We won’t be in this particular apartment for much longer, and when the time comes to move, we want it to be a simple process.

One of the things we love about living in an apartment is that it forces us to live simply.

We can’t accumulate too much stuff, because frankly there’s no room for it! My husband always says his ideal vision of living is to be able to pack all our belonging in the car and have the freedom to just go anywhere.

 That might not be to far off from reality- the having to pack it all and go part, at least. . . I don’t know about everything fitting in ONE car. . . maybe a couple of 10 passenger vans. . .

Confession: we have managed in a year and a half to accumulate way too much stuff. (I’m great at shoving and hiding) so it’s time to get back to basics.

This weekend we started thinking about our bookcases. We LOVE our books. What do you expect out of a liberal arts degree-holding couple?  We just love holding, smelling, perusing and devouring those books and don’t see ourselves transitioning into reading screens over paper anytime soon. Not that we have anything against it- I am tempted by the convenience, but it’s really not our style. Not to mention, we already own so many wonderful volumes and we are not about to start re-buying electronic versions. That’s not what I call simplifying.

We did, however, have to ask ourselves, do we really need to have ALL our books with us right now? It’s extremely hard for us to say NO to this one. But if we move into a smaller place than we have now, then this won’t even be an option.

One day we will have our library, and it’s been fun for now to have a mini one. But it will NOT be fun to pack, carry, move and unpack all these volumes.

We began by getting rid of all doubles, or books included in anthologies and in compilations we already owned. This was hard because who wants to read from a massive book when you can have the freedom of simple portability? Yet, it is nice and convenient to have all the works in one place, too. . . Convenience and practicality beat freedom and portability this time around.

Next we sorted that get-rid-of (for now) pile. The doubles will find new homes via friends, Half Price Books, and then the last of the rejects via Freecycle with the following in the title: “must take all- freecycle the rest!” The others we still can’t bear to part with will go into the handy storage spot that is my MIL’s basement (pending approval). We (and our future children) will give them plenty of love again one day.

There was a second pile to sort as well.  For this one, we doubled up on Trade Joe paper bags and filled them with all the books that we had “borrowed”(I say that loosely): library, parents, relatives, friends. Sorry everyone! We’ve been hoarding reading all these for months. . . ! We really need to work on reading one book at a time (then we’d finally stop tripping over them in every corner and not have to deal with the embarrassment of being dubbed book thieves!)

We still have a long way to go to pare down. Our mess progress is looking something like theirs: