Life as a closet purge

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


My closet (and every closet in my home) had been bothering me. I wasn't mad about the closet itself. God knows I am thankful for the storage space we have. I was upset about all the stuff that kept spilling outside of it. 

To begin with, I couldn't see the floor at all. There were shoes, clothes which managed to find their way from our bodies to the floor.

I always managed to follow my desperate house chore rule which estates: when everything is in disarray, start with laundry and food. The problem was, there was quadruple the number of clothes we needed everywhere at all times. 

I kept my calm during the Spring when we moved to this new home. My strategy was to hide Winter clothes at all costs. Kids sometimes make a sport of wearing out of season clothes just because they can. The thing was, grabbing a piece of clothes here and there turned into 3 extra loads of clothes to wash and store. You see my struggle. And I know... poor little rich girl with her first-world problems. 

Still, I needed to downsize in order to find a happy, organized space. 

My problem for all those Spring and Summer months was a lack of time and energy. If I had time to dedicate to organizing, I lacked energy. Marathon training is a beast. When my energy level goes down, I focus on people, not projects.

Last weekend, energy and time came together. I used my old method of organizing (I call it the 45-minute solution) and with the help of my sweet husband, we were able to fix the root of my closet organization problem. 

A lot of the problem was: we were still hanging on to clothes from past seasons. It was time to admit that we are in the Fall and our wardrobe should reflect that reality. 

I had started a donation pile with my clothes and the kids' too. I had no mercy for the things going to the donate pile. I know my donations will be a blessing to someone else in need. We quickly filled our car with donations and took them to a great organization. We were left with only things that fit us for that season. 

Sometimes, I think the same organization principles can be used in other areas of my life. Friendships for example. Why is it so hard to admit that the friends that fit my last season of life no longer fit where I am? I'm not advocating a public dump of friendships but rather, graciously saying goodbye to people who were near for a time that's gone.

COVID has proved that we can exist without a whole love of activities we were addicted to. I remember the dread in everyone's voice when they had to fulfill the end of year event requirements for the millions of activities they participated in. 

Why not be honest with the amount of time we have and only invest in the things that we can truly contribute to? After all, we are the masters of our schedule, not the other way around. 

Letting go of old friendships and activities is not as easy as purging a closet. It takes insightful tenacity. I say that because you need to think about where you are and where you are going as a human being. 

You need to know that in order to be all God has called you to be will require you to leave some friends behind. It will require you not to run yourself to exhaustion by doing everything under the sun. You will need to make peace with living a  focused life.

If life is similar to a closet purge, you will need to do it again. At least, eventually. Only, next time, it will be easier. You will see how much you can grow when you face your fears and live a life of joyful focus.