It Is Time to Rearrange Your Stuff

Photo: Gorodenkoff, Shutterstock
Photo: Gorodenkoff, Shutterstock

If you didn’t work from home pre-covid, there’s a very good chance you do so now, and it’s possible that you’ve grown tired of looking at the interior of your living space. I’ve been working from home for about five years now and, as a person who gets bored very easily, stale interiors are a thing I’ve gotten very good at combatting. It may seem too obvious, but the easiest way to breathe new life into your abode is to move your stuff around without plan or agenda.

Even if you are sure that everything is already in its most functional place, try moving it. Even if you are positive that chair will only work in that one corner, try moving it. Even if that desk has always lived there, try moving it. Even if the things you move do not ultimately stay in their new home, chances are that, along the way, you will find things you thought you had lost, or things you need to toss out, or be inspired to move yet more things to new places.

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I recently did this with some speaker wires I had tired of looking at. My ex-husband hooked up my sound system when I first moved into this apartment, which was very nice of him, but the way he did it left me with a lot of very visible wires intruding into my space. My journey to fix that problem at long last started with a stray thought — “I wonder if this one wire could plug in somewhere else?” — and before I knew it, I had moved every single wire to a different outlet where I could no longer see them (or trip over them).

I had been looking at those dumb, ugly wires for nearly half a decade, never questioning their need to be in that exact place, because that’s where they had always been (and I had honestly assumed my ex- had chosen the best place to plug them in, because he was always the tech support in our relationship). After the wires were moved, I felt amazing. I had not realised how much the visual noise they created had been bumming me out. My space really feels bigger now. And I found some sunglasses I had recently accused my boyfriend of losing hiding among the wires behind the entertainment centre.

Moving one thing often snowballs into moving several things. While I was moving the wires, I found myself relocating a cat carrier full of cat toys in order to get to one particular wire. The carrier had been sitting in a small corner next to the entertainment system and making it look quite crowded. There was no good reason for it to be there; it had just become an accepted part of the visual landscape of that room. But the successful relocation of the wires left me feeling quite bold — bold enough to question everything! — so I moved the cat carrier to the utility cart in the small hallway near the bathroom. Now the corner near the entertainment centre looks much neater and far less crowded.

So just move something. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but it can be. Question the position of every object. Move it a couple of inches, or move it several feet. Rearrange stuff on shelves, open boxes, move tchotchkes to the other side of the room. Just move something, without a clearly defined goal in mind, then move the things that the first move uncovers. Keep moving stuff until the space feels fresh and new. I recommend starting with wires.

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