Jack of Many Trades

Decluttering Is Sexy

Originally posted: 2011-08-03

No, really, let me explain.

Yesterday my girlfriend and I were discussing books, packing, and all the annoying things about moving. She's gone through her books before but suddenly she was on a mission. As she packed box after box, she explained her new philosophy to me.

Rather than being a completist, she's decided to keep only the truly emblematic books from each author. She asked herself what she was really saying with each of her collections. What does a bookshelf full of every L.M. Montgomery book say about its owner? I'm still not entirely sure, but I'm pretty sure that whatever it says, it's not something that's true of her. She kept her favorite Montgomery, her favorite Stephen King, and so on.

Watching her finish up her books gave me the push to finish going through my comic book boxes. We each put a few things aside for friends we think will appreciate them, but three boxes of comics went out the door as well. The trunk and the back seat of the car were both completely full when we headed out to Half Price Books.

Just before we left, I smiled at her and told her, "You're so sexy when you're decluttering." It was a joke, but there's a kernel of truth to it as well. When we first talked about this move, my biggest concern was the expense, even moreso than the effort involved. We talked about our goals and what we wanted, though, and it turned out we were surprisingly in sync. I've gone out of my way not to push her too far as we pack - possibly too far in the other direction. But every time she demonstrates that she's just as excited, just as committed as I am, if not moreso, I understand a little more what it means to be in a relationship where you and your partner share common dreams. And that's exciting.