Tony Gates Consulting

Management Consulting

Thought Leadership

Social Media

Problem Solution

Rearranging the Sweater Shelf

Rearranging the Sweater Shelf

Well, it’s that time again. You’re hearing everyone talk about spring cleaning. “I need to do this,” “I need to do that” statements abound.

For me, the heralding of springtime typically means two things: clean out the garage, and clean out, refold, and rearrange the shelf of sweaters in my closet. I live in Northern California below the snow line. That means that it gets chilly in the winter, with a number of days at or below freezing, but no snow. My need for sweaters is definitely not what it was in frequently-below-zero Omaha, Nebraska, my home before moving to the Sacramento area.

My sweater shelf is just above the area where my suits hang. Those who know me know that I’m a lover of suits, and you’ll seldom on a workday see me without one on. It’s all about dressing your brand. (Hey, a topic for a future post!) On that shelf are several sweaters, thick and thin, mostly blacks and whites with a few beiges and grays mixed in. On the rightmost section on the shelf, I have folded the few pairs of jeans (and a pair of cargo pants) I own. There are also some “special” t-shirts and polos there – mostly my coveted “Cheer Dad” t-shirt and Pleasant Grove Jr Eagles themed shirts.

I have a system… My thicker, and thus less-worn sweaters are on the left in the harder-to-reach section (it lines up behind the always-opened closet door requiring me to close it to access them). The more moderately-thick sweaters and long-sleeved turtlenecks, mock turtles, and zip-ups are in the easy-to reach middle section, then the jeans.

So, there’s a method to the madness.

The purpose of the annual straightening is to get everything back on track and in its rightful place. It’s to throw away the old and make hard decisions on whether or not to keep the things I hadn’t used. The hustle and bustle of daily living, as it does with most things, causes disorder. That disorder begets more disorder, and, before you know it, it’s all a catch-as-catch-can mess. I end up not knowing where particular items are because they get lost in the mess. One other advantage of straightening the shelf: finding sweaters I forgot I had!

We can apply this same thought process to life and living. I run into people all the time stuck in a messy, chaos-filled, disorganized shelf of a life. What’s the solution? Clean that shelf! Organize it, put sense and a purpose into it. Know what goes where. Throw or give away the old, things you’re not using, or that don’t fit anymore. You’ll feel better, be happier, and will be able to attack life with a renewed sense of purpose.

Clean that shelf…

That’s the point!

– Tony

Leave a reply