Who Are You Trying To Impress?

Spring Cleaning

I have been spring cleaning, ok decluttering again. I admit it’s often a distraction. This time I’m doing it intentionally. I’ve reached a turning point where I have some decisions to make. I am finding that doing physical as well as internal cleaning and clearing is helpful.

I reached into my bookcase the other day and discovered a thick layer of dust resting on the books on the top shelf. Many are books I have had for over thirty years.  These old paperbacks were held together by dust and mold including some of my collection of George Orwell and John Steinbeck. On closer inspection I discovered some were not worthy of anything else but recycling. Why had I kept these?

Who Was I Trying To Impress?

As I began thinking about the meaning behind these books. I realized there was an insidious reason why I had hung on to some of the books. At some level I wanted people to be impressed by them, by me.

The copy of Candide by Voltaire –unread, I did see the play once. Plato’s Republic, books on Irish politics, what was I keeping them for? At the back of my mind I realized that I thought maybe one day someone would ask me about them. I would then feel that my studies had been worthwhile. It would prove that I was not an ignorant illiterate. I was able to comprehend the serious stuff. My continuing insecurity still bubbles to the surface sometimes,  it took this moment to realize it.

I began to laugh at myself.  I considered what my visitors were probably really thinking.

Is that mold I can smell?

Dirty cow needs to clean those shelves.

Bet she’s never read any of them.

I wonder who else lives here?

Some things are for a season

I had also collected books with central figures of women finding themselves. Comfort reading after my first marriage broke up. I started to ask myself some honest questions about the possibility that I will ever read any of them again.

Let’s be clear I will be keeping lots of books. I will never be a total digital reader, I love books. I also have a strange idea  that the world might end and I will need something to read when the power goes out and the digital world is no more. While serious preppers are stockpiling bone broth, I’m hoarding fiction.

Goodbye To Do Lists

My mood for purging continued. I ripped out pages and pages from numerous notebooks and journals, with plans and ideas that would never be executed.

DeclutterA huge vision board that I rarely looked at was also trashed.

The process of just a short declutter session left me feeling lighter and more positive with two well organized bookcases.I finally feel like working in my office again.

Sometimes a purge and declutter session is both practical and therapeutic. Holding onto the past can hold us back from our future.

Do let me know if you find decluttering useful and what process you use?