August 17th, 2007

new year

Treasure everywhere

Elsewhere I have mentioned that I've been reading Buried in Treasures by David Tolin among others. It has nothing to do with pirates; the subtitle is Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding and I ran across it on a website for "childrenofhoarders", from some decluttering connection. Then I checked it out from the public library, which puts me ahead of the game, because I didn't have to actually buy the book and then add it to my hoard instead of reading it. If you are interested at all in these issues, I recommend it highly. The library system here has a bunch of copies, and none of them on hold. It is not a long book.

But you know I have been working on my book problem for a long time. Remember when I was not allowed in bookstores? I still seem to acquire books pretty regularly, from yard sales or given away, but lately I've been reading them too, (Last In First Out basis,) and making some progress on the pile-up from when I was so foolish as to get book club mailings and had lower sales resistance. I am happy to say now I can go into bookstores again, without any accidental buying. Books? I already have books, I tell myself. Magazines too.

This book is also designed to be helpful to people who are dealing with their parents' acquisitions. There are various Stages of the problem, and like with the videos of decluttering, I can be thankful that my house is not stacked with stuff, and mostly usable: we eat at the dining table, and sleep in our beds, and sit in the living room, so we are still at Stage 1. The exception is the basement dungeon, where the piles sometimes start to close into those little aisles that you hear about in the houses of old ladies with 35 cats (where she has to move to a motel when the stove stops working and no one can get in to replace it). Since this is supposed to be my studio space, one might wonder how well I can be using it with all this stuff in the way, and the answer is, not very well.

One of the helpful observations in this book is that they say sorting through your stuff is really an opportunity to think about what it means to you and why, how it makes you feel and where that comes from. Not easy work! Just avoiding these problems is part of the problem. I have been taking notes, and working it through.
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