Thursday, 21 May 2015

Take one bookcase



This week I decided to Spring Clean the bookcase in the living room. There was an ulterior motive. I suffer from restless furniture syndrome; the desire to change around one's living space every so often. I'm much better than I was. Gone are the days that Marc would come home from work to find the hall, stairs and landing carpet ripped up and thrown out the back door. But I am still often to be found hauling various items of furniture around the house.

I used to constantly change my bedroom around when I was young. Did you? I have often wondered why I was always re-arranging. I constantly faff about (which I've talked about at length before). I like to make my home feel and look good, although to be honest my home is already quite lovely. Don't get me wrong, it's not a show home by any stretch of the imagination. Five people in a medium sized living space will make a mess and a clutter. A lot of our furniture has seen better days. One of the sofas has three tears in the leather. I'm holding out until Olly is older before I buy new ones (John Lewis, charcoal grey, fabric). There are broken drawers which have been wedged back in place on a wing and a prayer. My own chest of drawers in my bedroom is rather tatty. It's a very old IKEA unit that has been painted multiple times. The bottom drawer has lost its' handles, something I mean to remedy every time  I open it to take out clean bed linen.

But back to the bookcase....

I took the books off of the selves and line them up on the floor. There are a lot, and most of them were very dusty. So they are given a thorough clean with the duster. Then I have my annual book cull. The one where I ruthlessly get rid of books that I enjoyed but will never read again, those I didn't enjoy and those that I started, never finished and am no longer kidding myself that I ever will. They all get put in the boot of the car ready for the charity shop.

Then I pulled the bookcase away from the wall. I tell myself that it's so I can clean underneath and behind it. But we all know that it's really so that I can move it somewhere else. I want to put the bookcase against the wall next to the dining table. The very same place that our old bookcase stood in fact, before I decided that I wanted to move that one. Actually before I decided that that particular bookcase (some rough cubes storage units from B&Q) should be replaced with a bit of IKEA Billy. I think that the dresser will look nicer here, instead of over there, and the bookcase will look nicer over there instead of here. It's time the room had a re-fresh. It will make a nice change.

But there's a problem, and it's only as I heave the bookcase away from the wall that I remember Marc having to remove the skirting board in order to fit the sodding bookcase here in the first place. Aaah yes, it's all come flooding back. So I can't move it anyway. It will just have to stay put. Bugger.

So now I'm stood surrounded by hundreds of books, holding those bits of balsa wood that were placed under the bookcase so that it would fit flush to the wall. I have no idea exactly where they went, so I shove them under and manoeuvre the unit back into place. It lists, and there is now a gap between the wall and the bookcase where there wasn't before. That won't go unnoticed when Marc comes home on Friday....

I go and make a cup of tea, and sit down on the sofa. I put my feet up on top of a pile of books. It occurs to me that I could probably leave all my books right where they are, and no-one would notice anyway. Olly would turn them into hide outs or secret bases for his LEGO. Sam and Alfie only come down to eat, shower and moan, so they wouldn't care. And Marc would probably use them as a make-shift coffee table.

But I do eventually put all the books back. They are ordered by author, with two miscellaneous shelves. A His (camper van stuff and fishing) and a Hers (current gardening reference reads, craft books, note pads) and children's books that Olly is still too young for, which includes the seminal work 'Go The F*^k To Sleep' I find a book mark that Mum bought for me when she visited Howarth House in the 80s. I thought I'd lost it years ago, and I happily slip it inside my current read. I re-acquaint myself with old friends, and chuckle at some of the notes in the margin made by my sixteen year old self. I realise too that several of my Bill Brysons are missing, and so I go retrieve them from Sam's own over-crowded bookcase. With all of that de-cluttering there is space for a bit of frou frou. So I put some pottery that has been languishing in the utility room, getting on the cat's nerves (he likes to doze on the window sill and it gets in his way).

When I have finally finished, I stand back and look. My bookcase looks a bit odd. A bit too tidy and organised. You know that feeling when you've had your hair cut, and your face looks different? It takes a couple of days to get used to the new you. Those subtle changes that even just a trim of the fringe can create. Well it's a bit like that.

I have to admit that the bookcase looks fine where it is. It's tucked away into the 'awkward' space of the room. It fills and fits the space perfectly. Perhaps it can stay there after all.

