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On An Entirely Different Note:

(And deliberately moving away from the maudlin stuff.)

1. Decluttering:
One of the reasons I have so much trouble decluttering books is simple. I feel bad! I feel like I'm insulting someone if I decide their book is not useful to me. If I get rid of it, I'm admitting that I'm never going to want to look at it.

So I can only declutter books that I've read and for some reason, really disliked. Even then I can be held back if I dislike them enough that I feel I might one day want to tell the world exactly how and why they are so rubbish. Which I won't unless it's in the vein of Mein Kampf, because I'll feel bad and I hate confrontation.

The other reason I find it so hard is that I hate deciding that I will never pursue a particular topic. It's like closing one of life's doors. There are so many things I want to know about, I hate to admit that I can't.

And lately, every time I look at a book on the shelves and think it's one I could let go of, I take a closer look and realise I'd quite like to read it.

2. My new rice cooker also makes good porridge. I think I'm going to start having porridge for breakfast! And it rinses out so easily! It's awesome.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2012 07:52 am (UTC)
Different perspective which may or may not be useful to you:

Decluttering is not closing the door on a particular topic, project, or author forever. It's just saying "somebody else can have a chance at these (things/books/supplies/etc.) and if/when I go back to this I can treat myself to new things!

There is pretty much nothing now, old or new, that can't be purchased via eBay, Etsy, second hand markets, etc etc. so there's nothing much you can't get back later to have another chance at when (or if) you want to.

Of course I know you know this and your brain probably just doesn't like thinking this way or whatever, but this is pretty much the way my anti-packrat mind works!!

Feb. 9th, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)
Ah yes, but what about all the really obscure shit that I buy?


I am being deliberately difficult.
Feb. 8th, 2012 08:10 am (UTC)
I find it hard to get rid of books - even the ones I've read so often I've practically memorised them, even the ones that are falling apart.

My SO, on the other hand, looks at the bookshelf and says "You can't possibly want to keep all these books". Yes I do! I really really do!

anyway, tell me more about making porridge in the rice cooker! I love porridge, but I hate cooking it. What are the quantities you use?
Feb. 9th, 2012 11:33 am (UTC)
I'm just doing twice as much water as oats. And putting it in before bed so it has a good soak.

I think it's a little on the thin side, but I used to make it with milk. As I understand it, I could add more water and set it to cook twice, or I could try less water.
Feb. 8th, 2012 09:14 am (UTC)
I manage to declutter books by thinking that I'm giving them a chance to find the right home. Bookcrossing was very good for that - you get to set them free and then track their adventures.
Feb. 9th, 2012 11:34 am (UTC)
Ah. I should go look at the bookcrossing site again.
Feb. 8th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
IMHO - Be strong! You need to de-clutter more! Be strong! Books go onto be loved in *other* homes.
Feb. 8th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
Well, if you give your books to a charity, you can tell yourself, "I love these books so much I want to share them with others!"
Feb. 9th, 2012 03:12 am (UTC)
I used to have the "can't get rid of books, they're BOOKS!" thing. Someone, I suspect it was Ms_Kilian said to look at it not as getting rid of a book, but a kind of extended indefinite loan to a stranger who is ready to read the book now. It's a mind trick, but it does get back to that method of decluttering where you go: Am I using this right now? Am I likely to use it in the near future? Am I just holding on to it because "one day" I may use it? If the answer to the first two is No and the last one is Yes, then if it is an item that is easily re-obtained in the future, it's time to let it go. Unless the book is out of print or a particular hard to find edition, then you can probably get another copy later if you need it. That also helps with the mind trick of the book not being "gone", just on extended loan to a stranger. When you want the book back, you just need to find it again.</p>

Also, e-books don't take up much space. I had a stack of classics that I'd accumulated from my uni days. I kept hanging on to them because I thought I ought to have them in my library. Then I discovered you can get most out of copyright classics as eBooks for free, so now I have a classics collection on the iPad and less physical books in the house.

In terms of clutter though, books are fairly neat and tidy-able. I find I have more problems with random "stuff" that just accumulates. Odd little knick knacks, papers, things saved because they may be useful someday. That's the stuff I find hardest to deal with as so much of it isn't of use to anyone else or a charity, and isn't recyclable, so it has to go in the bin even though there isn't anything "wrong" with it other than I don't want it cluttering up my house.

Feb. 9th, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)
Well, other people are more worried by my books than I am.

They're all on shelves. So is that so bad?

Fact is, I like my clutter.
Feb. 9th, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
If you like your stuff, keep it, because if you get rid of it against your actual will, you'll be disoriented and feel deprived and by consequence replace it with other junk anyway, and it'll even cost you to clutter up your space again.

I very fond of regular decluttering, in fact I'm just done with this year's, and I *love* the crisp fresh space that it's given me. I love minimizing my stuff and then make the best and most of it.
But I'm also very much aware that there's a very strong correlation between how I feel and what I do in my place. I couldn't make myself or make a plan or set a time to get rid of stuff. In fact, the day before *the suds started boiling in my veins*, as my colleague likes to call it, somebody asked me for pawns in "clutter bingo" (?) and I thought, no, I don't actually have junk. The next day I started to look at things anew, and off went the ones I hadn't really used in years. And I'm clingy with the most obscure stuff sometimes, but just letting go of stuff that's easy to let go of in exchange for space (both in the flat and in the mind) frees up lots.
Paradoxical as it may seem, there are two books that I've found really inspiring and helpful as guides along the way in projects like that. If you're interested, let me know. (They're pretty well-known but I don't want to push them down your throat...)
Feb. 9th, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
Are you screening comments to this post or is something wrong with my account (second time today a perfectly appropriate comment of mine was screened and I don't know why...
Feb. 10th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Sorry - I'm screening comments on public posts now. And on some of the f-locked ones if there's any chance any well meaning person might forget where they are.

Absolutely nothing wrong with your comments. :-)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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