a closet.
Publish date:
January 16, 2012
It Happened To Me, closets

Before I really get into it, I want to point out that I am not really a hoarder. There are no flattened cats buried under piles of rubbish in my house. My children which I don’t have are not forbidding my also non-existent grandchildren from coming over out of fear for their safety.

But I do currently, in my personal closet in my house, own enough clothes to easily dress 300- 500 people. I am not exaggerating in the least. Nice try Jane, but YOUR CLOSET HAS NOTHING ON MINE.

Behold: I forced myself not to clean up just to walk in and take pics so you can accurately see what I see every morning.

I worked in fancy clothing boutiques from ages 16-25. Cue an avalanche of clothes entering my life. “Savings account” is not a word I have ever used in a sentence. My father is a banker; he wants to kill me. Each and every time I move, it takes close to 100 wardrobe boxes to pack up my clothes alone.

I have a sickness. My only real goal in life has been to have a house that had a bedroom for a closet. I achieved this goal at the ripe old age of 27. My BF at the time put rails and shelves on the wall and every damn thing. He then moved in with an 18-year-old.

At least when he moved out, I was able to move "handbags and shoes" into his now defunct man-cave. (Stupidest grossest term EVER.)

One day a friend of a friend came over, took a look at this two-bedrooms-turned-custom-closets extravagance, swooned, (maybe I dreamed that part) and asked me, “Are you a costume designer?” I thought he was cute and that it sounded like a very glamorous career so I of course immediately lied and said “Why, yes. Yes I am.”

He then he offered me a job as a costume designer for a commercial. Are you kidding? YO, I GOT THIS!! My great-great grandmother was a seamstress for the Ringling Brothers Circus, so I knew this was my true calling.

From there it was really ON. Are you kidding? I get paid to shop for a living? In my 6 years/15,000 plus hours of designing TV shows, movies of the week, photo shoots, commercials, music videos, and oh yeah, 1 porno film, I have steadily brought home 5-20 new clothing/ accessory items each and every week. Sometimes more.

My closets grew and grew and bulged and filled both of my closet rooms to the brim. My guy friends would not let me be friends with their girlfriends for fear they would start to think that maybe they too should take over an entire room in the house and start hoarding clothes.

I just recently had to buy a Sears Craftsman tool cabinet with drawers like real shop mechanics use that is taller than I am to wrangle all my jewelry.

Every door in my house has a shoe holder on the back of it to fit all my shoes. This is in addition to the special clear drawer boxes all my boots are stored in.

In October, I had to downsize to only one bedroom for a closet. My long time BF was moving in. I guess he wanted an office to like, do work in? So selfish of him. I sort of like him, so I acquiesced.

I accomplished this with a combo of those velvet "Huggable Hangers" and in a fit of total, total insanity where I brought 75 black Hefty bags of clothes to my local Goodwill. I swear when they saw me coming on day 6, they were like “LADY, GO AWAY THERE IS NO MORE ROOM IN THE STORE.”

To this day I see girls in Los Feliz and Silverlake rockin’ my castoffs.

The good thing that came from this closet purge is that I now have a very well (to me, anyways) organized closet space that only contains clothes that actually fit me. Not my skinny jeans from 1989 or a dress I wore to my prom when I weighed 98 lbs.

It’s been pretty uplifting. I’m putting together some of my cutest outfits in years. Maybe cause I can actually SEE the items I own.

However, I recently re-became obsessed with faux fur coats and began remembering all the ones I gave away. I subsequently spent a whole afternoon moping around my house mourning one specific one, a black hip length suede GUESS coat from 1992 with a shawl collar of fake goat fur. I threw myself on my bed and cried actual tears and have felt heartsick ever since. I mean, my dad gave it to me and everything!

Most likely I begged/harassed him till I wore him down and/or I "borrowed" his credit card for an "emergency" to get it, but he did in fact pay for it. Why did I give it away? In my mind at the time I thought I had "grown out of it." That was so dumb.

I think what it all boils down to is that I form crazy inappropriate emotional attachments to and have strong memories associated with my clothes. The story of my whole adult life is told in them.

How/where I got them, concerts I saw while wearing this dress, the boy who kissed me while I had on THOSE boots.

If you are my friend and you die, the black dress I bought special for your funeral will sit in my closet, never to be worn again, and I will think of you every time I look at it.

In a lot of ways my clothes are my real friends. They always make me happy and are always there for me. We’ve had adventures and travels together. I relive some of my best times just sitting on a stool in my closet, alone, looking at my clothes, bags and shoes.

Does this make me sad/pathetic?