Do you share my love of moving rooms around? Do you faff and frou frou?

Leanne xx


By the way, there were 37 marbles, one Christmas biscuit from two years ago, 100s of assorted pieces of Lego, one dinosaur (plastic), what I think is a shriveled grape, 37 pence, a lot of pet hair, an empty juice carton, a toast crust and some nail clippers under that bloody bookcase.


Oh and also, craft books? lolololol

26 comments:

  1. I often move 'stuff' around -occasionally the odd bookcase but am worried about what I'll find underneath and it's been harder with very young children to do this!! Most times I end up putting it back where it was. I like to rotate what the ABO likes to call tat. I think he'd really like less 'stuff' in the house as he dusts!! There are less books for me to recycle since getting my kindle, but I think we're due a toy cull very soon! xx

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  2. Oh - that could be me! I've done lots of rearranging since my husband left! And once I start with an idea - it grows - every time! :) x

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  3. nothing like moving everything around and then deciding you liked it better before. we did this recently, hubby had a bit of a sense of humour failure.............

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  4. Re-arranging is lovely isn't it. It gives a whole new energy to the place. I find that after a while the grapes under the sofa turn into sultanas. It's a little miracle. Your reference to the seminal work made me laugh out loud. And isn't it amazing how books on the floor look so much more numerous than when they're on the bookshelf. Bookshelves have a little magic about them I think. Love them. Your home is gorgeous, so light and pretty. And with plenty of books. Doesn't get better than that. CJ xx

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  5. Deleted what I said above, it seemed like a reply and it wasn't! Well the good news it that you are 37p up on the whole experience!!! I found 20p down the side of a chair recently and that was spirited away from me!! I think that what I need is you to come and go through my shelves and be ruthless and rearrange them, yours look so nice all neat and tidy!! It is good to rearrange and faff and have a clear out isn't it! xx

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  6. I'm just the same. Life would be boring otherwise. The sitting room floor is currently home to about 20 piles of magazines, ex bookshelves. Himself is distinctly unimpressed. I want to flick through them before they go down the dump, just in case there's anything important in there. But where's the time? Doh.

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  7. I too like moving things around just to create different views and appreciate things viewing them from different angles. My children too were constantly moving furniture in their bedrooms! It is good to revisit old books. You are good putting the books straight in the car, it is too easy to pile up stuff at home for the charity shops where it will linger for awhile! Sarah x

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  8. Oh god, you suffer from the same affliction as my mum. She is forever moving furniture around. Constantly. It's a thing we all tease her about. You'll walk into a room and stop and think for a moment, trying to work out what's changed, then realise that the sofa and chairs have swapped places, or the dresser and table. She put her back out once trying to shift a baby grand piano on her own. My Dad went mad. :-)

    I'm thinking I like your house, it looks fresh, bright and also cosy. I've started quite a few things this week and just thought I cannot be arsed, while I was half way through them. Even getting the ironing board out seemed like an effort. xx

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  9. I loved your terrifying list of Things Found Under Shelves. I have had a few of those sorts of lists myself, usually when moving house and family/friends gaze at the debris right along with me. Things that humble us are good for us right? Gee, I sure hope so.

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  10. It's amazing what one determined woman can move by herself. Once I get going, I could have the whole house shifted by dinnertime. Of course, there won't actually be any dinner that evening, but everything is new and different, and the novelty is just as exciting as a hot meal.... right? Yeah...
    Sandra

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  11. You crack me up friend! I did read your last post about Olly collecting snails from your garden! I was side tracked by my beans so I am sorry I am late to commenting! And yes like you I was always moving furniture around! I love how you referred to it as restless furniture syndrome! Ha! That is brilliant! Your bookcases are outstanding! They look so lovely in your space with your pretty pottery collection and books! And I am so impressed that you dust your books...I am embarrassed to say that I don't do that as much as I should!! Wishing you an outstanding Friday Leanne!!! Nicole xo

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  12. You put me to shame Spring cleaning your bookshelves - there are bits of ours that haven't seen the light of day, let alone the flick of a duster, for years! I think it looks great where it is by the way. Not a lot of scope round here for shifting furniture - the sofas kind of have to go where they are and that limits where everything else can go. I do occasionally turn the dining table round 90 degrees just for a change but someone usually complains! Love the sound of Olly's book! Enjoy Half Term. xx

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  13. Changing things around or having a good clear out are re-energising aren't they? L likes to shuffle his room about and I used to do the same when I was a kid. Less so now, mainly because time is short more than anything else I suspect! Have a good weekend my lovely :o) x

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  14. I never move furniture around, my house is so small that there's nowhere to move it to, everything's shoehorned in to it's place and it wouldn't fit anywhere else. I do like to have a spring clean though and I can be pretty ruthless when it comes to getting rid of stuff.

