Saturday, December 30, 2006

De-cluttering da house!

I have days like this, when I feel the need for a huge splurge on decluttering. I feel we are drowning in books at the moment. I love books and so does R and it appears we have three children with exactly the same opinion. Books are the one thing that I don't mind buying outside of Christmas and birthdays and they are the one thing that I couldn't do without. However, this is verging on the ridiculous! Each of the children has a pretty packed shelf with middle son being the exception with a hugely "over" packed shelf; he has the books T has outgrown and the books I. isn't yet ready for as well as a bunch of his own.........not to mention we have three bookshelves of our own downstairs!!

So where in the heck to start.........duplicates were first - can you belive we have duplicates??? That is seriously poor! When I first met R. I laughed at him. He used to have all his books in alphabetical order..........where is the fun in that? (Yeah alright Paul if you read this, I know I used to have labels on mine too..........but I was 6 when I did that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) My shelves were all higgeldy-piggeldy because the enjoyment of finding a book that I hadn't read for a bit and re-reading all the while actually looking for a totally different book was the appeal to me........sort of like being lost in a huge library (*shiver*) . So naturally (being the alpha female I am!!) I got rid of that anality for a start!! The downside of this appears to be we have found ourselves with duplicates.

Second came the "if it ain't been read in 18 months" rule with a large bend in it! After all, that would leave my shelves looking sad and forlorn, and the "why in the hell did I buy THAT?" rule.......for the "Training your Golden Retriever" book (he isn't a retriever for - hmm that is another!) and the "Fundamentals of Obstetrics and Gynaecology" books (well meaningly advised by the NCT or maybe ALACE - but IRL.........get real I am a doula not a doctor!)

Finally came the task of attacking the "Lonely Planet" collection that we have accumulated over the years. We have been to the majority of the places we have the books for (relief!) but there are a few on our shelves to where we will not be going before they bring out at least six further newer editions of the book and thus these are in fact, gathering dust!
Our poor house has breathed a sigh of relief today at the fact that the weight in books has lightened, there is space between some of the books (you know what that means don't you.......!!) and I have made a buck or two selling some of the better quality ones on a second hand site, all in all a day of frugality!

Which is a good thing as R. did my tax return today and what with the little I get a year, because in the US we are being taxed together, my tax is HALF of what I made this year and believe me and you, that was pretty minimal and not to forget the childcare on top. I really don't know why they (the government) want women with children to work? It really isn't cost effective. I know it isn't about the money and we are not badly off, I don't have to work and I am lucky enough to have the choice, but that is not the point. It is the fact that I am trying, I want to contribute to what R. brings in, I want to feel I am contributing to society but 40% tax on my earnings and then the childcare too means I take home less than 15%! For being covered in vomit and pooh and standing on my feet for 36 hours. I am sorry, I love what I do and I should do it from my heart, which, when I am there working with my clients I do........but it don't pay the bills! Okay, rant over. I apologise, there are so many families out there who struggle. This isn't about that, this is about independence and my alpha streak really.

Anyone want some books??????

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