I have a confession: I’m addicted to clothing. It sounds rather strange but as I look around our bedroom one of the things that strikes me is the sheer volume of clothing that I have acquired over the years. Addiction probably isn’t the right term…maybe an unwillingness to throw anything out. Sadly this is something that both my wife and I struggle with and our rather overrun room (and rest of the house really) is evidence against us. But there is hope!

One of the things that has kept us from tackling this very large project is the fact that it is a very large project. It’s such a large project that the thought of all the hours and work that it is going to take cripples us. However I’ve come to a point in my life that I need to un-clutter our home. I need to move forward, however slowly, and make a dent in this rather large project. Today was the first day.

I knew going into this project that I would need to do small, baby, steps. I also knew that I would need to accomplish my goal first thing when I get up or else it is likely to not happen. Since my wardrobe was the closest thing at hand, and something that had been on my mind a lot recently, I decided to start there. The goal is to have a manageable wardrobe and eliminate a large portion of the clothing that I really don’t need.

First up: Polo shirts. Now you may be thinking, “Wait, why start with a specific type of shirt?” Because I had thirty (30) just polo shirts. That’s right, over the years I’ve collected enough shirts to have one for every day of a month without doing laundry. Really, I don’t need more than one a day for work or going out (that’s kind of my staple look), and a couple long sleeved for the winter. I put two rules in place to help make things a little more cut-n-dried: 1) If it has a stain, it goes, and 2) if it doesn’t fit, it goes.

Just following those two rules I eliminated most of my shirts. It’s amazing how many of those articles of clothing were horribly stained because of quick eating habits, kids, or laundry failures. So with the majority fo the shirts in the donate pile I had to go through the rest and see what still fit.

After trying on what was left a few more ended up in the discard pile as well. Now came the hard part. I had thirteen (13) shirts left but my goal was to only have a total of ten (10). What to do? I could have just fudged on my goal and called it good; after all I had successfully gotten rid of the majority of the collection right? Knowing myself I probably would have felt a little guilty about such a decision. No, I had set a specific goal, and I needed to meet that goal. So a few more had to go. One of the long sleeved I had kept was too large for me so that went. Another was a duplicate color, but different brand, so I tried both on, and picked the one that felt better. The final one was a patterned shirt that wasn’t bad, but when I looked at the rest of the pile most everything else was a solid color, so it hit the pile as well.

From thirty shirts to ten. It was done…almost. To make sure the clothes really disappeared I took them to the living room and set them in my armchair. Then when I left for school I packed them up, and stopped by the local Savers on my way. The nice thing about Savers is that you can really find some good bargains there. I have a couple pairs of jeans (which I’ll be going through later in this process) from Old Navy that I got for about $3 each. The other nice thing is that when you bring in a donation they give you a coupon for $3 off a $10 or more purchase. It’s really a win-win.

When we start to think about having a focused life we need to examine the things around us to see if there is anything getting in the way. For me, my wardrobe is proving to be a hinderance. I spend too much time being frustrated by the condition of the house to really enjoy being there. I think that is why I escape to my hobbies so much; it distracts me from the mess around me. Take some time and examine your own life. What is standing in the way of focusing your life of Christ in every aspect of your life?