My Closets ~ A Reflection of Me

by Kimba on May 11, 2009

in Sanctuary at Home

They’re clean and pretty on the outside.

But inside, they’re a horrifying jumbled mess.

How very like me.

If you don’t look past the surface, you may think that I have it all together. If we meet somewhere, chances are good that I will have a smile on my face and matching shoes on my feet…unless we’re meeting in the preschool drop off line. Then avert your eyes, please.

My life appears neat and tidy. My house sometimes appears neat and tidy. Especially if I know you’re coming over…because then I’ll have time to hide the mess in the closets, under the couch and in the dryer. But please, don’t open the closets. I live in perpetual fear that a friend would have a reason to open my pantry door.

I do a descent job of maintaining appearances. Even when I was suffering with post-partum depression after the birth of my second son, most people had no idea. I would put on a good face on Sunday morning and disguise the fact that I couldn’t make the even simplest of decisions. At home, I was angry, confused and practically non-functioning, but no one knew. I was afraid to share my “messy closet” for fear that I would be judged. Afraid to get treatment for fear it meant that I wasn’t trusting God.

But I finally did start sharing (and I guess if there’s anyone I forgot to tell, they know it now!). Maybe a few people thought less of me. But they were far outweighed by the number of women who said with relief, “Thank God! I’m not the only one!”

And “Thank God, I do.” I thank God that he loves me even when my life (and my closets) are a mess. I’m so thankful that he will reach his mighty hand right down into the middle of my mess and give me something to hold onto. No matter how deep I sink or how often I fall.

That’s my gift to you today…a glimpse into my messy closets just to let you know that you are not alone. Consider it my own public service. But please, don’t open the dryer.

I’m sharing this post over at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesday’s Unwrapped. Because this is a part of my everyday.

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1 emily May 12, 2009 at 4:25 am

ahhhh…it brings me great joy to see that pantry πŸ™‚ More, I am thankful to know more about you and your everyday. The messy, the lovely and the in between.

2 Anonymous May 12, 2009 at 4:25 am

I don’t have a blog and this is only the second time in a year that I have left a comment. I also had post partum after my firstborn. I tell everyone now but it still isn’t easy. Thank you so much for sharing.

3 Mylestones May 12, 2009 at 4:58 am

Thanks for sharing so authentically what real life (and real closets!) look like for you. We’re all right there with you–in our (sometimes) hidden messiness!

4 Pam May 12, 2009 at 5:03 am

What a beautiful post. Sometimes we forget that it’s ok to be human, imperfections and all. You’re right – God does love us – in spite of us. I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact that if God loves and accepts me, imperfections and all – then I should do the same for myself. And for others. I think we would all start rooting FOR each other if we could grasp the concept you shared today. Thanks.

5 Amanda @ Serenity Now May 12, 2009 at 5:03 am

Thank you for sharing your story (and your closets!). It is SO nice as a mom to know that there are other moms out there who are *real* and have messy closets too. πŸ™‚ It’s hard work trying to keep up with everyone else. πŸ˜‰

6 Frugal Jen May 12, 2009 at 5:12 am

Thank you for being “real”. I too have messy closets!

7 southerninspiration May 12, 2009 at 5:31 am

What are you trying to do, get us all to show our messy closets to make you feel normal????LOL…….wow,girl, you are so transparent!
On a serious note, thanks for taking the effort to encourage, to be solid, to be real…….we need to do that for one another…especially in blogland where it’s easy to show just the good, the pretty and the crafty!! πŸ™‚
Have a good day.

8 Living With Lindsay May 12, 2009 at 5:35 am

I’m sorry to hear you went through PPD, but at the same time, I think it’s so helpful for everyone else going through it to read something like this. Thanks for sharing that part of your life with us!

9 The Brannon Family May 12, 2009 at 5:39 am

Thanks for keepin’ it real. Every closet in my house is the same disorganized mess. I thought that was what they were for! Who knew they could be organized too?
Really, thank you. I was a young mother with three kids under four years old, I know exactly what you are talking about.

