books: create home thru konmari

For our first-ever Enjoy Life Project, we are working on Creating Home. The first step is to purge my home of the unnecessary, anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or loved. I am using the KonMari method, developed by Marie Kondo, a Japanese decluttering guru and author of two book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up {LM} and Spark Joy {SJ}.  So far, I’ve introduced the project, discussed my criteria and completed my clothes (part I and part II).

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When tidying Marie’s second category, books, Marie invites us to ask this question: What kind of books will reflect the kind of person I want to be?

If you read this blog with any regularity you will know that I love books and I love reading.  Books have always sparked joy for me.  They have such a special place in my heart that I devoted the entire month of October last year to discussing their importance to me. I went into the books category fairly confident that the books that I had sparked joy. Even more confident than I was with my clothes.  I had purged a few books from my shelves last year because I had a suspicion then that seeing some of those books was making me feel guilty about past decisions. So, a lot of them went. I didn’t think that I would need to get rid of very many.

And I was right.  I own 193 books. I gave away six of them.  Marie includes magazines in the books category and I had 29 magazines.  I kept 13; three of which were of historical nature and featured Michelle Obama on the cover, eight were for reference as I work on various writing projects, and two were current issues that I am in the process of looking through.

It took me one and a half hours to go through all my books. Seeing them all on the floor was a little unnerving but it didn’t make me shudder. The sheer volume of them sparked joy. I was happy to have so many of them in my life.

Surprising Discoveries

Books that reflected my current life were on the bottom shelves. My books about writing, research, etc. were on my bottom shelves and all the books about my past and former careers: event planning, grant writing, administrative support, were front and center. That struck me as to the value that I was placing on my current situation and how I was hanging onto the dreams of yesteryear. I changed that immediately. And now my goals are at eye-level.  It’s been a very interesting shift.

Unread books can be taboo in both the reading community and Marie Kondo and I was afraid that I would have a lot of unread books.  Shockingly, I only had 15, three of which I let go. And here, as a bookman (a person who loves books and reading), I must disagree with the venerable Marie. “The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it.”  I have a number of books on my shelves that I initially didn’t read or started reading and didn’t finish. But I came back to them later to discover that the time was right for me to read them. Women Food and God by Geneen Roth and The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge fall into this category for me.

Still To Do

85b7544a-7f1e-42bd-be72-14e94a7cd15dI am getting new bookshelves so that I can see all my books. Right now, most them are stored behind each other because while my bookshelf is very wide, it is not very tall. After I get the bookshelves and as I place the books on the shelf, that I will probably purge some more. My bookshelves will be constantly evolving: highlighting the girl I was and showcasing the woman I am now while pointing the way to who I hope to become.

By tidying, Marie says that I am honing my intuition and ability to take action. I love that. I’m going to need it because paper (and all that THAT entails) is next. OH BOY!

enjoy life…

Please ask any questions you may have in the comments. There are no stupid questions and I do enjoy sharing what I am learning. Please ask away.

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