Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Spring Cleaning!

I have been decluttering like crazy over the past week. There has been so much dust flying around that I keep sneezing! I'm actually quite tidy nowadays (a contrast to my teenage years of a floor covered in clothes and magazines), but I had amassed piles of stuff that I didn't need. I was fed up with sleeping in a room that would pelt me with books if a large plane flew overhead.

Some of the stuff I wasn't ready to get rid of until now — folders of university notes, ancient short story drafts, random pots of Play-Doh... Other stuff was useful, I convinced myself. My back issues of Mslexia were bound to come in handy. Except that a lot of the information in old magazines is out of date. That is the nature of magazines. So I went through all 5 box files of Mslexia and tore out useful articles, interviews and fiction. It all fitted into a single folder — with space left for future cullings from Mslexia.

Books were another issue. I'm never going to be someone who owns just 10 books, but I forced myself to admit that I would probably never re-read many of my books. These are books I've enjoyed, but which are nowhere near being favourites. There are also loads of books I will probably read once and pass along. Most of these were bought in charity shops or as part of a special offer, or just picked up on impulse in the supermarket. I may not even read some of them. So what's the point in clogging up my precious shelf space with books I don't cherish?

This was surprisingly difficult to face up to, but easy once I got going. If I do get an urge to re-read any of the books I'm chucking, I can buy (and store) them on Kindle. In theory, I could replace all of my older classics for free on Kindle, but most of these ate favourites and worth the shelf space. I wouldn't be without my copy of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, complete with my AS notes in the margins.

I think spring has put me in the mood for simplifying my life and whittling down my possessions. I love red lipstick, but I have several different shades and don't need to buy more. In fact, buying more stuff in general costs far too much space, let alone money. I'm taking stock and focusing on the things that give me pleasure — reading books by authors I love, writing, hanging out with my friends and their daughters (the eldest of whom was delighted with my random pots of Play-Doh!), walking my dog, drawing, baking. There isn't much time or space left over for anything else.

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