10 Kimm at Reinvented May 12, 2009 at 5:42 am

Great post, Kimba. Thanks for sharing what’s behind those pristine white doors. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with messes, inside me and my closets.

11 Tracy May 12, 2009 at 5:43 am

Hi Kimba,
I’ve been visiting for awhile but not sure I’ve ever commented. What a great post…thanks for being “real.” I also worry too much about keeping up appearances, and only occassionally open up to share the reality. Like you, I thank God He loves me…messy closets and all.

I strive to be more like a friend of mine in this regard. Despite her image of always looking well-put-together, she is in reality so laid back and never stresses over such things. She welcomes people lovingly into her home anytime and it’s typically always cluttered. She has a little sign in her entry…

“If you came to see us…you’re welcome anytime. If you came to see the house…please make an appointment.”

Thanks again for sharing more about you…the real you. ; )


12 Lisa May 12, 2009 at 5:55 am

My pantry looks exactly like that!!! You’ve just given me an awesome idea for my Tuesdays Unwrapped. Thank you, Kimba!


13 Songbirdtiff May 12, 2009 at 5:56 am

A few weeks ago a new family started coming to my church and the wife decided to come to our women’s retreat, even though she didn’t know anyone. I was seriously impressed! I offered to pick her up so that we could get to know each other on the trip up and she wouldn’t be thrust in with a bunch of strangers. When I got to her house, I was met at the door by a GIANT dog. (friendly, but giant!) Walking a little farther, I saw a stack of laundry on the dining table, a little farther I found that a very upset relative was seated at her kitchen table. A few steps more and there it was…the dogs had gotten into the garbage and it was everywhere! Not just trash but rotisserie chicken and coffee grounds. Not wanting to be completely useless, I asked for a broom and helped her clean it up. This is a woman I had met TWO days before. Together we got the kitchen clean, her hubby came home to deal with the relative, and we managed to get ourselves on the road. I was impressed, I mean seriously impressed that she didn’t ask me to wait in the car because of the state of her house. Many women would. She basically said, come on in, this is my life. πŸ™‚ The house obviously wasn’t like this everyday, but that woman had a BAD day and NEEDED the retreat we were headed to! She was real, and I like that so much about her.

14 Christy May 12, 2009 at 5:56 am

I’ve never commented on your blog before but read every day. Great post! I loved what the Nester said in her ebook – “embrace your imperfections”! It only serves to make us more thankful for all God has done for us when we see our own flaws clearly. And boy, I have soooo much to be thankful for!

15 Dawn May 12, 2009 at 6:00 am

oh, my messy closets… thank you for these words of comfort today πŸ™‚ to put into words how i feel about my life… or at least what others think of my life. when somone tells me what a wonderful mom i am… or compliments my home… or puts me up on that unreachable pedestal, i want to shout- you don’t know me! my life… is messy and people see only what they want to see…

16 Kat May 12, 2009 at 6:00 am

I sooooo relate to this. One, I drive my husband nuts in that, yes, our house is neat and tidy, but start looking in our closets, drawers, and the like, and Oh, MY! And two, I often think about what people would think if they saw the “real” me. My real heart issues. My real attitude issues. Thank goodness Jesus sees it, and loves me anyway and is there to help me overcome myself! πŸ™‚

17 ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie May 12, 2009 at 6:07 am

That what closets are for! The same with drawers, cupboards, pantries, basements, attics, garages, dryers, purses, etc. You’re doing it right! πŸ™‚


18 Moi May 12, 2009 at 6:24 am

my closets wish they were clean…but like you they are hardly ever in order while on the outside everything might look fine and dandy!
thanks for sharing!

19 ByHISgoodGrace May 12, 2009 at 6:28 am

…love your honesty and willingness to share, and the humility to post a picture of a messy closet!

20 Michelle@Fromhousetohome May 12, 2009 at 6:29 am

“Real life” is right. Loved this post. It is the same way over here. I dread people opening closets or going into the basement. I keep telling myself that perfection would be boring!

