This weekend Cory & I tackled a problem that’s been ever-growing in our home. An overflowing closet composed of a pile of clothing with no place to go. His parents donated an old dresser for the cause, and we set about reclaiming our closet.
I was shocked, when I started sifting, at how many items I had that were simply useless to me. Pants I had bought almost a decade ago that no longer fit. Shirts that had so many holes in them they were completely useless. Clothing that I hated, and had always hated, and had worn on occasion out of a feeling of obligation or laundry-day desperation. Gifts that had never fit, but had been kept anyway.
We bagged everything up for Good Will that was still in wear-able condition. The rest was folded and went into its new home in the dresser. The closet is much emptier now, but everything fits on the shelves. I can easily access what remains, and I know that I will use it all. We could consolidate and relocate items from other places in the house into the space that the clothes had previously occupied. Sheets, which had been stored in three separate places, are now all organized in a wire rack that had been impossible to access before.
I couldn’t help but think there was a comparison in all this literal baggage to the figurative baggage of the heart and mind. First, we needed an appropriate place to put the baggage. Then, we had to sort through it all and decide what was worth keeping, and what to let go. Finally, we were able to direct other energies to better uses once the baggage was cleared. That dresser was the key component that sparked the change and made a long-term solution possible. It made me wonder, is part of what makes letting go of things so hard is that sometimes we can’t find a good place to put what we intend to keep?
What’s the emotional/psychological equivalent for the dresser?