Opening up your closet should be like arriving at a really good party where everyone you see is someone you like.”
– Amy Collins
So….what kind of party awaited you this morning when you got ready for the day? Did you walk into your closet with clarity and calm or were you greeted by a room full of frenemies?
Our closets are like our innermost selves – they tend to be one of the last areas we tackle when we decide to make a change in our homes. Maybe it’s because it’s an area that’s out of sight? Or perhaps because it’s one of the most emotionally tricky areas.
The Miracle Question
Suppose that tonight, while you are sleeping, a miracle happens. When you get up in the morning, tomorrow, how will you know that things have suddenly gotten better?”
What do you want?
Our lives are inundated with information, opinions, statistics, knowledge, etc. We are losing our ability to be CURIOUS about what we want/think/feel to always BEING TOLD our desires.We are losing our ability to be CURIOUS about what we want/think/feel to BEING TOLD our desires. Click To Tweet
What do you want?
Start with the end in mind. If you’ve read up to here, you’re probably interested in organizing your closet. Why? What do you have in mind? What is your end goal?
Just like we assign value and aspiration to objects…we also assign emotions and worth to accomplishments and behavior. If I have an organized home, I am capable. If I write a book, I am smart. If I start a business, I am successful. Look at what I’ve done – I am a valuable human being.
If you organize a room but don’t understand the root of your behavior, the area will eventually resume its former state. It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey.
A preoccupation with the idea that happiness is the next place, the next job, and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are. – Unknown
A perfectly organized closet isn’t going to change your inner voice or your tendency to base your worth on things in your home. The decluttering process is a life-changing process – it’s not one day or 28 days or a one year process. But having a finite period, say the 28 days of February helps us get started.
Okay, so we know it’s about the journey – let’s get this closet party going:
Know your brain. Your inner self DOES NOT LIKE CHANGE. Change is frightening and dangerous. Your mind will try to take control and derail the process:
If I own _______________, I will be, look, or feel ____________.
If I own a home, I will be a responsible adult.
If I own the right containers and hangers, I will be organized.
If I own the latest tech device, I will be more productive.
I will fit in, I will be happy, and people will love me.
Shopping cures all kinds of ills like boredom and guilt while also providing distraction and procrastination. Our brains are wired to seek that dopamine surge we get from acquiring a new, shiny object.
We want to get rid of stuff, but we might need it someday. If you’re even thinking “just in case,” chances are it’ll be okay for you to get rid of it.
It’s just stuff
Back to your closet…take a deep breath and see the room for what it is – It’s just a room and those are just clothes. Acknowledge the emotions and intentions of those clothes. And yes, they represent dreams and aspirations but we are ready to stop allowing our stuff to dictate our worth.
I purchased clothing to feel a certain way and to be perceived a certain way…I wanted to feel smart, beautiful, and loved. Courtney Carver, Soulful Simplicity
It’ll be fun they said
Soooo….it might not be fun but you’ve got to do things you don’t want to do to have the kind of life you want. It’s kind of like eating vegetables. Reducing clutter and modifying the behavior that creates said clutter gives us a clarity we wouldn’t have otherwise.You've got to do things you don't want to do to have the kind of life you want. Click To Tweet
Depending on where you are in your journey I recommend one of the following approaches:
The EXTREME strategy – you’ll need a whole day and a whole lot of energy but if you’re the “just rip the band-aid off” kind of person this is a great approach. Take everything out of your closet. Yes, everything. Have four piles/boxes/bags – Keep, Maybe, Donate, Trash. Start sorting. Be ruthless and remember they are just items of clothing and in no way represent you as a person.
** You don’t have to trash or donate right away. If panic threatens, no problem – put the items in a box, write the date, and place in your garage. See how you feel in a month or two.
The MODERATE approach – this is for the more “let me see if this will work” person. Go in your closet each morning during February and select ONE item that no longer works for you. Just BEGIN the process – daily action has magical powers and builds momentum. Set a daily reminder in the Way of Life app.
Finally, commit to no shopping in February. Since we are focused on the closet, this means no clothes, no shoes, no accessories.
You’ve Got This
February is where your mindfulness and curiosity will be especially useful. When the urge or thought to shop comes up, what else is going on? Are you bored? Angry? Looking to change the way you feel? When you pick up an item and are torn about which pile, ask why? What is it about this object that causes an emotional reaction in me?
Want some help? During February I’m offering FREE 30-minute coaching sessions. I’ll come in and assess your closet with you and help you get started. If you would like additional time, let’s set an appointment and knock it out together.
Small steps today create big change for your tomorrows 💕
P.S. This blog post was inspired by Courtney Carver’s new book Soulful Simplicity: How Living With Less Can Lead To So Much More – it’s on my featured list and will remain on my bookshelf as a valuable resource – be sure to check it out!
The legal stuff – I’ll never write nor promote a product I don’t believe in…with that said, this post could contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you – these small commissions simply help me finance this blog. Thanks for being here.
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