21 Wendy @ The Shabby Nest May 12, 2009 at 6:38 am

Thank you for this post Kimba. I have post partum after all of my children, but my first was definitely the worst, because I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t know why I felt so hideous after I had received the gift that I had been wishing for for so long. The other three times were only easier because I knew what I was going through. I hid it in public as well. I now wish I had shared with others. Somehow knowing we are not alone makes everything so much easier.

22 Rona's Home Page May 12, 2009 at 6:48 am

This is definitely how our linen and storage closet look.
I’ll try and get to them one day.

23 Mrs. Dunbar May 12, 2009 at 6:55 am

Kimba, I love how you’re always so real. Totally appreciate it.
Now, I’m off to clean some closets.

24 jenjen May 12, 2009 at 7:00 am

Oh Kimba,
You are so cute! Thanks so much for making me feel better. My closets are ALWAYS a disaster. I try to clean them, but within a few weeks they go back to being a mess. Sometimes I get so discouraged by how perfect and organized everyone seems here. You just put a huge smile on my face!


25 Stacey @ The Blessed Nest May 12, 2009 at 7:04 am

Thanks for sharing the "real" part of life! I also am guilty of saying "I'm fine!" when that's not always so! Praise God that He's always there, loving us!!! And thanks for this encouraging & lovely post! πŸ™‚

26 Janet May 12, 2009 at 7:19 am

Thank you!

27 Blanca May 12, 2009 at 7:20 am

Love this post! I know there are many of us with closets just like yours.


28 Sara May 12, 2009 at 7:21 am

Thanks for bringing this up. It is something I think about a lot. I was very young when I was married, and everyone else seemed to have it “together.” I of course had those natural feelings of “how do they do that. What’s wrong with me.” Over the years, as I have matured and become more relient on God I have realized that everyone has “messy closets.” So, now when people come over I don’t completely pick up or clean. There is something of “real life” always available for people to see. I don’t people to feel like i have it all together and they don’t. I’m more open now with basic life issues (of course there are still private things!) in the hopes that someone else will feel that they too are not alone. No one should feel alone, because all of our problems can be shared by each other and carried by the Lord. Thanks so much!

29 twingirlsmom May 12, 2009 at 7:23 am

It’s called perfectionism, not to be confused with OCD. My take on it is that OCD people are perfect for their own peace of mind; perfectionists have to be perfect for OTHERS. And I am an expert–I am one myself! πŸ™‚ I also had PPD and no one was the wiser and I had it BAD for 2 years. It’s funny because someone mentioned recently that my house is immaculately decorated with everything perfectly in the right place but they had not seen my closets, pantry or laundry room! I’m working on it…

30 Wanda May 12, 2009 at 7:32 am

I really can relate! Thank you for sharing your messy pantry…ours is identical! Thank you for your honesty! Blessings to you!

31 Holly May 12, 2009 at 7:36 am

Oh my! What a powerful post and perfect comparison. It’s so good to not feel alone or the only one with messy closets–the ones in our homes and our hearts.

Thanks for sharing openly and honestly.

32 marty39 May 12, 2009 at 7:40 am

Doesn’t everyone have at least one closet like that? lol Hugs, Marty

33 Amanda May 12, 2009 at 7:48 am

so glad you “came out of the closet” so to speak- I too have that exact same problem! in fact I had to do a double take on your pantry because it looked exactly like mine. I did finally buy a buch of baskets and hide all the clutter inside the baskets. And Praise God He still loves us no matter what our closet looks like. Thanks for sharing!

34 Amanda May 12, 2009 at 8:40 am

your post today totally stirred me- I just wrote one and linked it to yours. Thanks for the inspiration and “being real”

35 Amy @ Designing a Life I Love May 12, 2009 at 8:40 am

You have NO IDEA how much I enjoy seeing the “less than perfect” side of you. It makes me so happy to know that I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE who throws stuff in the washer (I really do this!) and throw all dishes in the dishwasher RIGHT BEFORE company comes over. I love this post. It truly makes me feel like we’re getting to know the REAL you better!

