Happily complicated

Happily complicated

It’s funny how even major mental changes can feel like they aren’t “real” progress.

See, it’s been more than two weeks since my last post, and it feels like I haven’t accomplished much in that time. While I’ve been able to straighten up one of the rooms I’ve decluttered, my work on the keepsake bins has ground to a total halt. Every time I think about resuming, I feel a sense of dread over what mental nonsense I might uncover. But that’s not really the kind of thing I can effectively write out of my system in a blog post.

Cleaning house

So until I can sort that out, I’ve been working on some other sectors of my life. One new change is that I’m making a real effort to take better physical care of myself by paying more attention to nutrition and exercise. My body’s felt a lot better since making this change and it’s improved my mood somewhat too.

I also recently had a self-acceptance breakthrough that has been a long time coming. To some of you that probably doesn’t sound like much, but anyone who’s struggled to actually accept themselves as they are knows how big of a deal it is. Much like the beginning of my decluttering quest, I recognized for the first time what a tremendous weight I’d been carrying and could finally set it down. I’m breathing easier, I feel happier, and the anxiety I’ve been struggling with for years feels a little more manageable.

e77c71defc73b414fe4d8f8afa1c2620Basically me right now, except what I got was way better.

I was going to say that this breakthrough wasn’t a result of any of the bigger recent changes in my life, but I realized that’s not true. In fact, a lot of the smaller changes I’ve been making have been inspired (in one way or another) by my new-ish romantic relationship, which has completely upended my life.

I’m not saying that to be like “Suck it, single losers!” – it’s just that, well, letting another person into your life complicates things in a lot of unexpected ways. It’s like letting someone into your home. Maybe they’ll track in mud or bring in flowers. Maybe they’ll lock you in a closet and throw a party without your permission and leave a big mess. Or maybe they’ll come in, see a big mess, and say: “Hey, want me to help you clean this up?” You never know which one it’s going to be.

This time around, the complications have been good. They’ve been forcing me to question a lot of my assumptions or reframe the way I’ve been thinking about things. More than anything, letting someone into my life has made me realize what a mess it was and forced me to try and clean it.

Sometimes I feel nervous about where this whole thing might end up. But in a way, being nervous is good – it means that something is at stake. Things may be more complicated now, but complications aren’t always a bad thing.

Decluttering Quest: the first roadblock

Decluttering Quest: the first roadblock

Two days ago – after going at this for a solid month – I hit my first big emotional roadblock in the decluttering process.

To be honest, I’d expected it to happen a lot earlier. It almost happened while going through the box of high school stuff (where awards and old standardized test scores filled me with the fear that I’d wasted my potential) but talking things out with my mom cleared my head and I was back at it within an hour of stopping. But instead it happened while going through something completely unexpected: old greeting cards.

I suspect now that it wasn’t the cards themselves so much as it was two other things. One was a buildup of a lot of thoughts and emotions I’d been suppressing through the whole process, about crushed dreams and past traumas as well as lost friends, pets, and relatives. I also saw clearly for the first time how I’d talked myself into believing that I was terrible at things I was, in reality, good at and used to enjoy – art, drama, music, poetry, math, tech, and science – and wondered if I’d ruined my own life as a result. But did I let myself feel that? Of course not. I had work to do.

Feel the feels

It reminded me of a Lemony Snicket quote I’ve always liked about how refusing to entertain a certain idea is even more dangerous than refusing to entertain a pack of wild hyenas, “because nobody knows what an idea will do when it goes off to entertain itself.” Ignoring all these unpleasant things hadn’t made them go away; it just pushed them to a place in my mind where they could wreak all kinds of havoc until I finally paid attention to them.

I do this over and over yet, somehow, every time I’m surprised that the result is always the same. “What’s happening? Why am I so upset for no reason? WHO PUT ALL THESE TEARS IN MY EYES?”

So for both you and me, I offer this advice: if you’re sorting through old things and find yourself overwhelmed by emotions, stop and let yourself feel them. Take a break and have a good cry. Do whatever you need to do. The important thing is to just sit with these emotions and see that feeling them won’t cause the end of the world. If you think you don’t have time to do that, consider this: how long will you need to walk away from this when your feelings inevitably catch up to you? Trust me, it’s much more efficient to stop and cry for an hour than it is to stop for a whole day so you can recover from a total emotional meltdown.

