Purging Your Closet


I commented to my wife Terri that I couldn’t find my Nike athletic pants. With a sigh and a patient stare, she replied, “They were the victim of one of our periodic closet purges.”

Every year or so, when my closet is so full of clothes that I can’t find anything to wear, I initiate a closet purge.  Then is when we search for items that haven’t been worn, shoes with holes in their soles, and sweaters purchased for a younger and leaner me, stuff them in large garbage bags and haul them to the Goodwill collection box.  The process results in a more organized life and less frustration.

Six years ago when Terri engaged a consultant to help her with her wardrobe, we undertook one of our largest closet purges. What she didn’t count on was her adviser filling six large garbage bags of clothes to be discarded. When I returned after a trip to the store, I found the garage full of bagged clothes waiting to be delivered to Good Will and Terri sitting in the kitchen with tears running down her face.

I volunteered to deliver the clothes to the charity and when I went to the garage to load the bags into my SUV, I found clothes strewn across the floor as Terri dug through the bags, salvaging long forgotten items.

At my dad’s contracting company, one of our warehouses  was crowded with metal drums containing blueprints of projects we had worked on. I decided the space could be put to better use and hired a service to haul the drums to a landfill. The dump truck was being loaded when the manager of our air conditioning department appeared. He argued that if we were called upon to bid a job we had designed the old drawings would be of great value.

Having been invited to provide a price on retrofitting a job we had installed 20 years earlier, I challenged him to find the original plans and use them to develop the estimate. It took most of a day before he located the old drawings only to discorve they were roach infested, weathered and unusable.

Clothes that will never be worn and building plans that are unusable are examples of clutter: disorder resulting in confusion and time loss.  Only by getting rid of such  litter can you put an end to the stresses engendered by chaos.

As important as it is to clean up the things cluttering your life, it is equally important to purge the litter from the closet that is your mind. Hanging there are thoughts of anger and resentment over incidents that occurred in times past. Hoarding such thoughts leads to bitterness that poisons your life. Only by purging them do you create space for positive ideas, dreams and aspirations.

Purging yourself of physical and mental clutter simplifies your life and frees up physical and mental space that can be used for better purpose.

Resentment and Grudges

Resentment or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold these feelings but every day and every night of your life, they are eating at you.” – Norman Vincent Peale

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2 responses to “Purging Your Closet

  1. I like this post a lot, I have a lot of both types of clutter! Any suggestions on how to clear mental clutter so it doesn’t come back again!?

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