First, some random musings. I am definitely learning humility in the blogosphere. I wrote what I thought was a funny post (at least the title was funny) and only got TWO comments. Perhaps people thought my title--"Prophylactic Shopping"--indicated an, errr, erotic subject matter. Not at all. The primary definition of prophylactic is protective.To wit:
Greek prophylaktikos, from prophylassein to be on guard, from pro- before + phylassein to guard, from phylak-, phylax guard
1 : guarding from or preventing the spread or occurrence of disease or infection
2 : tending to prevent or ward off : preventive
Plus, I need to apologize for my erratic (again, NOT erotic) posting. I'm getting into the end-of-semester slump. I should revive over spring break.
Now, to my burden topic. Even though I mostly write on frugality, my real problem is clutter. I am perfectly happy to blab at length about all the little money saving tricks that I engage in. However, I get heart palpitations just thinking about posting photos of some of my clutter spots.
It is interesting that some of the greatest successes in personal finance blogging are people who had to--with great difficulty--pull themselves out of debt. Similarly, the people who are best at helping clutterbugs like me are the people who had the same problem. So the sisters who wrote Sidetracked Home Executives were lifesavers for me. They were also the inspiration for the hugely successful Flylady.
Since my problem is on-going AND I will be having in-laws coming in a few weeks for a several-night stay, the motivation is high. I also am blessed with a functional back-building of about 300 square feet. When we bought the house, this was the owner's junk room. We didn't have any junk to put in it at the time, but, over the years, it has filled right up.
Many years ago, my son decided he wanted the space for his friends. We cleaned it up. He had a party complete with a black-light. Then it was abandoned and it filled up again.
Daughter decided she wanted it for her friends. We cleaned it up and she didn't even have a party. Filled up again.
Now, Mr. FS decided he wants the space for a study. What a great idea! Then we can use his current space for the television, which now resides in a closet. What is in the little house now are books books books. Some used to be for sale on Amazon, but are no longer worth enough to bother selling. Some are swappers for paperbackswap.com. Most are bedraggled.
We consolidated all the books and discovered that we are using 300 square feet for about 600 books, 400 of which are nothing special or formerly special. Other stuff includes mailing supplies, linens the kids take to camp when they work there, and . . . the embarrassment continues. When you count up what stands between you and what you want, often the barrier is just pitiful.While searching for some inspiration/motivation last night, I came upon Julie Morgenstern's newish book. She wrote an organizing book a few years ago that was a huge best-seller; it was also completely useless for me.
Her new book is on hold for me at the library. But I glanced at it on googlebooks. She has her readers count up their burdens.
I love this word! If you've read Pilgrim's Progress, you may recall that the pilgrim, whose name is Christian (not a very subtle allegory!), journeys with his burden. He loses his burden only when he reaches heaven.
If you've read Little Women, you may recall that Jo and her sisters play Pilgrim's Progress. They wear little backpacks, climb up the stairs, and take off their burdens when they get to the attic.
So far, I've bagged up and donated about 200 books (that was before the 400 number). Now I have 400 to go. For a book-lover like me who wants to give every book a home, this is very painful. But I will not sink into the Slough of Despond (another Pilgrim's Progess reference). No, I will hurry back out and fill up ONE MORE BAG.
Stay tuned. What is your burden, Dear Readers?