What creating a few empty hangers did for me (inspiration)

I always hesitate posting topics like this whenever they hit a little too close to home. However I think this may be important for some of you, so I’ll risk it and jump off the deep end… 🙂

Truncated post: click to read more below

It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive or house you live in. What your marital status is, or how many kids you do or don’t have. Or even what kind of job you work at. We all have stuff we have to work through to make life tick.

My own ‘stuff’ at the moment is a little over the top for what is comfortably manageable. And the result of that is generally chaos in some given way. Don’t you agree?

There’s no need to ‘worry about me’, I’m just attempting to prove I’m like anyone else.

So here’s what happens to me.

Some days I’m running in so many directions I forget which one is most important. So I grasp. I do whatever I can whenever I can and generally fall short because I’m preoccupied with what’s next. So everything I tackle is about half baked.

At times I’ll take a short hiatus from all things that ail me, but if I do that for too long, the walls can come tumbling down pretty quick. Running away never seems to solve much.

So what’s one to do?

What do you think it means when every message delivered in church appears to be pointing directly at you? I either feel incredibly needy or unbelievably lucky. 🙂 Today’s message was about working through the bad which can ultimately free you. Which really means, walking towards the pain in order to be pain free.

Hmmm… truer words have never been spoken. I know well what it’s like to hit bottom wondering if you’ll ever come up for air again. But I also know, every time that’s happened, I’ve always come out even better than before. The trick has been to deal with the issue head on.

Here’s another take. Life is built in a series of valleys. Each valley holds a valuable lesson. And with each lesson learned, it enables us to climb a little higher than where we were.

The hard part is being stuck in a difficult valley. But it’s all workable. You just have to find the root of the problem, pick a path and work through it.

So today after church and a short chat with my pastor (thank-you!!),  I tuned into one valley that was bothering me. Once I got home I visited dusty corners and closets and ended up filling 7 garbage bags thrift store bound. 🙂

It was just a small move. But know what happened? I started to climb. I could have run for the covers and moped about all things that ailed me but being proactive made things feel more manageable and the one valley just that much more shallow.

Here’s one little trick I find myself doing when things are out of control….  try cleaning out one drawer. Seriously. Don’t plan it, just do it. Dinner will hold for 5 more minutes.  And next time your stress level hits a 10, go look at that drawer and allow it to be a reminder you CAN manage your current valley in the smallest of steps.

Being proactive is really, really hard when your spirit is in a difficult place. But the sooner you start your hike up, the sooner you’ll be enjoying the view from on top.

I have lots of valleys and big decisions ahead of me and aim to step out of my comfort zone many times in order to work through them. I’m just glad I’m not doing them alone.

How about you? Care to go for a walk?

Lots more inspiration posts can be found HERE.

Here are a couple of other stories on how I jumped some major hurdles:

All about me: a story of Hope.

Summer Changes.

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Categories: Inspiration

68 thoughts on “What creating a few empty hangers did for me (inspiration)

  1. Well said! I know winter gets a lot of people down and I’m certainly one of them. I find sifting through the clutter that is my house and even just organizing a small fraction of it, makes me feel better on these cold, dreary days. And the thought of donating “stuff” that someone else can use, makes me feel warm and happy!


  2. thats a great post! i look at those emotional times as rocks and boulders. sometimes the rocks are small and easy to sidestep and on really good days you can kick them out of the way. other days , its like boulders, they stand strong and it takes more energy to get around them or to make’m move!! it takes effort but there isnt any boulder that you cant get over… and remember… there is always faith- even in the valleys. 🙂

    • That’s a darned good analogy.
      I truly believe I didn’t give myself anything in this life that I could not cope with and that a person experiences life to learn. I have grown spiritually over the years but there are just some things – massive boulders lol- that seem to expand as I try to go round them.
      I guess some things are meant to be dealt with rather than sidestepped!

  3. It is all about control. When you feel over-whelmed, what you’re really feeling is that you have no control over what’s happening in your life at the time. That’s why your strategy of just picking one drawer and organizing it… or purging a closet… is so effective and satisfying: It reminds you that there ARE things you can control, you CAN make an impact *somewhere,* and it gives your brain a chance to do something else for awhile besides worry. It’s mind-clearing, which is always good when you are preparing to tackle a bigger problem head-on.

