Sunday, April 28, 2013

Can a Book Get You Organized?

Recently while browsing the new book area at my library, I noticed a remarkable number of books on organizing, de-cluttering and cleaning. I browsed through a few of them and found them to be generally...silly. Tips included the following: donate anything you don't need (stating the obvious in my opinion), buy pretty storage boxes (so the junk you keep looks better?) and out of sight, out of mind (the motto of a hoarder for sure).

I've moved so frequently over the past 20 years that I have very few items, whether it's my past mementoes or my sons that I can't find quickly. Older, useless items such as toys, knickknacks and trinkets I get rid of and with only a few boxes of personal items left I am almost box free. Like so many people I have boxes of old photographs and personal papers. Which each box I go through, I discard about 99% of the items and keep only what is precious and irreplaceable. Old photos of my family, my son's grade school art work, letters from my Grandparents and other items I keep filed in a filing cabinet.

This weekend during a break from gardening I went through 2 more boxes and happily filled an entire garbage bag with items. As I get older I tend to be even less sentimental than I was when I was younger.  Old love letters, birthday cards, Valentine's Day cards etc... are so easy to dispose off. I open them, read them, smile and feeling nothing but a remembered sweetness, toss them in the garbage. Old photos of vacations and special events with people I will never see again and who have come and gone from my life are also tossed. The feelings attached to the items just aren't there anymore.

So I don't know why so many books are written with silly tips on how to de-clutter and organize when so much is what you don't need anymore. It's so freeing to just let it go. I'm hoping that the next time I browse the new book area there will be more books on less is more instead of buy more to organize less.

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