Cath raised an interesting point in her comment on yesterday's post. If we love books, which come in assorted shapes sizes and colours, but we also love a calm and serene environment how do we create this?
For ideas on book storage click here
- gorgeous rooms filled with books, but not one of these is restful to the eye.
We've made one of our bedrooms into a study, and all our books are in there, covering two walls. Two desks, a comfy chair and a lamp - this is my ideal arrangement. See here
, and here.
Of course I sometimes take a small stack into the cosier sitting room, and there are always a few beside the bed.... A dining room or a guest room might also double as a library.
You could organise them according to colour! This is the header photograph from the Danish blog Style Files
but I do like my books organised by subject..
If it is not possible to have a separate room you might have some of your bookshelves with doors - sliding doors, to hide a television, or books, take up less space; or blinds, or a Japanese paper screen, or ceiling mounted curtains - but solutions would have to be thought through carefully to balance accessibility with visual impact.
Lovely challenge, isn't it!
PS If you liked the Worst Ice Skater Ever video on Saturday's post, you may have missed at the end of the video it says 'click here for a longer performance' - I think it's worth watching. About 8 minutes. Clever, and funny.
Wednesday is anti-procrastination day over at www.flylady.net
so it's a busy day here!
I start it out thinking Oh no, all the boring things I've been putting off
, but it's amazing how I cheer up as the day goes on and I tick them off, clearing my head as I go.
My 98 year old student (yes, you read that rightly) and I have agreed to do a simple drawing a day to get us back into the drawing habit. A little pocket size sketch book and 10 - 15 minutes a day.
Don't know where to start? Draw your breakfast!
Don't forget to comment on 9th Nov post for the chance to win Getting Things Done book...
It seems November is my time for sorting books.
Well, an annual review is no bad thing. I shall re-read my own November Simply Organise posts (I wrote about organising my books from 25 Nov till 5 Dec in 2010 and concluded with the statement If I'm not going to re-read it, use it as a reference, or recommend and lend it, I don't keep it).
I currently have a stack on the floor of the study which is 19 books high. My aim is to have them all on the shelves, ideally with a little room to spare (I've never managed this yet). But I think it would feel better to treat myself to a new book now and then knowing there is space for it, than having the slightly guilty feeling that I experience when I buy a new book knowing there is nowhere to put it - and I am not going down the road of more bookshelves! We have a LOT of bookshelves....
Some wet evening, sometime soon, I shall pour a glass of something nice - warmed spiced wine? - and sift and sort. I think it might be do-able in one evening, amazingly. It took at least a week first time round
How do you manage your book collection?
Men are hoarders, except maybe Leo Babatua.
for the greatest hoarder the world has ever known....not what you might think.
I'm sorry I'm having trouble with this link - but you can Google - You Tube Behind The Cloud A Tour Of Google's Secretive Data Facilities...(I've given the game away now!)
'Cloud' sounds so light and fluffy and innocuous doesn't it....
There! I've said it! I usually say I don't want to think about it until December. It must have been that snow on the mountains a couple of days ago....so look away now if you just can't bear it.
I've decided to face it in order to decide how I want to spend it.
I want it to be a winter holiday. I want to relax and have fun, to go to at least two concerts, to be free to out if it snows, walking, taking photographs, playing with the children. Perhaps I'll go and see the lights and the sights, and the special exhibitions this year. And read lots of books. I'd really like to be ready by the sixth of December and have a whole month 'off' until Twelfth Night. Entertaining friends and family and having them to stay would be good. Oh, and being free to accept any nice invitations that come my way. I'd rather like to stay overnight in the city so as not to have to rush for the last ferry after a concert. I'll be kitted out and stocked up for possible power cuts, blocked or icy roads and any other winter emergencies....the freezer and the pantry full of lovely food, preferably (but not necessarily) home made, and all the ingredients to hand should I feel like baking or making sweets.
