They say that cleanliness is next to godliness. I think a frustrated mother in a Christian house thought that one up. However, I wonder if we could possibly think that God, the Father of creation is messy and disorganized. I am thinking that nature, the universe, our bodies and even society has an order built into it. I know that someone is reading this trying so hard to think of a way to conceive and convince me that God is messy sometimes. Good luck! This blog is not about trying to convince you that since the universe has order, so should you. If you want to be a messy, I bless you and pray for your family. However, if you want to be a little bit more organized, I am going to give you a reason to do so. Why not?
Why not? Now you have to come up with a reason not to. I know you were looking for some super pithy and deep philosophy of the most successful people in the world, but I am not here to give you that. That would take a small book. There are stats, testimonies, theories and metaphorical data that could be used. Rather than do that, I want to ask you, why not? Why not clean up? Why not get more organized? Why not clean out the junk drawer? Why not give away some things to bless people? I teach people that if they want a business life of order, then they need a workspace of order. Would you like a little more order to your living space? If so, let’s get with it!
One more thing before we start with the first installment of what is to be a riveting blog series that you won’t be able to put down. That one thing is, you have the time right now. A vast percentage of people have more time on their hands right now. After all, even if you are still working, you can’t go out to eat, or bowl, or see a movie or even watch the sunset from a beach parking lot. I know you are probably watching some important series on Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix, but those will be there after you are done. So will social media. Go for it! Decide that you are going to do one project every ____________ (you fill in the blank). I would encourage you to do at least one per week until it is finished. Why not?
One last thing. If you are a semi-hoarder, I mean sentimental keep sake person, this may be pretty tough for you. In all seriousness, there are levels of people that I am talking about. Some of you will need to have a few minutes of prayer time before you start the process below. Others will need to have a friend or partner with them. You need to have someone with you that will be compassionate, but firm when you ask the questions below. Still others may need to seek some counseling. For whatever reason, this is very difficult for you. It would be so beneficial for you to understand why you feel like you do, and where that thinking originated from. Then you can change it.
I encourage you to do this at one sitting. Depending on your clothing, this may be a long sitting. So get your favorite Kombucha, put some music on that you like to jam to, and let’s get busy. Let’s get to it.
Step one: Take all your clothes out and put them into neat piles. It is important to get all of your clothes and not just some. Arrange things in categories as you put them into piles. Have a miscellaneous pile well. Do not include shoes, belts or anything like that. Just cloths. You are going to make four piles, one category at a time. The first category you will tackle is under garments, then socks, dresses or suits is next, then shorts, then pants, then shirts, then jackets and lastly special wear like workout clothes or Halloween clothes.
Step two: Pray and ask God to help you make good decisions. Yes, I am serious.
Now you are ready to begin the process. You are going to build some momentum with the easy categories first. Start with the easy piles like undergarments and make your way to the most difficult things last. For me suits would be easy but shirts are the hardest. So I would go through my suits after undergarments and socks and save shirts for last.
You are going to put things into four piles.
Abide – This is the articles that you are definitely keeping. These are the cloths you regularly wear or things you may need for a special occasion. This is not the skinny jeans you haven’t worn in 15 years and never will even if you get back to a size 3. I have a one year rule with an exception clause. If I haven’t dawned it in a year, that means I don’t need it or don’t highly value it. You can create your own rule, but I think one year is a good gauge for need. Did I say need? Yes I did!
Provide – This category is giving you the opportunity to bless someone else. It may be the wrong size, something you never wear, or it may not look good on you, but it would be a blessing to someone else. The clothes that you have and never wear have much more meaning than a tax deduction, they can supply someone else with something nice.
Decide – This is the pile where you put your cloths that you are unable to make a quick decision. Your decisions for Abide, provide or toss, should be made within 10-30 seconds. You need momentum. This pile is allowing you to keep your momentum if you can’t make a decision. There are many reasons we can’t make a decision, but most of the time there is emotion tied to the item. That’s okay. Put it in this pile until later.
Toss – For some, this pile is an opportunity, for others it is emotionally difficult. I can’t counsel you into this pile, but I can give you a few helpful guidelines. First, if it has holes that don’t belong there, toss it. Second, if it is unwearable because the elastic is worn out or the zipper is broken or something like that, toss it. If it is something that nobody would want to wear, including you, toss it. If it something that is stained or has paint or anything on it, toss it. (See exception clause 3)
Exception clause 1. The one year rule only applies to regular clothing and not special clothing. If you can still fit into it, you can keep it.
Exception clause 2. If you have gained too much weight and I cannot fit into the item, you can keep it providing that you are actively or will within begin a weight loss journey within one month. Also, to keep this item it has to be in style and you have to have a good chance of fitting into it again.
Exception clause 3. You may keep one change of clothes to paint or work on greasy things with, or to do something with that will ruin them.
My next blog will talk about how to organize your clothes. So do the best you can to organize what you have left. If you have more clothes than storage, then you have to give or toss more things. Remember, your material things are not you. You use them. You can do this!