Purge Update: Books and Papers

I know it’s been a while since my last post about what I now refer to as the Great Purge of ’16. I am still working steadily on fully reorganizing our little basement space, and I’ve even managed to get Nate on board. After going through all of my clothes, I moved on to books and papers as prescribed by my personal purge-guru Marie Kondo.*

I find the hardest part of all this organizing and sorting is actually rounding up everything that fits in the chosen category. Even living in a pretty confined space, it’s incredible how many different places I have found to store books. Most were on the shelf, yes, but I had a good stack on my night stand, craft books in with my knitting stash, a bunch of books stuffed in the coffee table, and miscellaneous others scattered around the house. I didn’t count how many books I started with, but there were quite a lot. I stacked them all on and around the coffee table we have in the basement.

I’m pretty sure the book suggests you sort your books into categories before going through them, but getting all the books off the shelf had kind of worn me out, so I just dug in. I had already gotten rid of quite a few books several months ago when Nate wanted a shelf or two on our bookshelf, so sorting through searching for sparks of joy felt slightly redundant at first. Still I found more than a few books that I was willing to part with.

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I think I counted 37 books in the sell/donate pile. As I was re-shelving all the books to keep, I ended up getting rid of maybe 10 more. That’s nearly 50 books off my shelves and into the world! One perk of living in Portland is that anytime you have books to pass on you can sell them to Powell’s Books and get cash or store credit. Powell’s didn’t buy everything (the rejects went to Goodwill), but I did end up with $50 in store credit to replenish my newly-purged shelves.

Purging papers was a pretty boring process, and just felt like a really deep filing session. I emptied my file cabinet and corralled all my loose papers and set to recycling. I kept the majority of my files, but I did get rid of a bunch of now-useless papers and junk mail. Just one very full bag to shred and recycle, but good progress, I think.

*While searching for the Marie Kondo links, I found this article that came out in the New York Times Magazine just this week! Check it out!