After that minor freak-out, things are back on track for project Get Rid Of Everything. I didn't have much to show for myself last night, but my girlfriend produced an entire stuffed-full box of books she's parting with.
So often on decluttering blogs and message boards, I see people bemoaning their significant other's stuff. They poke, they encourage, they complain, and I can't imagine that their others were any happier with the situation than they were. I resolved never to be like that - my decluttering grows out of my own hangups, and therefore it's my responsibility, not hers.
When we got together, one of the things we bonded over was books. We had different but overlapping tastes, which meant she was able to introduce me to a number of authors I've loved, and I was able to do the same. She came into the relationship with even more books than I had, and I didn't expect her to be interested when I periodically evaluated my books and threw a box together for Half Price Books. She often did throw in a few things she'd been unimpressed with, even without much encouragement from me.
I had resigned myself, on the subject of moving, to having to move a large portion of her book collection. Instead, she has surprised me by being extremely flexible and going through many of her books on her own. We've gone through several shelves together now. Yesterday I came home to that box, which she'd decluttered without me even being home!
So while I never wanted to be one of those significant others who harped and whined about my partner's clutter, I am glad we've discussed the topic of decluttering and what our visions are for "Project Get Rid Of Everything". It's starting to look like we're much more in agreement than I initially thought.
Just goes to show - a little demonstration and a lot of conversation can go a long way toward a less cluttered relationship.