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  15. A great blog, it made me laugh, smile and sympathise :) I am not a furniture mover, once I have something the way I like it, it stays, but I did identify with all the "stuff" you found underneath, the joy of a house with kids. Bizarrely I also have that bookmark, bought when I visited Howarth with my parents in the late 70's or early 80's. When we get our own house again, I want bog bookshelves like that, we'll need several for all our books, but I love seing them all on display with bits and pieces tucked in between.

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  16. Nooooooooo I hate moving furniture round. Once the kitchen is finished I will have to bring the blinking big & heavy bookcase that lives on the landing down stairs to the dining part of the kitchen. There is a jolly good chance I will find the same sort of things under mine that was under yours! x

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  17. I used to be an enthusiatic mover of furniture! Increasing age and a shockingly dodgy back(probably caused by all the furniture I moved around) have put paid to my hobby. My husband worked shifts and was always careful to put a light on in the dark nights and mornings when he came home just to make sure he was actually going to sit down on a seat and not the rearranged coffee table as happened one time. I love to read your blig as you share a name with my daughter. Catriona

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  18. Hmm - your list of Things Found Under the Bookshelves is remarkably similar to my frequent lists of Things Found Under the Sofa - always loads of Lego and desiccated food - but usually numerous (odd and dirty) socks too. Your boys must be much better trained in sock management than mine!

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  19. yes sometimes we just have to make something change, I often feel my house is like a rubix cube! One move can trigger a whole lot of others. But you never quite manage to finish it. I think there is something in the air at the moment, probably spring energy! X

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  20. I get this. I really do. And remember you have a house of boys. Add a girl in and you would have pens, hair bands and at least one receipt from Lush under there as well!

    Nice to meet you. I came over from Run Craft Read Cook blog. I couldn't resist the title of the post!

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  21. I do this too, you're not alone, the pull it out and spread it about cull that is, not the bookcase moving. Our bookcases are on the two landings (that sounds like I live in a rather grand house and I really don't, plus I hate hoovering stairs and we have so bloody many of them) ... we tried books in the living room but the dogs kept nibbling the corners of the big ones on the bottom shelf!

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  22. I used to do that teenage thing too. And I'd be so very pleased with myself afterwards...
    Moving things around isn't something I do too much of these days; our current house is rented (hopefully we'll be back in our own place very soon) and there's just not that much inclination. This surprises me as I'm very into interiors and styling.
    I'm a serial faffer. Arranging and rearranging - now that makes me happy. Small things, like books and pottery and pictures.
    I dread to think what we'll find when we shift all the furniture from here. Although money would be great.
    S x

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  23. Morning Leanne, Early start for me today but couldn't get going until I'd popped in to see what you've been up to. I love this story of the bookshelf shuffle. When we lived in the big house we constantly moved things around. Now we're in the cottage D gets the itch to move things but unfortunately we are a little short on space now so he moves it all around and when finished it's back to exactly where it was before. I don't tell him though he thinks it's a job well done.... Funny what you find when you're not actually looking for it.

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  24. Morning Leanne, Early start for me today but couldn't get going until I'd popped in to see what you've been up to. I love this story of the bookshelf shuffle. When we lived in the big house we constantly moved things around. Now we're in the cottage D gets the itch to move things but unfortunately we are a little short on space now so he moves it all around and when finished it's back to exactly where it was before. I don't tell him though he thinks it's a job well done.... Funny what you find when you're not actually looking for it.

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  25. Actually, what caught my eye is the lovely little table next to the bookcase, and the ledge on the other side!
    Our house is one big bookcase, Leanne! Thousands of books here, and don't mention the magazines ... thousands of those, too. Far too many. I need to weed. My last book weed produced more than 240 books for the charity shops.
    Margaret P

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