Did you know that the average American woman owns around 27 pairs of shoes. Yep, you heard me right, 27. While the average American man owns about 12. Who in the world needs that many shoes?! I sure don’t, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either! (source)
American’s in general are considered greedy by the rest of the world, always needing to have the best of everything, the most expensive toys and the top brands. It is because of this that we are becoming depressed and disheartened as a nation. Worst of all: it’s not what God wants from us.
1 John 2:15-17 says: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Wow, yeah I think that’s a pretty straight forward sentence right there. By loving the things that we’ve collected and all the things that we hold dear, we are literally losing the love of the Father. Is that really something we want to be doing?
It seems to be that the more possessions we have the more depressed we are. On the other hand, the fewer possessions we own, the happier we become. Why is that?
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2
By owning as many possessions as we can store in our massive homes, we are conforming more and more to the world; to commercialism and consumerism. While it may be what the media and large companies want, it’s not what God wants, and it’s not going to make us happy.
Nicole Dunbar, a coaching and motivational speaker went national with her story of downsizing and simplifying her life. After moving to a smaller apartment, dropping her smart phone and gym membership she got to realize just how great her life is. By buying experiences instead of things, Nicole says, “Well, I may have fewer possessions, but I have more space. I may have fewer commitments, but I have more time. Minimalism is making room for what matters most.” (source)
I’m sure you’re thinking, “I want to live a happier and simpler life, but it’s too big of a process, where do I start?”
I’m so glad you asked.
The easiest and best place that I find to start getting rid of material items is right in your own bedroom, in your closet in fact. Shirts, shoes, pants, skirts, coats, undergarments and jewelry are the biggest mess that lives right under our noses. It’s time we paid it some attention, and cleaned it out!
Here’s how to clean our your closet in three easy steps.
1. Assess your clothing and sort into the following piles, and ask the following questions.
1. The garbage pile
For the clothes that will never again need to see the light of day…(those sweaters you got from your grandmother at Christmas type of things…)
• Is it stained?
• Is it ripped?
• Does it still smell after you wash it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then that piece of clothing belongs in the garbage pile!!!
2. The donate pile
Pretty straightforward. It’s cute, fashionable, but I either don’t wear it or don’t fit into it anymore.
*Please please please wash these clothes before donating!! I used to work at a Goodwill and no, we don’t wash your old clothes!! It’s gross!!!*
• Is it too small/big?
• Is it not your style?
If the answer is yes, donate it.
• Does it match anything in your closet?
• Have you worn it in the last year?
If the answer is no, donate it. You’re never going to wear it again.
3. The keep pile.
• By far my favorite pile.
• Does it fit?
• Have you worn it in the last year?
• Does it match multiple things in your closet?
• Does it make you look/feel good?
If you answered yes keep it!!
Now the big thing here, is if you have ANY DOUBT about keeping an article of clothing, keep it for now. You can always donate it later. I was going to donate an old flannel shirt of mine but decided instead to make a quilt out of the fabric. I know that sounds kind of like a hoarder of me, but as a crafty girl free fabric is hard to come by. Take it where you can get it. Now this doesn’t mean keep everything. Think reduce, reuse, recycle.
2. Actually get rid of it.
It’s one thing for you to get rid of your clothing and feel great and accomplished for it, but if you never actually take the donate piles to the Goodwill or take the garbage piles out to the dumpster, you might end up finding yourself pulling out that top you like because it might fit someday. Get rid of them as soon as you go through them; this will eliminate any temptation you have of taking them out again.
3. Keep it up.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the clothes you don’t need, and organized the ones you still have, keep up the process. Every 3 months or so, go through your closet and get rid of stuff you don’t need. And remember, for every one thing you buy, one thing needs to go.
Are you ready to take the steps forward to living a more simple lifestyle? Taking these steps may seem hard, but remember that it is the Lord’s will for you to do this. In the end you will be a much happier person.
What’s the craziest piece of clothing you’ve found in your closet? Leave a comment below!
Check out the rest of my modesty series here:
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