What Have You Been Putting Off?

I cleaned out my bedroom closet this morning. I’m not sure what got me started. But once I got going, I couldn’t stop. I literally got rid of half my stuff.

a clothes rack full of shirts neatly in a row

I can’t tell you how good I felt after clearing out all this clutter. With the recession, less is the new more.I completed the whole task in about an hour, using three criteria:

  1. Does it fit? I had clothes from a time when I was heavier—and thinner. I tossed both.
  2. Is it in style? I don’t buy clothes that are too trendy, but I still had stuff that I would be embarrassed to wear now. I swear, I had some clothes dating back to the Reagan administration.
  3. Is it in good repair? Some of my favorite sweaters were downright natty. A couple of my suits were worn or stretched out.

This was a good reminder that those tasks we keep putting off, don’t really take that long to accomplish. Getting started is the hard part.

Question: What have you been putting off that you just need to do? Extra credit: What should I do with all the clothes I need to toss: charity? consignment? eBay?
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  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com Kimmi

    Michael, nice post. 13 Thursdays, a plan I came up with years ago for my family. Basically it’s all about ‘simplifying.’

    Each member of my househould must bring me 13 objects every
    Wednesday, things such as their ‘toys,’ clothing etc… items which they no longer use, preferably their ‘wants’ not ‘needs’. No whining allowed. It is then separated into two piles, donations and trash, then donated or put out to trash Thursday morning.

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kimmi

    Michael, nice post. 13 Thursdays, a plan I came up with years ago for my family. Basically it’s all about ‘simplifying.’

    Each member of my househould must bring me 13 objects every
    Wednesday, things such as their ‘toys,’ clothing etc… items which they no longer use, preferably their ‘wants’ not ‘needs’. No whining allowed. It is then separated into two piles, donations and trash, then donated or put out to trash Thursday morning.

  • Nadine

    I now take all my clothes and those of my kids to the local women’s shelter. I get the tax write-off and women and children get clothes for free. Many times abused women leave home with their kids and just the clothes on their backs. Can you imagine having nothing at all and starting over? Remember the shelters. Thanks.

  • Nadine

    I now take all my clothes and those of my kids to the local women's shelter. I get the tax write-off and women and children get clothes for free. Many times abused women leave home with their kids and just the clothes on their backs. Can you imagine having nothing at all and starting over? Remember the shelters. Thanks.

  • Jake

    I once asked Salvation Army Thrift store what they did with the stuff that doesn’t sell. They said the useful items are shipped over seas to needy areas. So, that is one reason I donate there.

    I also donate to a shop called “Mission Thrift” that is run by a local church. Every one that works in the store is a volunteer from the church and the proceeds above the rent and utilities and insurance go to mission causes. The workers are all unpaid so the stuff can really be sold cheap. One time I invited a family on vacation to go to church with me. They said all they had with them were flip flops. So I took them to Mission Thrift and bought everyone in the family shoes for 50 cents a pair and we went to church.

    A store like that not only uses the money made from sales on kingdom causes, but also makes it easy for poor people to buy clothes. Children’s clothes go for .50-$1.00. Homeschooling moms get school books cheaply there, as well.

    My kids really like seeing their favorite clothes still walking around on someone else after they have outgrown them. (Me too). I once donated a shirt I had screen painted — a “one of a kind”. About a week later I saw it being worn by a homeless man. — That’s a category of a certain type of thrill all it’s own, but without a definition that I have ever heard —– except maybe the one mentioned in Mt. 25:40.

  • http://www.fabfav.carbonmade.com Jana

    I think you should sell the clothes on ebay and donate the money made to a local charity of your choice. I’ve noticed that the thrift shops are pretty pricy these days since “vintage” is in style. If you don’t have the time to do the ebay idea then I would look into finding a charity that supplies professional attire to men and women re-entering the workforce. If you do decide to donate to a thrift store I would choose a local ministry as they tend to struggle more often than others I saw one in Franklin called “the GEAR Foundation” they help the disabled find jobs and they have a thrift store! Blessings!

  • http://dietta.ru/ CoriEffob

    Просто восхитительно!

  • Jake

    I once asked Salvation Army Thrift store what they did with the stuff that doesn't sell. They said the useful items are shipped over seas to needy areas. So, that is one reason I donate there.

    I also donate to a shop called "Mission Thrift" that is run by a local church. Every one that works in the store is a volunteer from the church and the proceeds above the rent and utilities and insurance go to mission causes. The workers are all unpaid so the stuff can really be sold cheap. One time I invited a family on vacation to go to church with me. They said all they had with them were flip flops. So I took them to Mission Thrift and bought everyone in the family shoes for 50 cents a pair and we went to church.

    A store like that not only uses the money made from sales on kingdom causes, but also makes it easy for poor people to buy clothes. Children's clothes go for .50-$1.00. Homeschooling moms get school books cheaply there, as well.

    My kids really like seeing their favorite clothes still walking around on someone else after they have outgrown them. (Me too). I once donated a shirt I had screen painted — a "one of a kind". About a week later I saw it being worn by a homeless man. — That's a category of a certain type of thrill all it's own, but without a definition that I have ever heard —– except maybe the one mentioned in Mt. 25:40.

