Put away two things every day

In my effort to get my home office looking less like a disorganized storage unit, and more like an actual office — an effort that has gone on so long that if it was a person, it would be old enough to vote — I have a new rule: Every day, I clean up that day’s new clutter and mess. And then I remove two more things from the office. Preferably, I put those things away. But usually I can’t put them away, so instead I move them to a part of the house we don’t use. And when my office is in shape, I’ll start sorting through all the things in storage and keep some of them, and get rid of most of them.

Getting rid of things is a big project. We can’t just throw them away, as we could in the Mad Men era. We have to recycle them, or sell them, or give them away responsibly. What a pain.

Among the things I’ll be giving away: About 90 percent of my books. I have no idea how many books I have; if I had to guess, I’d say 10,000. Years ago, I began to wonder why I kept every book I ever read, because it’s not like I’m going to reread 99 percent of them. And yet I keep them all. Why? Well, because it’s what one does. It’s what I’ve always done. But now with the advent of e-books I’d much rather have the space, and re-acquire anything I want to re-read as an e-book.

Where can I get rid of old books? How about electronics? Office supplies?

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