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Musings - Peter Hentges

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July 27th, 2005


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03:42 am - Musings
I'm thinking of "Clean Sweep"ing our main bedroom. (Name taken from a Learning Channel program in which homeowners take everything out of two rooms, sort through it, and have professionals redesign and organize the space for them.) Right now, there is a desk in there that isn't used as a desk. It's used as a collection of horizontal surfaces that hold a variety of clutter. This is where Ericka's computer used to live, but her computer now lives at the kitchen table, which is one of the places where she spends a lot of her day.

There's also a collection of shelves with a variety of things that probably don't need to be there and a bookcase that isn't really well suited to what it's being asked to hold. In three other bookcases are stored some of Ericka's surplus medical stuff. Some of these haven't been used in years and it might be time to gently nudge herself to let them go. Others of them get used every day to every month, so they need a place to live that's easy to get to. Also on those shelves are Ericka's Special Books. These are hard-covers and paper backs of books that are worth keeping. These don't have to live in the bedroom, I suppose, but they do have to live somewhere. It would be nice if they lived somewhere that made them easy for Ericka to see (because having good books around is a comfort) and also made them easy to keep as dust-free as possible.

Then there's the closet. We did a pretty good job with getting the closet organized a few years ago. We installed a "system" of shelves and drawers to help organize it. It's probably worth having another look at the current usage to see if we can better use the space. I also have been meaning to go through my clothes for a while. There's a bunch that no longer fit my gently spreading and slightly taller frame and some that I just never wear any more. Getting those out of the closet and on to the Goodwill will both free up space and be a good thing to help out others.

And then I'd like to do something with the room design-wise.

It's currently painted a light blue, a color a generally like. There's been some mildew damage in at least one corner, however, due to the walls not being insulated well. The window treatments are OK, but aren't anything particularly special.

I think I'd like to get the desk out of there and the shelves that are above it. Not much of what's on those surfaces should be in the bedroom. The one thing we need to find a place for that currently lives there is the wireless router. So that shouldn't be too hard.

Given Ericka's needs for more closet space than me (she is, after all, bigger than me) I'm thinking that it might make sense to spread her clothing over the full closet instead of the half-plus it occupies now. That would make everything a little easier to get at. Then in the space that currently has the desk, maybe putting a wardrobe and/or chest of drawers for my clothing along that wall. Since the desk currently runs under one window, I think removing it and not replacing anything beneath it will make the room feel larger.

Part of me wants to knock out the lathe-and-plaster outer walls, insulate them and sheetrock them, updating the wiring while I'm at it. There's the spare room in the basement I could sleep in while that was going on. It certainly would make the room more comfortable and remove worries about the mildew returning due to condensation on the walls in winter.

For color, I'm feeling like a deep, rich burgundy would be nice. The wood floors and wood trim around the windows are light-colored oak, so putting something dark on the walls would highlight them, I'd think. We could also go with light-colored window treatments (pink curtains, maybe?) to be sure the room didn't get too dark. Also the ceiling could be light-colored.

Since I do quite of bit of net-surfing while in bed and also write while I'm relaxing there, it would be a good idea to get a bed-desk of some sort. We have lap-desk sorts of things, but I'm thinking something more like the kind of table they have in hospitals, that have a surface that comes over the bed attached to a rolling base. I'd like it to adjust in height and angle.

All of this, of course, takes time and money. The former is always in short supply and, even though we just finished the refinancing of our house, we have plans for the latter. So this isn't so much a plan of action as it is a way to kill time while at work. I'm supposed to punch out for my "lunch" now so I'll sign off and do that. Then I'll delve further into the book I've been reading (The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror).

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[User Picture]
From:gerisullivan
Date:July 27th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)
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This sounds like an excellent plan!

You could also work on a couple of pieces of it while awaiting the time and money resources for the full sweep. Especially the de-cluttering and moving the desk out. And the bed-desk!

On the painting front, which sounds like it will wait a while, if the dark walls turn out to be too dark (or the paint ends up splotchier than you'd like, which sometimes happens with deep, rich tones), you could glaze over the burgundy with a lighter tone, using "color washing" or one of the other decorative painting techniques.

The clean, flat surfaces I achieved back at the beginning of the year have slowly given way to the usual piles of accumulated paper. I stacked it all in one place earlier this week. Next, to go through it all -- previous experience suggests that 60% of it will go immediately into the recycle bin, 20% will be "put away" in its proper place, and 20% will serve as the starter pile for the next round of decluttering, as it will all be stuff I want, but haven't yet figured out a place for.

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