So, having three blog–one for perfume, one for clutter, and one for everything else–didn’t work. Dividing my attention between the three of them meant that at least two, and possibly all three, were going to starve.
So everything, including the clutter posts, will now be at ChickenFreak’s Obsessions. I hope that you’ll visit me there.
All right, this post is going in the wrong direction–the acquisition direction. You see, ever since going to dinner at a friend’s house and admiring her Easter decorations, I have wanted a bunny figurine. Not just any bunny figurine; it would have to be just exactly the right bunny figurine, chosen after long thoughtful perusals of the offerings available on eBay or antique shops or flea markets. Something quite small, something vintage shading into antique, something that Agatha Christie’s Tuppence might have inherited from her elderly auntie.
And this craving for a bunny ties into a more dangerous craving. I want to own stuff that will allow me to decorate, in a small way, for the holidays. All the holidays.
Is this a bad thing, a hoarding thing, a thing that will tend to undo my decluttering efforts? I don’t think so, though I may be rationalizing. My thought, or rationalization, is that decluttering is not about eliminating all joy in possessions, and it’s emphatically not about eliminating joy in one’s home. It’s instead about increasing joy in one’s home, by sweeping away all the joyless junk and clutter. So one bunny figurine, all bright and happy on the shelf, seems like a good rather than a bad thing. The same for one leprechaun. (Actually, I already have two tiny elf-like figurines, inherited from my grandmother, that may well be leprechauns. Hmm.) Or one framed vintage Valentine. Or… well, I don’t know what I’d use for New Year’s, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
You see the general idea, yes? I could have one or two items for each holiday, and the whole collection could be stored in a single box, perhaps a beautiful vintage box while I’m at it.
A dangerous notion? I’m just not sure.
I love libraries. I always have. I never associated the library with homework, because I never had homework in grade school. To me, the library was where you went to get fun books. And a place where a child could enter the adult world and be treated more or less like an adult–sure, they might encourage you to browse the children’s room, but you were still browsing the shelves and checking out books, just like everybody else.
And the library was so clean, so neat, so civilized. My childhood home was cluttered, so it was good to spend time in a place where everything had a place, and everything functioned as it should. There was a wonderful candy-store feeling about being able to take home any book off the shelf, and a nice clean feeling about bringing the books back, and getting them out of the cluttered house.
Now that we’re living in one place instead of two, we’re making use of the library again, and it’s wonderful again. And there’s that interlibrary loan thing! I don’t know if the libraries of my childhood didn’t have it, or if I just wasn’t aware of it, but it gives me the sense of having that candy-store access to any book, if I’m willing to wait a bit.
And, to drift back on topic, there’s the returning part. I’ve slipped into a habit of buying almost all my books, most of them used and inexpensive, but al the same that made reading an activity that sets me up for future decluttering obligations. The library takes care of that.
Of course, it doesn’t take care of the past backlog, so I’ll post this and start looking for some books to declutter. Perhaps I’ll return with an actual declutter of the day.
As I mentioned in this post, elseblog, we’ve moved. And we brought a whole lot of junk with us, much of which needs to go away.
In additional to doing the traditional donations, trash, and End Of The Driveway With A Free Sign, Himself wants to throw a garage sale, or possibly two, or, not inconceivably, three.
I’ve never had a garage sale, not even as a kid. My parents weren’t really the getting-rid-of-stuff type, and I suspect that Mom would also see every garage sale patron as a prospective burglar, scouting the place with the intention of returning to steal priceless artifacts like our avocado refrigerator and mid-century stereo. So I have no experience with this particular aspect of American culture.
Of course, being me, I can’t do anything without reading about it. And it occurred to me that garage sales are an American cultural phenomenon, surely one that qualifies for a well-researched but entertaining book or three. I found myself thinking of The Lawn: A History of an American Obsession, a book that I enjoyed very much and regret decluttering to the used bookstore, and imagining an equivalent for garage sales. So I went off to Amazon, musing about how delightful it would be if the same author (Virginia Scott Jenkins, I see) wrote this theoretical book.
Well, no, but as it turns out, she wrote a book called Bananas: An American History. I really have to read that one. And in fact, there are a startling number of books about bananas.
But moving on to garage sales, I see Garage Sale America, but it’s not quite what I want. The author apparently went traveling with a truck and a batch of small bills, visiting garage sales all over the country. That’s a little too much in the present. Then there’s a murder mystery called Garage Sale Stalker, but that’s not quite what I want either. It appears that a fully satisfactory work on garage sales as social history is yet to be written. Should I suggest it to Ms. Jenkins?
I digress. Actually, this entire post appears to be a digression. Perhaps I’ll return to the subject tomorrow.
So, I started declutteroftheday on Blogspot. The original idea was that I’d get rid of at least one thing a day, and post about it.
Then I slacked off.
Then I started writing random philosophizing about clutter and hoarding.
Then I slacked off again.
Then I noticed that Himself was blogging on his effectively and prolifically on his phone, on his WordPress blog, while I had to get home to my laptop. And my loyalty to Blogspot was strained. And I thought that, hey! the blog that could really use the benefit of easy any place, any time blogging was poor neglected declutteroftheday.
So here I am. Will I blog? Will I declutter? We’ll see.
(And all those posts that confusingly come before this introductory post? Those are from the old blog. I’m slowly moving them in.)
So, in the perfume blog, I wrote a post about curating my perfume collection. What to keep, why to keep it, how to choose between the advantages of competing bottles, and so on.
It occurs to me, why not do that with all my stuff? Specifically, today, my books? I have rules that I’ve been following for a while, but I don’t recall ever writing them down.
The underlying basis for the rules is the question, why do I keep books?
The more I declutter, the more I’m bothered by gifts. That is, by lots of routine gifts given by lots of people to lots of other people. Loot. Piles of boxes. As I try to develop a mindset where I seriously consider whether my stuff earns its space, the giving and receiving of lots of loot seems more and more like a bad thing.
It’s not that I dislike the idea of gifts. I love the idea of gifts. Read the rest of this entry »