When I visit my Amish friends, I’m usually struck by how pristine their houses look. Of course, there are a few exceptions. But nearly all are usually spic and span clean. Everything in the kitchen has a purpose: a hook by the refrigerator with rubber bands, a strike pad on the wall to light matches used to start a lantern, scissors on a string by the sink.
When you get the chance to go into one of their bedrooms, it’s even more impressive. Most rooms will consist of three things: a bed with a quilt on it, a very small dresser, and a chest (if it’s a girl’s room), shirts, and pants almost always hang on a row of hooks along the wall, although some Amish are starting to buy the over the door hooks for their hanging clothes.
To make it even more pristine, they most likely have only three or four dresses, one being black for worship Sunday.
Thinking about “Turning Amish” inspired me to finally clean out my own closet. Yes, the dreaded purging of unworn, unloved, and unfashionable clothing. For two hours, I worked on my closet, moving the pants to the top rack and shirts to the bottom. That was a tip a closet designer had shared with me. Surprise, surprise! It did open up more space. I was amazed!
With two tall laundry baskets at my side, I removed everything that was too big or pre-breast cancer sized. Anything that had a small hole in it made its way to the laundry basket. If I hadn’t sewn it by now, it was never going to get fixed. Sweater dresses…gone. Business suits? See ya later! Everything older than four years? Hasta la vista, baby.
And then came the shoes…
That hurt. Real bad! An 11 on a scale of 10! Like many women, I have too many shoes. I wear lots of boots in the winter and sandals in the summer. I despise sneakers so I only have one pair for when I go for long walks with one of my three dogs or if I go walking with Mom and Tobi.
Two hours later, the clothes neatly folded in the baskets, shoes paired and on top, I took a step back to assess my work. Let’s be honest…I still have far too many clothes and shoes, but I plan to do another purge. I want to have a neat, tidy, and open looking closet with only clothes that I wear. That’s not unreasonable…it’s just a scary thought. Parting with clothing is an emotional process. After all, I liked each piece that I purchased, I spent hard earned money on it and now I’m discarding it??? Ouch. It’s almost like breaking off an old friendship.
Of course, it does help to know that the clothing is going to help someone else. In fact, the very next day, one of my BFFs took the clothes and HER friend went through it and took 90% of it! That was thrilling to me. My clothes found a new, happier home!
I’m still going to do another purge in a few weeks. And I’ve adopted a new rule: something new comes in, then something old must go out .
So while I’m not 100% there yet (by any stretch of the imagination), it’s a step in the right direction!