More cluttered than most?

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More cluttered than most?

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Dez 21, 2009, 2:12pm

I was sitting here looking at the stacks of books and paper throughout the office, imagining similar piles throughout the house. I thought I'd check out my hypothesis with you wise readers--Bookish people are more "neatness challenged" than the general population. It was certainly true for my mother, my husband and me, but since we're all connected, it wasn't sure if it would hold true for the general population. What do you think?

Dez 21, 2009, 3:38pm

I don't know if that's true. Just because I stop cleaning when I find a magazine or book I forgot I had and before I know it it's dinner time - doesn't me a bad house cleaner, does it? There's many things that distract me when I'm cleaning, like, well, I don't know, LibraryThing? (Need I say what I was doing five minutes ago?)

Dez 21, 2009, 3:40pm

I try to keep on top of it, but only to the extent that I don't want to be one of those people who make the news because their house is a series of tunnels through the mess!

Not quite that bad yet but you reminded me that there is a stack of books beside me which has gently leant in against the desk leg and which was supposed to have been posted to someone a month or more ago!

Dez 21, 2009, 3:55pm

Well, I like the idea that my bookishness is the reason for my being 'neatness challenged'. Do you know, some of my family put it down to my having the wrong priorities or even (perish the thought) that I might be lazy?

Dez 21, 2009, 6:42pm

I'm dusting these books one page at a time.

Dez 21, 2009, 9:28pm

:-D I love it! That's what I'm doing.

Dez 22, 2009, 6:49pm

As long as I have one chair to sit in so that I can be comfortable dusting my books page by page, I'm good!

Dez 23, 2009, 1:06pm

Just because there are stacks of books all over my house doesn't mean they aren't stacked neatly! As far as the rest of the stuff in my house--well, I'm providing employment to a lovely lady who dusts, vacuums and deals with my bathrooms twice a month. I think that's very charitable of me. (Okay, I'd take a third job at McDonald's if I had to just to keep her on).

Neatness-challenged, indeed. How would I ever find any of my books if they were all stored away???

Dez 23, 2009, 5:22pm

Lots of clutter in my house...used to blame the children,but as we are now empty-nesters can no longer blame them! Most of the clutter is mine...quilting, scrapbooking, and books. And because I am either quilting, scrapbooking, or reading, the house doesn't get picked up as it should.

Had open house here at the parsonage on Sunday, and so spent some time cleaning. Got to the last minute, and just started shoving stuff into closets and running a dustcloth over a few key pieces of furniture. I will spend the rest of Chrismas vacation locating items stuffed in the closets.

Dez 23, 2009, 5:52pm

I have books in every room,except the bathroom. That is because dampness could hurt the books. We do have them in the basement but, it is dry. Now that I am retired I would like to organize them like a library. I may find books that I forgot I had or at least find them. Since I have LT to keep me organized. LOL

Dez 25, 2009, 8:51am

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
-- Arnold Lobel

Happy Christmas

Dez 25, 2009, 1:13pm

I love the idea of tidiness, but rarely achieve it (though I can usually manage the appearance of it when visitations are anticipated). I do like to think that I am organised, though: the piles are intentional piles, not just your higgledy piggledy. Ditto for cleanliness - I do usually get round to sweeping up when I trip over dustballs. But my books are pretty organised!

>3 justjim: their house is a series of tunnels through the mess

That's the one that scares me into a certain minimum. My mother's cousin lived, and died, like that. What scares me even more is that he believed he was organised. When he died we filled a skip just with the rotten food that was lurking among the piles.

Dez 29, 2009, 8:14pm

I do so love this place.....

#9 You've just described my preferred cleaning methods but every time I come close to the computer desk with a duster I have to stop and check if someone's posted something interesting on LT!!

It is very hard to keep the clutter at bay when there's not only books covering every surface but my scrapbooking, decoupage and OH's latest woodwork project. I think we've lost the battle on this one.

Dez 30, 2009, 2:50am

>11 usnmm2:--We have a print of that poem and illustration in our overflowing-with-books office. I knew I had to get it as soon as I saw it.

Jan 12, 2010, 11:12am

Uh, oh! theexiledlibrarian, when you said, "...used to blame the children,but as we are now empty-nesters can no longer blame them", you took away my ammunition. I am a horrid combination of OCD and perfectionism. One of the things I love about cataloging on LT - nobody can come along and mess it up! Which is, of course, my excuse for the clutter. I can't keep it perfect right now with all the kid messes, anyway... Hey, put down those boxes of books - I'm working on those!

Jan 21, 2010, 11:45pm

My dear hubby gave me a new, big, L-shaped desk for Christmas . . . so it feels like the piles of books on my desk are starting to surround me ! :)

Jan 23, 2010, 2:26pm

Re piles of books starting to surround you--just this morning as I was trying to serve my husband his pancakes, I pointed out to him that his space was getting mighty small--books to the right, books to the left, books in front. He loves being surrounded by books.

