My Lockdown Project

You know how there’s that one space in your home that becomes a junk space? A drawer in the kitchen, a closet in the hall, a basket on the countertop, a corner in the bedroom… or sometimes, an entire room!

My state of Victoria just went into lockdown after a new outbreak of COVID-19. I have lots of writing to get through, but I also have a mess of a front room to deal with, a year’s worth of junk piling up as I clear out other spaces in the house… and I think it needs to become my lockdown project.

So, we have what they call a “formal lounge”. The fireplace room where you entertain guests, I suppose. Gossip while serving them tea and bikkies, etc. We have never had a couch in there. The previous owners said the fire hadn’t been lit since the 90s and we’re not inclined to test the safety of that chimney. When we first moved in, we covered the entire left wall with bookshelves (we even blocked up a window in the process) and called it the library.

More recently it’s called the “games room” because not only do we store our boardgames there, but my husband runs a monthly Dungeons & Dragons game on those unattractive trestle tables. This past year of course there have been no D&D sessions (he’s conducted a few online), but his fellow gamers are badgering him to restart the sessions.

The current condition of this room causes me stress. Here’s what it looks like, along with my clearing-up options.

The front room disaster

Gloomhaven, incidentally, is a very involved D&D-like game we’ve been playing with our daughter. (I don’t play D&D, but from overhearing my husband’s games it seems to involve killing monsters and collecting loot, which is basically what Gloomhaven is, too.) Packing up the game is a bit more involved than it should be, but probably less work than it looks like. I just need a kick up the butt to get started.

It’s not just that game, though. The Ikea boxes from the playroom have made their way in there, along with an overflow of Lego and boardgames that don’t fit in the games cabinet (at lower right). We have decades-old games that nobody ever plays, especially now our daughter is old enough to enjoy Euro-style games and we never play anything else. What’s the point in keeping them? They’re taking up space… and now the overflow is heaped on top of the furniture in my office nook (next to the stylish Amazon-box cat-bed).

Crystal (right) has invaded Cai’s favorite spot and he doesn’t know what to do, so he climbs to the highest point in a futile attempt at intimidation. His head is inches from the ceiling.

What inspired all this? My sister came over last week and “minimized” my kitchen, which means I can now easily keep the countertops clear. It’s put me in a decluttering mood. It certainly lightens my mind when there’s less stuff everywhere.

After three international moves I’ve shed a lot over the years, yet still it accumulates. My advice on this subject is the advice I should’ve followed from the start: don’t collect stuff in the first place.

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