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Study – finished (sort of)

06 Oct

New desk is IN. I got so excited about this (or possibly by the smell of varnish) that I sorted through 3 boxes of papers and chucked most of them out.

Found all the birthday cards I got for my 18th birthday. Surprisingly, and delightfully, I am still in some form of contact with more than half of those people. Many are ‘reconnects’ through Facebook. It was nice to read what they had written. For now, the cards are in the “Melissa memorabilia” box – but I suspect I will dump most of them at some point in the future. Other old Christmas cards etc were chucked – we found a pile that was clearly 1993. Not sure why that year was special – it wasn’t anymore.

Status of the Big Clean Out is that Fraser has one column of shelves that he is working through. This includes a 25 cm-thick pile of manila folders (empty) and a shelf of empty CD cases. He rescued some of them from the bin (BAD Melissa!).

This is what the 6 columns of (each approx 60 cm wide) shelves in the study have consisted of for the past um 10 years or so:

Lots of junk

old manila folders

old magazines

old CDs

Lots of junk

old manila folders

old magazines

old CDs

Lots of junk

old manila folders

old magazines

old CDs

Reference books

Lots of reference books that we never actually refer to

Crime fiction, mostly double-stacked Crime fiction and some science fiction. Mostly inaccessible due to door.
bottom shelf empty and inaccessible bottom shelf lots of books and inaccessible bottom shelf lots of books and inaccessible bottom shelf inaccessible due to junk on floor in front of shelves. Which is a shame because it has some of the useful reference books. Oops. bottom shelf inaccesible due to junk on floor in front of shelves bottom shelves inaccessible due to VERY IMPORTANT boxes of stationery stacked behind the door and blocking the bottom 2-3 shelves

This is how they look now:

Fraser’s VERY IMPORTANT stuff

old manila folders

old magazines

old CDs

Desktrays

Folders with family records

junk

sorted CDs

old laptop

books – fiction – not sorted yet

1 shelf with a desk tray

Reference books (reduced to 2 shelves). Dumped some of the others, and moved others to relevant places on the main shelves.

Rest of shelves are books – fiction – not sorted yet

Crime fiction, mostly double-stacked but accessible (I stack prolific authors in 1 horizontal pile, with titles that don’t fit there vertically in front) Crime fiction and some science fiction. Mostly inaccessible due to door.
bottom shelf used for stuff that we need to check if it works or not and then throw out if it doesn’t or put into operation if it does (eg old PC keyboard that I could use for my laptop) bottom shelf EMPTY! books – fiction – not sorted yet books – fiction – not sorted yet bottom shelf inaccesible due to to-be-sorted pile on floor in front of shelves bottom shelves inaccessible due to to-be-sorted pile on floor in front of shelves

And this is the Ultimate Plan:

Fraser’s VERY IMPORTANT stuff
Desktrays

Folders with family record

Important (sorted) CDs

Computer game manuals

Books – general fiction Books – crime fiction – double stacked if necessary Reference books (2 shelves)

Books – crime fiction – double stacked if necessary

Books – crime fiction – double stacked if necessary Books – trashy novels that I used to keep hidden in the bedroom. Double stacked by necessity.
bottom shelf computer cables box and maybe old laptop bottom shelf music CDs boxes bottom shelf either books or some other storagey item bottom shelf either books or some other storagey item bottom shelf either books or some other storagey item bottom shelf either books or some other storagey item

The sorting of books will take longer than the rest.There is another shelf that will probably be available for fiction, as well as others for non-fiction etc.

Meanwhile, Otto came into the study last night and complained in horror that my desk was messy! In fact, I was sorting old paperwork and her complaint was mostly about the big box of “this is going to the recycling bin” pages.

What keeps me going is the thought that there are still 30+ boxes in storage. Mostly full of books and paperwork. Ugh.

