Have you ever spent an afternoon organizing your closet?
It is thought provoking to be sure.
That favorite shirt and the memories it brings about. That painted smock and the child who presented it with such joy. Each great idea, each technique can be matched with an outfit or a pair of shoes. We all know what we were wearing on days of significance.
Sometimes it is time to let go of those old togs. My daughter says if you didn't wear it in a year, it is not worth keeping. Hmm. That may be true.
Soon I will look at a lecture hall filled with early career educators that are getting ready to fill their own closets with memories.
Using this metaphor, let’s think about the types of closets we might build:
1. The sparse closet: One shirt, one pair of shoes. The memories in the space are lonely, not eager to engage in connection of any kind. They will be put back the same way they were taken out. Nothing will change.
2. The sloppy closet: Too many shirts. Too many pants. Casual clothes mixed in with the good. Some folded, some shoved in. Can there be too much overlap? Is there a problem with boundaries here? Where is the professional clothing? Can you make a distinction? Maybe time to separate the clothes.
3. The super organized closet: Clothes are relegated to labeled bins. No wiggle room. No chance for the mix of textures or fabrics. The memories here will need to be specific to the bin. Ho hum. Too accessible? Too many boundaries?
4. The old moldy closet: The moths fly out of here with a vengeance. There hasn’t been a new shirt in here for over 25 years. No new memories to be made. Dusty. Moldy.
5. The up-to-date closet: This one has reliable clothing mixed in with new modern fashion. It is always providing appropriate comfort for the day ahead. The memories here will be progressive. They will ebb and flow just as fashion does. Some things will never be chosen because of their silliness.
Certainly, there are companies that will come in and organize for you. They advertise putting things in order. Sometimes they will put things where you can’t reach or it is put into an area you really don’t want it to be.
The closet we choose to build will give us the most gratifying memories. They will allow for individuality and personal twists.
So what does your closet say about you? What memories are presented?
And if it doesn’t give you what you would like, get in there and make some changes.
Clean it out.
Thanks for listening.