Rearranging furniture

“What are you doing?” my 9-year-old girl asked yesterday, as her father and I hoisted a loveseat down the stairs.

“Feeding your mother’s obsession,” my husband replied.

I’ll admit, I am a little obsessed when it comes to decorating. Let me rephrase: When it comes to redecordating.

I’ll arrange a room and absolutely love it. A few days later, I’ll think how nice a different chair would look in that one’s place. Or how much more functional a bookshelf would be there rather than here.

Before you know it, all of the rooms are redressed. I’d say this happens on a monthly basis.

(This has gotten decidedly worse since Pinterest and Houzz entered my life.)

Take this room, for instance. A month ago, it was cold and dim, dark wood-paneled and packed with guitars, a keyboard and snare drum set, an elliptical machine and a futon. Basically, it was the catch-all for backpacks, snowsuits, boots, and anything else I wanted to close a door on. *

Now it’s lemonade yellow, lightened by a gorgeous new light (Can you believe it? Less than $25 from IKEA and only required about a dozen Hail Marys while my husband stood on a ladder to install it!), and it’s where we relax to play video games or read while the kids hang out at their new art station.

Until next week, when I re-envision it all over again.

It’s a lot like my work-in-progress, a contemporary middle-grade manuscript about a boy trying to break out of his dorkdom by taking center stage in the school play. (Come on! You knew I’d bring this around to writing!)

I was weaving the story like mad, stitching a chapter or more per day. And then I hit a snag. I just couldn’t deal with a character making a few quick choices that didn’t seem right for her. It’s like those wood-paneled walls. They just were too dark, too out of sort. Keeping them made everything else seem messy.

Once I brainstormed how to bring some necessary light to those scenes, the decisions she made began to make sense again. The rest of the plot fell back into place.

But now? I’ve got to rearrange some hefty plot furniture, and I’ve got to do the heavy lifting on my own.

So, how about you? How often do you rearrange your furniture, both figuratively and literally?

It’s so refreshing when it’s finished, but so daunting just before, isn’t it?


*My office is now home to the four guitars, three box speakers, a keyboard, snare drum set and a futon. I might live to regret that decision.