So Marie says that the next phases are books and papers. I was the most worried about books (which I think is why I forgot to take before pictures!). Like a lot of people, books were a huge part of my childhood. I started reading chapter books with the Little House in the Big Woods and the Little House on the Prairie books from Laura Ingalls Wilder and it just snowballed. I know way too much about the impact Henry VIII had on western society, religion, and divorce thanks to Philippa Gregory and learned about leprosy and the mistreatment of native Hawaiians from Alan Brennert. Books have been an escape and a refuge for almost my whole life. I nearly considered making them a sentimental item, but I wanted to follow her process. That is the point after all.
I largely got rid of some Spanish textbooks I am positive I won’t miss (Sintaxis del español haunts me enough as is), my Philippa Gregory collection and a few others I didn’t particularly enjoy the first read through or ones that I don’t feel any draw to reread. Marie also talks about identifying of your “Hall of Fame” books and how to work through getting rid of those. I identified them but am definitely not getting rid of my Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harry Potter, or scribbled-in guide books from my first solo travels. But now all my books fit on the bookcase, although there isn’t really room for growth! And there 100% will be growth.
I don’t feel like I got rid of that much this round, but this bin is empty now and that makes me feel good!
Next was paper, to be honest I piled it up and then left it in a pile for a few days. There was not nearly as much as I expected. That’s probably due that I burned all my physics and chemistry and otherwise depressing notes and “obsolete” textbooks when I was home in July.
I didn’t really have a plan if I’m honest. I knew I really wanted to have less notes and conference proceedings and have all the things that I would need for taxes scanned and ready to be emailed at tax time. I actually ended up going through every conference proceedings I had and disposed of all of them! I also got rid of all my copies of my sorority’s magazine that I had been keeping since my initiation eight years ago, they are all available online if I want to refer back to any of them.
My next step was to scan everything I wanted to keep but didn’t actually need physical copies of. This was short stories I loved from my Spanish classes, receipts for taxes, old tax receipts (not my actual tax returns), and some potentially important but probably not bank stuff. I lightly organized those files in my computer but mostly left them be for what I am making a separate step.
I also went through and downloaded digital versions of my owners manuals that I had kept.
It’s funny, I got rid of significantly less this round. But this is where I really felt the difference that decluttering is supposed to provide. Clothing and books didn’t really provide that much sense of a change, but papers somehow changed my mood and made me feel lighter.
You also don’t have pretty after pictures! It’s just gone! Coming soon: Komono or Miscellaneous… that may be a series of posts because it is everything else.