Thank you so much!!

36 Alicia May 12, 2009 at 9:18 am

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this post! I spend (waste!) so much time wondering how “everyone” else has it all together when I can’t even walk across my kitchen floor with getting a Cheerio stuck to my foot! Your honesty reminds me that none of us are perfect – and it is okay.

37 Joye @ The Joyeful Journey May 12, 2009 at 9:37 am

You are beautiful in your messyness. Just beautiful. Thank you so much for being so honest and transparent! This is a powerful post!!!

38 Richella May 12, 2009 at 9:42 am

Way to go, girl. How good of you to share this secret. It’s so easy for us to feel unloved when we have places that aren’t what we’d like for them to be. We’re good at looking good, aren’t we? But sometimes it’s because we’ve just closed the doors and won’t let anyone see into the hidden spaces.

If I ever came to your house, I’d be busy admiring what a beautiful, wonderful home you have. And if I looked into your pantry, then I’d know that I’d found a woman I could REALLY relate to–not just on the surface level, but on a deeper level as well. Truth is, we’re all a little uncomfortable with people who appear perfect, don’t you think? I’m thrilled to know that you don’t have everything completely together–and I’m thankful that you could share that with the world. Makes you even more lovable and admirable!

39 melissa May 12, 2009 at 9:42 am

Kimba~thank you for “unwrapping” and sharing to make us feel better about our own messy closets, whatever form they may be in. How is it that seeing someone else’s messes can just lift a little burden from your heart that you’re not alone. I love you for this post πŸ™‚

40 sara May 12, 2009 at 10:55 am

Thank you so much for this. I’m working on cleaning out our game closet today. I have been so embarrassed when a babysitter comes over and tries to get a game out and all this stuff falls out at her when she opens the door! Thanks for keeping it real! We women need that in each other! πŸ™‚

41 Falling Around May 12, 2009 at 11:08 am

Oh, how true. Like you, I am very good at making the outside look good even when I’m a mess on the inside. Why do we find it so difficult to just be REAL with one another?

I’m starting a monthly blog carnival called Monday Makeovers which begins May 25th. You could give your pantry a makeover! πŸ™‚

42 Denise @ A Room With A View May 12, 2009 at 11:26 am

My husband accuses the pile of shoes in my closet of partying too loud on a daily basis. I soooo hear you on this one.

43 jeana May 12, 2009 at 11:40 am

Thanks for sharing… I needed that today πŸ™‚

44 Sarah Mae May 12, 2009 at 11:48 am

Kimba, I just love you! Thank you for letting us seen inside your closet…


45 Wendy May 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm

I love posts like this…so real and open and willing to be vulnerable so we all understand we are in this together. I’m coming back soon.
~ Wendy

46 Diane@A Picture is Worth.... May 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Hi Kimba,
I don’t feel so inadequate now. My closets don’t look any better than yours. My drawers however have been cleaned, but are on their way to becoming a mess again. I’m gonna have to check out Chatting at the Sky.

47 Kathleen Grace May 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm

What a great post. I think we all try to keep our blogs upbeat and pretty but sometimes I feel it doesnt reflect the real me! It's a fine line to balance on between upbeat and too real. I was having so many of these same thoughts just yesterday as I was weeding my garden. I prayed God would pull some of the weeds out of my heart and make my garden a little more beautiful:>)

48 everydayMOM May 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

That was great! I was actually afraid to click on the post when I saw the title. I couldn’t handle a perfect world mom with clean closets!

I think many of us have messy closets, both figuratively and literally. A group of women used to come to my house for a Bible study… I tried to have it spotless for their arrival. One week, I had to step out for 15 minutes and when I returned, they were searching for something in my front closet — my worst nightmare! I still get embarrassed just thinking about it! =]

49 TΓ€nia May 12, 2009 at 2:44 pm

How funny… I thought I was reading about myself! Authentic self. Have a blessed week!

