If you look at the random things I've written about this week
, it may not
be immediately obvious how two of them are connected. (Aren't human
minds amazing?) But yes, the "where do I put the Christmas tree"
question led me right into the "do I want Ikea for yarn storage"
question, though you might want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to
follow my "logic".
I want a Christmas tree this year, and let's be honest, what I really
want is tied in to that emotional memory of the tall, wide, beautiful, perfect
tree that we put in the round end of the enormous living room of the
house where I grew up. I want to be helping my father put the lights on,
not doing it myself. I want to be a child, feeling safe in the surety
that Santa will come. It's all in the tree, you know? Wait, let me find a picture!
Intellectually, I know I can't recreate my childhood with this year's
tree, not really, but in a sense that's what holiday traditions do,
isn't it? I have ornaments that predate my existence, from the first
Christmas after my parents were married, easily identified by the
blurry, cloudy film on them, which is there because my (poor, innocent,
Jewish, not-raised-with-Christmas) father sprayed a can of fake snow all
over the tree with its brand-new ornaments. I remember how excited I
got, running back and forth between the boxes and the tree every year,
finding and hanging the ones I loved best. Than after it was done,
walking around and around the tree, trying to find all six of the
teardrops, looking for all the ones with my name on them (when your name is
not spelled the most popular way, having things with your name on them
is magic). If you're lucky, you have these sorts of memories to look
back on, and if you're really lucky, you remember not just the golden
nostalgic glow, but the funny stories that only your family went
through. Here, I'm picturing the college student who was staying with us one
year, her arm deep in the tree, pulling out the climbing cat; what
comes to your
Last year certainly wasn't my only year without a tree at home; in fact, my first year on my own, I found a way to put up ornaments without a tree. Go, me!
Anyway! Way to sidetrack! The point to this (no, really, I had one!) was
that much as I like my little condo, its layout is not conducive to
Christmas tree placement. There's room for a small one in the living
room, if you don't mind sidling around it and not being able to see the
TV clearly for a month, but I kind of do mind. The office is so small
that, even though it doesn't actually have that much junk in it by
volume, by percent of available space it's pretty full. And the spot in
the bedroom where I had the tree two years ago:
in the interim, I have moved my yarn and knitting supplies. Add to that
the fact that I have pretty much (okay, completely) outgrown that
space for yarn, what
with all my yarn purchases this fall, and you can see why "no easy place to
put the tree" led directly to "what to do about the yarn", right?
So I got to thinking about that poor, misguided office space. I've never
fully grasped what I want to do with this room; I've had ideas, I've tried, but it's never quite jelled. Yes, it's the office;
the computer is there, and a file cabinet, and it's where I pay my
bills. It's been a guest room, all of twice in six years, I think. But
mostly, it's got stuff in it. Not-sure-what-to-do-with-it stuff. Things I
should get rid of, but don't know where they should go, or that I'm not
quite ready to let go of. Odds and ends of ... stuff.
But it's time to start doing. Well, time and past time, but better late
than etc. I started by writing down what I want in the office, and then
listed the kinds of things that need to go to make that happen.
What I want falls into essentially two categories: office and knitting.
It would be nice to have the room function as a guest space, too, but
it's a small, strangely shaped room (it almost has a vanishing point
and I may only be able to get two types of use out of it. I can be at
peace with those two being the ones I use every day. I don't have guests
often, and when I do, they're family, or close enough that we can be
For the office, my needs are simple: the computer, the file cabinet, and
the shredder. Put the computer on a table with room for the
bill-paying paraphernalia, and that's set. In fact, a smaller table
would be good, since my pile-it-up habits expand to fill the space
available. I could take the leaf out of the table I'm currently using,
that should work.
For knitting, I need storage space, mostly for yarn but also needles,
tools, and books; I like the idea of a glass-front cabinet so that I can
see the pretty yarn, but the dust and cat hair is deterred. I'd like to
be able to leave the swift and ball-winder set up, instead of having to
put them up every time I want to wind yarn. And I'd like a comfy
) chair, like a squashy armchair, with a good lamp and a side table. Simple enough.
Now, what this means is that there are things I need to either get rid
of, or find better places for. There can be some non-office or non-craft
storage in there, if it's out of the way under a table, or by the
window being a cat perch (the cats currently sleep on the heated pad by
the window, which is on top of a short stack of Rubbermaid totes, so I
can keep that up; cat window access is a must, one way or another). Some
of it needs to get out of the room, though.
For instance, I think it's time to get rid of the love seat that's in
there. I almost never sit there, and so I've been putting things down on
it, and a six-foot-long stuff-catcher I do not need. It's ratty (it's
off-white, it wasn't new when I first saw it in 1996, and then there are
the cats...), and though it's comfortable, it's also fairly low to the
ground, which I find increasingly awkward (I've mentioned that I'm
getting older, right? oh, you too?). Basically, it's time for it to find
another home. Hopefully I can find someone who wants it for their
basement playroom, or kid's first apartment, who will come take it away
if it's free.
Another thing I'm (finally) ready to get rid of has been with me for
around 15 years, and though I still think it's cool, I am acknowledging
that I simply don't use it. This is a huge framed magnetic board, about
three feet by five feet, and while having magnetic poetry and dress-up
David and Venus magnets to play with is a fun idea, in practice it's too
big to be anywhere but stuck in a corner, where I don't think about it.
Someone will want it, I feel sure, and have fun with it. David and
Venus can go on the fridge.
It's also time to throw out the old cassette tapes I don't listen to; I
may keep a few, but let's be real, not many. I do have a tape player in
my car, so it's not that they're completed out-technologied, but I don't
listen to music all that often. I'm not even trying to find a home for
them; no one wants them. I know. Trash'em, boom, move on.
There's other stuff I need to sort through, which is probably as much
trash/donate as anything, who knows? That's why I need to go through it.
I need to make room for my vision of this room, of what it can be, what
I want it to be.
By the way, none of this solves the tree issue for this year. It's going
to take some time to make this work. But having a plan of some sort
makes me feel better about fitting the tree in weirdly this year.
Labels: reclaim office