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Spring cleaning

Since the weather's getting warmer, it's about time for spring cleaning.

I cleaned out my closet a couple weeks ago, donated old clothes to Goodwill and packed away heavy sweaters, but I still have to go over the rest of my apartment.

While I'm not fond of cleaning -- especially vacuuming -- I usually don't have trouble getting rid of things I don't need. In fact, I can't work in spaces that are too messy. I've got the cleanest desk in the newsroom.

My one exception is books and notebooks.

I'm a writer, so I've got notebooks everywhere -- on my desk, by my bed, in the kitchen, in my car. Most of them are only half-full of ideas and random scribblings. I know I could just keep a journal on the computer or create a GoogleDocs file for ideas, but often it's more convenient and more satisfying just to write it down on paper -- you know, the old fashioned way.

I've also got a lot of books and not enough shelves. Even with two bookcases -- one that's taller and wider than my mattress -- I still don't have enough shelf space. My temporary solution? Store the books in my kitchen cabinets, right above the Tupperware. I'll get another bookshelf, someday.

At least I'm not a book hoarder (yet), like this guy. He's got between 1,000 and 1,250 books in his apartment -- not a bad number -- but his real dilemma is that he can't force himself to part with any of them.

From the article:

In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten rid of a single book. All my university textbooks are still somewhere in my parents’ basement (if you’re reading this, Mom and Dad, do not get rid of that first-year Introduction to Politics textbook; I might want to read it someday for the first time).

This makes me feel better about my book situation. At least I periodically go through my collection and swap, resell or donate books I don't want any more. Most of my university textbooks and old children's books are long gone.

If you're trying to decide what to toss and what to keep, The New York Times has a list of gadgets you can get rid of in your spring cleaning. But the list seems to rely heavily on the use of a smartphone, claiming it can replace a point and shoot camera, video camera, GPS unit and Ipod. I'm still living in 2006 and don't have a smartphone, so I guess I'll have to keep all these gadgets for a while longer.

Also, I don't like the suggestion of exchanging cookbooks for an Ipad app for recipes. If you cook like me, you spill things on cookbooks. Spill marinara sauce on a cookbook page and it's just a reminder of how delicious the dish turned out. Spill marinara sauce on an Ipad and you've ruined an expensive piece of equipment.

What things to do you have trouble parting with?