Too many books? Be brave and declutter. Passing on books for others to enjoy is very liberating!
Whatever your profession, it is vital to keep up to date with new ideas and trends. As a professional declutterer, I am always on the lookout for articles and publications which might inspire me or give me useful pointers to share with clients. Thus, Joshua Becker’s recent publication, ‘The More of Less’ (subtitle: finding the life you want under everything you own) recently hit my radar and so I decided I ought to read it.
In this book, Mr Becker describes a specific day when he was sorting out the clutter in his garage, whilst simultaneously regretting the fact that this chore was preventing him from playing ball with his young son. As he struggled with a pile of possessions, his immediate neighbour casually said, ‘Maybe you don’t need to own all this stuff’. That chance remark set him on a very clear path to minimising his possessions and maximising his life. This is the journey which he describes in this book.
I found several of the book’s themes inspiring and motivating. The theme that struck a real chord with me was the idea of decluttering and using your unwanted possessions to benefit others. You can do this directly or by releasing them to raise funds for good causes. Those of you who have read my earlier pieces will know that when I declutter I try and match items set aside during a decluttering session with very specific causes. Mr Becker’s theme really resonated with me.
Following some excellent advice
Well, I finished the book earlier today, closed it and went to put it on the shelf. Suddenly I encountered a very real problem: my shelves were full to bursting and I didn’t have any room for this slim volume. What to do? Easy, take a leaf out of the book I had just been reading, declutter my books and donate those I didn’t need any more to a worthwhile cause. I set about the task with gusto.
Here is my starting point: overloaded shelves with books piled high where I had run out of space on the shelves. It was quite an eclectic mix: old school text books next to best sellers and several series of murder mysteries which I had built up over time, carefully ticking each one off a list in my diary. As I took each book off the shelf, I quickly knew which I wanted to keep and which could go.
This photograph shows how many books I decluttered, ready to go to friends or to a charity shop to raise much-needed funds. This really is quite an impressive cull, even if I say so myself. Far from feeling deprived, I am happy that others will enjoy these wonderful books and that the money they raise will support good causes.
‘The More of Less’ gave me the motivation I needed to look at my fiction collection with fresh eyes and see just how many books I could put to good use. Very much a case of practising what I preach!
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Originally published on LinkedIn on 17th January 2017.