Just In Case…

Just In Case…

A diatribe on cleaning out my closet...

It’s that time of year…

The time of year where I feel the urge to start fresh…

clear things up…

straighten things out…

wipe the slate clean.

I find myself wanting to purge papers, eradicate clutter, and get rid of junk.

And I find that I am moved beyond reason, beyond doubt, and beyond fear to attack my closet.

(Duh, duh, duh plays the scary movie music in the background)

clothes on the floor

My closet is a mayhem of madness.  While I have admitted to hate shopping, that doesn’t stop me from collecting clothes. I am the girl who will NOT throw that clothing item away when it is no longer in style, has gone past it’s prime, has started to fade from years of washing, or God-forbid it have a hole.

Yes… I am THAT girl.

The girl who will wear something that has a hole with no shame as long as it’s not obvious to the naked eye.

The girl who believes that a free t-shirt is  good t-shirt and worthy of a spot in the drawer.

The girl who loves all things comfy and takes pride in the power of a good pair of yoga pants.

So, because I hate to shop, I collect.  And my closet grows.

Just like the waistline on a pair of pants starts to squeeze the fat to overflowing on an expanding waistline, my closet starts to squeeze my clothes hangers so tight that I can’t move things around to see what I own.

And clothes spill over and out.

Garments fall from hangers or worse yet… hangers break just like a button would bust open on a pair of slacks if taken to the limit.

Adding messed-up reasoning to my living, breathing, relentless mitochondrial confusion…

I have clothes of varying sizes.  I have pregnant clothes, almost-fine clothes, “normal-sized” clothes, fat clothes, and hide-the-gut clothes. I have clothes I didn’t mind catching the spit up on, clothes I didn’t mind the bleach splashing on, and clothes that were fine for a run to the store.

But all of those functional clothes have not left much room for “out” clothes.  All of those “make-room-for-baby” clothes haven’t left room for clothes that fit my current frame.  All of those brown and black clothes haven’t left me room for clothes that let me dress in living color.

So it’s time to do a clean out.

empty hangers

But I find myself struggling to let many of those clothes go.

they are familiar…

they serve up good memories…

they are comfortable…

And I find myself wanting to keep many of them, just in case.

I’ve been here before you know.  Last year, a dear friend came to help me clean out my closet.  There were some clothes that I could not part with.  So I put them in a shopping bag and placed that bag at the back of my closet.

I vowed that in a year, if I hadn’t worn those clothes that I would give them away.

It’s been a year. The bag is still there.

Why do I do this?  Why do I keep clothes that don’t fit, that I rarely wear, or that I know I shouldn’t be caught dead in?

Just in case.

Just in case I have another baby…

yes… I’m over 40 but I’d have another… but that’s another post for another day…

Just in case I gain the weight back.

…I’ve spent my whole life fighting the #fatdemon and I’m aware that there may be more battles in the future.

Just in case  I can one day fit into those jeans from high school.

…yea right! And even if I could… would they even be worth a public viewing?

And so I have a closet filled to overflowing, with things that I don’t wear or shouldn’t wear.

And I have no room for the new.

I have no room for the clothes that do fit, that do have color, that do help me present the best “me” when I step out of my front door.

I know I’m not alone.  I’m not the only one who needs to clean out the closet. Nor is the closet the only thing that needs to be cleaned out. We are a generation that is bursting at the seams with stuff that we keep “just in case”.

…old relationships that don’t fit anymore

…bad habits that keep us from living in full color

…possessions that crowd out room in our lives for other things God wants to give us.

Most would agree that unused but still wearable clothes in a closet are better served given away to someone who can put them to better use.

I think that same line of thinking applies to lots of things we hold on to.

When you hold onto that man, you are keeping him from the woman he might be better suited for.

When you stay in that toxic relationship because you fear the pain of separation or you yet think you can save them, you might be keeping them distracted from the work that God wants to do in their life – apart from you.

When you keep bad habits, you also keep yourself from adopting new habits that can propel you forward and paint vivid new paths for you to travel.

When you hold onto stuff, you miss the joy of blessing others and you make yourself miserable by having to both manage it and migrate through it unnecessarily.

So I’m headed to do a work in my closet.  It’s not going to be comfortable.  It may not be fun.  I may have to recruit help (calling my fashionista sister to the rescue). But I’m gonna do it.

Because I want to make room.


I want room for the new. I want room for the color.  I want room for what fits.

I don’t want to own clothes that only speak of where I’ve been, what I’ve experienced, or what I’ve been through.

