I know spring is the season we tend to associate with cleaning, but I like to do it in the fall, too. I like to do it any time of year, if I’m being honest.
Maybe this makes me weird, but I absolutely love a good Saturday spent tidying up, doing laundry, and getting things settled back into their proper place. To me, it’s one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating ways to spend a chill day at home. Anyone else? Throw your favorite TV show on in the background, and its pure bliss—there’s just something about getting your external world settled that seems to do the same for your mind. It makes you feel ready to conquer anything!
When I have the time, I like to take it a step further by going through closets and crannies to get rid of clothes I don’t wear and excess stuff—I find I’m happier with simple. I spent some time doing that this past weekend, and as I went through my closet and pulled out clothes to get rid of, I started to notice a trend. Each piece of clothing I got rid of fell into one of three categories. Meaning, there were really only three different reasons why any given item didn’t make the cut. As I continued to think about it, I realized there was a fitting analogy to be found in the clothes I was getting rid of (pun intended ). I realized that often, those same three categories serve as a guide not only to things I should clean out of my closet, but also to things I should clean out of my life.
I think sometimes there are things we unwittingly hold onto—be it outdated and incorrect ways of seeing ourselves, beliefs about who we should be, or simply ideals of “how things were”—thinking those things bring us value when in reality, all they’re doing is keeping us stuck. They’re taking up valuable space in the closet and making things cramped, so that we have a hard time even getting to the items we might actually want to wear. Every now and then, it’s good to take an inventory of the thought patterns that yield so much power over our behavior and over the people we’re becoming, to see if we can’t get rid of a few things—perhaps, things that should have never been there in the first place.
You know me, I love finding analogies in unexpected places—and it may seem a bit silly at first glance but if you stop and think about it, these categories present some seriously great questions to ask and get yourself thinking. All that to say, next time you clean out your closet, consider these three as categories of clothing items you might want to get rid of—then consider how they also might apply to your life.
If it pinches around the armpits or annoys you every time you put it on because of the way it tends to drape unevenly down the back, it’s probably time to get rid of it. Maybe you used to be held down by that struggle or plagued by that fear, but it doesn’t fit anymore so you need to stop slapping on the label. I think we often times get stuck telling ourselves old stories about our fears, struggles, or insecurities, without ever stopping to realize that growth has occurred, and that story doesn’t actually fit who we are anymore. In this case, we need to get rid of it, because if we keep it in our closet, we might keep trying to wear it. The thing is, we’re always growing as people—and if it’s an item you’re swimming in or if it’s digging into parts of you, it’s gotta go. You want something that will allow room for all of who you are—and the truest version of who you were created to be.
When you bought this item (or bought into a particular belief), did you do so because YOU liked it, or because it was trendy and you thought you were supposed to like it? Too often I find that I’ve wasted money on clothing items I bought simply because I thought they would make people think I was trendy or fashionable or cool. But I actually never loved them or felt super comfortable in them, so I end up getting rid of them without ever having really worn them. Or, maybe it’s an item I bought because I did like the trend, but it’s just that—a trend. And now that the trend has come and gone, the item isn’t “in” anymore and it’s time to buy into the next trend to impress people and keep up. Trends aren’t bad, but looking to buy something or be something simply because you think it will make you liked by others isn’t good. Wear the things that feel like YOU—and the things that make you feel good in them.
That one shirt you keep in your closet because you were wearing it when that one thing happened that one time your freshmen year of college? But you don’t actually wear it anymore, you just can’t bear the thought of getting rid of it because of the memories you made while wearing it? Maybe it’s time to let it go. Photos and journals are great places for holding memories, but if we’re holding too tightly onto the way things were in a certain season of life, we won’t be able to step fully into the one we’re in now.
I’m starting to think fall should be the season we associate with cleaning after all, because in a way, the autumn leaves show us how. With their brilliant burst of colors ranging from bright yellows to burnt oranges to burgundy reds, they remind us that there’s beauty found in releasing old things, because it means that new life can spring forth.
P.S. If you’d like to shop any of the items I cleaned out of my closet during my most recent purge (you know, to find something to take the place of all the stuff you just decided to get rid of ), visit my Poshmark page. Also, have you noticed any other common reasons you’ve gotten rid of things? Let me know in the comments!
Hello I’m Kaci!
I love encouraging and discipling others in the Word of God, and I really love the One it all points to: Jesus.
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