How to Rearrange Your Room Without Moving the Furniture

If there’s one thing I enjoy doing, it’s moving the furniture. Plotting future moves is almost as much fun.

Earlier this year I cooked up a delicious plan in which work desks (2) would be moved out of the living room into the kitchen, and the dining table would be moved into the living room, where it could enrich its life by doubling as a sewing table, writing table, games table, etc, etc, without being surrounded by cold air (the kitchen faces south-east) and the smells of cookery.

The Langford Family in their Drawing Room) by James Holland, RWS
A table in the living room – happy thought indeed!
There was just one hitch in my plan.

OK, there were a few, but there was only one I couldn’t work around: my desk is too large to fit through the two doors between the living room and the kitchen.

But I am not one to be foiled for long. In the absence of possible improvements to the furniture layout, I decided on the next best thing: moving the contents of the furniture.

So now the DVDs are where the games were, the games and amusements for visiting children are where the DVDs were, the HWIPs (hand-works-in-progress) are where the kiddies things and the stationery were, and the stationery is partly where the handwork stuff was and partly where the books I have purged were.

Yes indeed. This was no mere jugglery of static-sized collections of things. I have pruned out about ten books (more to follow), along with about 30 DVDs and a large pile of games (subject to the Caped Gooseberry’s approval).

Anton Heinrich Dieffenbach - Tannenwald (1888)
Plenty more where these came from…
I also have a pile of DVDs to watch once more to see if they’re worth keeping, and a pile of books to read and then get rid of. Unless it turns out I’ve been missing something spectacular all the time they’ve been parked on my shelves gathering dust.

But you know what? There’s still far too much stuff in this house. I don’t consider myself very materialistic, and I’m not a great shopper, but somehow the house is still full of stuff. Stuff that might be useful, or stuff that I should have used for something by now, surely, or stuff that someone gave me and I feel I ought to keep…

I find myself asking: how much of this stuff is here because I (or the Caped Gooseberry) actually want it to be? And what would happen if I got rid of all the rest?

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