“Ugh! I have nothing to wear!” This has been said multiple times by yours truly when I open my closet doors and stare into my I-have-a-shopping-addiction closet. Now, if my closet screams that I have a shopping addiction, why would I say that I have nothing to wear? It’s not that I don’t have anything to wear; I just don’t see what I want to wear. I tend to dress with my mood.
In November, I had the chance to volunteer at a local food pantry with my youth group. When I arrived, Twila, the wonderful lady in charge, asked us to split up and work with some of the more experienced workers. She asked if anyone wanted to help hand out bags so people could put their clothes in. Of course, I volunteered. For the two hours the food pantry was open, I, along with Kailee and Madison, two girls who I had just met, organized all of the clothes that had been donated and helped the ladies find what they were looking for.
Many ladies had no idea what size they were. So many ladies asked us if we had any coats or jackets because the cooler weather is to roll in any day now, and we had to tell most of them no. There were teenaged girls in this group too. Teenaged girls just like you and me.
When the crowd died down, I looked down at what I was wearing; my American Eagle jeans, a nice shirt and even nicer cowboy boots that I had been wanting for almost a year. I then looked at what they were wearing; dirty old t-shirts that needed to be cleaned and jeans that were two inches too short. These ladies literally had nothing to wear and I was complaining about the same thing, but I had too many things to wear.
The next Saturday, I opened my closet door and began to get rid of everything I knew I would not wear or no longer fit. I told myself that I would give away anything that I knew I did not need or want because I knew that there was someone in my own town that needed it.
I want to share some verses with you lovely ladies and I hope that you take it to heart.
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Deuteronomy 15:7-8
These verses are saying that we are to give to the poor. Not just people out the country who are hungry and in need, but the ones in our own city! We are to meet their needs!
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine own hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbor, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. Proverbs 3:27-28
These verses state that we to give to the needy when we can, not when we want too. If you are like me and have more clothes than you need and you have people in your town that need them, don’t ignore the need! If you can meet the need, then meet the need! Let God use you for something greater than yourself.
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. Mark
This verse is telling us that, if we give now, we will be rewarded later. Now, I am not telling you this so that you will give just to receive. We are to give because God tells us to give. I am stating this verse for encouragement. If we give in the name of the Lord, we will be rewarded by Him.
I do believe I have saved the most appropriate verse for last. The moment I read it I knew I had to save it for now.
He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Luke 3:11
Did you catch that, ladies? He said that the person who has two coats to give to someone who has none. Wow! To think that I was just talking about all those ladies who kept asking for coats! This verse gives me a boost of encouragement!
I asked Sarah if I could do a post on giving clothes because it has been laid on my heart and I wanted to share it with everyone I could, but I wasn’t going to just tell you all about these people and leave you with no way of knowing how to help! So, I have designed a master plan on how to clean out your closet to help you clean out your closet (which is great for everyone to do at least twice a year) and donate as much as possible to the needy in your community.
Steps to Cleaning Out Your Closet
1) Set aside one day to clean out your closet. Let nothing distract you!
2) Take everything out of your closet so that you won’t try to give up half way through.
3) Put in an upbeat CD or a movie to keep you motivated! A good motivational movie for this is Confessions of a Shopaholic! Just don’t do what she did and put everything in Space Bags. If you do, I will find you J
Now make 3 piles: yes, no and maybe. Here are the items that should go in each pile…
~flatters your body
~ is your current style
~what you wear a lot
~ fits properly
~does nothing for your body
~ isn’t your current style
~ hardly ever wear
~ too big or too small
~Whatever you are not sure of (we will touch more on it later)
When you are making your piles, use your flash judgment. When you pull an item from your pile say yes, no or maybe, whichever pops into your head first. If you go ‘eeehhh’ then quickly ask yourself when was the last time you wore it. If you can’t remember, donate it.
Put your no pile out of sight so that you are not tempted to grab something and put it back in your closet.
Once you have gone through your closet once, go through your yes and maybe pile again! This time when you go through them, ask yourself these questions…
1) Does this flatter my body?
2) Did I feel beautiful the last time I wore it?
3) Can I remember the last time I wore it?
4) Does this go with my current style?
5) Did I know this item was still in my closet?
If you answered no to any of these, put it in the no pile!
It might be best to try on all of your yes and maybe piles to see if they fit properly and flatter you.
A Few Exceptions:
~I keep saying that if you haven’t worn it in awhile to donate it, but it is okay to keep seasonal clothes as long as you know you are going to wear them when the appropriate season rolls in. For example, I have not worn my brown sweater in ten months, but I know that I will wear it when the weather gets cooler, so it is still in my closet.
~ It is also okay to keep one pair of grungy (or as I like to call them ‘get-dirty’) jeans for when you are going to get dirty or sweaty.
Last Minute Tips:
~Do not fall for the ‘I might need it later’ bit because you will most likely not need it later.
~If you are still unsure about a maybe, ask your mom, friend or sibling. If you are unsure of a maybe because of modesty, ask you dad or grandpa or just go ahead and donate it. It’s better safe than sorry.
~ Remember the people out there who have nothing. While I was cleaning my closet, I had them on my mind. I thought of how much they needed and how much I had. It made my closet cleaning experience much more enjoyable and successful! I encourage each one of you to go and volunteer at a homeless shelter or somewhere where you can see people who have next to nothing. This will help you get a better understanding.
~Print out this article and refer to it while you are cleaning out your closet! That’s why it’s here!
There are only two things in your closet that should be thrown away.
1) Anything with missing elastic or is loosing it’s elastic
2) Anything with major non-fixable rips (unless your holy jeans are your get-dirty jeans!)
Follow all of these steps with not just your clothes, but your pajamas, shoes, accessories, anything and everything you can wear! (I do not suggest you donate your undergarments though. They should be thrown away too… that’s just gross!) If you follow these steps and remember the verses above, I am sure that your closet will look better and you will feel better knowing that you had helped someone in need. I’m sure they will feel better too, especially if you have impeccable taste J