When I went to Korea, I was pretty strict about what I brought into my house, since I knew I’d be leaving again. I was afraid that coming back to the States would change my habit.

Luckily, for the most part, it hasn’t.

Still, one of my goals this year is to bring less into the house than I push out of the house.

I’ve started with a very obvious, tangible thing: my books. I’ve made it a goal to get 100 books out my door this year, and to bring in 10 books or fewer (this is post-Korea spree). So far, 61 books are out the door and another 20 or so are ready to be donated, given away, or sold.

By finally admitting that I’m not going to read or re-read books, I’ve been freed. I’ve let go of my own self-created obligations. This has made me eager to read the books I’ve chosen to keep.

I’ve gone beyond the books a bit. I’ve cleaned things up, sorted things out. I’ve finally restrung a necklace that’s been broken for years. On the other hand, I’ve gotten rid of jewelry I no longer wear but have felt compelled to keep because it was a gift. It’s getting easier to see what’s important to me. The broken jewelry was more important than the unbroken jewelry.

It’s magical how getting rid of things makes you happier with what you have.