At the beginning of each New Year, my goal is “clean up your office. “2016 was no different. So, I started tidying up, getting rid of clutter from as far back as 2006 and in a few days there was a garbage bag full of stuff to purge.
I get such joy from purging these piles of paper, converting them to trash. But this year my joy was interrupted by my reflection, realization that in a few months I’ll be right back where I started – clutter-stuffed. January’s clean desk becomes June’s cluttered desk.
So to break this clean-to-clutter cycle, I turned to an expert, Marie Kondo, author of the book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” where Kondo provides instructions on purging piles, organization and life. One of Kondo’s cures for clutter is what I’m calling the “joy” test – if you put something in your hands and that “thing,” whatever it is, doesn’t spark joy, thank the “thing,” and then, get rid of it. There are more steps to this process including what and how to organize what’s left, but one key first step is get rid of stuff that doesn’t bring you joy. So, I became an archaeologist of what was left in my filing cabinets – excavating artifacts that revealed a historical preoccupation with “things” collected from prior employers. Chart below summarizes the paperwork, documents, “things” that were in my piles:
So, when you think “performance review,” or “resume,” would that bring you joy? How ’bout “work products?” Probably not.
And some things just provoked straight up fear – why am I keeping medical insurance elections from 2010?
How bout two hard copies of that nasty email someone sent in 2012?
PURGE things that are harmful – I’m especially dealing with holding on to destructive stuff – physical and especially emotional things that the Bible calls “weights.” Don’t let these pile up! Weights can be things holding you back – fear, anger, sadness, guilt, unforgivingness, destructive relationships.
Going forward, don’t even let these “things” in.
Physical clutter is a manifestation of mind and heart clutter.
KEEP things that are useful – things that make you happy, stuff that brings joy, fulfillment or improves your productivity.
Looking at all of my piles, “Keepsakes” was the smallest pile and gave me the most joy because this pile was of pictures of friends, family, letters of encouragement, cards of appreciation and even jokes.
So, for 2016, here’s my high-level “To Do” list:
And SHAKE OFF those “weights” that bog down mind and spirit.
Let’s tidy up.
Philippians 3:12-14 The Message I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.