Sunday, June 26, 2011

It has to get messier before it gets cleaner!

Several months ago, my apartment got to the point where it was simply not possible to put everything away. Even in its cleanest state there would be precarious heaps of books and papers and other stuff on top of every flat-topped piece of furniture. End tables, stereo speakers, chests of drawers, windowsills, and our long row of bookshelves -- it had been some time since we'd seen the top surfaces of any of them. And it wasn't a question of laziness, it was that we didn't have anywhere to put these things away.

I know, I know, #firstworldproblems -- but I'm not complaining. I'm just recounting that this problem has been an item on my to-do list for a while.

So, last week, I bought two new full-height bookshelves and installed them in my bedroom. This has had a huge impact on my ability to excavate my furniture. I'm no interior decorator, but I'm not keen on having my living space buried in stuff. Even the stuff itself is not helpful if you can't find any of it because it's covered in other stuff.

Now we have room for (at most) one more bookshelf in our apartment. Once we get to the point where we buy (and fill) that one, we'll have to move.

One disadvantage to reorganizing the bookshelves (other than the one in the title of this post) is that I keep finding books that I really want to read! It's like a trip to a wonderful bookstore or library where the shelves were stocked by someone with exactly my tastes and interests!

Naturally, I spent the whole morning (and most of the day yesterday) sitting in my bed, reading -- instead of making more progress sorting the remaining piles of junk on my dressers and windowsills. It was doubly dangerous to have set up the new bookshelves within reach of my bed...


Chris said...

Hi there!

I've been following your blog - swisstory - for some time. It is brilliant!! By the way, I lived in Bountiful, UT for almost two years.. Now THAT was an interesting time!! :-))

For the past few days, friends and I have been putting together a site with useful info aimed at Americans in Switzerland. The idea came up when a few other fellow Americans (and one Swiss) and I went out for drinks We've since written articles and look to compile lots of info so that we can feel more at home here in this wonderful country (more articles to be posted next week). The articles can be found at

Also, there's a blog section where we will be blogging about our experience in adjusting to the Swiss life style - and of course to digest all the beauty we are experiencing here. If you're interested in starting a blog, please hit me up. We're looking to have a few more regular bloggers.

Would you mind linking to our site? Also, any input/comments are highly welcomed!

Have a great Sunday!


C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Chris!!!

I've just taken a look at your new site -- it looks great!!

I don't write a blog called swisstory -- perhaps you're confusing me with someone else? However, I've written a number of posts about living in Switzerland. here's my set of Switzerland posts. I might be interested in writing more posts about living in Switzerland for your site. Email me: chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com

Also, some other American friends of mine living in the Geneva area write some photo blogs with a lot of photos of Switzerland, see here and here.

littlemissattitude said...

This is exactly why I always had a cluttered room as a child. I'd start with the best intentions of picking everything up and putting it all away.

And then I would find a book. And that would be the end of cleaning for the day. Because I was (and still am, mostly) unable to resist the lure of the written word. It still happens sometimes. I'll start to do cleaning and, before you know it, there I am in a comfortable chair or in bed, reading happily away.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey LittleMissAttitude!!!

Exactly -- that's it to a T!

I've succeeded in sorting some of the piles of stuff, yet the pile of books on the chair beside my bed has only grown. ;)

mathmom said...

"It's like a trip to a wonderful bookstore or library where the shelves were stocked by someone with exactly my tastes and interests!"

Beautiful! I love this =) I'm getting to the point that we are filling up our bookshelves and I'm ready to get rid of lots of books. Michael is not. Since we have the room, we'll probably keep the books for now...

I know you do not draw for the WSJ, especially for their opinion pages, but I was just flipping around and happened to see the illustration for this piece:

It reminded me very strongly of your book... For a minute I wondered if you were moonlighting =)

Take care,

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks MathMom!!!

True, it does look a little like my style, but I didn't draw it...

Anonymous said...

You mean, you're putting in more bookcases before you're reduced to making piles of paper on the floor? How forward-looking!

We have bookshelves in the living room, the dining room, the family room, the offices, the bedrooms, and the garden shed. There are piles of books or papers on every flat surface, and more piles of books on the floors in front of the bookcases. Periodically I box up three or four cartons of the things and donate them to the local library to shelve or sell, as they please. It stems the tide for a little while, but I swear the books breed in the night. Or maybe it's those late nights, when I can't sleep, and I visit