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I am almost a week into my Simplify your Closet challenge and I am getting a ton of feedback. I honestly have been stunned by how much interest there is in this! I’ve gotten several questions–and a few objections–about how and why I am doing this. I wanted to stop and answer the most common question I’ve received: Why did I start with my closet? Why not the kitchen? When am I going to do challenges for the kids’ toys or the living room?

I started with the closet for a very simple but important reason: I have to simplify my own life and tackle the chaos monster inside of me before I can help my family do the same. For me it is a lot like putting on your oxygen mask on an airplane. I have to take care of myself before I can help someone else.

I’ve done a whole lot of decluttering and organizing challenges over the years. I was an excellent Flybaby. I have learned a lot from those systems, but they never fully took hold. Why? Because even though my sink was shiny, my bed was made and my laces were tied, my closet was a mess. My things were in a pile. I’d wake up in the morning, the time of day when I’m most likely to feel like climbing back under the blankets and hiding from the day, and walk into a closet that was disorganized and full of clothes I simply didn’t like. I couldn’t find the things I did like. I’d find one piece, or a other, but something else wouldn’t fit, or it would be out of style, or it would be uncomfortable. I’d have plans to do five minutes of prayer and ten minutes of exercise and stretching every morning, but I’d never make it to those, because I was spending too much time digging through my closet, frustrated, trying to find something to wear for the day. By the time I went downstairs, I’m already discouraged. It is hard to think clearly in the morning when you start the day–every day–staring into a big chaotic mess.

Simplifying my closet offers me the hope that my day starts on a positive note. I will find clothing I know I like. There’s just something about wearing clothes you love that improves your mood. Because I have gotten rid of more than 50% of my clothing, it will be easier to find things that work well together. I will have the time and mental energy to do things like pray and do some light exercising. The chaos monster will still be there, waiting…but I will have at least one area of peace in the morning. I can then step out and face my family’s chaos having had that moment of peace.

I can and will tackle the kitchen, the kids’ toys, my office, the garage and so much more. But first, I need to find my peace. I can do so much more for my family if I stop and take care of my own chaos first.

How’s it going for you so far?

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