I want room for where I’m going, who I’m becoming, and what I’ve accomplished.

Have you guessed that this is not just about clothes?

This is life. This is my life.

This is the life that I want to grab hold of.  The life that says, I’m willing to trade in the old for the possibility of the new. The life that is willing to give because it is only in giving that you make room to receive. The life that is willing to take chances and empty out for the possibility of being filled up with more of what matters.

So today, I’m tackling the closet. But it’s not about the closet. I’m tackling my belief system.

Today I’m choosing to believe Him when He says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Rev. 21.5

And because I want to believe Him, I’m going to let go of my “just-in-case” way of thinking.

And I’m gonna start with the closet.

It may not be pretty. It may not be fun. I might not enjoy the process. But I’m going in.

Ya’ll pray for a sista.

By |2016-12-05T17:54:16+00:00January 2nd, 2014|Food & Fitness, Fun|26 Comments
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  1. Tanja Duttton January 2, 2014 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Such a great read! I woke up this morning trying to rid myself of t-shirts and had such a problem. I’m good for hiding my fat in a good free t-shirt! Lol I moved into my closet. I have clothes that have been with me for decades, waiting for the just in case…papers I refuse to shred because of the just in case. This blessed me so, and had me a sheer state of hysteria because I was struggling with the exact same thing the moment I took a break to check my email. As always, your posts are on time, and seem to speak to my current state in life. I desire a new me…a new life…but struggle with hanging on to the old. So I’m taking Revelation 21:5 with me reminding me that it is okay to walk into the new!


    • Chrystal January 2, 2014 at 8:26 pm - Reply

      oooo girl..papers are a whole ‘nuther thing. Lawd help!

  2. Shelly Harmon January 2, 2014 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Thank you, Chrystal! I can’t tell you how much I need this post today ( and everyday )! So much of what you said spoke loud and clear in my life! God bless you! I will keep you in my prayers!

  3. Becca January 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    There have been 2 things that were very difficult for me to get rid of, baby related. With child #1, it was the breast pump. It wasn’t that I really wanted another baby, it was that I was afraid I would accidentally become pregnant as soon as I got rid of it and that thing was so dad-gum expensive! With child #2 (adopted… no breast pump required 😉 ), it was the cloth diapers. I have to admit there was some sentimentality to that, cuz everyone who CDs knows of the looming potential addiction to accumulating fluff that is both cute & functional. But once again, even though we have zero plans of more babies, there is the lingering “what if”, & then I’d have to build my stash all over again! So expensive! (On the other hand, a good excuse to buy the latest and the greatest. ha.) I guess when it all comes down to it, what pains me the most when de-cluttering (physically & spiritually) is the thought that it could end up costing me something. Enjoy your clutter free closet!

    • Chrystal January 2, 2014 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      I sooooo feel you on the baby stuff. I STILL have my breast pump. I offered it to a friend and then she told me she had already bought one. Can I be honest and say that I was kinda glad! LOL! Anyway… I still have it. Still have my CDs too. It took so much effort and $$$ to accumulate and the thought of doing it again just sounds painful! Glad I’m not by myself 🙂

      • Becca January 3, 2014 at 11:14 am - Reply

        Not gonna lie… we haven’t CD’d in over a year & my stash is gone, but I think I may cave and use some more Rockin’ Green detergent for my regular laundry because I just miss it! (The detergent, not the changing diapers part).

        • Chrystal January 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm - Reply

          May have to try that 🙂 I’m still enjoying Charlie’s…

  4. Limda January 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    So true, you express it so well. My closet is the same. I whittle away at it ever so seldom. I love how you relate the closet to life, your life and mine! What a gift to have a sister in the wings available to help. Keep on writing, there are zillions of us out here that need to hear we are not the only ones 🙂

    • Chrystal January 2, 2014 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the encouragement Limda! Felt inspired to write this post so I did. Less than an hour later I felt deflated because I started thinking… “What else do I have to say that matter”. Riding the wave as usual. Your encouragement matters 🙂

  5. Colleen January 2, 2014 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Love it!!!!!! I have to do the very same thing! We are moving to a smaller house…trying to simplify our lives and leave more space for what really matters…..Jesus….

    I want to give a lifetime of things away…to people who can really use them…the memories are in my heart forever…..it is difficult though….

    Looking forward to what Jesus has planned for my husband and I for the future…..with the grandkids and a simple lifestyle.

