Friday, March 14, 2008


Welcome to my new clutter-free life. At least, I'm getting rid of my clutter to make way for kid clutter.

This week I'm cleaning out the bookshelves. So far I've filled three boxes and recycled a lot of paper (uni essays and notes, training package flotsam, information and handouts painstakingly collected over years of enthusiastic participation in adult education courses). It's painful - the breakup of dozens of tiny relationships.

I am a person who loves my clutter. Well (as I explain to Lovergirl), it's not clutter. It's my history. It's all filed, or in alphabetical order on bookshelves, or arranged artfully catching dust in various crannies about the house. Bags of clothes I love are stowed away for when I fit into them again, and reminding me that once, I was a size ten. The shed is piled with small bits that will definitely come in useful. But like some house of horror, many things come into the house, but nothing ever leaves. Lovergirl travels much lighter. She accumulates and sheds in roughly equal proportions.

So I'm starting at the bookshelves. In principle, I should get rid of anything I haven't read yet. Sounds simple... but I might read them.

I can't decide whether to add these to the throw out box. I haven't read any of them. What do you think? Am I missing anything? Should any of these stay?
  • Gaita: The Philospher's Dog
  • Contemporary Cultural Theory
  • Reader's Digest Book of Sewing and Knitting
  • Patrick White: The Vivsector
  • Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow (really had better read that!)
  • The Woman's Comfort Book
  • AntiGay (arguing against the construction of gay identity, as I recall)
  • Leatherwomen (from my twenties!)
  • Kipling: How the Leopard Got His Spots
  • Kipling: Puck of Pooks Hill
  • Louis de Berneires: Red Dog
  • Charmaine Solomons' South East Asian Cookbook
  • Bronte: Jane Eyre
  • Paul Gallico: Thomasina
  • Annapolis Book of Seamanship
  • Natural Vision Improvement
  • Chloe plus Olivia (lesbian couples in history)
  • Clarissa Pinkola Estes: Women Who Run With the Wolves (remember that?)
  • Tim Winton: Dirt Music
  • Drusilla Modjeska: Poppy
  • Philip Larkin: Collected Poems
  • Henry Lawson: While the Billy Boils
  • Easy Home Projects with Wood
(By the way, if you want one of them, send me a stamped self addressed envelope and it's yours)


Mikhela said...

Honey - why not keep Gaita, Bronte, Winton, Larkin & free yourself from the rest. It's liberating! Yr LG

E, M, and the Little Man said...

I'm the clutter-gatherer at our house - as much as my partner will let me... :(

I haven't read any of those books, but now have some ideas for my Lesbian Book Club. Thanks.

Susoz said...

Getting rid of as much now as you can is a good idea because when the kids are about 2, the amount of Stuff that begins to enter your house is phenomenal. Little bits of plastic McD toys and crapola of a million kinds. I would literally take a bag a week of unwanted child stuff to the op shop. It's still happening.
Anyway, I'd keep Gaita, Anti-Gay (for historical reasons), the Kipling books for later child use, maybe, Charmaine Solomon, Jane Eyre and Phillip Larkin.

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to get rid of any boks, regardless of how crappy they are! Do you want to read any of them? You did do natural vision improvemnet once, I remember that your prescription improved, much to the disbelief of your optometrist!

Anonymous said...

I would never part with my Charmaine Solomon, she's essential.

The Editter said...

OMG! You are me! Apart from the lesbian bit and the mother of twins bit!

I'm a Cancer too, we hoard everything, from books to old lovers... Even though I have 30ish unread books on my shelves, I still took another 10 to look after while a friend is overseas. I have to read them all before Christmas when they get back. One a month, I can do that. Plus my own unread books. Plus bookclub books. Plus whatever else I get recommended/get out of the library/want to read. Eek!

JahTeh said...

I parted with Charmaine after the divorce and now regret it. Keep the Kiplings for reading to them even when they can't understand a word. My sister got the de-clutter genes in our family.

Mikhela said...

Okay, Charmaine's in.
Also all the others anyone recommended in these comments.
(I just needed the slightest excuse to hold onto them)

Kirsten said...

You can't seriously be getting rid of Poppy? I love that book. Or Winton. If it were me, I think I could part with the readers digest one on sewing and knitting, but then again... one day it could come in handy!

Kirsten said...

Mind you, what Susoz says is true too...