The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 15, 2012

Mike Pound: Closet cleanup creates quite a mess

On Friday morning, I gave up.

I tried to get to my closet Friday morning, but after repeated attempts I finally gave up. I’m afraid I will have to rent a backhoe, which will be a problem because:

No.1: I have no idea how to rent a backhoe.

No. B: I don’t know how I would get a backhoe into our bedroom.

And ...

No. III: I don’t know how to operate a backhoe.

The reason I need a backhoe to get to my closet is because my wife cleaned out her closet this past week. It took my wife the better part of a day to clean out her closet. Frankly, when she first went in I figured I would never see her again. I was afraid that at the end of the day, I would peer into her closet, call out her name, and hear nothing but an eerie echo.

My wife has a very large closet. When we first looked at our house when it was for sale, my wife looked at the closet and said: “We are buying this house.”

To be honest (And don’t you think I should be?), I didn’t think the closet was much of a closet. I thought it was more of a bedroom, or perhaps a small landing strip.

It took my wife about a year to completely fill her closet with an assortment of clothes, shoes, Christmas presents, birthday presents, in-case-we-meet-somebody-presents, hats, jackets, purses, sunglasses, recycled tires, suitcases, wrapping paper, photographs, old letters, new letters, our 14-year-old daughter Emma’s kindergarten artwork, maps, books, books of maps, dog toys, cat toys, toys for animals we don’t have, and I can’t remember the rest.

When my wife’s closet was completely filled, she then had to use to rest of her side of our bedroom to store more things. After a while I got used to not being able to see the furniture in our bedroom, or on some days, our bed. And, since, I seldom ventured into my wife’s side of our bedroom, the assortment of things my wife accumulated on her side didn’t affect me much.

Until last year. That’s when my wife decided that we needed to add a bathroom onto our bedroom.

“Where are we going to put it?” I asked.

“On your side of the bedroom,” my wife said.

“What about my closet?” I asked.

“We’ll build you a new one,” my wife said.

And that’s what happened. I gave up my original closet for a bathroom and, in exchange, I got two new closets. The only problem is the two new closets are about as big as a booger. Making matters worse, one of the closets is on my side of the bedroom and the other is on my wife’s side of the bedroom. Which means sometimes I have to venture into my wife’s side of the room to retrieve an article of clothing.

Until my wife cleaned up her closet, I was able to keep a clear path to the closet. Sure, sometimes I would have to tie one end of a rope to our bedroom door and the other end to my waist to make sure I didn’t get lost, but at least I could get to my clothes.

Last Sunday, when my wife cleaned out her closet, I lost the path to my closet. See, what happened is my wife hauled so much stuff out of her closet, she didn’t have time to get rid of all of it or she wasn’t sure she wanted to get rid of it. Regardless, in spite of having a clean closet, my wife’s side of the room is even more cluttered than it was before she cleaned her closet.

But the good news is Friday I noticed something in the pile of things on my wife’s side of the bedroom.

It was a backhoe.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at

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