    • So thaaaaats why I feel so good when I’ve sorted the drawers out. lol. Makes complete sense. In a world where we have less and less control of exterior or our enviromental factors, we take control where we can – a female cleans the closet, a guy cleans his shed!
      What a strange species we are. lol.

  4. So true, Donna. I’m not really walking through any valley at the moment, but I feel like I’m trying to juggle too many balls and because of that, I can’t catch any of them. It feels like chaos to me – and I don’t like chaos, even of the good kind.

    One of the quickest ways to make things seem more manageable to me is to do some house cleaning, which my house desperately needs right now. Sometimes I try to tackle the disaster, in between every other thing I have to do, but I end up distracted by something else that needs doing, so I’ve found that the most productive way of doing it is to go through each room with a laundry basket in hand and start putting things in the basket that are contributing to the general mess in the house. It’s amazing how quickly the rooms look more presentable again and I can then carry the basket around, putting things where they belong.

    Thanks for sharing what you gleaned at church today! It’s such a good thing to be in God’s house!

    Angie @ Knick of Time

  5. I think I’ve read about 10 posts today that seem to be meant for me! lol
    I find when my life is cluttered with muck, if I can get my house in order, my life seems to follow suit. I’ve been working on that for the last two days. You are so right – even if we start with one little thing, it matters. That one thing will lead to other bigger things, and eventually it’ll all get done and life will feel right again. Whether it’s literally cleaning our houses or figuratively doing so, one step at a time makes it more manageable for sure.

    Good post today. I’ve missed being able to keep up with you………..but cleaning up my house right now will be letting me come back to blogging full time very soon! Thanks for the motivation today.

  6. I tend to run and bury my head under the covers, your way sounds better…and FAITH is my word for the year. So as I’m climbing,stumbling, and grasping for air, I’m glad there are people like you out there…people that care even if I don’t really even know them. (you) Thanks again, Blessings to you

  7. My husband and I did kinda the same thing this morning. We both cleaned out our closets and removed several HUGE black garbage bags and 3 boxes of clothes, shoes, etc. I also ended up going though some other things (papers, etc) filling up the trash can twice. Normally, I stay on top of this stuff but this past year I just let it go. I HATE how it weighs on me and makes me feel like the whole house is dirty. Now to keep going! Several drawers & cabinets are calling my name.

  8. Right now we are clawing our way out of a deep hole so I feel like you are talking directly to me. It’s funny because I had just finished cleaning out a kitchen cabinet (and felt really proud) and the first post I read when I sat down afterwards was this one. Wow. Thanks for reminding me that we’re not the only ones who have crap to deal with. Love your post,

    • We certainly receive messages from the strangest of outlets don’t we and just when we need them.
      I too have been falling deeper and deeper and just admitting something on a blog post has kind of lifted a weight.
      I shall refrain from cleaning more closets lol and am going to make a list of all the things I would like to achieve and stick a pin in that list and start there!

      I do hope you are seeing daylight finally. You’ll come out the other end stronger in some way I guarantee it.

  9. I hear what you’re saying.
    I think we all do get into spots like this and takes a different vantage point to help us see things more clearly. Looking at ordinary things in our life with spiritual eyes…helps us to deal with the reality of it all. Puts it all into focus. WE CAN RUN FROM IT…AND HAVE IT OVERTAKE US. Or we can face it head on and get past it.

    a good word my friend.

    have a great week! Pat

  10. Our lives are like a cruise missile (crude analogy yes but it was relayed to me by a Military man) When the missile is fired and it heads for its target it never takes a straight line, it slowly veers to the left and before it gets to far off track its guidance system with new information assesses its direction is wrong, adjusts itself and gets back on line. A forceful wind that was not predicted then gusts and violently pushes it to the far right, once again the guidance system assesses the problem with its new information, adjusts itself and gets back on line. Throughout its entire flight path it veers left, then right, goes up, then down but continually the guidance gets it back on line with the new information that it gains from each variance. The amazing thing is with all this going on during its flight it manages to use all that information it has gained along the way and it arrives at its destination.

    • That is a great analogy David! And Donna, I know of what you speak, and it is true, just a small task in the right direction can have a profound effect. Keep at it!

  11. I was previously a read-every-post follower of yours, and then when my disease seemed to take over everything around me, I pruned my subscriptions.

