I was anxious. It was 3am on a Saturday morning. I couldn’t sleep. I know there’s still so much work to be done.
In addition to scrubbing the counter and the sinks in our master bathroom, I sorted through my closet, yet another time. Found 14 pairs of pants to donate and 4 more to take or keep. *There’s still ½ of my husband’s closet with more dresses in there (J’s edit here: must clarify, those were A’s dresses, not mine…). That is bloody madness! What in the world? Have I worn the 14 pairs of pants I found in the last year, last three years? The scary answer is NO. Why were they still in my closet????
I have already donated 4 giant bags of clothes to the Burmese Refugees two weekends ago. I have also given to my parents countless number of pieces of clothes (still in very good shape and on hangers) so that my father can help me distribute them to the newest arrival of refugees through a clinic where they provide interpretation services.
1. Waste of Money: If I value each piece at say an extremely frugal amount of $5 retail (including my suits, jackets, formal dresses, socks, scarves, wraps, gloves, jackets, belts and even lingerie), I would under-estimate a rough and rusty figure of about $5000. *Ladies: You and I both know this is definitely an underestimated number. That same $5000 sat in my closet for nearly 3 yrs (that’s how long it’s been since I worked full-time). I suspect there are many items sitting in there for a much longer period! So, well, I will let you do the math. And let’s be honest, had that money been in a savings account instead of my closet…….. These numbers haunt me! MODERATION is a good thing – buy less.
Note: I still have some clothes from college, undergrad. I know, the horror, eh?
2. Waste of Space: all those clothes I really did not need just sat in my closet, collecting dust, while another person could easily use them to gain a job on an interview or have proper attire to attend college or even start a new job.
3. Waste of Mental Energy: That closet gave me grief and mental anguish. The clutter in my closet cluttered my emotions and trapped me. Seriously! “How in the world am I going to get rid of all THIS” – that’s what I used to say to myself. It can be overwhelming considering the closet is just one tiny portion of our house. I’m a good procrastinator when I need to be. After all, I might end up having to face what I already know….. see #1 and #2. It was just easier not to deal with it. Clutter is BAD for you and your mental health! DE-CLUTTER when you can.
4. Effect on the Environment: The more “things” I consume without a care in the world, the more negative effect I will have on the environment. It’s just not a green solution.
5. Effect on Our Travel, Service and Humanitarian Work: The money and time wasted could have been spent on more meaningful and purposeful projects, where we can give time and attention to others (and even to each other) that need our help. The stuff we collected in our closet has been collecting dust and not collecting interest in a savings account. It doesn’t allow us to live our motto: “LIVE SMALL. LIVE GREEN. GIVE LARGE. TAKE LITTLE.”
6. My Closet DOES NOT bring me happiness. They may make me look good or feel good, but do I really need that much, or that many pieces? Probably NOT. Essentially it is as Empty as My Empty Lexus.
7. Effect on Our Daughter: This is the real kicker! It makes me weep when I think of the influence we have on our children and how I need to do a better job of intentionally living more through experiences that help her become a responsible citizen, a kind and humble human being. That simply cannot be achieved by having more things, more clutter, more stuff. I know she’s watching my every move, listening to my every word, soaking and absorbing all in. What kind of mother will I be if all I am focusing in on is the clothes I wear, the hairstyle I have to pay for at least a minimum of $100 to look a certain way (been there done that, glad I don’t anymore), the type of brand names I like, the kind of make-up I put on, how that dress makes me look skinny, or the number of outfits I change into before I leave the house—and the list goes on and on and on. (after all, the media and the commercials do have a way of convincing us that we’re not good enough).
Message to my M: Always live life with meaning and purpose.
“Many things in life will catch your eye, few will catch your heart. Pursue those!” Unknown
What lessons can you learn or have you learned from YOUR closet(s)?
We Say NO to Status Quo.
Live Small. Live Green. Give Large. Take Little.
Take Notice. Take Action.