Story by Rita Goldman | 3d renderings by Shelby Lynch
Debbie Finklewicz surveys the disaster that is my storage closet. Her eyes take in the file cabinets that support a board I use as a table for art and sewing projects—or will, as soon as I clear away heaps of unfiled papers, a broken ceramic sculpture I keep meaning to superglue, empty cat-food containers and Kleenex boxes awaiting recycling, and the foam I bought years ago to make a cushion for my cedar chest. Her gaze sweeps right, to the exercycle buried under a pile of workout clothes; left, to the vacuum cleaner propped below a wall hook from which a T-square hangs, past an oversized drawing pad to the corner where walking sticks and a beach umbrella lean dejectedly, knowing they will not see daylight any time soon.
You can learn a lot about a person from her closet. From mine, Debbie has surely figured out that I’m a lapsed exerciser, a wannabe artist, and an aspiring—if not actual—tidy person. Yet when she finishes her inspection and turns to me, her first question is not what I expect:
“How tall are you?”
“Four-eleven,” I stutter, “but I used to be five feet!” I do not add that my favorite sci-fi movie is The Incredible Shrinking Man.
“Right- or left-handed?”
“Right,” I answer, suspiciously. “Why?”
Her amused expression convinces me that she’s seen bewilderment on a lot of first-time clients’ faces. Debbie is president of Maui Closet Company, a one-stop shop of designers, fabricators, installers . . . and, judging by her enthusiasm and encouragement, at least one closet psychologist.