Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Like a Yakov Smirnoff Joke

Chris Byrne's recent mention of his family's large book collection reminds me of similar traps I've seen in my own family and friends. At first you simply own lots of stuff, but as it piles up the stuff owns you.

I've seen this happen with lots of people. Sometimes it's clothes or shoes. Other times it's books. You got to a store, see something you like and buy it. You do this consistently and soon you have a closet full of shoes you'll never get around to wearing or an ever-growing pile of books you'll never get around to reading. The key is to stop buying. After that you just have to nibble things down bit by bit until everything is manageable. As I'm doing the nibbling, I try to put some sort of organization in place so that I know when things have piled up too high.

Over the weekend I went through a lot of old bills (which I habitually file away) and got rid of everything I didn't need to keep. Then I went through the clothes in my closet, especially my dress pants. Everything I can't or don't wear is now in a bag for Goodwill. I've come to the realization that my books, especially my paperbacks, are going to be next. I have a ton of books that I've picked up one place or another and that I'll probably never read again. Might was well sell them off or donate them to someone who will.

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