I sometimes have fantasies in which everything I own is lost or destroyed. I imagine the sparse, spare spaces that I’d create to live and work in. Even though it would be very bad to lose some of my things—family pictures, financial records,  art, mementos of youth and travel, books by family members (and a few with my own work)—it somehow seems liberating to imagine the workspace, sleeping space, living space that I’d create if I were starting from scratch.

For some reason, I never fantasize about the hard work of decluttering.

I’m thinking about doing it, though. We’d gotten eight bags of books set aside to take to the used bookstore just before Jackie broke her wrist. But that’s really just a small step. We’d need to take three times as many just to get all the books that aren’t on shelves.

Still, I think I’m ready to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff. The idea of a room without clutter is becoming more than just an abstract goal. It’s becoming something I yearn for.

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