One size fits none

I mentioned earlier that I suspected two things were at play when I hit that emotional roadblock. The second thing was my reliance thus far on outside advice to get me through this process.

If you’re anything like me, the first places you go when you need specialized advice are either Google or a book on the subject. And when it comes to advice, both sources are probably fine. The only problem is that a lot of decluttering advice seems to use a one-size-fits-all approach. Do this with books. Do that with mementos. Keep just the best example of anything. Reduce everything by a certain amount. If you’ve looked for decluttering advice, you know what I mean.

But every problem is different. You’d think that would be obvious, but it wasn’t something that occurred to me until I was going through that stash of old greeting cards. They already seemed to have been carefully selected – if not by me, then by one of my parents. Unlike almost everything else I had gone through, these hadn’t been kept indiscriminately.

20170208_131835There were only enough cards to fill one shoebox – if that.

All the advice I’d found for dealing with greeting cards hadn’t taken a situation like that into account; they were written as if the person hearing it had never thrown away a single card in their entire life. And yes, that does happen. But when you’re facing a batch of carefully curated cards, “throw everything older than a year away” or “cut them up and reuse them in crafts” doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense.

For some reason, I felt like I had to follow the advice anyway, as if there was some invisible authority waiting to judge my efforts. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Not to the school valentines from friends I’d long lost touch with. Not to the “get well soon” card from my late grandmother. Not to the silly birthday card written by my mom as if it had been sent by our two now-dead cats.

I started to get angry at all the bloggers I’d taken advice from. Who the hell did they think they were, anyway? They couldn’t tell me what to do! So I had a mini-meltdown on Facebook for all my friends to see. (The phrase “disgustingly perfect minimalist monsters” entered the fray at some point.) Eventually I calmed down and decided to take a break from the whole project for a day or two until I got things back into perspective.

What I’m getting at is this: apply decluttering advice with caution. Including my own advice. And including the very piece of advice I just gave you. There’s no such thing as a single answer to fit every situation.

Keep the cards if you want to. I know I will.

Rounded with a sleep

Rounded with a sleep

For a long while now I’ve been trying to come to terms with mortality – both my own and others’. This process probably started with my fiance’s sudden death back in 2009, but it was something I was still in denial about until friends and friends-of-friends (most of whom were my age or younger) began dying as well. No, I’m not planning on dying anytime soon, but I can’t keep pretending like I never will.

Unsurprisingly, confronting death brings up a lot different issues, and trying to come to terms with it has fundamentally changed the way I’ve been thinking about these things. To spare you from a meandering, navel-gazing post, I’ll try to untangle a few of these issues and address each one individually.

Afterlife?

Ah yes, the big one. Every religion known to humanity has tried to address this issue in one way or another. The one I personally subscribe to (Kemetism, which tries to reconstruct the religion of ancient Egypt) has not one answer but several. This is unsurprising since – to my understanding – the original religion was kind of cobbled together from several different local traditions and, when faced with two conflicting versions of the same thing (like the creation myth), basically took a “FUCK IT LET’S DO BOTH” approach. That, combined with the fact that the original religion was around for thousands of years and experienced some changes along the way, means that there really isn’t one definitive answer for what happens after you die.

I’m not nearly knowledgeable enough to go into all those changes in thought and funerary traditions, or even summarize them adequately. I hate to leave you all with the vague impressions you probably have of mummies and elaborate tombs and “maybe something about weighing your heart against a feather,” but I really don’t trust myself enough to handle this right and instead advise you to look it up yourself if you’re curious. It’s interesting, I promise.

800px-bd_huneferIs it wrong to wonder if Thoth uses an iPad now?

In spite of my religion’s firm assertion that you definitely go somewhere after you die, I’m really just not sure about it myself. If there is something good after life, that’s great. I guess if it turns out there’s nothing, then I won’t know anyway. Worst case scenario would be that it turns out that I picked the “wrong” faith and, instead of encountering Anubis, I’ll be greeted by another religion’s deity shouting: “OHHHHH! NOW YOU FUCKED UP!” (Or, fourth option, my heart is heavier than the feather of Ma’at so Osiris is the one shouting that I fucked up.)

