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The Therapeutic Nature of Cleaning!

Yesterday, in a rare moment of something or other, I decided that the church kitchen really needed tidying up, and if someone ought to do it, then why not me?  After all, I am the one person in the church who is paid not to go to work...  Inspired, I then moved on to the hymnbook cupboard before deciding that now I really did need to write a sermon and plan a couple of services.  As is the way of these things, the ideas then flowed freely and I achieved a lot.

This morning I walked into my office/study/vestry and thought, I really ought to clean this out too.  We have a very friendly and helpful professional cleaner at church, so the carpet is hoovered and so on but (probably because I've never asked her to) nothing gets dusted and I could leave messages to myself in the dust.  That plus the fact that I am a very untidy person, meant the desk was buried under my heap system which had spread to the chairs and even the floor.  In part this is because people bring me 'interesting things' they have found when clearing cupboards at home and I don't have the heart to chuck them until I've looked at them properly.  In part it's the "I'll just put it here for now" habit that seems to permeate every church I know: we fully intend to clear away properly but somehow months later things can be in the place we left them temporarily.

So, I have spent about three hours so far (see, I'm very messy) sorting, chucking, shredding, dusting, rearranging and so forth.  In the process I have uncovered things I'd forgotten I had which may prove useful, as well as being reminded of many of the things we've done together since I arrived last autumn.  Once the task is complete I will have a nice, sparkly workspace for a day or two before normality returns.  More important, I think, is the personal benefit it brings in sorting and sifting stuff internally.  Stuff to chuck out, stuff to file, stuff to rearrange.  It is surprisingly therapeutic.

The new academic year starts up here in mid-August so it is good to clear the decks before then.  And it will be a treat after my week off to come back to a gleaming desk and a clear (well, almost) work space.

Now, where did I put that duster...


  • You mean you too use the well-known filing system of P, F and T (or U)?

    (or Under the bed, if appropriate room)

  • And of course WPB... Waste Paper Bin

    You will be relieved to know I don't have a bed in my vestry!!

  • This filing system is applied to all rooms in our house, including the bedrooms...

    Unfortunately I am still having difficulty in getting my other half to accept the addition of B (for Bucket (Scots)/ Bin (English)) to the above list ;-)

  • When you've finished, could you pop down here and tidy my desk please??

    There is also the multiplicity of CBITH [Carrier Bags In The Hall] which I bring in, put down whilst I switch off the wretched burglar alarm, then forget about until I have lost something and then go into Mad Sorting Panic!

  • Trouble is, Ang, if I tidied your desk you wouldn't know where anything was...

    As an alternative to 'the wretched burglar alarm' you could be like me and live on the third floor... most crims are too lazy to walk up that many stairs!

    I know all about the CNITH syndrome... I have just put away the last of the stuff from Easter. Ummm.

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