We want to keep our closets (and lives) streamlined, clean, clear and beautiful. But without boundaries and good discernment, we can end up with lots of things that we don’t need or want.
This week’s podcast will take you through the process and hopefully inspire you to make your closet and life exactly the way you’d like it to be. Click the “play” button up above and/or scroll below for photos, a synopsis, and links!
Imagine if every time you opened the doors to your closet, you found that people had been shoving their clothes in there–if every day you cleaned it out in the morning, and then by afternoon, found it already stuffed to the brim. Unfortunately, most of our lives are much like this. But here’s the good news: there is is a way out.Greg McKeown, Essentialism
When I walk into my closet each morning, I want it to give me a lift. It is my space to prepare for the day so I can serve and live my purpose. (Yours is too, right?) Over the past few years, however, my closet accumulated some clutter, so I recently made it one of my Current Projects to get things back in order.
Here’s a pile of stuff I removed:
As a high-level overview, I applied the Three-Box Method (full podcast link at the bottom of this post):
- To Donate
- To Toss, and
- To Put Somewhere Else
Here are four items that made me feel “stuck”–and quick descriptions on how I took care of each one.
A Stack of Frames
These are wedding pictures that used to hang in our former home. In our current home, we have a closet where we keep pictures that are waiting to be decided upon, so I should put them there, right?
But I realized that these are the only copies of these wedding pictures (from the pre-digital photo era). I’d like to scan them so that I can enjoy the pictures and have them backed up in case the originals get damaged, but I haven’t used that scanner in awhile and may need some help figuring it out. That’s why I felt stuck.
Next Action: Take those frames up to my desk and ask one of my children to scan the pictures with me.
What’s great about this Next Action is that it creates a relationship-building opportunity while also helping me figure out the scanner. Then once the pictures are scanned, they can either be put with the other pictures downstairs or preserved in a photo album.
Parenting Brainstorm Posterboard
Several months ago, Eric and I were struggling with a parenting scenario. We used sticky notes to brainstorm several ideas, laying them out on a tri-fold posterboard.
Now that we’re just about on the other side of this parenting challenge, I would like to capture the ideas. (A lot of thought went into this brainstorm!) But I don’t want to take a picture because some of the thoughts and ideas are better kept private, and I give my children access to my photos.
Next Action: Take the sticky notes and file them into one of my journal files to reference as needed. Write a brief (okay-if-it’s found) journal entry in Evernote, recording our thoughts, the ideas we considered, and what we decided to do.
Then the posterboard can be used for a child’s science project and stored with our other office supplies–instead of in my closet.
We received this Do-Dots System (super cute!) as a gift from the creator to help our children track their routines. Our older three children now have their own systems for their routines, and our youngest has started to transition as well. I don’t want to “just donate it,” because I want to make sure it goes to a family who will appreciate it. (The creator gave us some amazing magnets in all sorts of colors and themes.)
Next Action: Text one or two mothers I know in the area and offer them this Do-Dots Kit.
In the meantime, I can keep these materials in my office closet and give myself a calendar trigger to follow up.
Three Boys’ Suits
Our boys have outgrown these suits, and I’m not sure if I should dry clean them and give them to friends or donate them to a general collection center (which would probably clean them there). Does this kind of situation sound familiar?
Next Action: Check the suit sizes so that I ask in a local Facebook group if someone could use them.
I will also give myself a calendar trigger to check for responses. If no one wants them, I will go ahead and donate them. If someone does want them, I will get them dry cleaned and/or give them directly to that person.
I hope those four scenarios were helpful. And here’s a picture of my finished closet, if you’re interested. Nothing fancy, but totally functional, and it gives me a lift!
So how can we apply this to clearing out our lives? Here are a few ideas:
- If your life’s focus is split into too many parts right now, consider putting something on pause for awhile. Maybe it doesn’t feel like the right time to completely give up that venture/activity/purpose, but a break can give you a lift by removing the pressure to do it all right now.
- Acknowledge those things that are taking up emotional bandwidth. I’m guessing that in your life there are some things that seem easier brush under the rug. But I’ve noticed that giving myself extra grace and extra space allows me to be more present with my loved ones and focused on the things that matter most.
- Identify the beliefs that may be holding you back or causing you stress. The cognitive behavioral therapy methods taught by Dr. David Burns have made a HUGE difference for me. Come listen in to our interview with him–linked in the resources below!
I hope that you can’t WAIT to clean out the clutter that might be in your closet and in your life right now, and I hope you are excited to move forward on the work that you are uniquely meant to do.
We are cheering for you! Thank you for being with us here at LearnDoBecome!
- How to Prioritize a Life that Matters – With Greg McKeown and April and Eric Perry
- The Three-Box Method for Organizing Your Space
- Emotional Decluttering
- How to (Seriously) Fix Anxiety, Depression, and Relationships – With Dr. David Burns & April Perry
- Our sister website, Power of Moms
- Join the 25,000 STEP Command Central Challenge! We want to see your STEP Command Central! Simple or fancy, pretty or plain, it’s SO inspiring to see how many of our community members are getting their lives in order. So come join the challenge and share a picture of yours here!
There is such POWER in community. Are you looking for a group of people to cheer for you and coach you through your decluttering? Our STEP community is so invested in the success of those around them, it is incredible to see and experience! If you want to learn how you can join the party, come to our free class!