A problem shelved…

For four months, I’ve been staring in frustration at a pile of boxes in my sewing room.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.05.42 amThat’s about to change. Yesterday, I’d had enough of scrabbling in boxes, and got out the spirit level, cordless drill and screwdriver, pencil and stepladder. When the Husband got home, he found me hard at it and dived in to help. I finished up this morning. Now, at last, I have shelves for the novels, reference books, quilting books, sketchbooks, quilting magazines, project boxes, boxes of tools, rulers, scissors, folders, files, baskets… oh, I could go on. The great thing is that the space available on that wall is exactly the right size for the length of the shelves, tracks and brackets we brought with us from the old house, so I don’t have to cut anything off, and it looks nice.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.06.17 amThe shelves of books have the added value of insulating that wall, which faces due west and gets warm to the touch in the heat of the afternoon. It will keep my workspace cooler, tidier and more organised. I will rediscover whole sections of floor, and be able to lay my hands on things without a frustrating hunt amongst still sealed and half emptied boxes.

And best of all, I’ve rediscovered tools, books and equipment I’d forgotten I own. It’s like my birthday all over again!



26 thoughts on “A problem shelved…

  1. EllaDee says:

    Amazing and wonderful that the old shelving fits the new room 🙂 So much better to have your tools of trade, books etc to hand. And it is all looks so orderly… and interesting. I have shelf-space envy 🙂 I keep trying to mentally figure out where everything will fit when we combine city & country households. Just got word the DA for the new shed is finally being lodged with Coucil, so at least there will be that until I sort it out.

    • katechiconi says:

      Imagine my problem when trying to compress my entire adult life into half a shipping container to emigrate to Australia. I ended up editing down to 5 cubic metres: two pieces of furniture, and the rest was books, pictures, rugs, mirrors, manchester, linen and of course clothes. I seem to have accumulated a great deal more over the course of 11 years…. It all looks orderly now, but things will be attracted to those shelves as if by magnets. The books will stay, but clutter will accrete.

      • EllaDee says:

        I can imagine… 11 years ago I moved back to Sydney with a couple of car loads of personal & household stuff. Put a big timber bookcase and kitchen tables plus books & a few pictures in a small storage unit. Gave a few things to family. Had a garage sale and left the joint stuff for the ex. The G.O. had very little, a few things that survived in his workshop. We’ve accumulated it all since then!

  2. When we moved 18 months ago I was hors de combat for 6 months, so my workroom was never properly organized. I foolishly gave away all my quilting magazines, and a great many quilts, but the room is gradually getting organized – nothing like as tidily as yours! Most of the space is taken up by two large tables pushed together, a desk, three bookshelves two chests of drawers and two tall cupboards. Whenever the doors of these are opened “stuff” falls out. Space to walk is definitely at a premium!

    • katechiconi says:

      I wish I could come round and help you organise – it would be a question of the lame aiding the halt, but the spirit is very willing! I’ve managed to stop the explosion of ‘stuff’ out of the cupboard now, and there are actually some gaps in the other two bookshelves in the room, but I give it about a week before they’re filled up…

  3. tialys says:

    Well done! I like that it actually looks like somebody does some work in there too – rather than some workspace shots you see where nothing is out of place and you wonder how anybody could possibly be so tidy and yet so creative at the same time. I do try to clear up between projects now though as my workroom got into such a mess a couple of years ago that it took me two weeks to sort it out – never again!
    It sounds like you have definitely built up your ‘stock’ since emigrating but, if you’re anything like me, you will expand into the space available like some sort of cavity wall insulation. I dread the time we decide to downsize.

    • katechiconi says:

      I have managed to avoid the temptation to hijack space in the guest bedroom too. I have one rather large room, and it’s my responsibility to stay within bounds! The lovely thing about a polished wooden floor is that you can drop threads and scraps and they’re easy to sweep up, or pins and they’re easy to spot. A must for any sewing room!

  4. I’m impressed you can put up shelves !!!! and what a collection of books you have !!

    • katechiconi says:

      I was a single woman for most of my life, and had to learn to do most things for myself. I brought an impressive collection of tools with me when we got married! That’s only half my books; you should see the collection in the bookcases downstairs!

      • Well that explains it ! I was 20 when I got married and my husband is quite handy so I didn’t need to learn things like that. I love books, they are everywhere in our house, can’t live without them !

  5. modflowers says:

    Looks great! I keep thinking I should move my sewing activities upstairs into the spare bedroom, but the thought of the magnitude of the task just puts me off. Well done for diving in there and getting sorted – I could do with some of your determination!

    • katechiconi says:

      Born of frustration, out of determination that I wasn’t going to buy another whatever-it-was when I knew I had three in a box somewhere… It’s so lovely to have the floor back and to be able to lay my hands on things easily! I was inspired by all that space and toolery to do a couple of jobs I’d been putting off and had then lost in the box madness.

  6. ordinarygood says:

    Wow that is totally impressive. Glad you are safe – ladders and bungness in the legs are not always a good combo…amazing what determination can do though!
    Unlikely that earthquakes would upset your shelves but something I consider all the time, especially post Christchurch…..
    Now the projects will fly out of your workspace!

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re right about ladders. The little stepladder I use is quite handy, and I did all the high stuff in one go, to minimise climbing up and down. Earthquakes would be highly unlikely here, but the house will shake pretty badly if/when we get a cyclone here. Picking up is the price we pay for living in a cyclone zone… I’m absolutely revelling in all that space!

  7. Kirsten says:

    Very industrious! And it must be a relief to have less boxes to trip over.

  8. Ah! The insulating properties of books!

  9. Now you need one of those sliding library ladders to reach all the way to the top.

    • katechiconi says:

      Luckily I have one of those garden seat/kneeler thingies, which is just tall enough. Sliding shelves would have me scooting around uncontrollably on the polished wooden floor – tempting, but unwise!

  10. Jen Gardener says:

    Very nice Kate, love rediscovering things!

  11. pattisj says:

    I love shelving–and getting things off the floor, too. How perfect the length being just right for your space! Looks good!

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