    Then earlier this week, I re-subb’ed in my reader. And what do you know? I missed church today (again, thank you, disease!), but what you’ve written here is just like that sermon that is pointed straight.at.me.

    Thank you so much for sharing your “stuff.” In doing so, you helped me incredibly.

  12. Winter is a tough time for me as well! So I am definitely walking with you too!! Right now I am looking at a pile of blankets…they have sat here for three weeks. Today I will deal with that pile…it has done nothing but bring me down. It is a small beginning but a huge one too!! I hear ya girl!

  13. hoping you are up out of that valley soon…I know exactly what you mean…with my computer hard drive crashing last week and losing everything, I’m climbing up out of my valley too…clearing all the junk piled on the dining room table always helps me! hoping your week ahead is better!

  14. Thanks for posting this – I clean when I’m in the valley too. At least I get something done – even if it’s not the most-important one. And I try to be patient with myself … you’re posts are always inspiring and you’ve already climbed more mountains than I. You just keep rocking!

  15. I, too, have found that creating order wherever I can in my life, helps me cope better with the bigger things that are bothering me and need to be dealt with. The clutter in my home becomes clutter in my head. I work better with lists…To Do List, To Make List, Grocery List, Goals, I even have a list of things that are bothering me – categorized by “things within my control” and “things that I cannot control”.

    I hope that you soon find peace and resolution.

  16. Wonderful post Donna! Very uplifting and encouraging. One day at a time, one drawer, valley or whatever at a time.

    Love and hugs to you and your son ~ FlowerLady

  17. Thanks Donna, for this beautifully written post. I immediately thought of my Mom while reading this. I’m going this weekend to hopefully help her organize some areas in her home so she can feel like she has control over something in her life. Blessings to you!

  18. I havent read here long but I have no doubt you’ll walk through this valley and be at the peak again soon. But, life’s like that, peaks and valleys.
    I know this post has made many feel, not so alone, with whatever their issues are at this time.
    I thank you very much for writing what I needed to read.
    I remember hearing many times – Run to the Roar. Its the old snaggle tooth lion who roars and thus the one to be least concerned about:)
    I wish you Joy and Peace and all good things.

  19. wow that one hit a nerve lol. I try to hide from what is really ailing me and I try to convince myself that I’m wrong and I’m just ‘down’ at the moment, however it’s always there just nipping me on the backside!
    You see I stopped working at 19 when I had twins. Those twins are now 21 almost and I’m no longer needed as that stay at home mum – I’m redundant!
    Problem is the thought of going out to work scares the pants off me! I’m fortunate that I don’t need to work financially as hubby does quite well BUT I feel useless. Yes, I garden, keep the house straight, cook the meals and all that other necessary work but it’s not enough any more – there I said it!
    But where to start? I have no experience at anything other than horses (and those jobs are the same as everything at the moment).
    I want to build some closets for my bedroom but I’m reluctant to ‘buy’ materials if I can’t do the job! There’s so many things I would love to do but I hide behind the fence of our land and hardly ever go out!

    While it’s good to know there are others who feel the exact same thing as myself, I’m also gutted for those people as I know how it feels.
    Thank you for posting this post, it certainly made me think and it’s good to hear how you are you beginning to work through your ‘ailments’ to find some peace within your own soul. I so hope you get there!

    Hmmmmm, maybe I should go see the vicar! Been a fair few years!

    Take care

  20. i’m sooo with you…just clearing some of the clutter around us helps to clear the clutter in our minds and spirits! I find that writing down my to do list at the end of the evening helps me put stuff aside as well. who knew that list making could be so therapeutic! well done, my friend – here’s to more peaks than valleys in 2012!


  21. You are definitely not alone! I have many “half baked” things in my life right now. But, when I tackle something small like a drawer or cabinet, wow, it feels so good. And yes, I go back and admire my work dozens of times 🙂 Good luck-sounds like many of us are in the same boat…

  22. It is hard sometimes to clear out the cobwebs because then we see a clear picture of what is really staring us in the face. And, we listen to well-meaning friends sometimes that “have our backs” but they don’t always know the real depths of our “pit” like we do. Good for you, Donna. I know that the older I get the more likely I am to face something head on and not sweep it under the rug. Good for you- you are learning some really important life lessons- xo Diana

  23. Great post Donna. Thanks for sharing. Winter seems to do that to a lot of us. Maybe that’s why I’ve chosen to live in the desert of Arizona because there is sunshine more than not and more warmth than cold. I’m about to partake in some valleys & while I’m afraid I have faith that everything will work out. Hugs.