But in spite of my severe doubts, I did set up a shrine to the blessed dead a few months ago. I’d been resisting it for a long time, mainly because of my uncertainties about what my (mostly Christian) lost loved ones would think of the whole thing, but watching many of my friends struggling with grief over losing one of their friends several months back finally pushed me to do it. I guess doing so was one of my ways of dealing with the whole death question in general; it felt right to set aside a physical space in my life to acknowledge that sometimes the people you love just die, and there’s nothing you can do about it but remember them.

What we leave behind

Coming to terms with my mortality was also one of the big reasons why I began my decluttering quest a month ago. If I accepted the fact that I’m going to die someday, then I also had to accept the fact that I’ll be leaving all my physical possessions behind for someone else – most likely my family – to deal with.

I thought back to my childhood, when all of grandparents died within a few years of each other and I watched my parents struggle through house clean-out after house clean-out. Anyone who’s never done or witnessed one of these firsthand will have to trust me when I say it’s a physically and emotionally draining process, especially when you’re already struggling through grief. And the more stuff you have to sort through, the more draining it is. All of my grandparents grew up during the Great Depression, so they saved anything and everything that might ever be useful out of the fear that someday they’d need something like it and wouldn’t have the means to replace it. You can probably imagine what their basements and attics looked like.

The thought of putting my parents through that again if I died before them – forcing them to sort through twenty-some years’ worth of hoarded keepsakes, papers, journals, plushies, books, and unfinished writing projects – made me sick to my stomach. It’s a major reason why I’ve kept this decluttering quest going, even when it’s gotten tedious or emotionally exhausting; I’d rather take on that burden myself than leave it to someone else.

Seeing death

I guess what really prompted me to write this post in the first place was the fact that my family had to euthanize our beloved cat of 13 years earlier today. I won’t go into all the details about him and his battle with cancer here, because I can’t even begin to unpack all my thoughts about him right now.

One thing I will talk about right now is this: I’m glad I stayed for the whole procedure. See, when a pet is euthanized, you have the choice to leave at any time if it becomes too overwhelming; you can also stay if you want.

As I’d thought everything over after my mom and I first discussed the real possibility of putting our cat to sleep, it occurred to me that I’d been cut out of the actual deaths of all my lost loved ones. Sometimes it was deliberate, like when I was a child and nobody wanted me to be traumatized by watching a pet or relative die. Other times it was accidental, like when I was away at school when our other cat was euthanized two years ago.

I began to wonder how much of my lingering fear of death came from never seeing it. After all, isn’t it always the things we don’t see that we fear the most, like the invisible monsters under our childhood beds? So for that reason – and because I wanted to be at our cat’s side until the very end – I decided to stay in the room through the whole procedure.

For the first time in my life, I saw what dying looked like. (Of course all deaths are different, but I saw what at least one kind of dying looked like.) And it wasn’t scary. It was peaceful. One moment our cat was breathing, and then he wasn’t. It seemed natural.

Death as a part of life

And that’s what death is: natural. All living things eventually die. I think that’s what gives our lives beauty and meaning – the fact that they end. Because we die, we all have to make the most of life, both our own and others’.

If you have just one takeaway from this post, I want it to be this: try to accept death. Learning to see death as natural isn’t morbid; it helps you embrace life. (If you haven’t heard of it yet, check out The Order of the Good Death – it’s a group dedicated to helping people face their fears about death so they can learn to accept it.) I don’t know if I’ve fully accepted it myself, but at least thinking about it has helped eliminate some of my fears about death.

If you aren’t ready to confront death, that’s okay too. No judgements here. But I do hope you will be able to try it someday – it’s a hell of a lot better than living in fear.

Decluttering Quest: tackling collections

Decluttering Quest: tackling collections

Like my mom, I’ve always been a collector. What I collect changes from time to time – seashells, Zelda figures, Pokemon cards, Sonny Angel dolls, pocketknives, ABBA records, cat knick-knacks, TRON merch – but the impulse is always the same. Anyone who’s ever collected anything knows what I mean: it’s some weird combination of the excitement of searching for something and the need to complete the incomplete. (“Gotta catch em all,” right?)

But for most of my life, one thing dominated my collection landscape: stuffed polar bears. More specifically, the multitude of plush polars made by Coca-Cola. It all started with my favorite childhood toy, which was a small Coca-Cola plush bear that was released in the early 1990s as a fast food toy. I took that bear with me almost everywhere, and whenever he left the house he wore a little pink cat collar with my address and phone number on the ID tag just in case he got lost. And yes, I still have him; he lives wherever I’m living.

