You may recall that back in the first few weeks of the year, I spent a lot of time dealing with the Great Wall of Boxes in hopes of reducing the amount of junk I’m storing but ALSO letting me get about actually DECORATING the apartment I’d recently moved into. Well, here we are two months later and little movement has been made. There are a few reasons for that, chief among them that I’ve been very busy with freelance work in my “off hours,” but a close second being that I really wasn’t sure what the next step was.
It’s not that I didn’t know what I need. I can easily list off the items that are required to make this space feel like a home — a couch, more bookcases (so I can get all of my reduced library up and organized and available), a TV, a TV stand, a coffee table … and that’s just in the living room (don’t even get me started about what I need for the bedroom)!
The problem was (and is) that there’s an intricate puzzle of prerequisites, physical obstacles, and practical inter-relations that has to be solved in order to know what can and should be done. I needed to sort through the boxes and get them out of the apartment before I could know how much material I’d have left. Once done, I had to find furniture that suited both the job AND my sense of aesthetics. Then I had to acquire the items in an order that allowed me to progress. (For example, having a TV before I had a TV stand would only make things more inconvenient, as would getting a couch before I cleared out a couch-shaped space in the room.)
It was like a real-life slide puzzle, and I was just STUCK!
This week I started making progress again and, indeed, made a great leap forward when I found a couch I actually liked AND was reasonably priced (the former was actually much more difficult than the latter). The reality that a couch was on its way spurred me forward to make more progress, shifting many of the remaining boxes from the back corner of the apartment to the front and creating a roughly couch-shaped space that won’t block my motion through the apartment once it’s filled with an actual couch.
So now I’m starting to think about the next logical step, which is to acquire the bookcases. However, the space that they are going to take up is the area where I just moved the boxes to. So I’ve got to move them AGAIN to free that up. But in order to do that, I need to move the items that are currently in that space (ironically enough, that is a different pair of bookcases that are currently filled with games and graphic novels respectively). The spot they need to go to is currently filled with a wire-frame set of shelves that are holding many of the books that will go on the new bookcases once they arrive … so they really have nowhere else to go right now. And so an impasse is reached.
Making this even more challenging is that SOME of the shuffling about really calls for two people to do the moving (at least for convenience’s sake) and, the last time I checked, I still was only just one person … so the difficulty level of many of the steps is increased significantly. Meanwhile, OTHER tasks are just time consuming. For instance, I’ve decided to take all of my CDs and DVDs (and I have a significant number of both) out of their bulky cases and store them JUST in paper sleeves. This will be a big help overall, but in order to do that right I have to not just drop discs into sleeves, I have to label the sleeves themselves so that I can FIND my music and movies again when I want to.
Be all that as it may, I feel like I’m actually making progress. If I can manage to get out during this week and purchase some bookcases (and arrange for delivery over the coming weekend), I’ll be able to make another significant stride along my path to domestication.
It is feasible (though not necessarily likely) that I could actually have everything done, delivered, set up, and organized the way I want before the end of April. That is, if I’ve actually gotten the slide-puzzle’s solution correct. If not, I’m going to end up backed into a corner with more furniture than I have current room for … and I’ll have to start the slide puzzle over again.