Wardrobe and Peace: The Closet Challenge

Do you think you could go an entire month with only 7 items of clothing? That’s what friend and colleague, Sarah Kroger, and I plan to do this September in what we are calling The Closet Challenge.

A few weeks ago, Sarah took to Twitter with a quick rant about how she starred at her closet stuffed full of clothes but still felt she had nothing to wear. This hit home for me as well; so often I find myself thinking I need a new outfit for an upcoming talk/event yet I own more than enough to choose from.

The spirit of materialism is a constant nagging that tries to make us believe we need more (fill in the blank) in order to be happy.  I don’t need more clothes. I need more peace. And sadly, I can’t find that at the mall or on Amazon (I’ve looked already).

On the surface The Closet Challenge is about challenging us to be creative with our 7 items and learn to live without all the extra stuff we rarely use anyway. To be grateful for what we have and learn to live with less.

However, the Closet Challenge has taken on a deeper meaning for me. From a more spiritual perspective, The Closet Challenge, is a type of fast from consumerism and materialism. Fasting when coupled with prayer and acts of mercy is considered “therapy for the soul”.

John Paul II says about fasting:

Consumerism, instead of satisfying needs, constantly creates new ones, often generating excessive activism. Everything seems necessary and urgent and one risks not even finding the time to be alone with oneself for a while . . . Penitential fasting is obviously something very different from a therapeutic diet, but in its own way it can be considered therapy for the soul. In fact practiced as a sign of conversion, it helps one in the interior effort of listening to God.

We are not trying to break the internet or create undo hype out of this fast/challenge. We are prayerfully searching for peace not only in our wardrobes but in our hearts. By eliminating the abundance of our clothing options we hope to have more time to prayerfully reflect on how God has blessed us and be more grateful for all of the blessings in our life.

And we are inviting YOU to join us!  Here are the rules for #TheClosetChallenge:

The Closet Challenge

  • Pick out 7 separate items of clothing.

  • FYI: Undergarments, pajamas, shoes, coats and accessories do not count.

  •  30 day challenge from September 1-30. But don’t worry, you can join in at anytime 🙂

  • Use #TheClosetChallenge on social media.

  • Motto and prayer for the Challenge: “Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be and becoming that person” – St. Therese of Lisieux.

Over the next month, I will post updates on #TheClosetChallenge and invite you to leave comments doing the same. Hopefully, come October, we will gain a new perspective that many people in the world already have – learning to live with less and be even more grateful for it.

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