Thursday, May 26, 2016


Moving to another house is tough enough but moving to another hemisphere...well, let's just say that I've got a lot of work to do.

I don't tend to think of myself as possession-heavy but I know I have more stuff than I need. Since earlier this year, I've been slowly whittling back belongings (and going through the metric tonne of boxes I had stashed in my parents' basement). This was mostly pleasant work and I got to take a lot of walks down memory road. Plus, I had been promising my parents to empty that side of the basement for years so they were happy too. Most of that stuff was from college and earlier and I hadn't used any of it in over ten years so it was about damn time.

I think if I had to stand up before a group of Hoarders Anonymous members, I would have to admit that my vices are books and clothes and stationary. These would be the hardest to cut back. I would have to dig deep inside myself for the figurative machete of truth and prune the hell out of those jungles.

Which is precisely what I've been doing. Here is the plan of attack:

Stage 1 - Cut into the Closet
Stage 2 - Break up the Books
Stage 3 - Slash the Stationary

There's a term we use in the library world, called "weeding." Some folks may balk at the concept of pulling books off the shelves but it's actually quite beneficial to the health of a library. Weeding means to remove books and other materials that are outdated, worn and torn, and simply no longer of interest to the community. (Those are usually books that haven't been checked out by a customer in a year or more.) Librarians weed a collection to make it more relevant to their community. By getting rid of the junk, they end up with shelves full of the good stuff. And that's how I'm going to look at downsizing my stuff.

It doesn't have to be painful. It should be part of my journey. After all, I don't' define myself by my stuff. Clearing out all the clutter will give us more space to breathe, relax, and live life to the fullest.

Join me in the following posts, Cut into the Closet, Break up the Books, and Slash the Stationary, to see how I tackled each stage of my personal downsizing process.

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