I decided to start with cleaning probably the most difficult corner by my bed. The clutter here is the last thing I see when I go to bed at night and the first thing I see when I wake in a morning, so I figured that by starting there, it would give my mornings a definite boost.
(It did, after a couple of restless nights, I slept very soundly that night).
This part of the room is difficult, not only because of the mess, but because of the height of the shelves and the amount of books and other things on them. I intended to remove everything shelf by shelf, dust it, clean the shelves and rearrange things a little to accommodate most of the pile of books by my bed which are waiting to be read. You can't tell from this photograph, but there are 3 shelves full of books on this side and the top two shelves of books haven't been completely removed and the shelves dusted for a number of years.
I got out the step ladders and got cracking, starting with the top shelf. I must admit I was a bit ashamed when I saw how thick the layer of dust was on top of the books and behind them on the shelf. With a feather duster, a bowl of soapy water and a cloth, it didn't take long to get rid of all of the dirt, sift through the books, putting any I didn't want in the charity shop box and re-organise the shelves a little.
Thankfully, I managed to accommodate all of the books in the piles on the left hand side of this picture. Some of the books on the right hand side still remain there, but a few were removed and either donated or relocated to other bookshelves in the house.
It did feel good to get my books organised. I had a good read of the back covers as I was doing this, to help me decide whether I still wanted to read them. There was a whole heap of great books by some great authors on the top shelf waiting to be read; Iris Murdock, Anita Brookner, Fay Weldon, Mavis Cheek, Joanne Harris, plus loads more. I decided to count how many unread books I actually have. There were 90 in total. Completely ridiculous. It will take me years to read them. Note to self: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY ANY MORE BOOKS THIS YEAR (or for several years for that matter!)
After tackling the shelves, I had to tackle the other bits and pieces below that needed sorting and re-homing. Carrying out this task inevitably has led me to uncover more tasks that I need to complete. The main one being, to sort out my photos and albums which are kept in the wicker hampers. I had a good look through the hampers and pulled out all the albums that are only partially filled, all the photo frames that need a picture putting in them, and all the loose photos that need both sorting and re-homing in the frames and albums. I've put them all aside in a large bag, so that I can take them downstairs and do this task at my leisure, probably in front of the TV of an evening.
I've avoided this task for a while, as I find it quite emotional going through them all. I must admit, looking at them today brought back some memories. I might get little Bird to help me, as she hasn't seen many of them, which is good motivation to get them out and get working on them.
When I'd finally finished pulling everything out of this corner, cleaning the floor and skirting and then putting everything back, it felt very good indeed. I may be just a small way around the bedroom, but it felt like a big achievement to have tackled this particular job.
Here's a photo of how the corner looks now:
Not a whole lot different to the reader perhaps, but to me it is like a whole new start. I'll keep you posted on the rest of my progress in this room as I make it.