Five Hours…!

Five hours! That’s what it took me to clean out one teeny study today. Five long, dusty hours mostly spent deconstructing one bookshelf and sorting out my desk drawers. I mentioned the study needed a good ‘bottoming’ as my mother would say in my Bat Fit post, I just didn’t realise quite how much elbow grease was required.

Mid Point Destruction!

Mid Point Destruction!

This photo illustrates where I was during hour 2, when the shelves had been liberally scattered all over the floor as I tried in vain to sort books by type. Can’t have my literary fiction mixed up with my ‘grown up’ sci-fi, which in turn is rubbing shoulders with a fair pile of steampunk themed novels. Then there’s the non-fiction randomness that seems to grow throughout the year – cue psycho-geography mixed with biblical theology and the Gnostic Gospels and several books on women of the Celts. My inner librarian was having phantom kittens by this stage. Especially when it came to The Great Book Clearance of 2015.

Yup, I finally realised that the books were taking me over. Breeding in random corners. If I don’t get a grip now I am likely to die buried forever, mummified, under a pile of Sookie Stackhouse novels. That, and a few random Laurell K. Hamiltons and P.C. Cast vampires chomping at my vitals. I felt overwhelmed by literature.  Bad literature, at that!

So 100 of the blighters are now all bagged up ready for depositing at the charity shop. Him Underfoot whisked them into the vestibule for disposal tomorrow in a suspiciously quick manner. Well, I guess my study is a few stone lighter…and strangely, so is my mind. I’ve never been good at letting books go – they’ve been an emotional crutch my entire life and many of them have a special place in both my heart and a storage box (or 6) in the cupboard at the top of the stairs. But I read a lot of disposable fiction and when I was earning I didn’t think twice about buying entire 10 books series for commuting reading. It was a reward. Now I’m not commuting but trying to actually work in this space these books have become simply a distraction. I’m not going to read them again (believe me, HU did grill me on the possibility that I may actually just go out and buy them all back). If I did want to read them again I have 3 perfectly adequate libraries within walking distance at my disposal.

...and breathe!

…and breathe!

My little room is all clean, and I swung the shelves back against a different wall and the room opened up enough for me to put down the lovely rug my brother gave me. My great grandmother & grandmother are now framed and positioned where they keep a benign eye on me, both pictures taken during the timeframe I’m writing in.

I can see wood!

I can see wood!

Order is indeed restored and I’ve made space on the shelves for my current research tomes rather than piling them haphazardly on my desk. I feel much more organised, and in a good place to start focusing on Monday. I’ve planned some opening writing exercises to kickstart my writing brain to get it over the initial fog and I’ve set up my entire way of working so that there are no excuses for not sitting down and simply getting on with it. Everything I need is within easy reach and ready to use. I really have to crack working from home this year, and I intend to start now.

Just a small pile of reading for January

Just a small pile of reading for January

It took a while, but cathartic. Now I’ve cleaned out 100 books from this one room I am inclined to continue the sort-out. The 6 boxes need to be inspected. The HUGE bank of built in shelves in the dining room definitely need a cull, though some of the ratty old paperbacks in there have huge emotional clout for me (David Eddings, the tale weaver of my youth, lurks within). I’m beginning to realise that I simply don’t need all this ‘stuff’. I felt quite overwhelmed by my own possessions today and I didn’t like it.  I need to raise a little cash for my writing retreat later in the year, so I am already planning a clothing and jewellery cull for Ebay just before Whitby Goth Weekend.

Let’s hope this productive spell lasts; I’m far too easily distracted.  I feel in a positive place tonight, and hope that this feeling continues throughout 2015. Roll on Monday and some proper creative project planning!

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13 thoughts on “Five Hours…!

  1. Hi Jane, its great hearing about your fantastic clean out. Your study looks wonderful; ready to contemplate your ideas and transfer them from your imagination onto paper.

  2. I’ve been busy sorting and clearing away clothes as well as books. I have a whole attic that need sorting goodness knows hour many hours that will take but it will have to be in the summer or when it’s a little warmer too cold at the moment.

    • I’s quite cathartic. I’m going to move onto the clothes next. Thing is, rational brain says you haven’t worn that fishnet-and-ribbon frock for 4 years. Non-rational brain says ‘…but it’s so pretty!’…!

      • I know just what you mean. I have a pair of cut down jean, with lovely beading around the bottom, I had when I was in my early twenties. I know if I could just shift a few pounds I could still wear them. I’m still slim enough to get away with wear them with sandals and a long floaty top. Some things are just too good to go 🙂 I love uncovering things you don’t remember or things that make you wonder just why you brought them LOL

  3. Do you not find that you end up buying more books as a reward for cleaning or ‘because you have the space’ or is that just something I do? I always somehow end up with more books after cleaning than I had before. It took me a full day to sort out my shelves last time and I desperately need to do it again. My cat fell over a pile of books on my floor the other day, so it’s definitely bad! Fortunately my sister volunteers at a charity bookshop so I can just give her a box to take into work – I don’t think I would have the motivation to carry them there otherwise, it’s a good fifteen minutes bus journey away.

    You have such a cozy looking desk area!

    • Well, I am a book magpie so I suspect there will be a few more entering the house over the year! Having a Kindle helps hide the evidence, I’ve been reading a lot of gothic classics which are free downloads, so in my head they don’t count! The problem is when I go charity shop surfing – which I’m doing today – and end up with 5/6 books in my rucksack! I must stop doing this, as I read between 50-60 books a year, and I already have a full reading pile, plus one bookgroup book per month.

      I love that desk, my lovely husband bought it for me for Christmas when we moved into this house – I’m currently collecting old family photos and putting them on there to keep me company. The chair came out of a back lane (it was thoroughly cleaned on arrival) and reclines, it is the most perfect reading spot and one of a pair we have. I’m very lucky, it’s a lovely room to work in.

  4. It looks good! I don’t have too much trouble letting books go as I have always used libraries, so I have to. But I do have a few books that I like so much I won’t even lend them to friends or relatives, because even relatives seem to lose them and not give them back!

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