David Pevsner Answers Your Clutter Q&A’s (Queer and Anals).
Queer: Call me antiquated, but I still own CD’s and (brace yourself) vinyl albums. The albums have become collector’s items, and I can’t help but wonder if the CD’s will too. How do I store them without looking like a complete, out-of-touch idiot?
Anal:I find it charming when I walk into a friend’s house and they have vinyl albums neatly placed on shelves…they’re like antiques. I don’t find it charming when the house is an overstuffed, unorganized dive and the albums and CD’s are just one more collection that takes up space they don’t have.
If you really think that any of the discs will bring you that future financial security, here’s what you can do: First, research what you have and do a reality check as to which are actually worth something and which are just dollar signs in your head. If the CD’s are worth something and you actually listen to them, shelve them. If you just want to keep the CD’s that are worth zip to actually listen to, get the black folders with pockets that allow you to keep hundreds of CD’s without taking up half your home-storage space. If you want to keep the worthwhile ones but you don’t listen to them, box ‘em. Store them safely, and put it on a high shelf in a closet that is not prime storage real estate. Then, when your house is being foreclosed on, sell them on Ebay or check with an auction house and make those bucks.
Queer: I’m not a green thumb, but I do love the look of plants in my apartment. However, wherever I put them they look out of place. If I put them in the window sill they make the room look cluttered. Is there a surefire way to make plants, large and small, look classy, not trashy?
Anal: No. I hate plants. I say put ‘em outside in the garden, give them away, or let ‘em die and throw ‘em out. Boom.
Queer: I don’t like rugs; never have. My condo requires them to cover 80 percent of the space, however, so I need to get them. I’m tired of Oriental Rugs and I can’t afford them anyway. Any ideas on how to make cool, cheap rugs look stylish?
Anal: Sometimes when you turn a rug over, the negative design is more intriguing than the intended one. You can do that and have a new border put around it for cheap. A great, inexpensive floor covering is carpet squares. Let your imagination run wild, using all solids, all prints, or mix them to express your creativity, but don’t let it veer into crazy and taste-questioning. Home-improvement and carpet stores sell them. Just check if they can go directly on the floor or if you’ll need an under-rug lining.
Queer: Is there an effective way to dust that doesn’t require me to pull off everything from every shelf? Or a smarter way to arrange shelves so dusting is easier?
Anal: You can use those dusting whozits that allow you to dust between items (Swiffer even makes a throw-away version). However, the best way to control the problem is to really watch what you put on the shelf. I’m not a fan of tschochkes. I see way too much crap on clients’ shelves that make the entire overwrought space look like Bauby’s Resale Shop. Shelves don’t have to be stuffed with every damn souvenir and antique you’ve ever collected. Be judicious on how you put things up and there will be less to dust around. Also, the space around the bauble is just as important as if it was being framed. Let there be air. And use a combination of books and important pieces to really style the shelves … don’t just throw everything up there willy-nilly, Silly.
David Pevsner answers your organizational questions without encouraging you to refinance your home. If you have a question for David, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.