Archive for the ‘100 Days of Undoing’ Category

I was sitting in my living room on Tuesday night, minding my own business. When I got up to get another cup of tea, I glanced at the bookshelf nearest to my entryway – the one with all the espresso cups and knick-knacks that generally serve no purpose but looking cute and collecting dust – and I felt the familiar pull of change. I don’t typically like change…except when it comes to reorganizing. Especially when it comes to bookshelves.

Two hours later, I had piles of books all around the living room, waiting to find their new place on the shelves.

I started with the knick-knack shelf, making space on it. I moved the espresso cups to the kitchen drawer with the others. I took most of the pictures off the shelf and picked places to hang them on the walls or prop them up in other places:

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The main thing that needed to find a new home were the boxes of CDs, but that was easy enough:

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That left a lot of space for books.

Next, I started moving cookbooks, foodie fiction, and foodie memoirs – basically anything that might have a recipe in it – to the newly empty-ish shelf. There was a dilemma. Its shelves are not as deep or tall as the larger shelves from whence they came. So some of the books were either too tall or too wide (or both) to fit in the new space.

I found a place for them, but it definitely turned a small job into a huge one. Cue more piles. And a second night of rearranging.

After about three hours of work on Wednesday night, I finally had the shelf like I want it:

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(This is as light as I could get it. It was late, y’all.)

If you look on the left in that picture, you can see the large pile of books I’m giving away. That might be the biggest accomplishment of this mini-project. It’s hard to give books away. So long, dear friends.

My arms are so sore, but my shelves are so cute. Worth it.

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I woke up this morning feeling like I was in a nest. And not in that nice, cozy, baby bird sort of way.

I woke up in the midst of piles.

My whole apartment is a collection of piles. I have a pile of books on my nightstand. A pile of laundry waiting to go into the washer. A pile of clean towels waiting to be folded. A pile of boxes ready to be recycled. I’m very organized, if you choose to view my piles as a filing system.

I do not choose to view them that way. They’re overwhelming and they inspire me to feel like I need to run away, which is unfortunate since home is the place I really want to be most of the time.

A lot of friends are doing 100 Days of Making/Seeing/Doing on Instagram. I like doing things like that. It’s creative and helps create or strengthen a particular habit. I really want to do it, but my muscles get tense just thinking about it. It’s not just because my creative energy is focused on finishing Feast (1,000 words a day until it’s done. It’s so close I can taste it.), or because I’m doing the April Love challenge (because really – how much time does that take?). It’s mostly because the things that I can think to create would just create more piles. And no.  Just no.

Because I could do 100 days of art journal (because seriously – so many plans, so few completed pages), or I could deal with the pile of supplies that are taking up the space where the art journal table is going to go. And I could do 100 days of knitting squares that I would then thread together to make a cute throw, or I could organize the yarn so that when I do make it, it goes more smoothly.

What I really need to do right now is 100 days of de-piling and de-crapifying the apartment. The thing I need to create right now is space.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m starting today and spending each of the next 100 days taking something OUT of the apartment. And on days when I bring something into the apartment, I will take an extra thing out, because otherwise, I’m just exchanging old stuff for new. That doesn’t undo the piles; it just makes them look different.

I expect that it might look worse before it gets better. I also expect that all days will not be equal.Some days, the most I will be able to accomplish is taking out the trash. And some days, I might have pile build-up in my car, because I’m not making twenty trips to the donation place a month. But it counts.

I haven’t decided exactly how to document it. I don’t think it’s going to be on Instagram, because even if there is some odd duck out there who wants to see 100 days of “here’s the 78th pile of my stuff in a row,” I am certain that I don’t want my profile page to be a lot of bags and boxes. I might post the occasional spectacular purge. I might do a weekly update here. We’ll see.

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