In the seven years since our daughter left for university, my husband and I have managed to fill the extra space in our empty nest. Empty, that is, except when the grandchildren stay overnight. Empty, that is, until a few weeks ago when daughter, partner and cat moved in temporarily to facilitate their relocation from Aberdeen to the East Midlands.
We are, for now, a household of four adults and three cats. The garage is cram-jam full of boxes. Cat Senior (retired hunter and 24/7 radiator hugger) now spends his time controlling use of the cat flap, yowling/growling and scoffing the interloper’s fish selection pouches (stolen food always tastes better). Cat Junior and husband alike seek refuge in the home office.
Hey ho, it’s a temporary arrangement. But it’s made me ever more mindful of the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ we’ve accumulated over the years (19, since we last moved house). And continue to amass. With a view to possible down-sizing in the near future I’m already taking small steps in de-cluttering. Bedroom 1 is almost done. I’ve left my poetry book shelves till last.
A couple of years ago I ran out of shelf space and purchased another book case from our local charity furniture shop. So why the growing pile of read-once poetry magazines, pamphlets, collections and anthologies on the bedroom carpet?
I can no longer find the book I’m looking for because I haven’t stuck to my A-Z by author arrangement. I’d like my poetry book collection to have room to breathe (and growing space).
Yesterday I said good-bye to a stack of writing magazines (I no longer subscribe; it’s poetry-light; it’s become too ditsy IMO). And a few poetry books I’ve no wish to return to (sorry, but they’re not for me). For now, I’m keeping back copies of my favourite poetry magazines (will I ever revisit them?). Single author pamphlets and collections are in updated A-Z order. They’re all in book case 1 and not so tightly packed as before (and there’s room for a few more – I think).
The neat pile on top is ready for the charity book shop.
Book case 2 will be for anthologies, books on writing poetry and lit crit. Meanwhile, there’s a new pile of TBR novels (no space in fiction/non-fiction book case in spare room – er, recently re-occupied bedroom) invading poetry territory…