  24. Oh my goodness Donna it is good to know that I am not the only one going through valleys right now ~ Thank you for posting this because honestly there are times that it is nice to know that bloggers like you who seem to have boundless energy and time to create a gazillion things actually are real people too 🙂
    My daughter is 12 weeks pregnant and has been in the hospital 4 times already ~ She also has been staying with us during the day so I can take care of her because she cannot take care of herself at this point ~ My website and blog are lacking big time and I feel overwhelmed ~ My life is her right now and I have another daughter who is pregnant (she is doing great!)~
    I would not be making it through all of this without Jesus! ~ Sometimes He is holding our hand but right now He is carrying us ~

    Lot of hugs Donna!

  25. Thanks Donna! Amazing post. This past weekend is the first weekend in a long time that I did not hide or run from life. My escape is taking a nap, which really becomes a sleep since I never take a 20 minute cat nap. I kept myself so busy and satisfied this weekend that I didn’t even think of escaping and because of that came out of the weekend feeling fulfilled.


  26. Thank you Donna….I absolutely needed to hear this today. My husband and I are moving (from Michigan to Missouri) after just moving here in July. I’m also going
    through menopause which isn’t helping matters. I’ve found the best therapy is to pack, pack, and pack! I was dreading it…but as I go through stuff and sort it and get rid of it and pack what’s left, I feel a sense of accomplishment and not so much dread. I love your blog…I’ve always loved old vintage well worn things and enjoy your take on them…keep hanging in there…an old friend of mine always said “faith isn’t faith until it’s all you’re holding on to”….I think I finally get what she means. God bless you! Janet

  27. Along with following your blog on fab decorating ideas I have joined Flylady in hopes of decluttering and conquering CHAOS (can’t have anyone over syndrome). It may be corny but if I can conquer each baby step at time 2012 can have more peaks than valleys and my home will look great too. Thank you for all you do, it is very much appreciated Donna. Have a great day!

  28. Donna, thanks for sharing.
    I have lots of stuff I need to sort through. The physical stuff, I’m ready to tackle. (Emotional, is on vacation.) On new year’s day I asked my husband to help and I grabbed a box of garbage bags and boxes. I started moving – quickly – but he was off getting more supplies, etc. I got frustrated…you see, that stuff I was purging and sorting was really draining. And, I knew I would get overwhelmed and my progress would drop off quickly – and turn into blue funk. (I know myself.)

    So, I asked him to do 2 really specific things. First, take whatever I handed him and make it go away (into a box, bag, thrown down the hall towards the door, whatever.) Second, don’t leave my side.

    I just needed him there so I could quickly say, “This is junk, right? Say yes.” And, he said yes, I felt confirmed, and it went in the trash. I know it’s strange, but I just needed someone to stand there with me and confirm that I was on the right track. Some things I couldn’t bear to throw away myself…but I could hand them to him and ask him to make it go away. And, he did.

    We filled a whole dumpster.
    I am a dumpster lighter – emotionally and in terms of space.

    There are many dumpsters left…
    But, we’ll do it!

  29. Well said. I’m trying to organize myself this year and right now it is a slow go but I will work my way through everything. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. Very good post Donna. Sometimes I think cleaning out the chaos of a drawer or closet helps clean the chaos out of our minds and souls. Don’t you just feel calmer once you’ve done it? Easier to think things through. I find that the older I get the less ‘stuff’ I want around me – it just makes me feel chaotic to look at it all. Although there are so many things I just love and want to keep. But I’m at the point where if something new comes in, something old goes to someone else who will love it awhile.

  31. Donna,
    What a great post. I helped my mother do just this sort of thing with her attic and garage a few months back. She was reluctant at first and as the sorting started everything was a “I’m not sure, let’s put it aside.” I was at first frustated with handling things twice (a pet peeve of mine)but remained calm as we moved through boxes and boxes of items.

    As the day moved on I realized these “things” were memories for her and it was hard for her to make decision after decision about what to do with her memories.

    In the end the experience was a “breath of fresh air” for her and “soul searching” for me. Someday I will be her age and I will have created an attic and garage full of “memories” and I hope I have someone who is patient and understanding to help me sort my “memories.”

