Saturday, March 1, 2014

YoCP February: Bookshelves Reclaimed!

And so we continue. The Year of the Clean Person marches on. It's February! And last month, you got a preview of what was to come. It was not pretty. There were almost tears. But I'm happy to report that February has come and gone in productive style, and I have a super series of photos to share.

First, let's check in with the before, courtesy of that preview post:
Note the poorly white-balanced photos due to an
abundance of natural light. Daytime photography!
And ok, I'll just show you the TL;DR...the after:
Note the poorly white-balanced photos due to a
lack of natural light. Nighttime photography!

Notice a difference? I do. I'm not 150% satisfied yet; I think there are a few tiny tweaks I'll want to do (like that horizontal gray book - The New Yorker Book of War Pieces, of course - that's unevenly balanced, for example), but that's being majorly nit-picky and I'm pretty satisfied.

For those who care about the ins and outs of this whole Bookshelf Reclamation 2014 Situation, I'll now explain the process in a lengthy photo essay. Feel free to jump down to the comments if you're not interested in the nitty gritty. Or watching the light change in our apartment, as this project took all day long.

We begin our day with a "before" picture. The dining room
table has been moved into the doorway for maximum ease
of bookshelf-clearing. Excuse that mistletoe hanging there.
One shelf down, and a table full of books. How will the table
possibly accommodate another shelf's worth of books? 
Two shelves down, and hey! It's not so much daytime
anymore, is it? The table is heavy with books, and the
drum-case-seat is covered with photo albums.
Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into? Now I'm just tired. 
Books are organized into categories:
short stories and poetry
humor and coffee table books
theatre/music (history and analysis)
theatre (plays and instruction)
home improvement

And then there's a pile of knick knacks. 
A pile of giveaway books and movies.
Ended up filling three grocery bags.
Will helped me with the sorting and getting things back on the shelves, and I only experienced one minor meltdown when I couldn't get the books to fit where I wanted them to. I mean, UGH BOOKS HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME WITH THE NOT FITTING ON THE SHELVES? 

Eventually, I took a little break so that I could look at the shelves with fresh eyes...and typing this is even a little bit embarrassing. Admittedly, I might have taken things a little too seriously, put a little too much pressure on myself to create The Most Perfectly Staged Bookshelves Ever. But like I said, I'm almost entirely pleased with the end result, so that's good. I like it more now then I did a week ago, and overall, I'm pretty satisfied. They look a million times better. And most importantly, books are sorted in a meaningful way, so no more frustrated searching high and low for a book that you just know is on the shelf somewhere omg where did we put it.

Finished product! Why is the picture crooked? I don't know.
The mistletoe is no longer hanging there, by the way. 
Can I get a "hell yeah" for this job?

Oh, and I cleaned out the bins by the couch with several days to spare. February, you were a short month, and I was a little worried, but I have conquered you! Onward to March...wherein I focus on things like organizing the dressers and hanging a big ole mirror in the bedroom. YoCP Forevah.


  1. The after pic looks great. I'm also busy organizing my books and paperwork at the moment. I want to create my own bookself for my books and paperwork and it's also going to be next to the door. ;) Organizing definitely takes a lot of time, but once you're done you'll save a lot of time finding your books. :) Wishing you a great Sunday. Kisses.

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  3. WOW! Please tell me that took you longer than just a day! I mean, I'm thoroughly impressed anyway, but if it did take you a day then I salute you. I will be starting to spring clean the house, but I am lacking the motivation to do so, with a number of other things going on, too (and they always seem more important than housework!) How do you do it?

  4. Thanks, @Ruth! It only took one day, but it took most of that one day. I set aside a weekend day for it, and I don't have kids or pets or any distractions other than the TV :) My husband helped with putting them back on the shelves, but otherwise I just hunkered down and spent a full weekend day (that I had planned in advance) on it!

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  7. Wow! You are organised! I can't stand doing housework and would much rather be doing my lab reports (eugh!) than doing housework - even though I would be using my time more effectively if I actually tidied up a bit ;) You are a role model!