Four bookcases. And still my book collection doesn’t quite fit the sagging shelves. If they had a Book Addicts Anonymous, I would be the first one at the meeting, chugging copious amounts of my own personally brewed “snob” coffee, analyzing the incoming addicts for their particular tastes, and introducing myself with all the intelligence and enthusiasm of a well-rounded reader.
Hi, I’m Sarah. And I LOVE books. I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 4 hours flat on my third wedding anniversary while my long-suffering husband indulged my addiction and went to sleep. I have ten newly-started books sitting on my bedside table and I will probably have them all finished by Labor Day. My earliest bed time this week was 1:30am and that was only because I had to get up for a training run at 5.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only collection I’ve accumulated since I left college far behind and joined the ranks of stay-at-home moms everywhere. Not that a stay-at-home mom is necessarily always a hoarder. I think it might actually be genetic for me.
On my dad’s side.
My collections are scattered all over my house and I still have yet to learn the art of “Space for everything and everything in its space.”
So to name a few:
- Clothes that I will NEVER fit into again, not because I will never get back to my pre-baby weight, but because my body has naturally formed new curves since I’ve had my littles. By default, I won’t even look sexy in the clothes even if I manage to squeeze myself into them long enough to cut off oxygen supply to vital body parts.
- Papers: Seriously, I have papers from every one of my kid’s art projects, even if it was just ONE tiny little barely there yellow scribble from the 2 year old in the upper corner of a crumpled, ripped piece of printer paper. I keep telling myself I’m going to take pictures and store the digital files, but well…the stack is kind of intimidating and I’m a little afraid it’s going to transform into an artistic monster ready to snap off my fingers if I get too near.
- Kid’s clothes that went out of style when I was a little baby. I kept them for sentimental purposes without really thinking about the fact that they would never see the light of day again. Anyone want to teach me how to make a quilt from all the scraps of material I could get out of my “nostalgic” collection?
- Bed sheets. Yep. We got a massive collection in our 10+moves, mostly from family members who were foisting them on us to clear out their own clutter. And hey, we have beds, so why not? Problem is, they’ve aged so badly, the rips and tears are not big enough for toes and fingers to get tangled and we could probably cut them into dusting cloths, but that would mean we’d actually have to get nice, new sheets for our guest beds. Oh no.
- Single socks. Sock puppets anyone? I keep meaning to throw them out, but my husband started downsizing by replacing holey socks with the ones in the scrap bin. So we save a little on socks each year and heck, I can’t fault him for being efficient. Why I keep the kid’s socks is beyond me, because theirs NEVER match after they’ve been washed and folded the first time.
All this to say that in the midst of our moving and projects and weekends away this year, I have had little time to clean up my collections or manage them well. I trip over pieces of my collections in every room of our house and part of it is because we’re moving, but part of it is that I’ve gotten overwhelmed by all of our STUFF and I just quit caring. In my defense, it’s been a rough few weeks (which is when most of the clutter has accumulated) with sick babies, a school shooting, and moving/project delays.
The moral of the story is that my life is cluttered beyond belief. And today, I just HAD it. I’ve now got 5 large garbage bags full of my collections and a couple boxes full in the back of my van, ready to cart off to the nearest goodwill or half-way home in my area. My couch is once again clear of laundry and a small bit of my burden is lifted as I can now see more of the floors in my house.
However, the book collection stays.
I told you I was an addict…