Spring Cleaning

Office bookshelf

Office bookshelf

A local university is hosting a book sale next week and sent me an email seeking donations. YEAH -the reason I need to go through my 5,000 books (only a slight exaggeration) and weed out the ones I am no longer interested in. This process of "spring cleaning" brought up several thoughts and questions I want to share. 1) I am a collector of books. I really love looking at my book shelf and seeing a zillion books about a wide variety of topics - EVEN if I have not read them all or have read them and think them fairly worthless.

2) Why is it difficult for me to throw away things I no longer use? or are just taking up space? What do I hang on to because it looks good or it's expected that I should have "that book" on my shelf?

3) Let's get beyond the books, what life 'stuff' am I keeping on the shelf because I like to keep it in my library just in case I ever need it? or I think people expect me to have that "book on my shelf"?

4) There are some treasures on my bookshelf that I have completely forgotten about.  That is why my one hour project turned into four hours. I would pull out a book and on the way to the donation box, I would open to a page and start to read and ... I would find a quote or a story that had meaning for me. I'm not sure it's worth keeping the whole book for a few quotes or stories, so how do I keep the parts that add value and get rid of the rest?

5) Hmmm, that sounds like a metaphor for life, too.  What things do I hang on to for just a small part of meaning, but the rest is just taking up space?

I'm sure there are other deep thoughts and probing questions we can all pull from this spring cleaning moment I had. I know that I don't go through my collections/library/storage/closets/cabinets/drawers often enough. It seems as if I should do it more often and that when I do physical spring cleaning, I would be well served to set aside time to clean the "house of me".  What stuff is garbage and I need to dump it?  What are the treasures that I have forgotten about?

I'd love to hear your comments on this ...tis the season for cleaning ...let's make it "power" cleaning this year and increase our personal power by looking beyond the tangible!

I included the photo because I want to talk about my unique book approach to organizing the books on the shelf in my next post.  Can you guess why it's organized by colors?


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