TΓ€nia of Faith Prints

50 Terri May 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm

This is soooo me! That’s why I named my blog “Artfully Arranged Disarray”! Thank you for sharing, for being real. It looks like you touched a chord in many of us. Blessings!

51 Gena May 12, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Thank you. I needed to see your post today and be reminded that God loves me no matter how messy my closet it. And it is currently VERY, VERY messy.

52 Kimberly May 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm

So I’m not the only one! For me, it’s my basement. If people only knew! It’s one of my deepest, darkest secrets;)

53 Kimberlee May 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your thoughts (and your disorganized closets!) with us. We are all a little messy in some ways – but you’re right, God loves us right were we are. Thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚

54 number17cherrytreelane May 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm

What a great post. Thank you so much.

55 the BLAH BLAH BLAHger May 12, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I was a “childhood” slob and once had friends open a closet door when I was in the bathroom. I got back into my room and they were laughing uncontrollably and all my crap was on the floor in a mountain. ; )

56 Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates May 12, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Kimba, you just described me with the whole closet thing! I go out of my way to “seem” put together and organized, but I am far from it. And it does reflect my inside!

Thank the Lord that He loves me anyway and will help me do better!

57 Jessica May 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm

oh my goodness girl.. .you don’t even want to see mine. . .nor my house at this moment?

before you moved into your home, was your previous house a COMPLETE WRECK???

mine is…….it’s so so bad!!!!!!!

58 Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam May 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Ah – my kindred spirit – messy closet, Loving Lord. So wonderful to share it with others (the mess and the Lord. πŸ™‚

59 Sandy May 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Hi Kimba, my daughter cleaned out my messy pantry this last weekend. I was so happy.

One thing I find about having kids in the house, and all their friends, is you can’t hide much!

Loved this post. Thanks for sharing your heart, friend!

60 Sallie May 12, 2009 at 8:21 pm

I almost cried one day at a friends house, when she told me to grab wipes out from under her bathroom sink. There was nothing in there, but the wipes. I couldn’t imagine if she looked under my sink. She may find everything but wipes. Thanks for your confession, it does make a lot of us feel good about not being so perfect.

61 Carmen May 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Wonderful post and I am totally right there with you! Thanks for posting this as a reminder that it’s OKAY to not be perfect. πŸ™‚ (You should see my bathroom closet AND my bedroom closet for that matter lol)

62 Dana and Daisy May 12, 2009 at 9:43 pm

we are all in good company!

63 Pretty Organizer May 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Hey… wait a minute… I didn’t know you were coming over to take pictures… THAT’s MY CLOSET! Girl, you got the high five from me. How else do you run a house of 8. Closets, dryers, and the entire laundry room are off limits to guests… my kitchen is welcome to all. It’s a disaster all the time and that’s my public service. A woman with a clean kitchen all the time… well, she needs to do more blogging.

Love you Kimbaru!

64 Reborn May 12, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Wow this is the most amazing post ever… it reminds me of the Casting Crowns song that says,

“Are we happy plastic people/
Under shiny plastic steeples/
With walls around our weakness/
And smiles to hide our pain/
But if the invitation’s open/
To every heart that has been broken/
Maybe then we close the curtain/
On our stained glass masquerade”

The song is called “Stained Glass Masquerade”
if anyone wants to google or youtube it.

Kimba, I think I’m going to link to this post on my blog! πŸ™‚

65 Kelli May 13, 2009 at 5:00 am

I have the same syndrome. Clean and neat on the outside, but messy and cluttered on the inside. Thanks for keeping it real!!

66 Tammy Przybylo May 13, 2009 at 5:06 am

Kimba–how deep and heartfelt. Kudos to Kimba. You might be “messy inside”–but we all are in our own ways. You are also brave, strong, and beautiful in there too!

