I finally tackled my bedroom closet. This closet:
Day 1 of cleaning the closet, the bedroom was a disaster. Stuff was piled everywhere - the bed, the ironing board, the floor, even on the dresser I had just excavated last week. I had to clear a path from the bed to the bathroom before I turned in for the night so I wouldn't hurt myself on my two-o'clock-in-the-morning potty run. All the dust in the air had me sneezing and blowing my nose. But here is what I learned...
Cleaning the inside sometimes makes the outside even messier than before. To get rid of the mess inside the closet, I had to move it outside the closet. If I'm afraid to drag the mess out and sort through it, if I just keep smushing it deeper into the closet, that does NOT make the closet clean. It just means there will be even more junk to wade through when the closet finally hits its max capacity and vomits its contents onto the bedroom floor.
If I want a clean closet, I must be willing to trip over and dig through and be disgusted with a bunch of mess, right out here in the open. Not only do I have to live in the middle of the mess, but others around me have to deal with it, too. One of the kids walked into my room during the clean-the-closet disaster, and stopped in stunned amazement. "Wow, Mom! Really?!" Yes, really. It is not fun subjecting other people to your mess, and it is scary not knowing how they will respond.
Talking about cleaning the closet is not the same thing as actually cleaning the closet. It is possible for me to talk like a Neatie and look like a Neatie, to be a card-holding member of the Neatie Club and to truly believe I am a Neatie, and yet to still have a closet that looks like a rat's nest. Even worse, I will probably tell you all sorts of tricks for getting your junky closet in order, all the while neglecting my own. Blech!
Now, read those last three paragraphs again, substituting the word "heart" for "closet."
Today is Day 17 of the challenge. I am wondering what else God has to teach me in the weeks ahead.