corners: temporary insanity

This past Monday was Stella's first day of school. Instead of hanging out in the cafeteria for coffee or on the yard after dropping her off, I felt compelled to race home. I felt weird, and definitely not ready. Instead of reconnecting with the parents from last year and meeting the new ones, I went home and ripped apart our apartment. I bought a giant latte on the way and got straight to work. I dismantled the entire contents of our 5 x 5 IKEA Expedit bookcase. I have over a continuous decade of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue magazines in there (1993-2003 and beyond). I've got magazines that aren't in print anymore, like my favorite architecture publication, Architecture. We've got The Surfer's Journal, Artforum, Adbusters, years and years of Dwell and Martha Stewart Living. And of course there's a shit ton of David's vinyl.

And I just decided to pull it all down. And then drag the bookcase twenty feet across our carpeted floor. And then drag our Baldwin Spinet piano twenty feet across our carpeted floor, to where the bookcase was. And then I cleaned everything. And then I put everything back on the shelves, exactly like it had been a few hours before.

It was so subconsciously driven, I'm sure. A spatial purge, a new start for the new school year. A way to tame a lot of pent up anxiety about the new school year. It was quite mental, possibly not in a good way.

After having walked a few miles at a good clip taking Stella to school and picking her up afterwards, Monday left me rendered useless. Unable to wrangle Oliver into his pajamas or cook dinner. David made me a fried egg and Spam with some leftover curried quinoa and a glass of wine. And I was done. I got into bed at 9:00 and crept on some friends' websites, because I was mentally still alert, but my body was utterly spent.

I got to that point on the first day where there was no progress, just spinning of wheels. Always best to try another day when you feel like that. It took me another day to finish up the last details of this little shakeup. Oliver was a champ for the most part, which was great. I'm happy with the change of scenery, and I know the piano will get played more, closer to the natural light (like you suggested, David!).

I don't know if you've ever had one of these cathartic moments. A spontaneous and massive spurt of work. This happened to me about six months ago when I did some work to our kitchen. Just like this time, it was unplanned and disruptive and fruitful. It's sort of nice to take on a big task that you don't spend time anticipating first. If I had put what I did this week on a to-do list I would've spent weeks or months dreading it before I actually got to it. So funny how that works.

Tell me you know what I mean. I'm not a nut, am I?

Oh, don't forget to enter the donut pan giveaway. It closes at noon on Sunday. Have a great weekend! xoxo

To see more "corners" of our place, click here.


  1. i'm a former magazine hoarder myself. even had the times one picture above. also love a good purge/re-org.

    looks great, tiff. well done!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I love those style Times issues, but I mostly keep them for the crosswords, in case I EVER get a free minute. xoxo!

  2. you ain't nuts mama! i'm going through some purging urges as my eldest gets closer to his first day of school. it's been a more subtle process compared to yours, but i'm determined to empty our basement a bit at a time. i think it's like the "nesting" phase during pregnancy; trying to create or find order or control. or something.

    1. I think you're right, Lola! It's about control, for sure. Ack!


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