All the best.
Tammy Przybylo

67 Beth May 13, 2009 at 5:59 am

Thanks Kimba! I needed that. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed this week & it's nice to be reminded that I'm not alone dealing with my clutter…

68 punkinmama May 13, 2009 at 6:42 am

Thanks for such a great and honest post. It’s good to hear I’m not the only one. And it’s especially good to hear that people who I think have it all together sometimes don’t. The grass isn’t always greener. I needed a reminder to just thank God for who I am and allow Him to continue to work on who He wants me to be (and worry less about what other people want me to be). Thanks!

69 Kellye, Chad, Hayden, and Sebastian May 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

Thank you so much for posting! Isn’t it odd that SO many women hide something that is ever so present with lots of other women? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all just put aside appearances so that we could all catch a glimpse of the perfectly imperfect mess! Nice to meet another messy closet!

70 Ruth May 13, 2009 at 7:34 am

What a great post. Thank you.


71 Laura May 13, 2009 at 7:44 am

It’s as if you took the words right out of my mouth. As I read your words, I’m thinking: “This is me, this is exactly me.” How wild is this. Thank you for sharing your closet.

72 Laura Ingalls Gunn May 13, 2009 at 7:52 am

Hey Kimba,

How did you get a picture of MY closet and post it on your blog? πŸ™‚

73 Ashlee May 13, 2009 at 10:01 am

Bless you woman!!!! It’s always good to know I’m not alone!

74 Courtney May 13, 2009 at 11:55 am

how refreshing! you are a breath of fresh air, Kimba! I can totally relate. Although if you just drop by unexpectedly, you’ll find the mess everywhere and not just in the closets! thanks for a fabulous post.

75 Melissa Miller May 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Hi Kimba,
You have a wonderful and inspiring blog!

Have a blessed day.
~Warmly, Melissa πŸ™‚

76 Kris May 13, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Wow!! You just earned a new loyal follower lol…hope you’ll check out my blog as well–but I’m new to this so forgive me.

77 Jennifer May 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Thanks for sharing your a real way!

78 Jenny Garland May 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Kimba, first.. thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I love your site and was so happy to see you dropped by mine. Second, it’s funny how we seem to project an image that may not be how we feel on the inside. It’s so hard to be transparent and we don’t want to bog anyone down with our problems. I loved your post today.

79 Bellamere Cottage May 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Oh Kimba……..

Thank you for that post…… brought tears to my eyes. How very powerful and thought provoking. Isn’t it amazing……God knows ALLLL about our messy closets and loves us anyway. How glorious.

Bless your heart!

80 Mary Jean, also known as "The Dough Nut" May 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Wait, did I write this post, aren’t those my closets?

I’m the classic “stuffer”. Clean on the outside, just don’t open ANYTHING in my house. Drives my husband nuts. I nicknamed him SWE (Sleeping With the Enemy) b/c he just redid our pantry this weekend so all the cans were in categories and lined up correctly!!!

I’ll never change!

81 Tanya May 14, 2009 at 5:07 am

I love this…just linked up to it on my blog. Thanks for writing it. Tanya

82 Bella Casa May 14, 2009 at 7:40 am

Sounds very familiar. I am dealing with similar issues and similar closets right now πŸ˜‰ I try to keep it together with humor, although not everyone gets my humor πŸ˜‰

It’s funny how people think I am so ‘perfect’ because of my blog or because I am a SAHM who cooks, lol. But I am flawed and wounded just like everyone else. Maybe I just hide it better and maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t…


83 Vintage Dutch Girl May 14, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Thank you for speaking truth and keeping it real.

I laughed out loud re the last sentence. Just wrote about that very thing today:

84 Donna June 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Your pantry looks so much better than mine. I would be proud to show yours off!

85 Tracy January 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

I love what you wrote. I am the same way. People always say my house is so clean, but if you really look you can find the flaws. I don’t love cleaning and I am not a great organizer. I am orgnazied for my tastes and that is what counts right? I saw this saying the other day and loved it. “Organized people are just too lazy to look for things”.
.-= TracyΒ΄s last blog ..Pears =-.

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