Friday, April 9, 2010


Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

It is interesting how Easter, with its element of evoking people to purge, coincides with spring-cleaning. I could very well introduce myself as a recovering horde-a-holic. This has been something I have struggled with all my life. Not ever wanting to be buried alive, I have always fought to “stay on top of it.”

There are usually a few signals that tell me when it is time to do some maintenance. When I was a child, it was my mother saying, “Tanis, you really need to clean up your room.” Now it is my husband saying, “Tanis, what is all this?” Or it is when I houseclean and I start getting irritated with the amounts of items I must move and dust. The state of the physical room is usually indicative of the state of my brain. It is either swimming with ideas, or eventually, it is feeling very overwhelmed. I also find that if I keep a tidy house, my brain feels much more organized.

In the past, I learned how to let go of sentimental stuff, as well as to not collect exorbitant amounts of stuff in the first place. These lessons were due to making many moves, and living on some very tight budgets. But I still wrestle with letting go of knowledge... and things to do with knowledge. Now, this might all sound very noble, but I must ask myself this question: is all the knowledge that I have gathered over the years useful? Not all of it is, yet why can’t I bear to toss it or give it away? Do I perhaps think this will reflect the amount of knowledge that I contain in my brain? Or that I am losing bits of my mind?

With the advent of the Internet, it is easy enough to google masses of information. But I still feel the urge to collect and save what I want. So I now “horde” information on my computer - like typing out all my college notes into a file of documents (this project is still ongoing). If I can’t get rid of something because maybe someday I will want to show someone that I actually had this unique piece – I take a picture, file that, then give the item away. I just need to make sure I have lots of computer memory. It beats buying another house in which to store all these papers, books and things.

Or am I cheating? Have I really let go? I still have stacks of bits of papers and books to go through to enter into the computers. Am I disciplined enough to do this? Will I miss something if I don’t? Is it really that vital? A lot of it isn’t. At least I have a goal, and a system, and at least I am trying to work on it, but I still need to assess wisely and then, “just do it.”