Saturday, July 09, 2011

Cost of a Clean Desk

July Saturday mornings are opportune times for something I avoid...cleaning. After having devotions and going over the sermon and worship for Sunday, I decided to attack the stacks of papers that routinely litter my desk.
What I tend to do, is reshuffle them into new stacks with a paper clip. Then I gather those little clumps and use a larger clasp and stuff them into a folder. Today I attacked the folder and stacks, capturing important names, number and tasks, then shredding the rest, filling up an empty trash can.
The cost of a clean desk is a full trash can. Things have to be thrown out. After cleaning my physical desk, I then cleanup up my lap-top screen of all the files and folders that I allow to pile up there. They went into either designated files or...the trash. Most went into the trash.
It's both hard and liberating to throw things into the trash. When we moved to California from Minnesota six years ago, we threw away lots of things that had followed us from three churches. We were empty nesting and gave the kids what was theirs and realized we still had too much (for me it was ties and books). I got rid of half my library and 70% of my ties (and a lot of other clothing, tools and stuff). Guess what? Six years later I don't miss any of them. My life is not poorer or incomplete. But what's happened is that I'm accumulating more new stuff.
Declaring something as trash is judgmental. I no longer need that item. Someone else might, but I don't. That means I need to know what exactly I do need. And there is the rub. Throwing away also means declaring what is of value and importance. It means knowing what has worth and what really doesn't.
So, next week, my cabinets and shelves!


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