Reduce, Reuse, Recycle . . . Re-organize?

After watching hours of 9/11 reflections and remembrances on CNN, History Channel, etc., and college football games (most notably the Fighting Illini and Notre Dame) and the Bears game on Sunday, my husband I decided to do a bit of de-cluttering. Did I mention we are (sort of) empty-nesters now? We are for a few months, at least – until our college sophomore comes home for the holidays.

Maybe I was feeling inspired because my NASMM colleague, Jennifer Pickett, and I are attending the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) national conference in Raleigh, NC later this week. Perhaps all the ICD emails were subliminally encouraging me to clean out my own stuff before boarding a Raleigh-bound Southwest flight on Wednesday.

Maybe all that TV watching simply forced me to confront the cluttered bookshelves surrounding the television. The built-in bookcases in our family room are also home to our primary television, so there was no denying the “junked-up” shelves this weekend.

Or it could just be an occupational hazard of hanging around Senior Move Managers® all the time. We just released our 2012 NASMM Annual Conference brochure, so I’ve been reading how we need to better reckon with our “stuff” as we age. Hmmmm . . .

My husband’s large book collection was previously housed in three different rooms of our moderately-sized home. The solution to satisfy us both – so we might make it to 34 years of wedded bliss on our next anniversary – was to consolidate all of his books in one place: our family room wall unit. In the spirit of cooperation, I cheerily volunteered to remove my assorted TJ Maxx tchotchkes and photo frames to make way for his massive collection of history, philosophy, biography, and political science/government books.

Here’s the before and after. Strangely, I really like it without all the knick-knacks. Who knew? But we didn’t actually reduce anything: we re-distributed. Does that count too?

And now . . .

Your thoughts?

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