Friday, 15 May 2020

Changing the Question ...


Anyone who reads or has read any of my blogs will know that for the past few years I have been on an ongoing decluttering journey.  I've sorted through clothes, books, furniture, kitchen stuff, and numerous areas of bitty bits, and I've always asked myself the question ...

 ' What can I get rid of that I either don't want or don't need any more? '.

At the end of last week I started looking through a few of my books in the same old way asking myself the same question, then I ground to a halt with the shelves just like this.  Over the past few days I looked at them every time I came into the living room and passed them every time I went into the bathroom and looked at them with unimpressed eyes, wondering why I had even started if I didn't have the heart to finish the job.

The job in question, was to only own enough non-cookery books to fill these shelves and the cupboard beneath.


And to only have on the built-in shelves any books that I couldn't make my mind up about so needed glancing through, or that were cook books, or were Alan's.


Yesterday I had a bit of an epiphany and changed the question to a much more simple one.

' What books do I really want to keep? '

Then I took all the books off the shelves and left them stacked on the floor overnight.  I removed all the ornamental bits and gave the shelves a really good clean.


It was somehow soothing to see the shelves like this during the evening, and it gave me the chance to get myself into gear for a big sort out today.

They are going to look a lot different in a couple of hours.

And the books will finally be done ... for the last time.


Sue xx



20 comments:

  1. Im sure it's going to look beautiful. I have very few books now. I used to have loads but soon realised with our passion for renovating properties they were so heavy to haul around just to live in a loft in a new house. I probably have about 30 books now.

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    1. Oooh ... I could never banish books to a loft. My books are always near at hand for reading or reference. I guess I should count my remaining books once I have finished the sort out, I know I used to have well over 600.

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  2. That's essentially what KonMari method is about - flipping it around so that you're not looking for things to go but instead choosing those things you want to keep (those which 'spark joy') with the reminder essentially being things which can go - and it can be a real game changer. It has helped.me.get ris of quite a lot of things:)

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    1. It's strange that I didn't really 'get' that part of 'sparking joy' but then I have always found it hard to get rid of books and I never got round to doing them individually. Now I am of this different mind set I am going to go through my clothes again next week.

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  3. Books and clothes - couln't bear to part with them.

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    1. I'm pleased with my progress on the books front this week. Next the clothes :-)

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  4. I am sure you have some old favorites that you will want to hang onto. Or maybe some that evoke memories you want to keep. I don't keep many books, I only have a few that are memorable for one reason or another. I am a big user of my local library as I am too cheap to buy books! Good luck with your purge!

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    1. Oh yes, and that is why I have given myself the whole of this bookcase to be able to fill. I have a core of books that will never leave and have been with me for years, and some newer and unread books that look as if they will be joining them. There will be space hopefully for a little bit of rotation as I work my way through them. There is no rush.

      I will be joining the local library once we move.

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  5. That's a different way of looking at it, thank you.
    xx

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    1. I'm surprised at how well it worked, a real lightbulb moment.

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  6. I have done the same and now when looking at a book, I jot down the title and check my library first before buying. With other things I ask how often I'll use it and whether I'll need to get rid of something else in order to have it. This has reduced buying entirely. Good luck with your sort out.

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  7. I find it very hard to have a book leave my house. I need to do another go through very soon.

    God bless.

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    1. I used to be the same. My Dad was too and my younger son ... so it's definitely a family thing :-)

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  8. I purge my Books from the Library every so often and right now am in the thick of Culling the Pages of my Inspiration Books which had Magazine Clippings from the past 30 years or so. A huge project, but about 90% of it was shredded into Hamster Litter so I feel very accomplished and am going full steam ahead with it. The Great Edit and Purge has been ongoing for Years now, it took me a Lifetime to accumulate all my Lovelies so it's not as if it was going to be accomplished quickly either.

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    1. Yes, there is never a rush to get rid. I am glad in some ways that I have taken my time ... it means no regrets in future as nothing was rushed.

      Lucky hamster :-)

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  9. It really is a great feeling to cull some things, the cookbooks were first to declutter when I stopped eating meat 15 years ago, favorite recipes in notebook and Google for anything else. Normal books were next as I only kept the few I would reread and some coffee table type books of travel, ethnic craft, textiles, art etc.
    I decided to access future books from the library or charity shops and pass them on....liberating.

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    1. It is liberating isn't it. Yes, all my cook books with meat recipes in were the first of the books I was able to let go of easily, I think it set me on the path of being able to part with the others.

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  10. I got rid of all of my books when I moved the last time. After shifting 3 times in the last 9 years I could not bear to carry box after box of books with me, many of whom I had not read, and I did not have the space for a book shelf. Actually it was quite liberating. I did keep a couple of cookbooks, but in the past 3 years have only bought 3 more books. I am lucky to have a great library close. Before lockdown I managed to borrow 25 books to keep me going!!

    Julie

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    1. I think it was boxing up all the books for the house renovation work that made me realise that if we were going to be moving soon I would have to do it all over again, and then it really made me start to whittle away at them. This week however has been a gamechanger. With just the one bookcase ... that will be coming with us ... now holding all the non-cookbooks it will be easy to pack up and unpack at the other end.

      Wow 25 library books, lucky you :-)

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