Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Cleaning

It feels like spring is finally on its way. As a result, I’m suddenly itching to get my apartment in tip-top shape. This is strange, because I’m not the sort of person who steadfastly believes in spring cleaning, or anything related to it, but this year it seems like this would be a good time to poke around the closets, sort through some paper piles, sell some books back to the Strand, and the like. (To be honest, this desire is not unrelated to the fact that I have an out-of-town friend coming to visit in a couple of weeks!)

A while ago, Pauline posted about battling clutter. My space, too, tends to get crowded with books, papers, clothing, etc. New York City apartments are small, of course, so it’s instinctive to think that there just isn’t enough space. But really there’s just too much stuff. Much that I probably don’t need. With the economy the way it is, I’ve been careful lately about my purchases, which I think has made me more aware of the things I already own.

Browsing in the bookstore last weekend, I bought a book about organizing and clearing out clutter. It advocates drawing a pretty harsh line between what you actually need and use, and what is extra. Seems great, right? Everything would be streamlined if I followed these directions. But at a time like this, when I still want to be careful about what I buy, I also want to be careful about what I throw out.

We pack-rats save stuff for the day when we might need it. Or for the day when we might not be able to get it elsewhere. It kind of feels like those days could be coming. Let’s hope not, but how do you justify getting rid of potentially useful things (clothes, etc.) when money is tight?

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