And I’m not even a pack rat!

For years I have nagged at Mike, a natural-born saver-of-all-things-that-might-be-handy-  or-useful SOME DAY.  (It took me 10 years to convince him to donate a pair of cowboy boots he wore once!!!!)

I’m not a saver.  I never have been.  I don’t toss stuff willy-nilly (love that phrase) . . . but my general rule is:  If I don’t love love love it; haven’t used it in a year or more; and/or can’t remember why we have it,  it gets tossed or donated.  This has served us well in our small house.  Heck, it is a large part of why I am sane.  I do not function well in clutter at all.  The more stuff we have the more I tend to shut down and refuse to cope with anything.  For me, less is survival. 

Today, however, I began my yearly cleaning o’ the bookshelves.  Sure I dust the shelves sort of regularly, but during a year, I only deep-clean and organize them twice a year.  Once in the spring as  we wrap up the school year and once before Christmas because they’re usually a mess after being used through the fall semester.  

I don’t like clutter, but . . . books are my downfall.  I cannot believe how many books we have.  And I love them all.  I was shocked as I went through the living room shelves to see how many books Andy has read and outgrown.  Do I keep them?  If so, why?  We’re talking shelves of books here.  And, stacking up things like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh and the Phantom Tollbooth made me sad.  For many of the books, I have memories of each of my sons reading them and their different impressions as they were reading – love, hate, indifference, disgust, you name it!

Most of the books are cheap paperbacks and they outlived the initial $3-6 originally spent years ago.  I think I will put them in the Goodwill box by the dryer and plan to buy nice hardcover versions for our future grandkids.  Does that sound like a plan? Or will I be burdening future daughters-in-law with nice hardcover books to figure out what to do with in another 20 or so years? 

That said, I may have to keep a copy of Goodnight Moon,  Sylvester and the Magic Pebble,  and Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.   OK – maybe I’ll have to keep a big box of the books that we all read over and over and over and  laughed about.

No one tell Mike.  This new found hoarding instinct of mine could set us back 20 years

5 thoughts on “And I’m not even a pack rat!

  1. I have the hardest time with books too. Sean is now in those leveled readers and will soon be Nate the Great and Young Cam Jansen level. But I just don't know if I should start getting rid of the board books…There are a few that will probably turn to dust before I get rid of them…Moo, Baa, La, La, La and some other Boyton books. I just can't make decisions.

  2. Books are definitely my downfall too. I started reading your blog because I had 4 boys (twins in the middle too)and I homeschool. I now have a 5th son – 7 yrs younger than the 4th one. My biggest dilema is do I keep ALL the books for him? I literally have books falling off the shelves because they don't fit. I'm going to have to become ruthless. I did just give a bunch of board books away – my 5th is almost 4. I'm thinking of delegating the job and having my 3 oldest (16, 14, 14) do it… they know which books they really liked. But the bad thing is, I KNOW I'll just buy more. Sigh. But it is good to know we have one more thing in common! I love your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I just donated about 80 books to a donation drive for a low-income area school libary. (HOW did we have three copies of the Cat in the Hat?) AND it doesn't even look like I removed anything.

    I'm a sucker for books. Oh yeah, book fair starts today 🙂

    I am getting better about the library and not buying but there are just some that I HAVE TO HAVE, lol!

  4. It's all your fault…..reserved my copy of 3 little wolves/b-b-pig at the book fair today (& Mr. Popper's Penguins). I saw Phtm. TB and Ms. Frisby, but I'm going to try the library for those.

    I'm the best book fair customer 🙂 Any other must haves?

  5. The 20th Century Children's Treasury. It's got most of the good ones, it's hardback, and it's $20 or so. One book. How awesome is that?? (Granted, it's enormous, and you cannot fit both a child AND the book in the same lap…)

    I've been going through my shelves with the ruthless mindset of, “If it's not an awesome book, it's outta here!” And, I've done four big shelves so far, and have half a Huggies box. That's it. Z reminded me that I've done that same rampage three times since we've been here. *blink* Oh. Well. Nevermind, then.

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