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You can pry this bear from my cold, dead hands.

The only problem was, the polar bear collection snowballed to the point that it filled an entire room. Again, this is a common feature of collections – one or two things can multiply into dozens or hundreds very quickly, especially once your friends find out you collect something and get you more as gifts. It’s all fun and games until you’re neck-deep in polar bears.

Why are collections so hard to let go of?

Many, many people who write about decluttering will tell you how hard it is to handle collections. Probably one reason for this is that it can be hard to see collections as clutter, even when we’re specifically looking for clutter. Even if the collection has absorbed more space than a mutant sci-fi fungus, you still say “Oh, don’t worry about that, it’s just my mutant fungus collection.” You don’t think of the collection as taking up too much space any more than you’d think of your couch as taking up too much space; it’s just a part of your home.

Another reason that collections are probably hard to deal with (as my partner once pointed out) is because they feed into the saving-it-because-I’ve-saved-it loop. Generally speaking, the longer you’ve had something, the harder it is to let go of it. Some people might say this is just sentimentality, but I think it’s also because people start to view the time they’ve saved something as an investment in that thing. If you had a vase you didn’t particularly like for twenty years, you’d still be hesitant to let go of it, thinking: “I can’t get rid of that, I’ve had it for twenty years!”

But here’s the thing: whether you keep the thing or not, you’re not going to get a return on that investment. Sure, some things get more valuable as time goes by, but that doesn’t mean you can hold onto everything in the hopes that someday it might be worth something. And honestly, this saving loop happens just as often (if not more often) with things that won’t have much value to anybody but ourselves. And nobody’s going to hand you a prize at the end of your life for saving something for decades for no reason.

How to pare down a collection

Which brings me back to the polar bears. When I finally took my collector goggles off and looked around that room, I suddenly realized how out-of-control that collection was. So I decided to go through them, promising myself I’d keep any bear I felt attached to.

Once again – like every stage of this decluttering quest so far – I was shocked by the results. Even though I’d sorted through just half of the collection, a large pile of bears that I was willing to let go of had already accumulated on the floor. It wasn’t that they were suddenly meaningless to me or something, it’s just that I’m not the same person that first collected them. And that’s okay.

I hope that soon those bears (like the other plushies I’ve decided to let go of during this process) will go to people who can enjoy them, or maybe even find joy in them. Really, that’s my hope for all the things I’m giving away as part of this process – but I’ll go into that in more detail later.

For now, I’ll just pass on the same advice my partner gave me for dealing with collections: if you have a set (or collection) of things that you must save, ask yourself, “Can I just save a few representative members of this set and have all that I need?” If the honest answer is “no,” then go ahead and keep them all. But if the answer is “yes,” then keep the one(s) you need and let the rest go. Sell or give them to someone who would really appreciate them; knowing that they’re going to a good home makes it a lot easier to let go of them. Decluttering doesn’t have to be boring and draining; it can be a way of spreading happiness, too.

Decluttering Quest: school paper trail

Decluttering Quest: school paper trail

Since my last update on my decluttering quest, I’ve managed to rediscover my motivation and build a few days’ worth of momentum; I’m now sorting through at least one bin or drawer of stuff a day. I’ve completely cleaned out all the bins, boxes, and miscellaneous piles of stuff under my bed. One of the most fun parts has been rediscovering stuff I’d completely forgotten about, including: a Tamagotchi-branded shoebox full of Tamagotchi happy meal toys, another box of bead lizards, weird political ephemera from the 2004 presidential election, carefully rinsed out empty beer bottles (?), and a couple of rusty railroad spikes (???).

However, I was still daunted by one thing: sorting through my school papers. While cleaning out the drawers and bins, I’d come across a mass of papers dating from middle school to the end of college. The college papers made me especially nervous, both because of my abnormally long stay in college and because I’d made absolutely no attempt to thin them out before. At the end of every year, I just brought the entire folder of class papers home and threw it in a drawer. So when I cleared out the drawer, I found myself staring down seven years of papers. Every handout, every essay, every photocopied reading, every miscellaneous flyer – I’d saved them all. Faced with the results of years of procrastination, I took a deep breath, rolled up my sleeves… and threw them all in a box marked “SORT LATER.”

