Saturday, February 2, 2013

Head Start on Spring Cleaning (sort of)

This was supposed to be my year for getting organized.

I come by my pack-rat tendencies honestly: I think my dad is still wading through receipts from the 1970s.  In my defense,  I have a lovely husband and three terrific little kids, but none were blessed with any organizational or cleanliness genes.  Things fall where they will, and no one notices except me when I get home from a looong looong day at work.

So this year I finally decided that enough was enough.   We're talking not just tidying up the precarious piles of papers, books, clothing, toys, etc that crowd every room of the house.   I do that periodically anyway (usually an hour or so before the arrival of guests, because though I may have gotten used to the clutter, I always fear that someone not skilled at navigating such chaos might get lost on the way to the bathroom).  What I meant to do this year was weed through, sort, and donate or toss all the unnecessary crap that followed us across the country from home to home and job to job.  

I got through phase one pretty handily:  washing, folding, and boxing all the maternity clothing and supplies that I am never going to need again.   Our local hospital happened to be collecting donations of clothing, so one short drive and I was shed of four big boxes of gently used "Pea in a Pod" and "Motherhood" dresses, "Liz Lange" full-belly panel pants, and "Japanese Weekend" nursing tops.

Next step:  sorting the books.  OK, I admit I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to books.  Chalk it up to a touch of ADD.  I don't believe in serial monogamy when it comes to reading.  I'm more of a sample the smorgasbord type, before returning to the buffet for seconds of what I really like.  So at any given time, I'm reading four or five or six books from different genres (and that's not counting the technical journals I read in the office breakroom while wolfing down my brown-bagged sandwich between patients).  And if I like what I'm reading, I'm willing to share (as long as I get it back), but I'm not willing to part with it forever.  In fact, I've been known to buy a second copy of favorite novels that have somehow never found their way back to me after being lent out.

So--no big surprise--this is when I got bogged down.

I mean, how can you decide what to weed out for donation without actually opening the cover and reading a few lines or rifling through the pages?  And then how do you keep from getting sucked in all over again?  Obviously, those books will remain on my keeper, shelves.  But the process will take much longer than I anticipated.

One good thing to come out of this, though, is that I am now putting up a list of "favorite" reads:  authors, books, blogs, etc.  Check it out here:  What I'm Reading .  Like the rest of my life, it's not quite organized, and certainly not complete.  But it's definitely a work in progress, and one that I'm going to enjoy updating on a regular basis.  Stay tuned!