Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Clean Sweep

The lovely wife and I are big fans of The Learning Channel on television, and one of the shows we have enjoyed (although the novelty is beginning to wear off) is called “Clean Sweep.” If you’ve seen it, you already know the modus operandi of the show.

Here’s how it works: a professional organizer and his team of several invade (invited, of course) the homes people who are hopelessly disorganized and assist them in getting rid of “junk” and deciding what “stuff” to keep and what “stuff” to get rid of. It’s sometimes interesting to try and figure out at the beginning which partner in a married couple is the bigger pack-rat. Sometimes it’s easy to tell, but sometimes it’s not.

We have learned some things watching the show that have helped us to further cull our stashed away stuff and simplify our lives a bit. We also congratulate ourselves a bit because we are not nearly as bad as any of the people that we have seen on TV. If you’re wondering which of us is the pack-rat, I humbly confess that it is none other than myself. She says she used to be, but I have a tough time believing it.

With the help of my wife and her parents, the music suite is undergoing a bit of a clean sweep right now. The improvements currently taking place in the music library will eventually happen in the choir room and in the robe rooms. The men’s robe room is especially in need of attention. It is still reeling from the emergency relocation of stuff during the sanctuary renovation. It is more neatly organized now than it was, but there is still work to be done. Take heart, men. It will happen.

It’s hard for me to throw stuff out on my own. I read something in Newsweek recently written by someone who called the problem “infonoia” – the anxiety that if you throw something away (a receipt, a user manual, etc.), you will find yourself needing it and wishing you had kept it. Sunday evening, with the help of my wife and her parents (Pappaw was a minister of music before he went to work for the state convention), we removed enough junk from the music library to fill the bed of my pickup truck to the rim. As we go through the stuff in the choir room, we’ll get rid of some other stuff that’s been cluttering our lives and reorganize the rest in newly reclaimed space in the music library.

It’s sometimes hard to get rid of old stuff, but there’s also a feeling of freedom and release when the old stuff has actually been a burden rather than a blessing. I think there’s a sermon illustration in that somewhere.

That’s enough to think about for now.


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