Space, Or Something Like it

16th July 2012

I’m not claustrophobic or anything, but I’m beginning to think our place is too small.  It isn’t really; we just have too much junk.  I could speak only for myself, but I won’t.

A few weeks ago, Sarge spent a day or two making the Reading Room look, well, like a room.  He put photos up and everything.  One of them is actually a collage, because I have a crafty cousin who does that sort of thing.  I do not.

I was just happy to go into the room, do a few turns and leave without having to back out again.   I got dizzy after one too many figure-eights.  There was so much space!  No echoing, but lots of space.  Floor space, reading chair space.  And penguin space.  Jemima and Terence, together again.

I promised that I would clear as much from my writing space/the kitchen table.  Lots of dead trees/books, notebooks, vitamins, train tickets, post and paperwork mean that there is a Hemingway-shaped nook at the edge of the table.  For anyone trying to keep up, we actually eat at the living room table.

Now, I don’t use my wallet in the way that I should.  Money, probably more than I think, goes in the bottom of my bag.  Actually, several bags.  My wallet is for cards.  Expired cards.

I went through the piles.  Again. I found some useful things:


  1.  My wallet.
  2. My library card.  It wasn’t in the wallet.  For a few weeks, I’ve been using ID and a smile to take out books.  My card was at very bottom of pile number three.  Of course I used it  to add to book pile number 286.
  3. We need a shredder.  We probably have one somewhere.  But it isn’t in one of my piles.
  4. No fewer than 4 old notebooks.  Full of lists and random lines.  Six pages of ‘something’, ten pages of another thing.  Garnished with coffee-rings, highlighted lines and ‘NOTE TO SELF:  WTF is this?’
  5. Some sweets that I chomped while trying to decipher the aforementioned lines.


Some of the books are back on the shelves, either here or at the actual library.  Others have been relegated to the to-sell/give away sack.  Feel free to note that particular sad sack has not yet made it out of my building.

A box labelled ‘Personal Papers’ has been filled to the brim and stacked in the hall closet.  Someday, we will tackle the closet.  That day is not today.

Step 1 of The Book Purge. How many steps out the door?




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  • Reply MikesFilmTalk 16th July 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I suffer from ‘pack rat syndrome’ the urge to hold on to practically everything with the idea that said items will come in handy someday. This leads to constant ‘spring cleaning’ where I chuck most of the saved items. And yes, most of the newly chucked items are missed immediately after they’ve been binned. 🙂

  • Reply heylookawriterfellow 16th July 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Ah, cleaning out! I love getting rid of stuff. I love table tops with nothing on them. I love neat ‘n’ labeled file drawers. I love everything in its place.

    My wife and son on the other hand… Sigh. I shall hide in my home office now. 🙂

    • Reply LKD 16th July 2012 at 5:32 pm

      I’m usually not big on labels. ‘Throw Out’ and ‘Keep’ are OK, though.

  • Reply becomingcliche 16th July 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I have such a hard time parting with books, especially if I know I am going to be their last owner due to condition or title.

  • Reply Sara 16th July 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Our apartment is too small and we have too much stuff! I get that. It’s always hard for me to part with things, even though they are just things.

  • Reply barefoot_med_student 16th July 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I dream of a day I have too many books! And a reading room! One day, I shall have a reading room.

  • Reply writecrites 16th July 2012 at 11:52 pm

    This is such a familiar scenario and I can so relate. One day I’d love to have a house with my own office/study. Every wall would have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with the moveable ladders. It’s my dream. Then I wouldn’t even have to THINK of throwing away books.

  • Reply laurastanfill 17th July 2012 at 3:25 am

    I have a towering pile of books by my bed. Last I checked there were around 20, all waiting patiently for me. This wasn’t a problem when we had an upstairs office, because the books just went in there, clustering themselves around the overly full bookshelves. Now downstairs seems too far away for a to-read pile. Of course I should move the just-read books downstairs, but I enjoy keeping those around for a while, so they’re keeping my to-read books company in the towering pile. I did start a bring-to-Powell’s-to-sell pile. That’s in the garage.

  • Reply dbyorkwriter 17th July 2012 at 3:57 am

    I am well beyond the “Having too Much Stuff” phase….it’s time to start getting things moving along. I am tired of my stuff owning me, you know ? Onward!

  • Reply Taryn 17th July 2012 at 9:42 am

    I also want a reading room! And time to read in it!

  • Reply Subtlekate 18th July 2012 at 5:59 am

    I’m a space girl too. Once I feel the stuff encroaching on my turf I feel uncomfortable.

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  • Reply Hippie Cahier 18th July 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I’ll bet buried somewhere in there is one of those placards that says, “Creative minds are rarely tidy.” 🙂

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