Monday, July 23, 2007
Clearing the clutter~
I'm always impressed with bloggers who post a "Books I'm Reading" list. I'm impressed with their books, some of which I have never heard of, but they sound impressive. Just the titles alone impress me.
If I had a list, it would be eclectic, with some embarassingly non-impressive sounding titles in among the impressive ones. There are some impressive books I read. I'm impressed anyway.
I'd never list the Cosmopolitan Magazines I find beside my daughter's bed when I take a nap in her room, or the magazine slop I fall prey to in the supermarket checkout line; I don't call that reading. That's how I numb my mind to fall asleep, and learn-- yet again that there is no way at all to lose belly flab without diet and exercise, along with learning a few more things "men secretly desire."
Along the lines of an embarrassing book to admit reading, I grabbed a copy of "It's All Too Much" off the "new release" shelf when I went to the library to pick up my impressive titles.
I'd seen the author Peter Walsh on Oprah. He's handsome with emerging crow's feet and short chin beard thing. On the book jacket photo, he has just a touch of gel in his hair, and an appealing close-mouthed half smile. He had me at "Hello."
Peter is an "organizational consultant" who helps people clean up their clutter. I started reading in bed; another put me to sleep book, I thought. He said he would dig me out "from under the overwhelming crush of my own possessions." He described people who lived with mountains of stuff, stored, and overflowing until their living space was invaded.
Poor things, I thought smugly. My house looks neat. If you don't open a certain closet or two. Or go into the storage space down cellar. Or the attic. Or my underwear drawer, I thought with a jolt.
I didn't fall asleep with this book tented across my chest. When I did put it down and turn out the light, it was with new resolve, a new mindset.
I'm dumping a little each day: things I never use, will never use, have never used, don't even know how to use. I've given away clothes, jewelry, shoes, pocketbooks, and other things that haven't seen the light of day for a long time.
But there are still the items that have sentimental value. Handsome Pete makes a good point. If they are is so important, why are these items sitting in moldy boxes in the cellar? My sentimental objects are not in my cellar. Nor are they moldy. Still, Pete is merciless. "If they are so important to you why are they in drawers or on closet shelves?" he demands.
Great point, Pete. I'm working on the sentimental things. But meanwhile, you should see my underwear drawer. Now I call it my "lonj - er - ay" drawer.