A few weeks ago, I found that the back wall of my closet behind my clothes was covered in moldy black spots. I know, yuck. Unfortunately, I had piled a large number of items on the carpeted floor of the closet, against that wall.
So, I laid every damp and moldy-smelling article out in the bright noon-day sun to dry, before soaking, then washing them all in OxiClean (which worked rather well). I only had to throw a few (unwashable) things away.
Surveying the scene, I realized that most of the items were clothes that had been purposefully saved--however haphazardly left to mildew in the closet. Among them:
white dress with wide lace trim my mom made for me
Grandma's black sweater I wore constantly in junior high
two high school student council sweatshirts
senior year softball team sweatshirt
Grandpa's plaid shorts I used to wear belted paper bag style
cut-off shorts made from thrifted Levi's jeans
paint-stained jeans from my art student days
leather biker jacket my aunt got for me in Turkey
and several clothes I had sewn myself including:
an off-white pirate shirt (not a costume)
blue batik harem pants (also not a costume)
Three Musketeer tunics for Tom & buddies (Halloween costumes)
Each item brings to mind specific memories of those clothes. Or rather, whose they were, who I was with when I wore them, why I made them, etc., etc., etc.
I will not be storing them in a pile on the floor any longer.