I've just signed another two year lease on my apartment and one of the things that cropped up in my mind as this was going on was the idea of a bit of a mass tidy up.
That's not to say my apartment is some sort of man's disaster area in terms of mess and dirt. Not at all, in fact I think I'm quite the new man. Just about everything has its place, there's not a vast amount of clutter and the general look is one that is fairly minimal.
But it has also become clear to me that I do have too much clutter and, in my five years in this place, have built up a bit of junk that needs sorting.
As with most of the good things in my life I started with a mindmap. I love a mindmap I do. In fact, excuse me if I've told you this before, I do a daily journal, have done for years, and for the last four or five years I've done it in the form of a daily mindmap. In the last three years I've used an app on the Ipad called iThoughts. Trust me, if you like mindmapping it's the best thing since, well, mindmapping itself.
I started a branch, or box for each room in the flat, there aren't that many, I'm not showing off here! And then I took a branch off for every tidyness issue I need to address in each room.
So, for example, off the "kitchen" box I had three more. They said "defrost freezer", "fix wood behind sink" and "go through cupboards, throw away rubbish". Cleverly this iThoughts allows me to set each of these as a task, that I can tick as I can complete which then gets greyed out.
The thing is, I don't want to sound like some kind of geek, raving to you about software, apps, tasklists and the like, that wasn't the purpose of this post. But when I did my "sitting room" box it became evident that one of the things I could do is to tidy my books.
Why, I hear you ask. For books maketh the man, women should never sleep with a fellow who has no books and all that other corny stuff.
Simply because I've built up a bit of a library, of books that fall into one of three categories:
- Reference ones, with nice photographs (often Sri Lankan)
- Fiction I've read
- Fiction I haven't read yet, probably won't (for reasons I'll explain)
It's the fiction that bothers me. Truth be told I'm now a firm and dedicated ebook reader, the Kindle app on the iPad specifically. I know it doesn't smell like a book, I know one can't "feel" the pages and they don't have the whole tactile connection people talk about. I know that I run the risk of getting beaten by most authors for saying it, beaten with pencils that is, not stylii.
But goddammit it's just so easy and convenient. I carry around my whole library of books wherever I want. I can read just about anywhere, I highlight things in my work related self development and managerial books and go back to them and they're generally cheaper to buy. And, probably best of all for me, I can go on a plane without the need to carry three books and a couple of magazines.
So I've decided to get rid of my fiction at home, with the exception of a small handful of titles. There's David Blacker's book that he gave me himself with a little message he wrote and a few that are by other Sri Lankan authors that, as far as I know, aren't out as ebooks (yet).
I'll keep the "reference" type ones, the marvellous Sansoni and SL architectural ones and a few others. The rest are going though. Of course not thrown away, I'll give them to a charity bookshop, but they're going nonetheless.
I feel a bit bad, for emotive not rational reasons, but I'm going to live with that. You live once only as I always like to say. Or YLOO as the kids are fond of.
And once it's done it means I can tick the "Clear away books" task on that mindmap too.
Here, can anyone tell me how to defrost a freezer?