I love the character of an older home but I can’t say I’m a fan of the small closets.

As a result, closet culls are part of my routine — typically as the seasons change.

During my most recent clothes purge, I realized my criteria for decluttering was no longer effective and needed to be tightened.

Like many others, I was probably only wearing about 20% of my clothes on a regular basis.

The rest stayed there because they fell within my rather loose criteria of thinking I might wear that article of clothing “some day”.

Since “some day” rarely happened, the result was a closet stuffed with clothes I rarely wore.

While most of them were perfectly fine, the truth was I didn’t love all my clothes equally.

Consequently, I vowed to eliminate the clutter with new, more stringent filters that would ensure a closet of clothes for which I would feel the love.

Ruthlessly ignoring the “some day,” I added items to the donate pile if I hadn’t worn them within the past year.

The items I had been hanging on to because they were too good to donate ended up at a consignment store.

In addition to being quite therapeutic, the process also made life simpler. Because I really liked what was left in my closet, making choices suddenly became easier.

That got me thinking.

What if we applied more stringent filters to other aspects of our lives. Would we be more successful if we applied clear filters rather than trying to do it all?

For instant, when my husband first started selling kites online, he thought it was important to sell all kinds of kites to accommodate entry level users as well as those with more expertise.

He has since made a move to specialize in the larger traction kites that pull the user along in a buggy, surf board, snow board, or skis. That filter has contributed to him gaining more expertise in that specific area, resulting in increased sales.

Perhaps part of deciding one’s own specific filters is the result of asking ourselves what is essential — not only in terms of our clothes but in terms of our lives.

Just as our closets get cluttered so too do our lives. If we continually pursue more, without reducing or simplifying, our lives, careers, and businesses can get bogged down.

If we figure out what is essential and pursue only those, we can eliminate the rest thereby giving ourselves a strategy for eliminating things that are nonessential.

In doing that, we are also ensuring there is room in our lives for that which is more valuable.

Of course, it sounds simpler than it actually is, because it may mean eliminating good opportunities.

However, the discipline of staying focused and reducing distractions might be what separates successful individuals, organizations and businesses from those who are struggling to make sense of it all.

Posted on 11-18-12


Hi, Brenda.

Thanks for sharing.  I have found this to be the case myself.


•Posted by Anita Lynch  on  06/14/13  at  12:37 PM

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