I tried to start cleaning an hour and a half ago, but then I got distracted and ended up IMing with Heidi about small, tacky amusement parks which is research for a book I’m not even sure I’m going to write. So now it’s ten o’clock but I only have to do this for fifteen minutes so PLENTY of time. In fact, I could go get a Diet Coke . . . no, no, fifteen minutes.
And tonight we’re doing the floor. It seems basic. Foundational. It looks like this:
Well, that’s part of it. There’s also this:
And there’s more but the office is small and I can’t get much distance with the camera.
The first thing I’m noticing is that I’m transferring a lot of stuff to other places. The mob books and mystery criticism to the first floor with the rest of the books-that-are-leaving. The big box of shells into the studio. The trash into the garbage. I found out I have five wastebaskets in an office that’s about eight by twelve. Clearly, my heart was in the right place. But after taking out all of that, there’s still a lot of Stuff. So to work.
Half an hour later . . .
So I kept going for a full thirty minutes and it’s clear there will be a Floor Part Two and a Floor Part Three. The biggest things I learned:
I must stop tearing things out of magazines. I’m never going to make those recipes and the other stuff probably won’t work in any collage I’m going to do anyway. So I threw away the recipes and stuck the collage pictures in a box because hope springs eternal.
About half the stuff in here doesn’t belong in here. Most of it went to the studio, which is its own disaster area and getting worse now that I’m cleaning the office, but really, why did I have two cans of blackboard spray paint in here? That huge box of shells? All that collage stuff? It’s insane.
I clearly wanted to clean up the place since there were five wastebaskets, but I think one will do.
A small office is a good thing. It cuts down on the urge to find a box to put that in and you just throw it out instead. I do not want more shelves or more boxes. I want fewer things in this office. If I could find that Morgenstern book again, I’d read what she said about areas. I remember that she said that rooms should be organized like a kindergarten room with a different area/station for each activity or focus. I think. Anyway that would work in here if I could just get rid of more freaking STUFF.
But it’s not bad for half an hour. And no half an hour is not cheating. It’s a minimum of fifteen minutes. If the spirit moves me to do more, I can. Actually it wasn’t the spirit so much as how appalled I was at how much stuff didn’t belong in here. And then the spider the size of my fist was a sign I should stop.
So tomorrow: The Floor, Part Two. Sequels already. But I really think the floor is the only thing that’s going to have to be done in multiples. I’m pretty sure. I’ve got two desks, a window seat, a storage wall, a research and brainstorming wall, and a bookcase that really is part of the library. That’s six things and I’ve got twelve days. I can squander two or three of them on the floor. Okay, maybe four.
And here’s where we are now:
One day on those boxes by my desk, and one day on the boxes in the doorway. I have a feeling that’s going to be more than fifteen minutes, too. But the rest will just FLY by.
I’m sure of it.