In the last month we have had our master bedroom painted and new carpeting installed. This was the last room in our home that we needed to refresh since we purchased our home eight years ago. For some reason we kept putting this one off. But it was time.
Synchronizing the furniture moving, the painters, the carpeting and the furniture movers again doesn’t sound difficult, but for us it was a lot. Mostly because of the closets. We have two walk-in closets in our bedroom. His and Hers. They both needed to be emptied, but more than that, they needed to be cleaned out and de-cluttered.
About a month before the project was to begin, we started seriously looking at our closets. The words, “keep – throw away – donate,” became embedded in our minds. We would take out a pair of shoes here and a sweater there. Then my husband decided to take out 10 items a day. I watched him do this for a few days. As his closet began dwindling down, my guilt for not doing it and the fear of not being ready increased.
Every year I pick a word for the year. This year my word was a phrase. I wanted to, “Release to Find Peace.” I wanted to release many things in my life this year, but mostly I wanted to live in a clutter-free environment that feels peaceful. I wanted to be at peace with my relationships, my health, and my body. From my closets to my heart and mind, I wanted plenty of space for peace.
I remembered this phrase as I looked into my closet. I tried to do the 10 items a day. I admit to struggling a bit. Then one day I put 12 pairs of shoes into a garbage bag and tied it up to donate. I was so proud of myself, but it really didn’t seem to make a dent in giving me more peace. The closet still held more shoes than I needed and enough clothes for me to wear something different every day for a couple of years. (Don’t judge.)
Every day I took out more and more items. I made more and more trips to donate my filled bags. It seemed to get easier for a while – until it wasn’t. I began feeling like I was purging things just to say I did. Things I might need someday. When those thoughts crept in, I repeated to myself that phrase, “Release to find Peace.”
Finally, the process began. Furniture was moved and all the items that were left in the closets were laid over couches and chairs around the house. The painting turned out perfect and the new carpet was soft and cushy to my bare feet. When the furniture was back in place, we began putting our closets back together – adding a few more items to our donation bags as we worked.
The bedroom is now a calm and restful space. Just standing in the doorway and looking at it makes me happy. And the closets? All the trips to drop off the donations of clothes were worth it. I think all together I ‘released’ 25 pairs of shoes. (Again, don’t judge, some of them were just flip-flops.) I lost count of how many bags full of clothes we donated, but I did take a photo of the basket of empty hangers so I would remember how much we ‘released.’
My husband’s closet looks like a display in a fine men’s clothing store. To be honest, my closet still holds too much, but the improvement is drastic. I can see what I have, and I know where everything is. I am no longer overwhelmed and frustrated with the visual noise of my closet. Now my closet brings me a sense of quiet calmness.
When I picked my word for this year, I asked myself a big question. Why? Why is releasing important to me? Why do I want to release these things? The answer was loud and clear - to create peace. I can’t think of one item that I got rid of from my closet that I miss or regret letting go of. But I can think of one thing I am happy to have found space for. My closet now has the space to hold peace.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
When you release, you open space for peace.
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