I admit it. I'm a closet collector.
I don't mean that I collect in secret. Everyone who knows me knows my propensity to hoard knick-knacks, baubles and hodgepodge.
What I mean is I have closets filled to the brim with stuff, and I'm determined to clean them out this year.
Not only do I have closets, drawers and cabinets chock full of things I don't really need, I have a garage that's overflowing and a storage unit that's stuffed with, well, stuff.
My New Year's resolution is to declutter my house in the hopes of saving me time for the resolutions I desperately need time to tackle — like losing weight, exercising and cooking healthy foods.
It's kind of difficult to go shopping for healthy foods when you can't find your car keys beneath the unopened mail and the unfinished paperwork on the kitchen counter.
And it's hard to go walking when your walking shoes are buried beneath a mountain of high heels and boots in your bedroom closet.
I got a jumpstart this week on my New Year's resolution by focusing on the most cluttered area of my home — my teenage son's room, better known at my house as "The Abyss."
OK, I know what you're thinking. Let the kid clean out his own room. But I had a method to my madness. I was determined to get rid of all the trashy, worn-out clothes and reserve the nice clothing that no longer fit him for , a teen consignment shop in Plaza Bella. And, unfortunately, the kid has no concept of what's worn-out and what's nice. He thinks his stinky corduroy blazer with the worn elbows is the cat's meow.
So, I kiddingly donned my son's World War II-era gas mask and entered "The Abyss."
What I discovered shouldn't surprise most parents of teens. The black garbage bag began to fill with year-old gumsticks, price tags that had been cut off clothes and stashed in drawers, an assortment of outdated Game Informer magazines and a collection of broken guitar strings and picks.
The closet was a walk down memory lane. Here, I discovered the white alb he wore when he dressed as Pope Leo for All Saint's Day at St. Stephen Catholic School, a set of kid-size Army fatigues he used one Halloween and a homemade vest and sash he wore when he played St. Isidore in a school play.
There was a tuxedo shirt he inherited from my father-in-law, a karate uniform from his foray into the martial arts at age 8 and a brag vest from his all-too-brief time as a Cub Scout.
By the time I was finished, I had 15 piles of clothing ready to take to Hut No. 8, the desk and dresser were clutter-free and dusted, and long unused G.I. Joes were safely stowed in a storage bin destined for the shed, where we've preserved all of his favorite boyhood toys.
Now for the garage. I'm afraid I'm going to require a week's vacation to tackle this chaos.
What about you? Did you make a New Year's Resolution this year? Tell us about it in the "Comments" section below.