Goosebumps covered my ten-year-old arms and legs as I skipped rocks on the river beside our grandparents’ cabin. How I wished for my soft, gray corduroy pants on that cool, breezy autumn day!
Warm apparel is comforting when fall approaches. Curling up on a cool night with a good book and a soft blanket is better than ever when I wear my black-and-white checked flannel pajamas. Do you have a favorite sweater, pair of leggings, or warm coat that’s like an old friend?
Each September I remove summer clothes from my closet to make more room for turtlenecks, jackets, and warm slacks. (Not this week; it’s still hot where I live!) As I prepare for the new season, I assess my fall wardrobe. The try-it-on-to-see-if-I-still-need-it mound grows on my bed. A glance in the mirror confirms my suspicion that some outfits have outlived their usefulness. I mean, when did I wear that last? Will I wear it again?
The goal is to keep only seasonally-appropriate, well-fitting clothes. The rule? Toss those articles you haven’t worn in two years. Or if you’re feeling ruthless, one year. Are you ready to tackle your closet? Come on, it’s not THAT hard, right? Well maybe, but not impossible. Try the strategies below.
Closet Purging Strategies
- Write a closet-cleaning date on the calendar.
- Plan a reward for a season-ready, well-organized closet.
- Divide clothing into three piles:
- Keep and enjoy.
- Donate so that someone else can enjoy. (Keep receipts for tax purposes.)
- I’m not sure.
- Tackle the “not sure” pile and ask, “Will I wear this soon? When? Where?” Mirrors are honest. Try on each item and take a whirl.
- If necessary, call an honest friend. Be brave.
- Arrange outfits on the bed. Make a list of new pieces to purchase that might add pizazz to your wardrobe. A new scarf, a denim jacket, or a tailored white shirt might multiply possibilities.
Would you share your strategies in the comment section? We all need help.
Now for more important changes . . .
Just as cool weather signals wardrobe adjustments, a new season can be a good time to examine our hearts. Are there habits or attitudes we should abandon like a moth-eaten sweater? Are there Christ-like characteristics we should adopt or “put on?” The Bible can help us decide.
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
–Colossians 3:8 ESV*
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another . . . And above all these put on love . . .
God’s Word teaches us to “put on” godly conduct. I’ll be honest. When I try to improve myself, success is short-lived. I try but always fall short. Have you found that to be true in your life?
The good news is when God does the work, it’s from the heart outward. Once we’ve accepted Jesus as Savior, God promises to conform us to His image. When He changes us, these qualities dwell in our hearts and shine from our lives.
Prayer and reading Scripture will remind us of the work God is doing in our hearts. Maybe it would help to imagine slipping on a new fall jacket labeled “kindness,” or “love” or “patience” before we start each day.
Okay, it’s time to get into that closet and make those bold decisions as you prepare for cooler weather. When you finish, if you’d like to read further about heart changes, I suggest the following:
Colossians, Chapter 3
Ephesians, Chapter 4
Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character
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Happy Fall, Y’all!
*All Bible verses are from the ESV, English Standard Version.