Forgive me for getting a little pop-psych, here.
I have been examining lately just why I so love throwing my unwanted, unneeded things away. I’ve come to at least a preliminary conclusion that it has to do with getting to know and appreciate myself more, and allowing myself to be more “me.” Each thing I choose to toss, I do so because it is not part of my conception of myself. And I feel like, in doing that, I am like a sculptor who is chipping away every part of a rough slab of marble that is not part of his statue.
The typical professional organizer criteria for choosing whether to keep a thing are: “Do you need it, use it, or love it?” If you answer no to all those questions, toss it. Some folks who like to hang on to stuff may perceive this as unduly harsh, even cruel. But instead, what it’s doing is allowing you to only own the things that help you to be who you are, and to be happy. It is removing everything that is not you, and thus, letting you shine.
These things change, too. Something that used to be you, ten years ago, might not be anymore. I’m getting rid of my writing books, one or two at a time, because I don’t want to be a writer anymore. Maybe someday I’ll change my mind, and then I’ll have to spend a little bit of cash to replace some. (But maybe not. A lot of them were ones I never read, and I still managed to be a pretty good writer.) But right now, if I release my writing books, they can be used by someone who wants to write right now, and I will be able to focus better on the books I really want to read right now: books that encourage the person I am, and want to become.