Found: one dining room.

Today I made banana nut bread because the bananas were lookin’ a bit ripe. Then I did the dishes and found the kitchen, and then for no reason I can put my finger on, I decided it was time to clean out the dining room.

“Dining room” is in itself a misnomer — it would better be named “that room behind the livingroom that you have to cross to get upstairs, which is part dining table we never eat at, part office, part library, part place dog pisses on the carpet when it thunders, and part generalized dumping ground”. But that’s kind of long, so we call it the dining room.

The dining room is the catch-all room (obviously) which is inevitably the answer to “yeah, but where do you want me to put this?” on the first floor. (On the second floor it’s the spare bedroom.) It’s got all my writing equipment, most of my drawing stuff, filing cabinets, the scanner, all of our books, all the pictures, and at the moment a large (completed) jigsaw puzzle. And that’s clean.

Before we got this far I had to file months of paperwork and shred literally years of receipts, statements, paystubs, etc. I usually do all of this in April when I do the taxes but somehow it didn’t get done this year. In order to do all of that, of course, I had to put away and/or throw out tons of stuff just to reach my desk and the dining room table. (In our house, at least, those are two separate and distinct piece of furniture.) And when all the putting away and filing and stuff was done I had to clean off the bookshelves.

That was probably the trickiest part. We have six stackable bookshelves in different sizes and styles (resulting in only four actually-stackable bookshelves) and when I started they were overfull. Paperbacks were stacked two deep on all shelves and double-stacked on the top shelf. Hardbacks were double-stacked. I managed to clean out enough useless books (Windows 2000 MCSE books, for example, since a cert in 2000 is currently useless) to single-stack the hardbacks, but the paperbacks are piled on the floor in an unobtrusive place because until I buy more bookshelves there’s nowhere to put them. Bookshelves will likely be my next major purchase.

Anyway, we took out five bags of trash and shredded paper, two bags of newspapers and magazines, and two boxes of books, so I’m sure the trash guys are going to love me Monday. But for the first time in months it’s mostly safe to walk through my dining room and I don’t have boxes upon boxes stacked in every corner. And there’s a satisfaction that comes with purging all the build up and the garbage that just can’t be beat, except possibly with the satisfaction of waking up the next day having slept like a rock due to the extra exertion the day before.

I am a happy camper.