Possibly the hardest thing for me to sort through and let go of has been my collection of books. But finally last year something clicked and I started to drastically reduce the number that I owned.
Of this little 'Aga' collection on the top shelf in the kitchen for instance, I had just three that I actually used regularly but I had hung onto them all for ages. Now that I have checked through them I have kept just those three and will pass these on to the next owners of the house and the Aga ... and the rest all went straight into the car boot sale box without a second thought.
It's like I've been 'cured'.
Last year we sold the dictionaries and books to the left of this photo ... this year all the 'bee' books have gone into the box ready for the car boot sale.
So NO books are now left in the office.
When we first moved into this house we brought with us this long low shelf unit, an ex-display shelf from my little shop in Ulverston. It housed a lot of books after one of my many blogged about sort outs.
This year the shelf unit is out in the garage full of car stuff and the bits and bobs that were lying around everywhere as it is no longer needed in the house. Because after a few big sort throughs and a number of car boot sales last year, we no longer needed it for books as what we had left ...
... moved into the gaps I had made on this set of fitted shelves behind the door of the living room.
This year there has been a further click ... and not just one!!
Firstly, getting rid of books was suddenly much more preferable than holding onto them. I went with the flow and sorted out whenever the mood overtook me.
This morning the shelves look like this.
The second 'click' of realisation was that I no longer had the need to own everything written by a particular writer or chef.
For years whenever my favourite cooks ... Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater or Jamie Oliver ... brought a new book out I rushed out to to the shops to buy it, gaps in my collection were filled in from charity shops and car boot sales and then suddenly I realised that I didn't need to own them all as I wasn't actually even using them.
I sold most of the older ones last year and then this year I have been letting go of the newer ones after checking first that there was nothing in them that I actually wanted to cook. In one book the only recipe that I used regularly was this Green Spaghetti recipe, I was about to photograph it for future use and then I realised... I use it that often I know it off by heart anyway.
The book was in the car boot sale box at the weekend.
The bottom shelf of this set of shelves now looks like this, just one Jamie Oliver book ... the one I use!!
The other shelves we have, also originally from my little shop, were filled to capacity too.
With even the cupboard being full up with magazines that I had held onto after reading.
It currently looks like this ... and the cupboard is empty!!
And shock, horror ... I have just decided that once we move into our little flat this will be the main bookcase. Apart from some books in our office and perhaps a few cookbooks in the tiny kitchen, this will be expected to hold the whole collection.
I better keep whittling away at the books then.
The kitchen collection after my recent sort out currently looks like this, which I think is a very manageable number to have and use.
What do you find the hardest things to part with?