  • http://www.fabfav.carbonmade.com/ Jana

    I think you should sell the clothes on ebay and donate the money made to a local charity of your choice. I've noticed that the thrift shops are pretty pricy these days since "vintage" is in style. If you don't have the time to do the ebay idea then I would look into finding a charity that supplies professional attire to men and women re-entering the workforce. If you do decide to donate to a thrift store I would choose a local ministry as they tend to struggle more often than others I saw one in Franklin called "the GEAR Foundation" they help the disabled find jobs and they have a thrift store! Blessings!

  • http://dietta.ru/ CoriEffob

    Просто восхитительно!

  • http://www.lifebeyondsport.com Stephanie Zonars

    I agree with everyone who shared about Job Centers that help people who need appropriate clothes for interviews, jobs, etc. Also, if you’re looking to give away clothing for girls age 15-25, please consider Mercy Ministries (www.mercyministries.org) — some of the girls at Mercy come in right off the streets with only the clothes they’re wearing.

  • http://www.lifebeyondsport.com/ Stephanie Zonars

    I agree with everyone who shared about Job Centers that help people who need appropriate clothes for interviews, jobs, etc. Also, if you're looking to give away clothing for girls age 15-25, please consider Mercy Ministries (www.mercyministries.org) — some of the girls at Mercy come in right off the streets with only the clothes they're wearing.

  • http://randallbscott.com Randy

    I wish my wife would clean out her closet. She still has clothes from before we were married. A nice thing is that she can still fit them and we’ve been married 26 years!

  • http://randallbscott.com/ Randy

    I wish my wife would clean out her closet. She still has clothes from before we were married. A nice thing is that she can still fit them and we've been married 26 years!

  • http://na-dache.blogspot.com Matthew

    I’m willing to bet the casts offs from the closet of Thomas Nelson’s CEO could get another 10 years of good use on the back of some poor seminary student, for example. :-)

  • http://na-dache.blogspot.com/ Matthew

    I'm willing to bet the casts offs from the closet of Thomas Nelson's CEO could get another 10 years of good use on the back of some poor seminary student, for example. :-)

  • http://www.publishedauthors.net/robsargeant Rob Sargeant

    I just can’t give up my white polyester disco suit. I know it’s going to come back into style. I’m sure of it.

  • http://www.publishedauthors.net/robsargeant Rob Sargeant

    I just can't give up my white polyester disco suit. I know it's going to come back into style. I'm sure of it.

  • http://www.donnapartow.com Donna Partow

    I try to put the Law of Thermodynamics on my side whenever I can. (A body in motion tends to stay in motion.) The more I get done, the more energy is generated to tackle the next thing that must be done.

    Often the most exhausting thing of all is not what I get done, but what I leave undone. Those unfinished tasks haunt my quiet moments and drain the life from my soul. The ten pounds I want to lose or the disaster in the garage that I plan to organize some day. These things silently accuse and mentally exhaust me.

    Have you ever put something off for weeks, months or years, and it just bugged you. Then you finally did the stupid thing and it took you about 15 minutes. I’ve done that way too often. Then I’m left wondering: why did I put it off for so long? Why was I dreading that?

    Here’s an idea that works for me. I make a “Dread List” or “Bother List.” All the stuff I’ve been putting off because I dread doing it; all the things that bother me when I think about them.

    Then I start tackling them one by one. As I cross each one off the list, it generates energy to tackle another.

    Think I’m gonna take a walk around my house with my Blackberry in hand and make a Bother List for 2009. I’ve inspired myself :)

  • http://www.donnapartow.com/ Donna Partow

    I try to put the Law of Thermodynamics on my side whenever I can. (A body in motion tends to stay in motion.) The more I get done, the more energy is generated to tackle the next thing that must be done.

    Often the most exhausting thing of all is not what I get done, but what I leave undone. Those unfinished tasks haunt my quiet moments and drain the life from my soul. The ten pounds I want to lose or the disaster in the garage that I plan to organize some day. These things silently accuse and mentally exhaust me.

    Have you ever put something off for weeks, months or years, and it just bugged you. Then you finally did the stupid thing and it took you about 15 minutes. I've done that way too often. Then I'm left wondering: why did I put it off for so long? Why was I dreading that?

    Here's an idea that works for me. I make a "Dread List" or "Bother List." All the stuff I've been putting off because I dread doing it; all the things that bother me when I think about them.

    Then I start tackling them one by one. As I cross each one off the list, it generates energy to tackle another.

    Think I'm gonna take a walk around my house with my Blackberry in hand and make a Bother List for 2009. I've inspired myself :)

  • http://twitter.com/KristinBeck @KristinBeck

    We did this in our garage yesterday, and made $375 on Craigslist by selling things we didn't need. Granted, not much use for old clothes, but it works for most everything else.

  • http://twitter.com/KristinBeck @KristinBeck

    We did this in our garage yesterday, and made $375 on Craigslist by selling things we didn't need. Granted, not much use for old clothes, but it works for most everything else.