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