Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spring Awakening

I am a notorious pack rat, saving things because I'm afraid that if I throw them out, at some point in the future I'll be sorry I did.
If all these "things" would be gathered in one place, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad, but because they're all over the house -- in an armoir, on bookshelves, in closets, in the basement, etc -- and I'm not even sure where "all over" means, it makes it difficult to even track things down.
So, for that reason, I'm trying to be a bit aggressive today, with a recycling box and a garbage bag in hand, and getting rid of stuff that I probably will not look at again.
For example, I'm blessed with three children, and I'm blessed with being able to send them to Jewish day school. The Hebrew books they use differ from what I used in my day school -- we actually had hardcover and softcover textbooks; these kids have text/workbooks. So whereas we used to keep our textbooks from my school, there is really no reason to have to save these workbooks that my kids have been using. They've written all the answers in, so they don't help anyone anymore.
Sad, just how many years it took me to figure that one out. My oldest will be graduating junior high next month, G-d willing, and I have all his workbooks going back to grade 1. Now multiply that times three kids!
I volunteered for many years with Ontario Jewish Archives, where we'd archive documents in acid-free files and classify them, etc. If there were multiples of any one form in a file, we were told to keep at least two of each, and trash the rest. Now I have to apply that to my own personal archives I've been keeping at home. For example, if I've got published poetry in newspapers, I don't need two copies of the full newspaper, and three copies of the page the poem is on. One full copy and one page copy should suffice.
Getting my house in order is certainly an extension of getting my life in order. Isn't it great to be able to hit two birds with one stone? Hmmm, but does that mean I then have to get rid of my stone collection too...?