My aunt recently read Kondo’s book about tidying (“The life-changing magic of tidying”), promptly, and in her usually mildly obsessive way, then re-read it, followed the rules, waxed lyrical about it to all and sundry and inundated various charity shops with her recently Kondo-d items.
My Mother, naturally having spoken at length with my aunt, has likewise devoured the book (and is on a slower, second run through) and is steadily working her own subtle warfare throughout her house.
I have, admittedly, NOT read the book. Nor do I particularly intend to. that is by no way disregarding (or advocating for that matter) it’s merits, merely that I find myself unmoved by the temptation to read it.
However, the similar desire to seriously downsize my possessions, granted not quite in a Tashjian’s “The Gospel according to Larry” 75 items in my possession kind of way, but a similar overall approach, also loomed large in my mind.
It has been extremely…liberating. I have been extremely ruthless and I have gone through EVERYTHING I own, which whilst not particularly extensive, has been a pretty decent undertaking. I have been particularly ruthless with my books. *shock*gasp*horror* (choose your own reaction) I honestly have no idea as to the quantity of books that have recently been evicted from my shelves and packed off to Oxfam post haste, but we are talking multiple boxes of a reasonable size. I do have some stragglers remaining, but that is because they have been purposefully hived off for my cousins perusal and that is time permitted. However, anything that they reject will also make it’s way to Oxfam.
On the book cull front, my parameters were thus;
1) Did I really like it so much the first time around that I need to keep the copy?
i) Do I have it as an ebook? (see #2)
ii) Will I actually re-read it? (a) Have I ever yet re-read it, b) Based on that, am I likely to want to read it multiple times more?
2) Do I have it as an ebook?
i) Yes, but the physical copy genuinely means something to me (that premise only actually accounts for three of my books as it turns out, thus despite an ebook, their little paperback heiny’s were saved)
ii) Does it not work as an ebook? (a) Pratchett/Fforde, anything with footnotes does not. Therefore they stay on the shelves as do the Graphic Novels.
3) Do I really want to keep it?
i) Granted this is really a tie-in criteria to all of the above.
End result? Much empty shelves, a spot of rearranging and my Brent-Dyer, Paddington and picture books from my childhood have finally made their way out of their boxes and onto shelves with a little wiggle room to spare. Incidentally, it took me more than one go through the shelves to finally reach the kept books I have remaining.
So far, nary-a regret, and I don’t see any arising in potentia either….which is nice.
I love books (mine or otherwise), but for many of the books I love it is not the physicality of the book itself that is necessary, but knowing I have an ebook version is often enough.
The main reason for such an extended cull was that I felt I had removed myself too far for comfort from the public lending libraries, and that that was something I really wanted to re-engage with.
With everything else (and granted books made up the large majority of my possessions) I went through I became better and judging whether or not I genuinely wanted to keep something. I went through the attic at my Mom’s, liberated my tent (aired it out in my living room for a couple of days), rid myself of things I either no longer cared for, or held no especial attachment to.
All of this sounds like I just did it in one fell swoop. It took multiple days and quite a lot of tea to make up my mind on some things.
Part of me feels like this was just Phase 1. I feel as if I may have to go through everything else again at a later date, and check to see if I was right the first time around in wanting to retain a given item. Only a very few things were allowed to stay based upon my indecision.
Ultimately it has been a freeing exercise from the trappings of material possessions. Now I need to go through and check that everything is appropriately housed and available to be accessed easily.
Oddly, all of this was primarily down to wanting an actually comfortable chair for reading in. For my 32nd birthday, this past March, my Gran decided (granted based upon my own muttered musings) to buy me a decent reading chair as my gift. I’ve gone with IKEA’s Pello type, a nice affordable model, that is actually exactly what I would want from a reading chair. It is comfortable, with a low enough seat and high enough arm rests, a big enough seat that should I wish to curl up I can and a back that does not throw your head forward when leaned back upon.
I’d like to take this opportunity to revisit my Larry list now that I come to think about it, and that I threatened to do at the end of the last list version I made…however many years ago and see whether or not it has changed or not.
In no order, and the caveat is that clothing counts, household items (within reason) such as cutlery, chairs, fridge do not)
2. Rabbit (knitted – had it since I was born)
3. My mini Bast – cat statue
4. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop cafe – Fannie Flagg
5. Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott
6. Shakespeares Comedies collected volume
7. 7 Wonders Board game
8. The World Unseen – Shamim Sarif
9. Lirael – Garth Nix
10. Thief of Time – Terry Pratchett
11. Collected poetry of Rainer M. Rilke
12. Photo of Dad
15. Dogger – Shirley Hughes
16. Diary/notebook thingy
18. External hard drive
20/1. Craft Knife and board
22. Lava Lamp
24. NUS card
25. Library card
26. Driving License
27. House Keys
29. Sunglasses (prescription)
35. Button up shirt
37. Sleeping bag
53- 58. Socks
70. Bank Card
71. Oxford English Dictionary
72. Complete British Wildlife Guide
75. Lighter sweater
Hmm, seems that the majority of my list is devoted to pretty practical items and not a great deal of ‘frivolous frippery’. I do quite like that for the most part it would pretty much fit in a decent sized backpack.