I have a mixed bag to report for my Throw Out Fifty Things project this week, covering the living room, dining room, and basement. On the plus side, I’ve cleared much of the visual clutter from our living/dining area, and sorted through our book collection, which was no small feat. Here is a picture of the living area I snapped on Saturday:
Looking pretty good, right? ;) It’s true that the surfaces are much cleaner than they were last week, and our bookshelves are feeling lighter as well. But now let’s open one of those drawers right there…
Oh dear. Looks like I still have my work cut out for me. Each drawer is loaded with stuff, from wedding photos to computer software to junk mail, stray paperclips, cat toys, and who-knows-what-all. I may not have had a junk drawer in the kitchen, but we have three giant, crammed-full drawers of junk right here. And with all of us having bad colds last week, and then with an old friend visiting over the weekend, I just couldn’t bring myself to tackle these. Sigh. Onto next week’s agenda they go.
Back on the bright side, our entryway is finally looking clear and clean, with all of the winter gear gone – some sent out for cleaning to be stored for next year, and some in the yard sale pile. Plus, I did begin on the basement, sorting through a giant box of clothes and old toys, as well as culling tons of books from our shelves down there.
I want to take a moment to share my process for editing my book collection, because books are my weakness and it was not easy – so in case they are your weakness too, perhaps you can gain some perspective from what I’ve gone through. Basically, I found that I’ve been holding onto books for one of these reasons:
- I haven’t read it yet (and may never want to read it), but feel guilty about giving it away.
- I read and loved the book (usually a novel), so I’ve been holding onto it even though I know I’ll never pick it up again.
- I read it and didn’t enjoy it, but haven’t gotten around to donating/selling it.
- I read and loved the book (usually nonfiction) and sometimes enjoy leafing through it for inspiration or reference.
- The book is special to me for sentimental reasons ( a gift, a signed copy from a beloved author).
- I haven’t read it, but want to soon!
So, with a deep breath I cleared out all of the books that fit reasons #1-3. I also reorganized my books so that less frequently accessed books are in the basement, and those I enjoy leafing through are upstairs. As I packed up each box, I realized I began feeling lighter and less burdened somehow – I highly recommend trying this at home!
Here is my scorecard from Week 2 (remember, each kind of item only counts as 1 thing, and I already threw out a bunch last week):
- In the living room/dining room, I am letting go of 30 books and 10 old magazines. Total: 2 items.
- In the basement, I am getting rid of 50 books, 1 skirt, 1 dress, 3 tops, 2 pairs tights with runs. Total: 2 items.
Since I got rid of 16 things last week, that brings my grand total to 20 items. Only 30 more to go! :) If you are working on your own decluttering project, I would love to hear how you are doing, so please share in the comments section.
p.s., read about the project here and see my notes from week 1 here. xo Laura