Not satisfied with digging a garden and watching a world record, on Sunday I rearranged the furniture in my bedroom. I shifted wardrobes, moved piles of books and remade them into a different shaped pile against my wall, shifted the bed, hung a mirror on a different wall, cleared out my wardrobe and tidied my drawers. I filled binbags with rubbish and other bags with charity shop donations.
It felt better, and yet I’m not sure I’m quite done yet. Since I was 18 I have never lived in one place for longer than 24 months. If I make it to July at this address then I’ll have been in my flat above Greggs for longer than anywhere else – Edinburgh, Fleetwood or London.
Every time I walk into my living room or my kitchen, I find myself staring at it and wondering what I would make it look like if I were starting fresh – what colours would the rooms be? What pictures would I hang on the walls? Would I have the table where it is now? Would I fill the room with graphic 1970s style prints? Or buy new furniture? Make it a record of my travels or of my time in London? What would I do?
Uninspired, on Monday night I took it out on the bathroom and the toilet instead, attacking them with Cllit Bang and vigour, all the time thinking about how nice it would be to tile the floors and strip off the woodchip in our hall and landing and…
I’m not sure what my flatmate would make of it if he came home one night to find me moving bookcases and taking down his pictures and giving our lounge a Diamond Jubilee theme, complete with silver bling and Union Jacks. I’m not sure what my landlord would make of it if I started to attack the basic fabric of the flat.
Maybe I’m craving permanency, wanting to create something that feels more ‘me’ out of the temporary space I live in. Maybe I’m clearing out old stuff because it’s time to move. Or maybe it’s just spring, and I’m responding to the season by cleaning and sorting and clearing for a fresh start.