Paring Down

I watched a few episodes of Hoarders and I’ve become obsessed with getting rid of possessions. I’ve always been like this, but now I MUST give my entire apartment a thorough going over. Every day I focus on one area, like a drawer or a cabinet. Today I’m going to do a big job though. I’m going to go through my boxes of papers. These are my records from my books and my business and memorabilia. The records from my books have to pretty much stay intact, but I can pare down the other two.

I learned that the Landmark Preservation Commission has been putting their reports online, so I looked up my building and my block. I learned that the garage across the street was a dancehall on the Perry Street side (my side) and a stable for horses on the other side.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

8 thoughts on “Paring Down

  1. Isn’t it great to purge possessions? Every year I have the rule that however much stuff I carry into the house after Christmas gift-giving, I have to carry at least that much stuff out. This year I outdid myself–brought in two bags, took out six. (And I’ve always tried to not own too much, although it gets out of control anyway, so I was very proud of that.) It was awesome. Good luck to you!

  2. I have a small two bedroom house. It’s perfect for my husband and me. Add in a 65lb dog and 4 cats. It’s brimming.

    One lesson I learned is once your house is decorated and all the essential pieces are brought, there is one firm rule – Nothing more comes in unless you are willing to part with something in it’s place.

    If you haven’t used it in a year (outside of holiday decorations) you’re not going to miss it.

    In the end I save a ton of money not buying things I don’t need and my home is comfortable and doesn’t overwhelm me. (Hugs)Indigo

  3. Isn’t buried in clutter our default setting?
    Thoreau said “we don’t own our possessions, they own us”. Its hard to part with stuff. How hard must it be for that Swedish woman who is auctioning off the letters written to her by JFK? (hint: Stacy, save your JFK Jr. letters…)

  4. I have a small home (very small 2 bedroom), it’s perfect for my husband and me. Add in a 65 lb. dog and 4 cats it’s brimming.

    One fast rule I stick to is – If you bring something new in the house, something has to leave in it’s place. Another way to look at it is, if you haven’t used it in a year (outside of holiday decorations) more than likely you won’t miss it.

    Saves me a ton of money and my home is just right. (Hugs)Indigo

  5. According to Feng Shui principals clutter is the first thing to work on. If you have to go around something, it is an obstacle, a physical manifistation of what is going on in your life. I have been practicing these principals and am on my way to Costa Rica, for a month.

  6. Wait, because you de-cluttered you get to go to Costa Rica for a month??? I’ve been throwing out a ton!

    Indigo, thanks. I’ve been going around looking at everything like that — have I used this in the past year?

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