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Why be responsible when I can look at all these bead lizards and Tamagotchi toys instead?

Okay, so maybe I’m not always on top of this. But at the time I simply didn’t have the energy to sort through all that stuff while giving it the attention it deserved. Luckily, by the time I came across my middle school and high school papers, I felt up to the task of sorting through them all in one go. When I did, I realized a few surprising things:

1. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be

For an activity I’d been dreading, sorting through those papers was actually kind of fun. It also went fairly quickly. All I had to do was put on some energizing music, grab a section, and go. I was usually able to tell at a quick glance whether a paper was worth keeping or tossing, and if I was really undecided, I could just throw it in the “maybe” pile and take a look at it again later.

2. Surprise treasures

Another surprising thing that made sorting more fun was all the forgotten “treasures” I rediscovered: margin drawings from middle school, my guide for how to navigate my very first punk show, and the only essay from high school that I can honestly say I still care about. Coming across things like that managed to make up for all the unpleasant stuff I found, like low-grade essays and various academic status letters. Also, setting aside the good stuff and throwing out the bad stuff was pretty cathartic.

3. Tangible results = more satisfaction

One of the few things I haven’t liked about all this decluttering so far is that for most of the things I sort through, I can’t see the results – the drawers are closed and the bins are put back under the bed. So something I liked about sorting through all those papers is that the further along I was, the bigger the discard pile got. In the end, all the papers I’m recycling made up a stack about eight inches high; I’ve gotten rid of hundreds of unnecessary papers. Much like the spaces left behind in my bookshelves, looking at this stack of papers felt like lifting a massive amount of weight off my chest.

So, does this mean I’m looking forward to finally tackling all those boxes of stuff in the basement? Heck no. But at least this experience lets me know that it can be done.

I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m gonna get there.

 

Decluttering Quest: staying motivated

Decluttering Quest: staying motivated

At the very end of last year I started an epic decluttering quest, and fully intended to keep it up all through January. Unfortunately, those plans were derailed a few days into 2017 by MAGFest and the double-virus I got at the very end of it, which knocked me out for a full week.

Since then I’ve been sorting through the eliminated books (I finally took a count: there were 195 unique titles in the pile, not counting the duplicate copies of some books) and taking out the ones my friends have expressed interest in. Once I do a last call I’m going to donate the rest to a nearby book exchange; they’re recovering from a recent disaster and are in need of donations, and I think they’ll find the books good homes.

Other than that, I’ve been having trouble getting my energy back up to where it was before MAGFest. It reminded me of how important staying motivated in a process like this can be, which brings me to a topic I’d already wanted to write about: finding the right motivation for such a big project.

What do you mean, the “right” motivation?

Well, I don’t necessarily mean that there’s a “wrong” way to be motivated to declutter or otherwise try to improve your life (unless the motivation is hurting people or something). But I do think that some motivations are more likely to succeed than others.

For instance, let’s take a common reason for self-improvement: the New Year’s Resolution. While I can’t speak for anyone else, my New Year’s Resolutions have never really stuck. Maybe I’m just lazy, but eventually whatever burst of energy first inspired the resolution tends to run out for me. That always leaves me stuck doing something I don’t particularly enjoy for what I eventually decide is a pretty arbitrary reason. I mean, let’s be real: name me one time that the calendar rolling over into a new year has really, truly changed something significant. (Remember how excited everyone was about the “new millennium” starting in 2000? I do. It didn’t turn out so well.)

External vs. internal motivations

This might be because things like New Year’s Resolutions are, ultimately, external motivations. You didn’t just suddenly get the idea in your head to do a thing; something outside your control happened and you used it as a reason to do a thing. Another good example of an external motivation would be all the times my mom has tried to convince me to clean out my stuff before; it always ended in me cleaning everything off my bedroom floor, calling it a victory, then watching as the floor filled up with stuff once again. Repeat. It never stuck because it was never my idea to do it – it was my mother’s. And while I want to make my mom happy, in the end that’s just not enough to make me fundamentally change my outlook.

What I think works better are internal motivations. As the name might imply, these are the things that come from inside, the deep personal desires we have to do things. An example of this would be when I decided to finally finish the first draft of a book. I wasn’t writing it because other people might have expected it from me or because I wanted an external result or because of NaNoWriMo. I wrote the book for the sake of writing the book; yes, I hope something might come of it someday, but deep down I just wanted the book to exist. Likewise, I started this decluttering quest for myself, because of a fundamental shift in my thinking.

