Really enjoyed this book. As I go about simplifying my life, I find myself repeating key phrases such as "like with like" and "the thing is not the person". I even lecture myself on returning things to their designated homes when I get careless.
In a fulsome act of disorganization, I soon discovered that I had already read this book about a year ago, but continued with the audible version anyway, and quickly found that I had overlooked much valuable material during my first go-round. As I am already a fairly well-organized person, I had scanned or skipped whole pages during my first reading, figuring that certain sections did not apply to me. Arrogant fool. During the audible version, I discovered that every chapter contains valuable information.
I lost my husband to cancer 3 years ago and letting go of his belongings has been a difficult process. When I was ready, I donated most of his clothing; then I threw out university papers and essays, etc., the accoutrements of a life that were once significant but not particularly personally valuable. For the smaller yet somehow bigger things, author Mellen's advice helps me as I continue to struggle with memories such as theatre ticket stubs, stacks of photographs, his bedroom slippers, his e-mail address. I'm filing and organizing the treasures, discarding the duplicates or the unlovely photos in which my butt does indeed look big, and handing off special items to his family, who I know will value them. In a truly heartbreaking moment, I was forced to throw out the cards, love notes, and other special paper mementoes that I had temporarily stored in a plastic box. In the basement. Too late came Mellen's warning never to store paper-based valuables in the basement. These precious treasures were coated in black mould when I opened the box, and they could not be salvaged. I can only console myself with Mellen's observation that the thing is not the person.
Mellen's delivery is perfectly suited to the material, and he manages to inject humour into the narrative with a pause here and a little emphasis there. Well done.
I will keep the slippers.