Cleanliness is next to godliness


Never before have we all had such luxury of time to accomplish a deep spring clean.

Though we have no control of what’s going on out there, we can take control of our own worlds while on lockdown. Global human survival depends again on cleanliness first. The time-honored ritual of washing before entering our temple, our home, is once again critical. Organization is preparing for cleaning.

Should self-pity for being on lockdown become overwhelming, one just needs to remember the valiant souls out working on the front line to appreciate the privilege of relative safety and to use our time wisely and joyfully.

I watched an amusing video on YouTube, which was trending with 46K views, about a young female "influencer." It was a huge eye-opener into just how much stuff a consummate consumer can acquire and the mammoth task needed in order to sort through it – before returning it to an easy-to-find system in her closet. It took five days. But what really struck me was her relationship with this hoard, including the 50 pairs of trainers, hundreds of T-shirts and on and on, and her apparent lack of personal connection to anything in particular in this collection, other than the treasured Chanel handbag which never leaves pride of place in her closet.

Wearability is clearly not the driving factor here.

I felt like I’d been watching a bountiful squirrel categorizing and displaying her stash of nuts. Nonetheless, it was a valiant attempt to reduce the chaos and now that the said “influencer’s” collection is well displayed and accessible, she’s happy and triumphant.

Seems to me that the experience and outcome of the sorting process depends entirely on one’s attitude in the first place. It can be a fun treasure hunt or just creating a new filing system which can only be tedious.

Now is not the time to be shopping for new trends. We’re in a perfect position to cold turkey from this addiction of consumerism, and clearing out our closets, houses and yards is part of the recovery program. Our local boutiques and second-hand shops will need our patronage once we’re back in circulation, unlike Amazon and Walmart. Also a lot of what we no longer want or need can be recycled, which Taoseños are already good at, and our landfill given a rest.

What do you have to wear that works?

Begin by pulling out all your favorite, most-cherished items. These can include old friends like that threadbare college T so many men I know still cherish, which means it’s a keeper!

Try them all on, do they still fit? Does that look still reflect who you see yourself as now, today and going forward? What feels like a second skin? Matches our personality? Being authentic brings confidence. Confidence is ultimately what makes us most attractive.

Sort the rest of your entire collection into three piles:

Yes – fits and looks good.

No – unused for whatever reason.

Maybe – for whether it can be revived, altered, mended or cleaned?

Then among your yes collection mix and match with those favorites.

It’s about the fit, not the label, whether it’s jeans or that unworn dress which hangs accusingly waiting for the day enough pounds have dropped to fit into. Is that inspiring or sabotaging your self-esteem?

A deep clean, combined with the freedom to slow down for once, will reveal what we truly value in our individual and collective worlds, both externally and internally.

For the stuff that needs dry cleaning, you can drop it off at Clean Taos, the nontoxic, state-of-the art cleaners. Visit cleantaos.com/wash-and-fold.

We’ll address the discarded pile later.


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