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Cleaning out my closet...

Everyone remembers Friends "The One with The Secret Closet". Monica has the most amazingly jam packed closet hidden away in her always pristine apartment. Chandler was never to know the closet even existed. Don't we all have that one closet, cupboard, at least a junk drawer in our life?

The book, and now hit series on Netflix - "The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo was released back in early January, bravo Netflix! 👏🏼 New for your viewing pleasure, right after new year's resolutions are set - the joy in the declutter! I was mesmerized, I watched every episode in less than two days, it was fascinating, inspiring, motivating, encouraging, yet I sat back and did nothing.

Fast forward seven weeks and I am proud to say I followed her method and went through every article of clothing I own, yes, even down to socks and undies, and I was able to declutter a lot. Those that know me, know this was no simple feat. I am a hoarder by nature, not the there-is-a-path-through-my-house-and-I-need-an-intervention type of hoarder, but the sentimental junkie type of hoarder. 🧡 I cherish so many random things - all holding a lot of meaning for me. Yes, even clothing... So, what is it about the art of decluttering that makes us feel so good?

I think the number one “feel good” thing - we have an emotional connection to our stuff. Any number of reasons can create such connections, the connection could be tied to a person, place or thing, a memory, an experience, a hobby, a vacation, a smell, the geography, an era, any number of reasons. All of these objects, not only take up space in your closet, cupboard or junk drawer, but they also take up space in your mind. Holding on to all this "stuff" can start to feel a bit like a burden; which is a mental weight, stress, and anxiety. Through the process of decluttering, you are able to remove those constraints and strain from your life.

For some time, I had much more than just a junk drawer, it was my life. "You're only as sick as your secret" - I believe that is in AA 101. A cornerstone statement in recovery - simply because another cornerstone is deception. A person with addiction issues does anything to cover up their addiction and deny the addiction; even to themselves. Talk about Monica's closet - I had her closet both figuratively and literally.

I don't remember the specifics of the conversation, but I remember the gist - and the gist was - "your landlord is going to clean your house". What? Come again? 😳 My house (much like my life and my health) was in disarray. Everything may have looked okay from the outside, but I did not want anyone getting near Monica's closet and seeing what was lurking behind the locked door. I didn't have the gumption or wherewithal to say no - or if I did, it fell on deaf ears. And you know what - that was the best thing that could have happened at the time. Eventually, everyone in my life saw Monica's closet. Rather than embarrassing me or shaming me, they helped me, step by step, clean out that closet to get where I am today.

Remember when you were little and your mom would say always wear clean underwear; you never know when you're going to be in an accident? This was the same kind of thing, that random day, when I left for the ER, it would be the last time I would be home for many months. I certainly wasn‘t thinking, gee maybe I should tidy up my closet, in case there’s an accident. Although this particular process did not spark joy, it was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. Is that not part of the definition of grace? 💫 We all have to keep pushing through with a little gratitude and grace. Following my mantra of KPT - "The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" is much more manageable today; actually enjoyable. Just a couple other benefits, aside from the organized closets is this was completely energizing and inspiring, it boosted productivity and creativity, it can reduce stress and anxiety, it can improve your mood and it just happened to opened up some room for new spring duds. Keep pushing through, y'all.

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