Fall Tips for Closets and Hearts

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

  1. Write a closet-cleaning date on the calendar.
  2. Plan a reward for a season-ready, well-organized closet.
  3. Divide clothing into three piles:
  • Keep and enjoy.
  • Donate so that someone else can enjoy. (Keep receipts for tax purposes.)
  • I’m not sure.
  1. 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.
  2. If necessary, call an honest friend. Be brave.
  3. 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.

                                                                                                                         –Ephesians 4:29

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 . . .

                                                                                                                              –Colossians 3:12-14

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

Many readers have found this book amazingly helpful.

If you want God to change your heart, you’ll enjoy reading one article at a time written by 30 authors, including me.

Please click the book cover link below to read more.

Disclosure:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you decide to purchase the book via my link, I’ll receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) which will assist with blog costs.

   

Happy Fall, Y’all!

*All Bible verses are from the ESV, English Standard Version.

12 thoughts on “Fall Tips for Closets and Hearts

  1. Like you, I live in the South, where Summer has asked for a brief (I hope) extension. But I will soon take your advice on my closet contents. I’ll start now on the heart inventory. As always, your writing inspires and uplifts me!

  2. Glenda, thank you for faithfully reading and adding comments to enrich our community of readers. That heart inventory is a daily process for me.

  3. Loved your suggestion of trying on kindness, love, & patience like a new jacket! I long to get to the point where it is more like putting on my favorite jacket that is years old, but so comfortable!

    Thanks for the closet reminder; my clean out is already on my calendar!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Karen, I like mental pictures to help me learn concepts. I love the way you mentioned “putting on” that Biblical behavior until it feels comfortable! You go, girl, on that closet. I have one I need to clean soon!

  4. Your pictures are so beautiful and add those 1,000 words they are known for. Ive started eagerly anticipating your new postings because the way your express your sweet ideas in artfully written sentences!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thank you, Paula. I enjoy finding or taking pictures to fit the words. I’m thankful you enjoy reading because I enjoy writing and reading responses.

  5. Cleaning is not my favorite thing (whatever the season!), but it’s necessary. Love the way you compare cleaning our closets with cleaning our hearts. The scripture you take from Colossians is one of my favorites–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 . . . I’m still working on this! So glad that God recognizes our efforts and keeps encouraging us to “clean out that clutter, banish those negative thoughts, and eliminate those actions that don’t honor Him. Thanks for the inspiration, Jeannie.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Katherine, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I like that Scripture, too as it teaches us how to focus our mind and heart. Like you, I’m still working on asking God to clean my heart.

  6. I’ve found flipping my hangers around backwards and then switching them once I wear an outfit helps me easily recognize if I’m not wearing a certain item. Journaling does the same thing for my faith. If dates are missing, I know I’ve slacked off on my time with Jesus. Thanks for sharing. Great stuff!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Jonathan, thank you for sharing practical tips for organizing clothes and evaluating our time with God. Great suggestions!

  7. Jeannie, I LOVE the idea that a new season is a chance to examine our hearts, in addition to our closets! That’s a great reminder. “And above all these, put on love….” The ‘garment’ we should put on every single day!! I pray that I’ll be reminded of this from your post, and not leave it hanging in my cluttered closet!!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Julie, I like your analogy of leaving a “garment” like love in our cluttered closet. We certainly want to put on those godly qualities daily. Thank you for commenting.

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