Learning How to Eliminate and Concentrate

Eliminate & Concentrate

I walked into my bedroom with only one thought in mind: How fast can I get under the covers and get on with sleep? But before I could dive in, I’d have to find the covers. That meant clearing the disaster left behind earlier that day. Yes, I confess, I’m guilty of leaving behind a pile-up of clothing strewn across my bed, usually when I am running late for a appointment and changed my clothes more than a half dozen times in search of the right outfit.

Does the right outfit even exist?

On some mornings, it’s about my soul struggling through insecurity and approval addiction. By God’s grace, that heart matter is becoming less and less as I look in the mirror and think long on and hard about Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #preapproved message.  On the average day, the pile-up is a practical matter, as I search for something in which I won’t be too hot, too cold, or to0 itchy in.

Even though I’ve been the type of savvy shopper who takes time to consider the cost, quality, longevity, and style-factor in my clothing purchases, my closet has been notoriously overstuffed, as I’ve hung onto pieces that no longer fit or feel fashion-worthy while continuing to search for “just the right” item. While I’ve been good about purging at times, focusing on donating the excess, that didn’t seem to help my morning clothing pile up on the bed. That was until I finally realized I was missing a key element in the process of eliminating — I wasn’t concentrating on what I was keeping.

We can’t just eliminate the excess, we need to concentrate on what we keep!

And I’m not talking only about clothes, my friends. This idea of eliminating and concentrating applies to how we look at our spaces in our home, our financial resources, our time, and even our relationships.

We need to put on a new set of glasses, with the lens of Biblical truth that highlights an eternal perspective, as we look for what’s working, what’s not, and what’s the solution for fixing the problem.

Eliminating and concentrating isn’t a new idea, but it’s a necessary one . .  beyond the wardrobe.

The first time I was introduce to this idea of eliminating and concentrating was in reading Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman, written by Anne Ortlund. She offers a detailed explanation of how she organized her clothing in order to simplify her schedule and make more time in her day. Instead of having an overstuffed closet, she had enough outfits to meet her needs. I confess, I looked at her list, and thought this will never work for me. Our lives are so totally different, I couldn’t ever work with her wardrobe. And that my friends, was my key hang-up for the last SEVEN years on the whole eliminate/concentrate principle. Seven years too long.


clothing purge

It may not be a snowy day for you, but how making this your next rainy day at home project?

I’m not sure what triggered my ah-ha moment this past winter, but I finally realized this fact:

I absolutely did not have to keep any clothing or object that I did not like, need, or want . . . especially if IT was a time-waster and life-distraction.

I didn’t want to end another single day with facing a pile-up of clothes on my bed!  So with a renewed passion, I devoted one wintery Saturday towards tackling my clothes, with these goals in mind:

1.  eliminate everything that was unnecessary and ill-fitting

2.  concentrate on what I liked and needed

3.  organize what was left behind in a way that it could be easily retrieved and put away

In the process of the great purge, I discovered which go-to fabrics and styles were my favs and a distinct reflection of me. That meant that I didn’t have to bust my budget on shopping for a new wardrobe, but rather I could concentrate on using what I had and while being wiser in my future purchases. 

So what was the result of eliminating and concentrating?

In terms of my wardrobe, what goes on and stays on,  90% of the time! Plus, I feel good and comfortable in what I am wearing, and I am saving time in getting dressed and in packing for trips, too. My new rule is that if a piece of clothing ends up in a quick-change bed pile up more than twice, it’s time to send it out to the Goodwill and make a mental note to not buy or inherit that type of clothing again.

Eliminating and concentrating is contagious, but in a good way, friends.

This habit isn’t just good for the closet! Eliminating is a worthy mindset for looking at all of life. Think about how these eliminate and concentrate questions can be applied to not only your wardrobe but also your home, cupboards, closets, desks, and even your schedule!

  1. Do I really need to buy this?
  2. Do I have a place to put this?
  3. Do I really need to say yes to this?
  4. Do I need to make this commitment to one more thing?
  5. Do I need to invest my time this way?

It’s amazing how only a few questions, asked at the right time and with an honest heart, could make such a difference. I pray you’ll take these eliminate and concentrate questions and be inspired to use them to motivate you towards simplifying your life and gaining more time for enjoying the people and opportunities God has prepared for you!

If you’d like help eliminating and concentrating in your life, feel free to contact me to set up a life coaching consultation appointment!

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  1. Loved what you wrote here! So true and so practical, thank you! 🙂 I’m also curious how we can apply this eliminate/concentrate principle to relationships (well, “eliminate” sounds rather cruel with regard to relationships but boundaries is necessary). Lately I’ve been faced with just this question, it seems it’s taking a lot out of me to maintain relationships, and yet many of them don’t feel deep enough. Curious if you have any insight to share in the realm of relationships!

    • Emily, I love your question about how to eliminate and concentrate in our relationships. I do think it starts with boundaries but may not be as a ut and dry as we’d like. If you give me some time, I’ll put together a post on my thoughts to share here soon!

      • Thank you Elisa! That would be wonderful, if you can share your thoughts on a post some time, I shall look forward to it for sure! I think some of the aspects about relationships I’ve been noticing lately is, as moms we really need connection, but at the same time we don’t have a lot of time to have many connections but need a few solid ones (it also depends on personality too I guess!). 🙂

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