Getting To It

I finally got my attic back.  Over the past few years, changes in the housing setups for the children have landed quite a bit of stuff in my attic.  She had a jeep load and so did he.  I got everything down and took it to them.  Then promptly loaded my own stuff up there.  I had things tucked in closets and the washroom.  With a place to put things I don’t use often, I can make room to spread out things I do use regularly. 

The winter cleaning has finally begun.  I started with the washroom.  It is very large and has a lot of storage space.  With the boxes removed and put in the attic, I have space to move things from crowded closets.  My idea is to eliminate layers.  I want to be able to get something from a shelf without having to move other things around.  It will require getting rid of some things, too.  Things I don’t really want.

Both the children have their own homes now that our daughter has bought hers.  I have so many things I have held on to in case they want them.  It’s time to get my house together.  I don’t mind them not wanting things I will offer them.  I just wanted to allow them time to be in a place to take them if they do want them.  Otherwise, the Salvation Army will have a few more things on the shelves.

I have several empty boxes awaiting things.  I haven’t filled them up.  I thought I would have by now.  However, I have had more company than I had planned.  Wonderful company. 

I’m working on a system or whatever than calls for no zero days.  The idea is to have certain things I will do every day and tasks I have on my things to do list and each one counts.  If I do even one of the everyday tasks or one of the things to do, it makes it not a zero day.  One done is not a zero day.

The older Duchess was with me the other day and she and I were talking about it.  I was sort of thinking out loud about it at least not being a zero day.  She wanted an explanation.  I told her that had certain things to do and if I did even one it was not a zero day.  I named a couple of things I had done and she reminded me of a couple more things. 

Her encouragement made my heart warm.  The little ones are paying attention.  Lord, let me get more right than wrong for them to see and hear and feel.    

Unbelievable

I have a thing for books.  All kinds of books.  I have how-to, self-help, fiction.  I have classics and pulp fiction paper backs.  I have beautiful books, cookbooks, ancient books.  Children’s books, art books, coloring books.  All kinds. 

Several years ago, I thinned my books and donated them. I regretted getting rid of some of them.  I bought them again, mostly used, on Amazon or at the local library’s annual book sale.  I think I got rid of them for the wrong reason.  I felt I “should” get rid of excess things thanks to my overindulgence in self-help books about getting rid of things. Since that time, I have been reluctant to thin again. 

I have a selection of books I call my hands off collection. No one can borrow them.  If you are my friend and want to read them, you have to come stay with me while you do.  You can get comfortable on the porch or on one of the beds in the back bedroom.  I’ll even cook for you. 

I don’t know what has clicked with me recently, but I found myself thinning my books.  Not the hands-off collection, but other books.  Especially the “self-help” ones. That has expanded to even more topics.  Some craft books and home decorating books have made it to the out pile.  I have enough in the pile to make it worth going to the second-hand bookstore that buys used books. What they don’t want, I will gladly give to the Salvation Army store. 

I think when I found I could buy Orchids on Your Budget on-line new or like new, I felt some release.  I actually bought three copies.  Now, that may seem silly.  I’m purging books because I bought three copies of a book I already have in the hands-off collection giving me a total of four copies.  That title is one of two books I have that will go in my purse if I have to evacuate.  The other is Headhunting in the Solomon Islands (not what it sounds like).  I can’t explain my love for them. They are both non-fiction from the 30’s.  The first is about living cheerfully and well on a budget.  The second is about two women who go to the South Pacific to capture sketches of the natives before they either became extinct or “modernized”.  Who knows what would happen if I find more copies of the second one?  I might really unload some junk.  (I haven’t look, yet.)

In the interest of being transparent, I have a long list of books I want to acquire with an idea to read them and a pile of books recently acquired from used book sales, with an idea to read them.  I am not quitting the book business.  I am trying to quit the keeping business.  Keeping for the wrong reasons.  I have new courage to face other areas of the house now that I have done the unbelievable and purged so many books with more in the target zone.  Still, I tried to face the scarf collection this morning without success.  Too much too soon. 

I will not give up on my process.  I will try to expand on this line of thought and work in the coming weeks. The reasons for all the keeping and the reasons for trying to stop keeping.  I do want to say now, though, I don’t have all that much.  I don’t have a lot of things in the attic.  I don’t have a garage or storage building or rented space.  I have only two or three medium size tubs of Christmas decorations.  I could pile all the items I have stored on shelves or closets in the middle of the living room floor and still be able to walk around it.  But, too much of it is stuff I don’t really use over the course of the year. Too much is stuff I acquired for the wrong reason. Now that I have done what I consider unbelievable, I will be challenged to do even more unbelievable things to prove myself to my own self.  That is the only proving I am interested in these days anyway……Unbelievable.