Study Progress


February 9, 2015 by Jean

new studyIn the past week, I’ve made serious progress on turning my old bedroom into my new study. A week ago today, I got three of the four bookcases to line one wall of the room assembled and set up. Before I went to bed that night, I wrestled my desk across the room and into place. And then I started moving some of my books from the bookcases in the old study into the new.

The first thing I did the next morning was to move my computer and printer into the new study. Then I brought up an area rug and my desk chair from the basement, where they have been stored since July. I spent the rest of the day putting office supplies and files away in the desk drawers and arranging the top of the desk. By the end of the day, my new study was in use. What a joy to be able to get organized and to have so much space to spread out after months of being cramped into an 8’ x 11’ room that was also doubling as a sitting room.

view from deskIn the days since, it has been a delight to work at this desk while also enjoying the wintry, woodsy scene outside the window. I’ve spent time every day unpacking boxes of books and getting them organized on the shelves. (You can see from the photos that the shelving process still has a way to go.) Yesterday, I finally got the fourth bookcase in place, and today I brought the last of my packed books up from the basement.

There is still quite a bit left to do in this room. And I don’t just mean shelving books. I’ve carefully framed these photographs to leave out all the chaos along the other two walls of the room. Happily, when I work at my desk, that chaos is behind me; out of sight, out of mind. There are two closets in this room that need to be cleaned out; one of these will become storage space for various kinds of office supplies and files that are still in boxes. My friend Anne is going to come by tomorrow to help me move two old chests of drawers from this room down to the basement; we’ll also move up a cabinet that used to be in my living room and that is being repurposed for study storage. Once the closets are cleaned out and the furniture moved, I’ll be able to paint the remaining two walls of the room, put supplies away in the closet, and hang pictures on the walls. I will move a comfortable reading chair and ottoman into one corner of the room and a small file cabinet into another corner. When all that is completed, I will be able to look around in satisfaction and declare the study done!

8 thoughts on “Study Progress

  1. Jean R. says:

    What a wonderful, bright work space you have now! Can’t wait to see what the bookshelves look like once they are organized. I love home libraries. Be careful watering that plant hanging above your computer! If it was mine, I’d be accidentally watering my keyboard.

    • Jean says:

      Jean, LOL, I had that same thought about the hanging plant as I was watering it the other day. (I hung it over the window before I moved the desk into place, and I hadn’t thought through the implications.) I shifted the laptop to the side and lowered the cover part way before I tilted the watering can into the plant — just in case.
      I just finished arranging the bookshelves today. I had to make decisions about which books should go in which rooms and then how to organize them on the shelves. Every shelf now has books on it, but most still have some room for additions — which is good, because it’s a good bet that I will acquire more books 🙂 .

  2. A lot of hard work, but it sure looks nice. I remember when I first retired I kept a lot of business papers and career related items I thought I wanted and needed but after a few years I pared those down as well. I think I would qualify as a minimalist and life has never been simpler. 🙂

    • Diana Studer says:

      I’m determined to follow in those minimalist footsteps – but, I’m a hoarder, which needs to change. Rethinking my computer space as Plan A has too much glare from the big windows.

      • Jean says:

        Diana, I had that trouble with glare from the windows in my study in Gettysburg, where the computer sat under a south-facing window (the sunny side in the northern hemisphere). The window in my current study faces north-west and also faces the woods. I think the sun will only get around to this side late in the day during the summer, and by then it will be low enough in the sky for much of the glare to be blocked by the trees.

    • Jean says:

      Judy, I wouldn’t describe myself as a minimalist; but I’m not a collector either, and I generally have no trouble throwing things away. The academic books I kept generally fell into three categories: books I’ve wanted to read for years but somehow never got to, favorite books that I will want to re-read, and classics or reference works that I may want to refer (e.g., in research and writing projects). I haven’t unpacked files yet, but I think most of the ones I moved to Maine were household files rather than work-related.

  3. Just finished going through every part of the house from basement to top floor and cleared out so much. We are also looking to hang several things on the wall and finally feel moved in and pared down even though we have been here for 10 yrs. I know the joy you feel in accomplishing this finally Jean. I can’t wait to read that you are done and moved in completely. Then on to the gardens. 🙂

    • Jean says:

      Donna, This kind of purging and paring down can be so satisfying. I have a low tolerance for clutter, so I love getting things cleaned up and organized. Congratulations on getting through every part of your house.

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I am Jean Potuchek, a professional sociologist who has just stepped into the next phase of my life, retirement, after more than thirty years of college teaching. This blog is about my experience of that new phase of life.

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