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.