Welcome to my hall closet. Five shelves each four feet wide at least. (almost 5) It’s somewhat shallow but very efficient. I love it. We keep all kinds of stuff in that closet. Let me think…
- Toilet paper
- Paper Towels
- Cleaning supplies
- First aid stuff
- Spare Razors
- Spare Toothbrushes
- Perm Rods
- Hair clippers
- Home repair stuff like nails, screws, drywall patch stuff and tools, touch up paint, etc.
- Shoes. The bottom two shelves hold family shoes.
As you can imagine, the closet holds a lot. And even then, it’s never full to capacity. I like that. I hate packed shelves or closets. I like a place for the eye to rest.
Last night, I noticed that the freshly washed and folded towels were tossed on the floor of the closet on top of the smelly shoes. Now I don’t know about you, but I like my towels fresh and CLEAN smelling. I don’t like to dry my face with a towel that smells like stinky feet. I glanced at the shelves and they looked packed. That was odd. They’re never packed. I didn’t let myself get worked up about it. I was whipped from trying to remove extraneous totes and stuff from the bookshelf.
I went in there this morning and again, it looked packed. Then I REALLY looked. It was deceiving. My “Packed” closet was just disorderly. I originally wasn’t sure I could make everything fit again but now I just laughed at myself. What seemed to be an impossible thing took me 5 minutes.
I cleared one shelf by moving the shoes down. Somehow they’d spread to three shelves scattered hither and thither. I dusted off the shelf and moved the towels to their correct shelf. That was easy enough. Then I put the other things in proper order. Toilet paper, Q-tips, razors, First aid, and the like all ended up on the right shelf. The cleaning supplies and home repair were put on another shelf and I shoved some things to the side.
I didn’t make the closet perfect. If I was going to do a perfect job, I would have sorted shoes and tossed those that are too small or rarely worn. I would have set each pair perfectly side by side and my personal sense of asthetics would have been appeased. I knew I probably didn’t have time for that so I chose to ignore the incompleteness of it all. I would have cleared the top shelf, probably tossed half of it, put a few things away that don’t even belong in that closet and basically been in heaven. I didn’t. I have two “perfect” shelves and 3 or 4 (if you count the floor) “acceptable” shelves. It’s what I have to do at this stage of my life. I can worry about perfect later. Maybe even later today or tomorrow. I can do one little thing until it’s “right”.
The interesting thing is that this got me thinking. Don’t we do this often with life in general? Our lives are like my closet. We have lots of room to put things but sometimes we let them scatter about so that there isn’t room for anything else. Some things are important essentials (toilet paper, tooth brushes, and first aid) while other things are just nice (constant fresh towels rather than using the same one for a week) while others are pure frivolity (perm rods etc).
How we spend time is similar. Some things are essential (eating, sleeping, child rearing, studying the Word), some are nice (reading books, fellowship, extra curricular activities), and others are pure frivolity (hobbies, some leisure time etc). If we let ourselves scatter everything throughout our lives with no rhyme or reason to our madness. In doing so, we lose so much time that other important (and often essential) things are left to chance. If they can get shoved on the shelf, we’ll do it but often we see a full closet and think, “I don’t have time for that.”
Throughout the years that I’ve been married, I’ve discovered that time truly does seem limitless when I’m diligent with how I spend it. If I budget it wisely, it seems like anytime I need it, I have it. If I just spend as I go, living “paycheck to paycheck” with my time, I tend to run out before “payday”.
The interesting paradox is that I also do not handle a rigid time budget. Just as with my cashflow, I don’t function well when I have to account for every penny/second. I need the freedom that comes with a general routine but I need to stick to my routines.
I guess I need to remember that just as closets get out of order from time to time so does the closet of my life. I have to reorganize and clean it up periodically to make room for everything I want to do.