So this is what I’ve noticed. I’ve been paring down my books since my husband gave me my ereader. Books that made the cut last yard sale weren’t so lucky today. I pulled everything off the shelves and took a good long look at each book. I had to really ask myself if I would ever read or use the book. I then had to ask myself if my daughter would ever read or use the book. I forced myself to be honest with myself and some of my “favorites” are just dust collectors. Many more cookbooks landed into the yard sale box. A handful of parenting books and self-help books landed in the box. Most of my case worker books are in the box. I figured if I don’t know how to be a case worker by now then I’m definitely in the wrong field. My life skills books that I swore I’d never part with are in the box. I simply don’t use them enough to justify the space they take up on my shelf. I’m hoping someone who will put them to good use will find them.
I have about 8 books that I’m undecided on. Most were recently purchased but I haven’t read them yet. I have them in a pile on the book shelf so that once I read them I can either pass them along or add them to the keep shelf. I may need to pick a date and if I haven’t started any of them I may as well part with them.
You know what’s strange? My hoarding part of my brain is starting to flare up big time. I think the purging is starting to trigger it. It’s especially bad with the books. I rarely crack open a cook book. I either cook what I know or look it up online. I rarely use a craft or activity book unless it’s colorful and illustrated. Typically I go online for ideas. I’ve been switching out my favorite physical copies of books for digital copies to free up more room plus I enjoy reading them more on the ereader. Here’s where the hoarding monster comes in – disaster, survivalist scenarios in where there’s no way to recharge my laptop or ereader. with no electricity I will lose all my books and have nothing to read. Writing it out makes it seem even more ridiculous because if there were a catastrophe I would unlikely be reading but trying to survive and two, if there were a major disaster I doubt that I would last long considering my cardio skills suck. If there were a zombie outbreak I’d be the tasty treat or the fat girl who trips and falls and gives the fitter people in my group an extra few moments to get away.
Here’s a sore spot – my bookshelf is fairly clear and has some open space. my family sees this as a drop spot. I need to create a habit of boomeranging their items from my space or shared spaces to their spaces. This rings especially true for my daughter.
We always work better when we have goals in mind so today my husband and I came up with our wish list. These are expensive items that we need/ want so I wrote them down so that I stop wasting money on items not on this list. We can’t afford to take on new debt so we are left with the following options to pay for the following list – we can sell our clutter/ excess possessions, we can cut back on our spending to include food purchases, we can find alternative ways to increase our income (try to sell my husband’s jewelry he makes on etsy/ try to sell more of our photos and graphic designs on cafepress) and reevaluate the list periodically to see if these items are still important to us down the line.
Here’s our list – the first one is our top priority right now due to problems with our current vehicle.
- A car – I definitely need something more fuel-efficient and something smaller than what we are currently using. A car would use up less gas than our jeep and the tires will be cheaper when we need to replace them.
- Fix the Jeep – tires, a windshield plus some other things needed. Once we get the car the Jeep will be the back up vehicle. We were going to try selling the Jeep but if there is an emergency with my daughter and I’m at work it could take an hour or more for me to get home (40 miles from home to office). some of my visits are much further away.
- Fix the external hard drive – the larger dog we used to have knocked this on the ground and broke it. It’ll cost about $2000 to recover our photos off of this. about 7 years of photos that we are hoping are recoverable.
- Upgrade camera – my husband and I are hobbyist photographers. He wants to be a professional photographer but we just aren’t there. Tonight we discussed what we needed to do to become better photographers. We need to practice, practice and practice some more. We are not as good as we used to be. I haven’t taken the time to learn my new camera (my camera recently broke and we had to replace it). I can tell you this much though – it’s way too slow and works lousy in low lighting. It seems like my husband has gotten sloppy with his work. The lighting is off, the posing is off, angles are bad. We also should upgrade both of our cameras but we need to at least upgrade mine.
- Upgrade photography equipment – some filters, a new flash, etc.
- Another AC unit. It’s so hot and our window unit in the living room is just not enough anymore. My husband really wants one for the bedroom since he’s been struggling with sleeping due to the heat.
- Paint the walls in the house.
I also thought it would be helpful to write down how I want to be spending my time so that when I’m trying to declutter I can see if it fits into my categories.
How I want to spend my free time
- NOT CLEANING
- Working on adding designs to cafepress
This list came rather quickly to me and there were a few things that surprised me. Gardening came without hesitation which means my OCD exercises are working. Gardening would not have come anywhere near this list this time last year. That area of OCD is weakening and I am getting stronger. Three of my four activites are solo activites. I went to write down “playing games” but the urge really isn’t there. I’ll play if my husband or my daughter asks me to but it’s not as strong as it used to be. Arts and crafts are no longer on this list. I think it was my fantasy self who liked these activities – the person who I wanted to be but not who I actually am. I really just want some time to myself, to read, think, process and write. I want to have outings with my husband and daughter, eat meals together, spend some time talking together but I need time alone as well.