One of my photos


December 4th, 2004 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

I’ve been thinking a bit about storage, maybe because I don’t have enough of it here. Modern houses just don’t seem to have the sorts of nooks and crannies for piling up junk that older places do – and I have a lot of junk!

The main problem is with books, records, videos and stuff like that. The end wall of our living room is 3 metres wide and has 5 shelves running the entire width and another three shelves running half the width (have to leave a gap for the desk). All those shelves are full of books. Another half dozen shelves on the first floor landing take the overflow, but they overflowed themselves some time ago so there is also a full bookcase in the bedroom and odd books crammed in other places. We have a cupboard under the stairs which is entirely populated by shelves, floor to ceiling. One side is entirely video cassettes and DVDs. The opposite wall is mostly CDs, with a shelf of old cassettes, some 7-inch singles, computer software CDs and (of course) some books. The end wall has vinyl albums, files of paperwork and some junk.

Where did it all come from? The first time I moved house after leaving the parental nest I moved into a bedsit with a suitcase. When I moved from the bedsit to a 2-bed flat I fitted all my belongings into a borrowed estate car. I think I had just enough books to fill the mantlepiece in the old bedsit.

It has to be said though, that the shelf has to be the most efficient way of storing all these things in the smallest space possible while remaining accessible. All the so-called storage solutions you can buy in the shops are really ways of making a small collection look bigger and take up more space. Think about it: those CD racks where each CD is separated from its neighbour by half a centimetre. They are for people who have 2 dozen CDs. I used to have them and when I filled one up I bought another one, then another one. Eventually I had filled the cupboard under the stairs in my old house. When I took the CDs out and just piled them up they only took up half the space.

Most of those CDs are now stored on the iRiver which is little larger than a cigarette packet! Maybe I should just box up the CDs themselves and bung them in the loft, which I might do if only I had ripped them at a higher bitrate. When I first started building up a collection and the Tomorrow’s World-type programmes talked about how in the future a tiny cube might contain our entire music collection I always thought that would, for some reason, not be as satisfying as having a big pile of records to handle – but lets avoid going into th debate of whether we, as a society, fetishise our belongings… As that future is now increasingly becoming a possibility and my house becomes increasingly crowded I am starting to come round to it!


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