Cleaning Out My Closet

Ripley New York

It’s the beginning of August but it feels like Fall. I should be wearing a tank-top and shorts and sweating my ass off but instead I’m comfortably snuggled up in a big fluffy bathrobe as I write this.

Even though I feel like I’ve been cheated out of a few weeks of summer, my favorite season, I’m comforted by the cool breeze in that it reminds me of new beginnings. As I sat on the beach at my cabin this weekend watching the sunset, I was okay with the cold fall air mixed in with the warm air coming off of the water. Fall has always felt transformative to me. The leaves fall to the ground and the trees ready themselves for winter. The grass stops growing and the birds fly south. Students everywhere rush around in a flurry, trying to get organized before the school year starts and homework takes over their lives.

Fall has a great energy of organization and productivity as we busy ourselves to prepare for winter. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. And that’s what I’m aiming to do.

Marie Kondo Method Clothes

I have a lot of things. You could maybe even call me a packrat. I live in one small bedroom in my parents’ house and it is packed to the brim with the things that I own. There are a ridiculous amount of t-shirts, enough swim suits to clothe an entire team, and books, and books, and books. It has long been on my list to go through all of the stuff that I have accumulated over the years because, to be honest, the mess really gets to me. My brain often feels just as cluttered as my space.

I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2015 and spent my Christmas vacation that year going through my clothes. I got rid of eight garbage bags full of stuff and felt lighter, but I never got around to going through the rest of what I own as the obligations of school and work quickly swept their way in as excuses.

Fast forward to now and my current state of no obligations (see previous post). I’ve been desperately wanting to write and edit, but haven’t been able to focus. The load of stuff around me has been weighing on me as I sit and try to work.

So, as I sat down to list my goals and intentions for August, I realized that cleaning up and organizing had to be at the top of the list. And, as I’ve promised myself that I will get shit done this month, I spent last week going through my closet again. I realized that there were quite a few things that I had kept the first time that I shouldn’t have. So many unimportant t-shirts and pairs of jeans I’d never wear again. Work shirts that I won’t ever wear again. Close to ten pairs of heels that I will never put on my feet — I like to walk and be comfortable.

After going through my clothes all week long, I put three full garbage bags in the back of my Impreza on Friday, drove them down to the thrift store, and left them.  It is always scary for me to let things go and I felt a tinge of regret as I drove away, but I kept going.

And then I got back to my room. The air felt lighter and cleaner, like everything was breathing freely now that it wasn’t crammed into its space with other things that didn’t belong there. I opened my empty closet and actually felt guilty for always complaining about how small it is. It is small — but it’s plenty of space for the amount of clothing I actually wear on a day-to-day basis.  Instead, I felt thankful for all this space I’ve been given to fill. A place to take up space is something to be thankful for.

There are still so, so many more things that I have to go through in order to have an organized space, and consequently, an organized brain. My books are piled up everywhere and almost every spare drawer is filled with junk. But I know now that these steps of cleaning and organizing have to be done for me to start working productively and successfully. And writing these little blog posts feels like letting go of things too, like not being so afraid of being vulnerable.

I’m writing, however little. I’m reading, even if it is Harry Potter. And I’m cleaning. I may not be making money, but I’m still working hard every single day. I’m aiming to be a better boss to myself than any other boss I’ve ever had, and I’m getting better at it.

I’m clearing out and cleaning up to make space for all the new things that are coming into my life. And now I’m sitting here thinking — what else can I let go of that isn’t serving me? What else do I need to make space for?

Lenovo laptop working in bedroom




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