Thursday, October 7, 2010

Paring down

Since our return from our Alaska trip in July, my husband and I have been talking about purging our home of possessions. The simplicity of the two weeks that we spent away from home infected us both. We lived in a small room and didn't have any clutter around us. We both found that we were the most relaxed and calm that we have ever been.

We arrived home with big ideas, "let's sell everything" was going to be our mantra. I got rid of an entire bookshelf of books, more than 3/4 of "my" DVD's, 1/2 of my clothes, 2 tubs of old knick knacks and a few kitchen appliances. I recycled all of the magazines that I hadn't gotten around to reading yet and went through our toiletries and got them organized so we will use them all up instead of buying new stuff all the time. I got rid of our huge Christmas tree that we haven't put up in several years too. Then last night I cleared another entire bookshelf, I'll sell the books this weekend. I feel that I have done a great job.

My darling husband got rid of much less. I won't list his items here because I don't want this to turn into an angry rant and I don't want to be petty. I'll just say that he has gotten rid of some things, just a lot less than I have.

If you know us, you know that we are book lovers/collectors. We took pride in our library of over 2,000 books. We had them all cataloged and organized. It was hard for me to get rid of my books, I cried and changed my mind back and forth and even had a few panic attacks in the process. I have now gotten rid of around 600 books. The only books I have kept are my reference books, trivia books, books that I will read again and books that I have yet to read. Yes, I do still have two bookshelves full of books, so it's not like I got rid of everything.

My husband has as many books as I did, but he doesn't want to get rid of any more. I get how hard it is. I really do, but we did all this talking about sacrifice and how much better our lives could be if we lived simpler and with less. I took it seriously. I looked at my belongings and thought about whether or not I would want to take them with me if/when we move. If the answer was no, then they were tossed, donated or sold.

I still have a lot of stuff. There is more that I need to get rid of. I'll get rid of more books as I read them and I need to go through everything I have stored in the garage. But I am getting there, I just wish that he was too.

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