What do relocation to a new climate, a chronic health issue, and a lifestyle change have in common? They are a few of the things that ganged up on me to create chaos in my closet.
For a while, I ignored the fact that nothing felt right: either too heavy for the intensely hot weather, or too formal for our lovely island lifestyle. I mixed and matched, tried alterations and new accessories, but no matter how hard I tried, the things in my closet didn’t match my life. Everything felt slightly “off.”
So, I decided to take the now-famous Marie Kondo approach: I took EVERYTHING out of the closet and the drawers and made a big, confused pile. I brought in the largest empty storage bin I could locate. Anything that didn’t fit? Anything I thought I “should” want? Clothing that would look better when I lose a few pounds? Items that didn’t spark joy? Gone. Into the bin. It took several hours, but I made a decision about every single piece of clothing I own.
I started to think about how much easier it would be to pack for our trip next weekend… and how much less time would be devoted to laundry. Less sorting. Less organizing. Less ironing.
I remembered a long-ago campaign. “Clean closets save lives.” Wow. That blast from the past was a promotion we put together when I was the director of a domestic violence program. We made an arrangement with one of the local thrift stores so donors could bring items directly to them and donate on behalf of the organization. And when clients needed clothing they went straight to that store. No more piles in the back room of the agency or of our donors’ closets. It wasn’t our biggest fundraiser, but it became one of our most consistent.
What happens when we let go of things that no longer fit?
My closet feels like a finished manuscript. Neat. Logical. There’s no more “should.” “Someday” seems to be gone, too. Also missing is “what if” as in “what if I need it?” If it’s not here, I don’t need it. And that feels good. It feels like peace and space for more of what is wonderful.