I don't want to start Christmas early, but I want to know that when I am ready to start it - put the decorations up for example, or wrap the presents - I have everything I need and don't have to make the thirty mile round trip to town to get things. No rushing this year. All the back up work done well ahead of time.
All this does require that I give it a little thought.. now.
Today I wrote the word Christmas at the top of a fresh page in my notebook. That's my small start.
I'm still having fun clutter-clearing old cards. I look through a stack asking Will I want this on the shelf? (see post 12 October) and this helps thin them down a bit! In other words if the card doesn't really appeal aesthetically, I read it, say it's time for you to go, and recycle it. It gets easier the more I do.
I bought these little card/photo holders years ago, because I couldn't resist the lovely colours. I use them a lot, not usually all at once like this, though it's rather nice. You can pop a card by your bedside, on the bathroom window ledge, by the kettle..and change them on a whim and in half a minute.
The holders are from Paperchase
(I love that shop! Be warned, they have a sale on. I stopped myself from buying 30 pieces of multi felt deer table scatter..I mean do I need 30 pieces of.......in the middle of some serious decluttering?)There was snow on the mountains today!
One way that I re-use cards from my huge collection is to put one from the drawer on the shelf when I put fresh flowers out - I look for one which suits the flowers - in this case the card has both the colour of the vase and of the flowers....
..and a whimsical message which makes me smile.
I get to enjoy them all over again!
(But I will reduce the number a bit, and remember that I don't expect anyone who gets a card from me to keep it forever, and that no-one's going to be upset if I recycle their card!)
For a month I have focussed on clearing the most visible clutter in the house, for just 15 minutes each day. I thought my home was quite clutter free but in fact when I looked at it dispassionately (hard to do!) there was lots of tucked away clutter (clutter being defined as anything I didn't use or love, or which didn't make me smile).
Now I'm on the clutter in drawers and cupboards. I have lots of this. I thought that out of sight was out of mind, but in fact it is all there in the recesses of my mind as well as in the recesses of the cupboards, annoying me and yes, stressing me, in a quiet and insidious way.
October focus is on paper clutter - I am flying through it!
(Thank you to Jill and Lynne whose kind comments about the drawing course on yesterday's blog made my day!)
Quiet still life.
I'm heading this post Simply Organise, but it feels more like it should come under Simply Live. I'll try to explain..
I've been following Fly Lady's
system for organising my home for a month. It's been the easiest month of housework I've ever done and the house looks and feels clean, warm, relaxed and happy. It's the relaxed and happy bit that excites me most. No more nagging voice in my head every time I look at a job undone. This was not a big loud voice you understand, just a little niggly one, but it was always there and I hadn't realised how wearing it was, how tiring.
The other major effect is that I feel as though I have so much more time. I DO have much more time!
I feel as though I'm taking living simply and simply living to a new level for me and it feels exhilarating.
..time to notice how amazing the rowan berries are this year.
I admit that when I first looked at the Fly Lady
website I was really put off by the look of it. Not my style, I thought (a bit snobbishly!)
Then I realised that I had another, bigger reservation and it had nothing to do with the website. It was that I was embarassed that I should need
such a website. I'm a grown up I thought, I'm not living in chaos, I should know how to run a home without any help.
But who taught me? No-one
is the answer. I had to pick it up as I went along. I think we so undervalue the job of homemaker/housewife that it's simply taken for granted that women will grow up knowing how to manage what can be a very complicated life, multitasking, balancing a job, a home and a family and the huge responsibilities that entails - running a household requires so many management skills of quite a high order.
Looking back, I really could have done with some of Fly Lady's systems - it might all have been so much easier.
As a young child I had a stay at home Mum who managed everything perfectly - but I had no idea how she did it. It just happened while I was at school. Clean clothes appeared, meals appeared, library books were returned, holidays happened, presents arrived on birthdays. It all went so smoothly, but we never talked about how.
How did you learn to run a household?