I first wrote this post in 2009. Each year, I redo the post, to teach my students that I’m not perfect, and to encourage them that no matter where you are in the writing process, it’s ok to revisit former writings and change them to meet current needs, change of audience, or revise to improve the text. Even as I typed this current version, I made changes I thought would improve the writing and prove my point.

My closet was a mess! I couldn’t find my new Asics volleyball shoes I bought the month before because there was so much junk on the floor of the full-wall storage center in my bedroom. As I sifted through old shopping bags, papers from school, and shoe boxes, I finally came to the orange box with the wanted shoes. I felt relieved, like a runner just finishing her first Sunburst Marathon, but also sick, sweaty, and exhausted that it had taken me so long to complete the task. I needed to clean!

 
My closet is white and long, but not deep — only about 2-1/2 feet. It has three wide shelves to the left, each packed with folded, sorted, and stacked categories of clothing, picture boxes, and “stuff.” The rest of the closet is the long metal bar for hanging clothes, a hamper, and plenty of floor space where I stash everything I don’t feel like putting away correctly.

 
One day after school had ended and there were no other pressing engagements, I decided it would be cleaning day! Monday was perfect — the day before trash day in our neighborhood. I started by tearing everything out of the closet (floor first, then shelves) and organizing items into piles: recycle, trash, and keep. As I got rid of the recycle and trash piles and took one full Hefty bag each out to the garage, I felt so much better — so much cleaner. I was like the marathon runner after returning home, showering, and dressing up for dinner.

 
After reorganizing the “keep” items into neat stacks on the shelves and floor, and hanging fresh clothes on the bar, I felt an energy that I thought I could transfer magically to other people in the house. I could share my organizing skills with my girls! Well, that’s another story…