Learnings and Observations from this process so far:

  • Fraser and I have disagreements about the priority of books. I was prepared for him to not think my linguistics books and non-English books were not a priority (fair call, they are of interest to only 1 of us so they get shelved accordingly). What I was not prepared for was that travel books are not a priority (and should therefore be shelved out of reach) unlike books about TV shows.
  • See also the manila folder pile, above. His plan is now to take them to work, I think. Apparently that is his Sekrit Storage Place.
  • Computer game boxes take up a LOT of room. We are going to scan/photograph them for http://www.videogamegeek.com and then dump them, keeping manuals/reference charts and CDs. If they are games that will be played again, that is.
  • It is possible to get sick of going back to IKEA for storage stuff. And then for light globes that are not supplied in the box with the light. Grrrr.
  • Apparently the Godzilla money box is also a priority. It roars and eats buildings.
  • We really, REALLY need to unplug all the cables and work out what is required and what isn’t.
  • The term “rationalise the power boards” has been used in at least one conversation. Really. And not by me.
  • Sorting paperwork takes a LOT longer than sorting books.
  • The drawers I bought at IKEA? I bought them because they are kind of adorable. I have found a (good) use for them, but next time perhaps I should find the use before buying the adorable drawers.
  • It is possible for two people to take 5 minutes to decide which of three versions of Roget’s Thesaurus is a keeper. And then find a fourth that is clearly better than any of them.
  • We have some really fab books. Especially the non-fiction.
  • IKEA have fancy storage boxes that cost $19.99 for 2. They are pretty, but they also sell not-so-fancy plain brown storage boxes that cost $2.49 for 1. And are quite possibly sturdier, albeit smaller. Combination is good. And the cheaper, CD- and DVD- sized boxes are fabulous for oh so many things.
  • My dad’s old desk mat, circa 1973, unearthed in a box of stuff that came from my parents’ old home, is an exact match for the desk accessories I bought last week. Score!
  • Using four layers of varnish on my desk did not make it optical-mouse-friendly. Also, for those who do not read short updates elsewhere: never varnish a desk outside after 5pm, unless you want an artistic coating of dead bugs stuck to the varnish. Hence the unplanned 4th coat, after significant sanding.
  • Some IKEA desk lamps do not have replaceable bulbs. You use them until they stop working, then you throw them out. If I had known this, I would have got a different lamp.
  • My IKEA floor lamp, on the other hand, is officially Evil. And not just because the uplight bit uses a different globe than the reading light bit – but because Bigster and I spotted it in the Mayor’s office during a season 3 episode of Buffy. We snickered.
  • Two people can have a scary quantity of pre-stamped envelopes and stamps. Even – or perhaps especially – when one of them is philatelically challenged.
  • It is kind of nice to sit in the study with your partner during the evening, even if you are at opposite sides of the desks.
  • Investing in a small squishy ball might be a justifiable study-equipment expense for when said partner says silly things. Errm, as long as “said partner” is Fraser, not me.
  • Putting “Op Shop” boxes beside the front door so you have to manoeuvre around them to get outside? Still not enough to make us actually take the things to the Op Shop.
  • I buy lots of gifts for Fraser that I forget about or do not get around to giving him.
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4 Comments

Posted by on October 6, 2010 in decluttering, house

 

4 responses to “Study – finished (sort of)

  1. yewenyi

    October 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I guess godzilla is very very important. But you could have simply added a few more layers of varnish for an amber desktop style finish.

    I used some of the Ikea power board things that screw into the underside of the shelving, though I did not buy enough as they are quite pricey and so I still have a bunch of power boards.

     
    • Melissa

      October 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      Oooh, the cable trunking stuff? I was tempted to get that but Fraser vetoed it. And refuses to enter IKEA, even when I tempt him with Swedish meatballs – he sits at the foot of the big staircase and has bad coffee. Which he could have for free at the IKEA cafe. Go figure 🙂

       
  2. Justine

    October 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Wasn’t 1993 your first xmas being ‘shacked’ up together:)
    Love some of the learnings/observations. I’ll take some on board too!

     
    • Melissa

      October 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      Ooh, you’re right. Maybe that’s why they were important.
      Another learning that could be added: We have gifts for Justine that have never been posted. Ooops.

       

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