Jan 23, 2010, 4:21pm

Well, who doesn't? :-D

Jan 23, 2010, 5:03pm

A man after my own heart.

Jan 23, 2010, 6:32pm


Sounds like a charge brewing;

Books to right of them,
Books to left of them,
Books behind them
Tome and Volume;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
Oh, They! that read so well.

(My apologies to Lord Alfred Tennyson)

Jan 23, 2010, 10:51pm


Jan 24, 2010, 3:27am

I distinguish between messiness/clutter and dirt: I try to keep the kitchen and bathroom fairly clean, because euwww if not.

I think my house would be very neat without all the books. But I wouldn't want to live in it then.

Jan 24, 2010, 8:23am

Seeing books in the home, always makes it feel cozy and warm.

Jan 24, 2010, 10:49am

And you just know that the people who live there must be interesting and intelligent ;-0

Fev 2, 2010, 6:37pm

I agree with both the above. I would have books everywhere but Hubby doesn't see it the same (sigh)

Fev 26, 2010, 4:11pm

#23, Literally warm and cozy. I'm sure all those books act as good insulation. Saves on heating.

Last spring, I had so many books tucked in sideways above the others, that I couldn't push any more in, so I culled about a hundred paperbacks I no longer felt the need of, figured out where I could fit in another book case, (actually found a nice three-shelf x 34" wooden one sitting on a lawn with a 'free' sign on it) and filled it up. Lots of room. Surely I coud buy a *few* more books...

We're getting back to the 'tucked in sideways' stage....

Jun 26, 2010, 11:22pm

My problem is two fold, Space and Change.

Space is obvious. When we built the house a major library collection was not planned for.
Change is the number of books that my wife and I buy every year. Probably 200 - 300. Every where we go we track used book stores and raid them for collections.
Most science fiction types do not sell their books but when they move away to college or university or out getting married, their parents do.
I recently completed my collection of Vance and Moorcock thanks to such a parent.

I like to keep my library sorted alphabetical by author and title and/or series and title within author.
This means that about once a year (usually on one of the hottest it seems) I resort my library. This is not a problem if I buy lots of X, Y or Z authors. If I buy a bunch of A, B or C it can be a real problem.

Last year it took me 3 days.

Jun 27, 2010, 6:12am

>13 KimarieBee:
"It is very hard to keep the clutter at bay when there's not only books covering every surface but my scrapbooking, decoupage ..."

Same for me. Books, and crafting items.

"Where are my surfaces?" Eddy, from an episode of Absolutely Fabulous

I am neater, tidier, less of a pack rat than when I was younger. Things would be more organized if I didn't have books, but then it would only be a place, not a home.

I have stacks of books, and bookcases, in every room (even a narrow bookcase in my narrow hall), except the kitchen and bathroom. The bathroom is too damp, and my cooking methods are too freestyle. I'm sure that the two neatest rooms are the only rooms I don't keep books in is just coincidence.


Jun 27, 2010, 10:12am

I have them in the kitchen--where else would the cookbooks go? And the ones on nutrition. How the field guide books wound up in there I cannot say, but they've recently been bumped to the next room due to expansion of cookbooks.

I like to think of it as cheerful chaos, but in the last couple of years here in what was to have been a "transitional" apartment, the crowding has gotten oppressive. When I move from here (which now will be sooner rather than later) I'm going to pare things to the bone. I'm sentimental about only a few pieces of furniture--my grandfather's humidor, my dad's dry sink which was his first stereo cabinet--but all those little things! In parts of the room I have more tchatckes on the shelf than books. They all meant something to me when I got them, but ...

The neatest rooms used to be the kitchen and the bedroom. I've given up on the kitchen. The bedroom what holding its own for awhile, but I'm losing control in there. However, we're dealing with serious family illness (I now have a hospital bed adding to the living room clutter) so I'm going to cut myself some slack.

Still, I have got to get rid of books. A huge chunk were my husband's acquisitions, which makes it even harder for me to decide what to do with them. So many of them, I've never read! But there is no room, no room, no room. And I cannot see the point of paying storage for them, where no one will even have access to them.

The one nice thing is that thanks to LT, as I catalog them, I do know what is in what box.

Jun 27, 2010, 10:34am

I hold you in my heart, Phaedra.

Ago 30, 2010, 2:12am

If I see books in someone's house, I know I am meeting someone with a lively brain. You can tell so much about a person by what's on their bookshelves! My sister in law has an ideal home picture perfect house with no books - and no interesting conversation or opinions, just gossip and shopping. I rest my case!