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Decluttering the Tortoise crate again

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Tortoise1000
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Re: Decluttering the Tortoise crate again

#25114

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 22nd, 2017, 5:31 am

The boxes have arrived chez TJ and he is pleased with his new possessions. Though slightly dismayed by additional volume of stuff. I am confident that as a disciple of Marie Kondo, though, he will deal with it competently . All I have here now is one box of paperwork and treasures, which I don’t mind keeping safe for him, and the inevitable Lego and Brio being saved for the hypothetical grandchildren. Might have to thin out the latter at some point.

The bedding is all sorted . The surplus has gone to charity or TJ. Two complete sets of single bedding are shrunk into Lakeland vacuum tote bags. Again that might be subject to further thinning in due course, perhaps I don’t need two, but it is clearly separated out so further discards would be easy. The pillows are down to six. The double bedding is on the beds. It’s a great feeling to have so little. I have never lived in a house where there weren’t stacks of linen in the airing cupboard, but really, what was is all for? Illness and wartime shortages, I suppose.

I have dealt with the shoe problem by using one of the drawers under my bed. The one farthest from the door. All the shoes I don’t seem to have worn recently have gone in there. The few pairs I do wear are in a convenient drawer in the chest of drawers nearest the door. The idea is that the unworn ones can rest peacefully for a while, and any needed can be retrieved. Eventually the ones that are left can go.

I made myself thoroughly miserable with Mum’s diaries the other day . Reading about when my older brother died, and so on. I do find all this old stuff very depressing anyway. I am puzzled about what to do with them. It seems so drastic to throw away 50 years of detailed records. They aren’t journals, just ordinary diaries with a few words about what happened each day, but over the years it adds up to everything. I had the idea of reading one each day and then binning them, but as I say it made me very sad. I hesitate to have another go. If anyone has any advice about this I should be interested to read it. What should I do with them?

I realised, when I cheered up next day, that I am taking a very tough approach to all this. One normally puts it all in the garage, cupboards and attics to deal with later. I am not letting myself store any category of thing away until it has been properly decluttered. The result is going to be good but the process is hard. I can understand now why my Dad still had drawers full of my Mums stuff. It is just easier to leave it, indefinitely.

T

Tortoise1000
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Re: Decluttering the Tortoise crate again

#31010

Postby Tortoise1000 » February 12th, 2017, 5:07 pm

I have had a second epiphany as regards decluttering books.

The first was when I was about 30 and had accumulated a lifetime's (to date) volumes as keen readers used to do. I realised that it was decision time. This is the point at which people move into a large Victorian house and, over the subsequent decades, proceed to line every wall with books. It is like having one's brain out on display. I used to look at my books and think that if someone read them all, they would be me. It was turning into a collection , far too large and significant

I decided to call a halt to the accumulation and keep only those I might read again. Out went Arthur Mee’s Chidrens Encyclopedia 1908, the fascinating 18th century calf-bound Greek to Latin dictionary, my impressive university text books, the lovely Victorian Sunday School prizes, the interesting modern first editions and so on and so on.

Since then I have kept it down to a moderate 50 feet or so of books, weeded fairly frequently as new ones are constantly creeping in.

The number coming in is probably as bad as it has ever been, actually. I don’t read so much as I used to, since the Internet appeared, but then the internet has made getting the books so easy. A click of the mouse and they come through the door next day, probably for less than the price of a library fine and certainly a lot quicker. It has made the non-fiction books pile up here more, they used to be relatively more expensive , a considered purchase, but now thanks to wonderful Amazon they fly through the air to exactly who wants them.

An admirably 'green' new system, but it relies on people tipping books out as well as taking them in. I started unpacking my boxes with this in mind. I thought it was just a question of shelving them as usual while weeding out an unwanted few. This is about the tenth time I have moved all my books into a new house, and they did seem heavy to shift around this time.

To my amazement, I have weeded out scores of them. Hundreds, perhaps. I find myself thinking, that even if I do want to read it again, I can buy it again. It won’t be hard to find, and it won’t be expensive. Why keep anything but a few favourite novels that I re-read every year, and a few works of reference that I actually refer to?

The result is quite radical, and sadly rather dog-eared. My favourite books I have owned for anything up to half a century, and read as often as every six months. Some of them are collections of pages held together with elastic bands. In fact a lot of them have loose pages, it is quite interesting coming across a stray leaf and reading to find out which book it is from. Like the Amazon random 'Look Inside' feature, I suppose.

I haven’t quite finished the shelving of them, I am still taken aback by how few there are. Maybe some more can go, as I get used to this new line of thought. I stopped for a while to concentrate on getting rid. A few bagsfuls went down to the yacht club, where we have a bookcase of them, on sale in aid of club funds. But there were too many to take them all. Some I have put aside to offer to reading friends, and the scruffy ones are recycled. That left a big mound of bags of them, blocking access to the lounge. I had just resigned myself to loading the car, parking with difficulty at peak time outside the Oxfam shop and unloading them under the eyes of their unappreciative assistants . Then lo and behold, what should appear but another Age UK sack! It seems no time since the last one. Another note put out, the man in the van arrived and I helped him load them in.

He said it would be 8 weeks since the last time, and I can see from further up the thread that it was. I didn’t realise he worked on such a systematic timetable. It is good news for the decluttering. If he is going to come round every 8 weeks, like a decluttering fairy, then I shall make sure every 8 weeks that I have some stuff to donate.

T

todthedog
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Re: Decluttering the Tortoise crate again

#44763

Postby todthedog » April 9th, 2017, 12:03 pm

Moving around quite a bit, France, then Sweden, I still keep old favourite books. However I bit the bullet and bought an e-reader, took a while to get used to it and definitely lacks the feel and smell of a book. However you can get so many titles instantly on the internet, no waiting for the order, no postage which can cost as much as the book! Add an SD card and it holds a whole library.

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Re: Decluttering the Tortoise crate again

#44803

Postby gryffron » April 9th, 2017, 3:57 pm

Tortoise1000 wrote:I made myself thoroughly miserable with Mum’s diaries the other day . Reading about when my older brother died, and so on. I do find all this old stuff very depressing anyway. I am puzzled about what to do with them.

Some sort of local history society? Or even a local museum. Private diaries containing the news, thoughts, hopes and desires of someone living decades ago are treasure to such people. Even if they're not that old. They can be stored away (by them, not you) until they are.

Gryff

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Re: Decluttering the Tortoise crate again

#44818

Postby Tortoise1000 » April 9th, 2017, 4:58 pm

That is a coincidence , Gryff, I had just forced myself into the garage to try to sort out the mess. All this stuff is so useful! TJs buoyanncy aids, for example. Dad's l collection of electrical flex. It is just too much. It doesnt help that the retired builder is out of action, he was going to build me a shed and meanwhile the garden stuff is all in the garage, and I am not doing the garden because I am sorting out junk. Retreated for a restorative glass of coke.

gryffron wrote:Private diaries containing the news, thoughts, hopes and desires of someone living decades ago are treasure


I wondered about that. I looked up what she had written at the height of the Suez Crisis (the week commending 29 October 1956). It says: 'Half term' :-)

T


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