Sunday, August 9, 2009

Organizational Therapy

For some reason, starting 2 weeks ago when I hurt my back, I started to organize and clean out like crazy. Every so often, I become afflicted with purge fever, and feel the need to clean out, organize, and reorganize.

My back was injured during the linen closet clean-out. And, because I couldn't actually complete that, I think that fueled the fire. I had to look at the incomplete project with stuff spilling out into my bedroom. Sure way to make me nuts. The only therapy? More organizing!

This weekend saw much much cleaning out. I dragged out the box of "techno trash" I've had in my closet for awhile--an old laptop (inoperable), an old digital camera (also inoperable), old VCR "blank" tapes with TV shows taped on them, my old cell phone, and who knows what else. I also have a bag of rags (basically clothes that are too worn to be donated), a bag with some random housewares and other items.

This weekend, I finally admitted to myself that I probably haven't used my VCR or associated tapes in well over a year. (and probably multiple years--how can I confirm this? See photo.


It's hard to let go sometimes. Even when you know that you have absolutely NO use for something. I have walked myself through some of these difficult choices by telling myself that it's nice to release the unimportant things to make ROOM for the things AND the experiences that ARE important.

I'm also working on thinning out some of my books. Books are much harder to let go of than VCR tapes for me. Having books around gives me a sense of comfort. But sometimes, comfort isn't comfortable. I'd say 98% of the books I own I rarely touch let alone read. I think it's OK for some of them--most of my poetry books are nice to have around to pick up every once in awhile, and some have sentimental value to some degree, but for others, there's just no reason. It would be one thing if I had a library in my house, but I don't. I have this:


An ugly second bookcase that cost me $19 at Ikea. I would LOVE to get rid of it to give my apartment some breathing room. I've managed to weed out some books. For now, they're piled on this case awaiting their final fate.

Right now, it looks like I'm getting ready to move (and I'm not!). This is a good thing--I haven't had moving as a motivator for 4 years!  I've piled things in the corner of my bedroom. Next step: finding a place for all my junk!



  1. Speaking as a former librarian who got rid of 90% of her books (and everything else) before she moved, it is a major shift and pretty hard. But I don't miss not having the books, amazingly enough. It really is freeing to have minimal possessions, but you have to be ready for it.

  2. I can relate on the books. I give mine to my local library, to the State Dept for the big used book sale, or I list on BookMooch and basically end up exchanging them for different books. I would kill for an extra room to use as my library!

  3. I did manage to cull about 100 of them before moving 4 years (!) ago, and I have kept my acquisitions down by mostly doing the library thing or selling right away. I'll probably donate them...though last night I sorted them. Getting down to one case is going to be difficult!!!

  4. I feel your pain. I have books stacked all over and am slowly getting rid of some of them. They are my security blanket. Small flats of them are slowly joining the VCR and videos in the pile to donate. It doesn't hurt as much if you get rid of them slowly.


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