I mentioned last week that I was decluttering my house as per the instructions in The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up. Having moved on from clothes I decided to tackle my books. This wasn’t quite as hard as I imagined because I honestly don’t have a lot of books.
Books are the one thing that I pretty regularly get rid of. Still, I pulled all of my books off of the shelf and piled them in the middle of my floor. Then I picked up each one and asked, “Does this spark joy?” I was surprised with the answers that sprang into my head. I ended up getting rid of quite a few and now I am down to three shelves of books. This is kind of insane. 3 shelves. That’s it. And hopefully (if I don’t add to it) this number will dwindle as I read and get rid of some of the ones that I kept.
Most of the books that I own are reference and nonfiction books that I feel I will use again and again. Every once in awhile I will purchase fiction if it is something that I can’t find in the library.
It’s interesting to see what is left on the shelf after going through this selection process. The books that are on my shelf are books that give me joy – so maybe these are the things I should really focus on in my life? I kept books that contained short fiction, short stories, flash fiction, etc. Lots of books of poetry and how to write poetry. I kept all of my books about photography. I kept all of my books about Buddhism, but plan to get rid of them as I read through them. I got rid of a ton of knitting books. I kept the few that I return to over and over again for patterns.
Now it is time to move on to papers. To prepare for this I bought a shredder.
I plan to get rid of every scrap of paper in my house with the exception of those things that I need to attend to. Honestly, there is no reason in this day and age to keep things like bank and credit card statements (and i am wondering if there really every was a reason to keep this stuff). I spent all day Sunday shredding and filled up two garbage bags worth of papers. As I was tackling this task I found shoe boxes stuffed with records from years past. The one I happened to pull off the shelf was from 2006! Why the f#$k am I keeping this stuff?!?
It’s interesting what this process is doing to me. I already feel lighter. And I am noticing this tendency I have to use shopping as a way to fill the void. I find that I buy stuff and it makes me happy momentarily but then whatever I buy ends up being just another thing in my house. I want to change that. I want to be surrounding by things that truly make me happy.