    • Chrystal January 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      Blessings on your move!

  6. Toni January 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Oh Chrystal! I feel like you were in my room just last night. I started on my closet but before I knew it I was overwhelmed and it was 1:00 a.m. So I stopped and I will pick up again this evening. Good luck my friend, and thank you for being my inspiration today. There may have been some thoughts in the back of my mind that I couldn’t do all of this (just maybe) but you have re-encouraged me! Good luck and hang in there!

    • Chrystal January 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      Now you are talking to me. Overwhelmed is the key word. I’ve found that I have to start and then STOP before I go to far and save some for another day. If I start out to fast, I run out of gas.

  7. Pam January 2, 2014 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Amazing…just amazing! Made me get motivated to rid my life of clutter! Thank you so much.

    • Chrystal January 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm - Reply


  8. Gwen Jenkins January 2, 2014 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    let us pray for each other as I join you on the journey

  9. Carol Girard January 2, 2014 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Isn’t it amazing how much clutter we manage to accumulate and then find it hard to part with it. I have stuff I need to get rid of “but, I might wear that”….Oh, I will need that, and “Wow, that still fits really nicely, I want to keep that” and it should all be pitched out…and just need to start over. Only put in the closet what actually fits me right now, get rid of the boxes of 10 years worth of old records that I need to pitch out a long time ago, and the extra box of dishes,and extra bedding from the Kingsize bed when we now have a queen…etc and etc and the list goes on. Perhaps this is the year I will be motivated to really declutter my closets…Happy 2014 and thank you so much for the motivational “Talk” Loved it, God Bless You!! Carol

    • Chrystal January 2, 2014 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Ooooh…now I’m convicted again. I have old records too. They are staring at me right now! I’mma start with the closet and see how it goes from there.

  10. Lisa Killough January 2, 2014 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    You don’t know me but you sure wrote this about me. I’m going to take your advice and clean out my closet among other things. Thanks for sharing, just what I needed to hear, Cute as Pie!!!

  11. Meredith January 2, 2014 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Wow Chrystal, did you take a peek in my closet, or what?! This article is “right on time.” Thankfully, I am not feeling convicted, guilty, or beat down…but like–you too?! I stand in my closet and ask God, “Why?” Obviously this represents more than just clothes, papers, and what-nots. Thankfully, He is with me…even while cleaning out and reorganizing the closet, AGAIN. Your article has added to my determination to have a closet that reflects the way in which Jesus does things–decently and in order. 😀 THANKS A MILLION!!!

  12. Stephanie January 2, 2014 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Enjoyed this very much! It is the truth… And cleaning out my “closet’ to make room for the new is something I need to do also! Spiritually and physically — in the physical I convince myself I’ll either lose the weight to fit into it or all I need is a new jacket/shirt and that outfit would be amazing.. Truth is, the accessories never come and I usually fall back to the traditional “comfort clothes” as I struggle with the fatdemon. (You have been inspiring me with the spin classes & marathon training) — and the same way I do spiritually.. Caught up in holding onto my “old ways” not wanting to let go of them due to pride or being stubborn.. But it is time to walk in Jesus and allow Him to make all things new.. And just like cleaning out the closet takes time, so does cleaning out our spiritual closets… Letting all the guilt and grief and anger be replaced with the love and peace and joy! But it’s 2014 – it’s time!!!! Thanks for sharing once again!

  13. Katie Hartshorn January 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    Chrystal, I loved this! As I read it, I just thought “Lord, where do I need to de-clutter and make room for you?” Not just in my clothes and shoes and jewelry, oh my! But in my life! We hold on to what is “good”, but if we only knew how letting go would open doors for God’s best! Hmm..Thanks for the challenge!

  14. Danielle January 3, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing! I have not even had the courage to start on my closet but I have started with the home office. I love how you have used the closet to really talk about life. Your statement of wanting to make room for your present day journey really spoke to my heart! One day at a time…!

    • Chrystal January 3, 2014 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Danielle…my home office needs to be next!

  15. Kath January 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I was doing this just today! Well, my kids clothes actually…because that’s an easier place to start than my own. I do force myself to do this periodically and it does feel good, like you are on the journey to clearing and sorting out your life. I identified with everything you said in this post – I have a couple of items kept just to prove that I did indeed have a slender waistline, and I try stuff on for the sheer laugh of trying to get one thigh in what my whole body used to slither into. Love the way your post is written. Thank you for sharing x

  16. Shannon January 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Ohhh chile!

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