Zeal is the name I’ve given to my office arrangements – whether it will eventually become a studio space for writers to write or just a home office, I don’t know – and this was its arrangements during my final two days before moving. I’m excited. I’ve been spending most of the past 97-some days analyzing everything I own. My failure in moving here was not analyzing how I would arrange the infrastructure, storage, and various workspaces.
I’m moving into a 2-bedroom apartment with the goal of downsizing to the point where I could comfortably move into a 1-bedroom apartment. I got rid of any furniture that didn’t have sentimental value, functional value, or was just too heavy to move around. Among the two remaining furniture are two wingback chairs, both of which I might end up using for an office chair like I’ve come to do here, both of which have socks for sliding along the hardwood floor (and so their feet don’t get cold).
I don’t need a big desk.
I just need enough space for the laptop, mouse, pen, and paper. That’s primarily inspired by how much more often I’ve written on-the-go, rather than just at home, so I’ve been more comfortable with a downsized writing environment. That helped me realize I don’t need ornaments on this endtable-turned-desk, so I have sliders under its feet since I move it around frequently. It doesn’t quite fit with the chair so I might replace/fix it, but for now, it’s functional enough to not need another one.
Finally, I have space for incoming and outgoing tasks.
That’s probably why people need big tables, besides for their ornate appearances. However, if I just have two spots for incoming/outgoing, with the intention of keeping both clear, that should do. I keep my suitcase and laptop bags nearby in case I’m going anywhere far or nearby, respectively, and other than keeping a trash can, tissues, and enough power outlets to cover a phone charger, that’s it for the essentials of Zeal. Everything else is just window dressing.
While it’d be nice to have a huge studio or office to display all of my collections of stuff, mainly so I could keep my living arrangements small and neat, that probably won’t be a possibility for a few more years. I’ve achieved some success in writing on a very small scale. Mainly, the amount of volunteer or spec work I’ve done has so far just yielded more bylines to advertise my professional brand of writing, more readers and editors to comment on my work, and that sort of stuff.
Until I start a business that sells written products, it’s all home storage.
I have bookshelves and large racks that account for a majority of my added storage. I will fill the second bedroom with these, with any overflow going over into my bedroom. Over the next year, I won’t focus as much on downsizing as I have over the past few months. Since I’m not taking in new things much at all anymore, I’ll focus on clear infrastructure for selling things via craigslist or eBay, because it’s easier to say their names than to imply, and donating that which doesn’t sell.
Everything will stay in boxes.
However, I’ll better organize them. My move-out time was substantially decreased, so I didn’t have the time to arrange everything like I wanted, for example collecting all of a series of action figures into one box or even one area. Part of that is I didn’t remember all of what I had. I have a much better idea of that now, and with everything roughly ordered, I can start to parse through everything easier. I imagine it could easily grow to be too chaotic unless I’m careful about maintaining work focus.
This is something I always wanted to implement in the old place: having laptops for more specific purposes. My current writing laptop is also my best and most technologically-advanced laptop. It’s nice to be able to use it for writing these essays and playing games with minimal lag, but it’s also the laptop I primarily bring with me everywhere, so if I drop it or it breaks, while I have enough backups where I’ll have minimal loss, it’s still become a bit of a liability being my “best” laptop right now.
I have an assortment of other fixer-upper laptops.
I’d like to go through and work on each of them over the next year. Right now I just have two laptops that can test videogames for QA work or generally would be acceptable for “modern use.” Others are too old and slow to really use anymore for anything other than writing. If I have no use for them whatsoever, at least I’ll have given them a fair shake before donating them to someone that could use it. Depending on how many laptops I can use from them, I’ll have different areas:
Zeal, the aforementioned writing area.
I’ll have a laptop or desktop for entertainment: playing games or watching movies. I’ve found it difficult to play games or watch movies over the years in my last place because I would work in the same place as I’d entertain. I’d always, therefore, think of work. I don’t like having too much leisurely time off, but sometimes it’s necessary to avoid fatigue. Realizing the need for that separation might seem like a fairly obvious thing, but – and it’s not like I haven’t realized this – moving will be the rearranging time.
This brainstorming is helping me arrange my stuff.
This is a necessary exercise for me because it’s helping me realize how it all went so wrong here with the amount of clutter I accumulated. It started off because the infrastructure wasn’t in place: I used to write/work and entertain out in the living room since I thought I only needed one laptop to do both. Sure, it’s fine when you don’t do a whole lot of work, like when I first moved in some eight years ago and wasn’t writing at all, but now that I do legitimate work, I’ve got to have workspaces and play spaces- I guess.
That space could even be the patio.
It’s not that I’ll have a dedicated outdoor laptop or anything, but if I could any one of my eventual mid-range or even lower-end laptops for writing outside, then that will also be a necessary step toward not feeling like I need to write at home. I do because there are fewer distractions and complications. I don’t need to pack up everything to go use the restroom, for example, as I would in a public space. Semi-public spaces are fine, though, and if it’s a laptop I wouldn’t mind having stolen, then, it’s all good.
The final workspace: the storage room.
It was actually cheaper for me to rent a second bedroom than to pay for a small storage unit somewhere else. I don’t want to keep doing that, so what I’ll do is arrange all of the bookshelves and racks along the walls with things organized by first what I want to keep then by what I wouldn’t mind selling. I have a theory I’ll need to test throughout this year: while I enjoy everything I own, I think I keep more than half the stuff I own because I don’t want it to go into the trash. Materialistic moral obligation?
People usually don’t immediately trash the stuff they buy.
The final workspace will be like any warehouse or workshop I’ve been in, where they’ll inventory what they have for sale, put it into a database, and post it online. Over the past few months, I’ve been alright with taking photographs of things before I donated them, and I’ve been more accepting of looking at pictures of things rather than feeling the need to own the object shown in the pictures. I almost wonder if that compulsion came from action figure catalogs with amazing setpieces?
The second bedroom will almost be like a store, then.
Once I develop the discipline to block excessive materialism, create the system for managing the stuff I own, and have downsized enough to where the shelves will be mostly barren, then I can feel comfortable with moving into a smaller place closer to the city or a cheaper place in the same area. Until then, I live sufficiently hidden within the boonies in a temporary location for the purpose of allowing myself the breathing room to figure out how I can get out there more in life.
I hate how this stuff has weighed me down.
At least I’ll learn to see that Zeal, like home, is everywhere.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I signed for an apartment today, but won’t be able to move in for two days. Not being able to move in the same day, along with actually having a place to live, actually demotivated me, but more in that sense of not needing to burn myself out to get as much organized as I can. I just need to arrange things nicely before they go over to the new place. Since I was tired for most of the day, when I looked at my computer, I thought: yeah, I’d like to write about this place before it’s gone.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.|
Below: The original shot.
Above: The chair has socks because it’s cold.
|Written On: February 28th [2 hours]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|