My good friend Frances put me onto this book. I really thought it would just be another tidying up, move things around and create more storage type of book. But it is a change in attitude I hadn't thought of before. And it works! Enough of the sales pitch.
Most of the book is extremely helpful. For example beginning with clothes, you are to get every piece of clothing in your entire house and put it in the middle of the floor. Yes, I did this. However she does allow you to categorise things and I started with tops. I put every top I own in the middle of the floor. Then you hold up each piece and ask yourself if you really love it. Most of the old shirts I had hanging around I didn't love at all. If the answer is "no" you toss it. If it is "yes" then you keep it.
Then the process continues with the rest of your clothes category by category. It was kind of hard to hold up my old knickers and say "Do I love you?" "Nope, I don't feel anything for you." However I did quite like the newer ones so I kept those.
I finished with the clothes and took several garbage bags of clothes to Vinnies. Then I had to do the books. The only thing I found really hard with this whole process is her advice to thank the items that had served their purpose and move them on. I just couldn't bear to say "Thank you jacket, you served me well when I was working but your time has come." I just stuffed it in the bag.
The whole idea is you end up living in a house with only the things you really love. That evidently is supposed to cause untold happiness.
|Only a few of the books I got rid of.|
I have a front room full of books. The right wall was shelves and shelves of Penguins crowded together everywhere. The left wall was shelves and shelves of non-Penguins. My goal was to get rid of the non-Penguins. Taking a big breath I dumped all the non-Penguins onto the floor. I started to cull. One book for the bag, three books for me. Okay, it didn't go so well. But I continued. Once all the bags of books were full I put them aside to move them on.
The next day was much better. I went through the pile of books left for me and ended up getting rid of a lot of them.
I sold some to a bookseller in Hobart. I donated many to Vinnies and the Red Cross book store. I have three boxes of duplicate Penguins that are going to the auction house on Monday.
All in all I culled over 1000 books. Yes, that is One Thousand. Then I sorted all of the Penguins into the various series categories. Then I reshelved them. When I walk into the front room now I have one wall of Penguin and the other wall is also full of Penguins except one book case that has the non- Penguins I chose to keep. I put some of my paperbacks under the bed. I have two large drawers under the bed. None of those books are in any order. My rule is to pick a book out of the drawer and read it. If I don't want to or I am not in the mood then it leaves the house. Otherwise I read it and then it leaves the house.
The hallway bookcase has my valuable books of Jack London, William Horwood and John Steinbeck plus my old Dog books collection. They will stay there until we all leave the house together. The same with the Penguin collection. The front room is well and truly my Penguin library and once it is cleaned up and the table cleared and dusted I will post up photos of the whole thing.
I have listed the entire inventory of each series on my main blog page in the categories. It is easy to refer to the list and see what I have and what I still need. It transfers easily to my smart phone and comes in handy when I find a new Penguin and I am not sure I have it. I can look it up on my phone at the time. This should prevent anymore duplicates coming into the house. From now on I will only collect first published Penguins. Reprints stay behind.
|Only another few books I got rid of.|
I am still working my way through the Marie Kondo book checklist but the rest will be easy. I have yet to do the kitchen cupboards, the papers, the momentos. It will be entirely completed by the end of August. That is the time frame I gave myself. The house will be clear. If I get hit by the bus next week no one will have to struggle with the clutter. Just box up those Penguins and send them to auction.
I am looking forward to finishing because in September I begin on the Garden Project. Now that will be a big job. Stay tuned.
Brave!!! I shall check out the results on my next visit!ReplyDelete
No doubt you will love the books. I hope I am not in England when you are in Australia!Delete
Haha that will be a lot of fun. It should well and truly be in good order by then.ReplyDelete
My other half would love this - he's been moaning all morning about how we just 'amass rubbish' and is gunning to take everything to the car boot. The books are out of bounds though!ReplyDelete
It is a really good feeling to get rid of so many things that are not being used. It will take me another month to finish the rest of the house. I dread the kitchen cabinets and the "useful" drawer.Delete
I'm full of admiration! I culled thirty boxes of books when we moved ten years ago, but I've recently noticed that my accumulated books are increasing again. I'm no longer buying collectable books, but the paperbacks that I read and pass on are piling up. I'd planned to read only my 'keeper' books and use the library when possible. Maybe I should take a look at the book that got you started.ReplyDelete
It really is a fun book to go through. Most of it you will probably know but it is fun listening to her voice telling you to "do it!"Delete
A thousand books!? I am really impressed. I have been culling out the ones I really won't read, or reread, but nowhere near that many.ReplyDelete
I didn't expect to have that many. They just kind of sneaked up on me and occupied my shelves when I wasn't looking :-)Delete
if i lived in hobart, i would be peering at your house from behind a tree, drooling at the mouth, waiting to grab books whenever your back was turned. seriously, i think your resolution is admirable. i wish i had the guts to do the same, but i don't. when i pass my progeny are going to have an unholy mess on their hands. i don't care. haha.ReplyDelete
That is funny. I don't have children so when my husband and I are gone,, that's it. The lawyers can organise the rest of the mess. I won't care by then.Delete
Wow! I am so impressed you managed clothes and books! (The last time I sorted my books I couldn't find any of them; I kept returning to where I thought they were.) I have read bits of Kondo's book standing in Barnes and Noble, and have watched many of the videos of her on YouTube. She fascinates me. I love simplicity and minimal living anyway, but to be free of that which is surplus seems easier said than done. Giving away knickers, yes. Where I would struggle is with the boxes and boxes of journals, letters, photographs, etc. A friend has suggested scanning them all digitally, but somehow I would miss the feel and smell. Well, at least you have inspired me about the clothes and 'non-Penguins'. Well done!ReplyDelete
I will keep my journals b/c I love them. That is the main rule. If you love it, keep it. If you don't absolutely love it when you look at it then out it goes. It gets easier as you go.Delete
I have this mental image of saying "Do I love you?" to my knickers, which won't leave me now... Books are much more tricky!ReplyDelete
Yes the books are tricky but I must say I only have books in the house now that I really do love.Delete
Oh good for you. I've been doing this in dribs and drabs over the last couple of years. Making some inroads but not as much as I'd like. When I say this, I mean decluttering, not tipping it all onto the floor to do. Not sure I could go that far. I do have some very old tops that I haven't worn for a while. Must pull them out and move them on - to Vinnies like you. My American friend with whom I still do weekly snail mail letters (yes, we are techno-efficient but we like our "real" letters) said in last week's letter that she'd just read the same book - but she called it "The life-changing magic of tidying up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organising". Different imprint I guess! Anyhow, she said Kondo used the term "sparks of joy", which is essentially what you've said above. She said that she doesn't feel any sparks of joy about things in her kitchen but that if she got rid of everything her keen cook daughter would not be happy. I thought, hmmm, I don't feel many sparks of joy in the laundry either BUT perhaps it's not a room that needs much decluttering!ReplyDelete
Yes I do know what you mean. On You Tube and the blog Lavendaire.com she refers to the phrase "Does it spark joy?" This blog is a bit over the top but enjoyable if you are in the right mood. Your friend may like it though she may know about it. It isnice you can use snail mail. Years ago when we first moved here before eemail, we had a friend who would religiously type a one page letter weekly on the same day of the week. This went on for a few years. We knew all he was doing but it had to fit in on one page. He was in his late 70s and we really looked forward to them. He has been gone a long time now but I put each one into a large scrap book and it is fun to go back every so many years and reread them. They truly did spark joy so of course they remain in the house. You can't do that with emails in the same wayDelete