Digging the motivation back out

Blogger Zbyhnev once wrote, “Screw motivation, what you need is discipline.” They were right that discipline, not motivation, is what you really need to get any serious work done. But I’ve found that motivation is quite helpful when you’re first starting a project. Cultivating discipline takes time, and a little motivational push in the beginning can really help you get going.

For instance, there were times while writing that first draft that I couldn’t convince myself that it was worth doing at all, but by then I’d already made a habit of writing during the half-hour stretches between my community college classes and the arrival/departure of the (notoriously unreliable) buses I rode. But if I’d started doing that without any motivation at all, getting into that habit would have been a lot more difficult.

Because I’m trying to resume the decluttering process after a week of being too sick to do it, I feel a need to rediscover the motivation that helped me start in the first place. I’m still not entirely sure how to do that, but if I can find the motivation to just do it for a couple days in a row, hopefully I’ll build up enough momentum to keep going.

The decluttering quest begins

The decluttering quest begins

I meant to do a lot more posting this past month, particularly about holiday-ish movies, but things got a little out of hand with the holidays themselves. In addition to that, I’ve had a couple big changes lately – today was my last day at my job and early last week I started the first romantic relationship I’ve had since my fiance died seven years ago. So blogging wasn’t exactly at the top of my mind for a little while there.

Alongside these two big changes I also had a major personal epiphany within the past week. As my partner and I were telling each other more about ourselves, I suddenly realized I was holding onto stuff. A lot of stuff. I don’t just mean emotional stuff – physical stuff too. The few areas of my parents’ house that I can call my own are packed with stuff: knick knacks, books, papers, clothes, movies, toys, video games, and innumerable boxes of keepsakes and mementos. There’s so much of it that I honestly dread the idea of moving into my own place once and for all, or (even worse) dying suddenly/unexpectedly and forcing my family to deal with the overabundance of junk. (I’m not trying to be morbid, just realistic. And it becomes much harder to sort through things when your mind is clouded with grief.) I’m overdue for a major cleanout.

The inevitable purge

So I’ve decided to get rid of a lot of stuff. I started with a couple of the boxes under the bed which I hadn’t touched in years but believed were filled with important keepsakes that I couldn’t let go of. They weren’t. Yes, there were some things that definitely need to be saved, things that bring back great memories or give insight into the person I used to be. But the rest either dredge up past pain or don’t mean as much to me now. Some of it seemed to have been saved just because I’d already had it for a long time, creating this endless feedback loop of saving for saving’s sake.

I was stunned. If the two most important stashes of keepsakes I have were filled with so much discardable stuff, then what on earth did I have in all the half-forgotten bins in the basement? How many bins did I have in the basement, anyway?

Too many books

Just the thought of those basement bins was a little overwhelming, so I decided to keep my energy up by going through my books instead. I have at least a couple hundred books. Many people – fellow English majors especially – would see no problem with that, saying “you can never have too many books.” There was a time when I shared that view, which is what led to acquiring a couple hundred books to begin with. But after my realization, looking at those overstuffed shelves didn’t fill me with pride or joy; it filled me with anxiety. Suddenly I could feel the weight of those books as if they’d all been stacked on my chest.

So I swept through them twice, being as ruthless as possible. Out went the duplicates (do I seriously need six copies of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?) and the English department’s castoffs. Out went the outdated textbooks and the class-assigned novels I knew I’d never touch again. Out went all the books which I’d only taken to stop them from being discarded by others. I looked at every single remaining book, and if my immediate gut reaction wasn’t “There’s no way in hell I’m getting rid of that one,” then I honestly asked myself if I ever intended to read it in the future. If the answer was “no,” then the book was out.

Much like the boxes under the bed, the results from the book purge were staggering. I haven’t taken an exact count yet but I’ve probably eliminated at least a third of my books. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of that fact; it was just something that needed to be done. Besides, now I have room on my shelves for the books I really love. And I still love a lot of books.

What now?

Even though I’ve only just started, it seems that I have way more thoughts about this new decluttering quest than can fit in just one post – especially when it comes to finding the right motivation to do something like this. I’ll try to keep them interesting. See you next time.