  32. Oh yes, this post really hit home. It’s amazing how much we all really have in common. For me it’s always baby steps and one step at a time that ends up getting the job done. I’m off to tackle one piece of piled up paperwork at a time. Thanks!!

  33. I’ve always found that when my life circumstances are out of my control that I need to make sure my home is neat and even more organized than it usually is. There is something soothing about being in your own space without clutter — it is calming to both the mind and the body. Finally, as I age I’ve come to realize that life is a series of teaching events — I work through one with my Lord’s help, have a brief respite, then along comes another challenge. When I look back to where I was it amazes me the change that those challenges have made inside me.

  34. Okay I felt like you were talking directly to me. I’ll go home and clean our a section of closet in the guest room where things landed when we moved that I didn’t or wasn’t ready to deal with. In fact I’ll some of it tonight.
    I always thought I was the only one but Thank Goodness for blogs because I now know I’m normal. ;o)

  35. This couldn’t have come at a better time! I get to feeling overwhelmed so much of the time but thanks to posts like this and comments that echo my own situation, I keep plugging away! Thanks to you Donna and all your wonderful “followers”.

  36. We’ve all been there. Seems like winter makes it all a little more intense. I keep in mind i wouldn’t know the good days/weeks/months unless I experience a few bad ones.
    We all like visiting here, because you keep it so real. 🙂

  37. Small steps, taken with regularity, move us further along, don’t they? At this stage, I’m happy if I do two things each day to move me forward. Handling Dave’s estate, etc. is a full time job.

  38. Wow does this sound like my life right now!! Feels like I’m running everywhere and getting nothing done. You couldn’t have put this post out there at a better time. You just put it all in perspective for me. So I am going to take the next few minutes and write a list of what I feel needs to get done and come up with a game plan. Luv your posts and inspiration!! You go girl!!!

  39. Ugh, I feel like I’m always in a valley! And, it is amzing to me how having my house picked up/not really clean, but everything in its place makes me feel so much better.

  40. I know exactly what you mean, I felt smothered by stuff, even things I love. And I have
    done a drawer and one cabinet a day. Ridding my self of things that I don’t need, cleaning organizing.
    And as I have organized each drawer, my thoughts become more organized. As I straighten a closet,
    my thoughts and attitude are straightened. With each trash bag out the door full of ‘extra’ stuff, out the
    door goes that pitiful me attitude and I walk back in with a different feel in my heart and spirit. Lighter,
    baggage removed, a feeling of accomplishment. I decided to not watch tv for one week and see how much
    I could accomplish. it has been STAGGERING! Wow. I’m glad you took the time
    to post a weighty post. You may be surprised at the response, but I think we all struggle with this.
    I want to look back at my life at 80 and say I lived a happy life, and my drawers were clean! Hahahahaha

  41. You never cease to amazing me donna. you perspective is inspiring. and for what it’s worth, i see you standing on top of one of the biggest mountains some day. some day really soon. and i’ll be their cheering you on … ‘go donna, it’s your birthday…. we’re gonna party like it’s your birthday.’

    thank you for this post and for sharing. 🙂

  42. You know – I was just wondering if “purging” myself and home of things I will never use again might help me get back on track. Take it to GW or Salvation Army or my true love, Restore. I have been in blog limbo for a while. I’m still getting ideas, working on projects but just can’t quite pull it together. But, I believe now, that I have to declutter to be able to think and create again. And – yep, even though my attic is scary as heck, I’ll be starting there first thing tomorrow (with a little help from my youngest son) And you have just given me the motivation and inspiration I need. And also an idea for a new post…. Thanks Donna!

  43. It is insanely comforting for me to see so many other people struggling with the same issues as me! I know that sounds weird, but on the flip side isn’t it good to know we are never alone in our struggles. Seeing/hearing about how others get through their own tough times is help for someone who is searching for it. You have reminded me how important God is in these times and how much I need to practice having faith in that someone who is big than me! Here’s to everyones valleys rising up to more level ground. Little did I know that clicking on your crate toilet paper holder blog would lead me to just what I needed to read today! Thanks to all who posted and to you Donna for getting the ball rolling. I’m off to purge my own clutter! – Michelle

  44. Great post, Donna! When I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I clean & purge. Even though it’s a physical “cleaning out,” it also seems to be ridding my mind & soul of the unwanted and unnecessary. Thanks for sharing this.

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