I have a wonderful colleague and friend who just puts books on hold for me if she thinks I’ll like them. I do the same for her, of course. This isn’t one I would have picked for myself. She didn’t like it so much, but I guess it’s changing my life. More on that later.
It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh
This is an inspirational book on organization from the host of TV’s Clean Sweep, which I have never seen. His actual organization tips are fairly standard – get rid of things you don’t use, keep only what will fit in your space, make a place for everything you own and put it back every day. If you haven’t read organization books before, it’s worth reading; otherwise you can skip these sections. Where the book really shines is in motivating you to start in the first place, and in helping you determine what to keep and what to get rid of. First for your life and then for each space, Walsh asks you to close your eyes and imagine your ideal life. If your vision includes family meals in the dining room, clear it out. If your dream home is furnished with modern items, find another way to remember your grandparents than their antiques. For each room, everyone should write down and agree on its functions. Create zones for each of the functions, and take out anything that doesn’t contribute to any of these. There’s also a nice month-by-month plan for keeping up after your major reorganization. There are a lot of books like this out there, but if you need help with the motivating and the keeping it up, this one could be right for you.
Well. We’re officially in the middle of trying to reclaim our yard right now, so I can’t plan on going through his whole plan just yet. For not going through the plan, though, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about. The first thing I thought was – we put our old sofa upstairs when we moved in, thinking that it could be a kind of secondary living room. We’ve moved things around several times, and the sofa has never been anything but in the way, because what we primarily value about that space is that it’s open. Even when we have parties, people sit on the floor rather than that sofa. So I made my first-ever post to Freecycle, and out it’s going. I gave away my old bike (the one my parents bought for me that I always felt so guilty about not using), as well as the bike seat that Mr. FP was too big for when we were given it. Those will both have a happy home, and I’ll hope that my mother’s old bike will work better for me.
So far the hardest thinking has been about my craft supplies. He said no more than three hobbies, no more than three on-going projects. Well. The three crafts that I do the most are, in order, knitting, card-making and sewing. I made arrangements to give away my inkle loom (I hope you have fun, ), and am going to knit something for ’s mother in exchange for her finishing the cross stitch I started 15 years ago and just don’t want to finish myself. I still need to go through my fabric, as I know there’s a lot I won’t use. That shouldn’t be too hard to get rid of, though. I am patting myself on the back for not taking up scrap booking. Even so, there is no way I could really say I have only three hobbies. I am not giving up my beads. I tend to do small, finite project with them, like the stitch markers and jewelry I made for Christmas gifts this year, and it all fits in one small drawer with other miscellaneous craft supplies. I can’t bring myself to part with my flute, even if I don’t practice anymore. I should probably give away my piano music – anyone here want the music books for Les Mis, Miss Saigon, and/or Phantom? I’m counting gardening as yard maintenance, not a hobby. And – there are a few other areas where I know we have stuff that I can pull together for trash or charity on a rainy afternoon. Big organization and the vortex of chaos that is ’s desk (love of my life, you know this is true) will have to wait a few months.