my billy bookcases

In May 2010 I had a plan! A plan based on a desire for new bookcases, which I'd had for a while, but it came together as a plan three years ago.

It took until January this year for me to actually take the next step in turning the plan into a reality... buying the bookcases.

And they've stood in their flatpacks, taking up space against my bedroom wall, since January. Yes, I've been going through all my books and my DVDs downsizing my collections so that I could finally put the bookcases up. But all I really accomplished was living with what seemed to be an ever expanding collection of boxes...

Then last week I lost my mind a little bit and dumped my old bookcases outside, which led to me finally being able to get things into gear and put the new bookcases together over the weekend.

putting things together
It started at 6:30 on Saturday night... just me, a set of tools, the required IKEA instructions and several hours.

I won't lie... between lugging bookcases, screwing screws, hammering, lifting, bending, moving boxes and arranging books, DVDs and tchotchkes, my whole body is sore.

By the time I'd put together the first four bookcases it was 9:15, and the first thing to take pride of place was my Lego R2D2. And because I'd had the foresight to pick up a couple of the battery powered LED lights I was able to give him his own personal lighting.

I'm hoping they still have those lights on sale, because I need about about a dozen more.

I could have left it at that, but I was highly motivated, so I went through and put all my DVDs in place (and found that using some of the packing material from the bookcases behind each row put the DVDs at the perfect level).

If I'd actually kept the DVDs in their boxes in alphabetical order, that would have been a MUCH easier process... but they were spread all over everywhere and it took me a while to get it all together.

Weirdly, there really isn't any rhyme or reason to the placement of the DVD's... they're still in alphabetical order, but half of them are at the top of the shelves and the rest are halfway down. I like it though.

Then yesterday morning I got up and marvelled at the fact that I had new bookcases for a few minutes before getting back to it.

After attacking all the flatpack boxes with a craft knife so they weren't quite so unwieldy, I started with unpacking some of the books, mostly to give me enough boxes and space to tackle packing up the rest of the books, getting rid of the last remaining old bookcase, vacuuming the prehistoric dustbunnies from behind it (bless the dust masks I bought on Saturday, they've been a big help) and constructing it's new replacement.

Then all books I hadn't already found a spot for got laid out on the floor and there was much musing and shelf repositioning and attempting to keep some things together and whatnot.

Other than the DVD's, the shelf positioning is pretty arbitrary... for the most part I put shelves in at the appropriate level to hold the books, but there are a few that may need adjusting over the coming weeks as some of them ended up with extra space.

Once I got all the books in it was time for a shower and then lunch.

After lunch I started going through my tchotchke boxes... I'd already put a few key pieces in as I was going along, but this was unpacking all the rest of my Lego and vinyl toys and general knick-knacks as well as some of my artwork.

Normally this is the bit that I'm the best at... making everything look all pretty-like, but I think my brain may have been a little fried by that point. What it actually felt like was me picking up various bits and pieces and putting it on a shelf and either shaking my head and taking it off again or going "yeah, that'll do".

So by around 4:30 that afternoon, I had this...

exposing my billy bookcases
I'm still kind of getting my head around the fact that this is what my apartment looks like now.

The Billy bookcases are all so much taller than what I used to have, and I'd had all those old bookcases for a much longer period of my life than the portion of my life before I got them (if that makes any kind of sense), so they literally were part of the furniture.

This is an adjustment.

the main unitthe art gallery
The "art gallery" bookcase on the right side needs some stuff on top of it (possibly more artwork, but I'm unsure what at the moment, possibly the Benzo piece that really kickstarted my current art fetish.

The Lego beachhouse set in it's box is only there until I get around to putting it together (maybe later today, maybe sometime later this week) and the James Dean painting of the drummer is only sitting there until Christmas as there's another Lego set that will fit right in there. And once I get the final artwork for my tattoo design that's going to replace the framed piece on the second shelf of the art gallery.

I also think that it's time for my ticky tack painting to go off to the happy hunting grounds... it's mostly what to replace it with given the wall in question.

But for the moment I'm happy with the way everything looks.

However when I finally gave up at 4:30 yesterday the rest of my apartment looked like I'd been playing with something unstable and thermonuclear, and I was too shattered to really care.

Thankfully a second long phonecall from Ma (she called me around lunchtime and I'd been sending her progress photos since I put the first bookcase together) gave me enough enthusiasm to at least make everything else look mostly presentable, fill my car with as many empty cardboard boxes as I could manage and clear the bed so I could actually use it.

My apartment is still full of stuff though... stuff that needs to go away, stuff I need to work out what the hell I'm going to do with, stuff that still needs sorting (like my CD collection, which I mostly don't care about, but still need to go through).

But the bookcases are up, the apartment is possibly the most organised it's been for a while and it's all making headway. I need to live with it for a while now, make adjustments so that it all works for me.

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