Project deClutter: Collapse

Today I’m adding to my pile something I did not anticipate that I would throw out. A bookshelf.

As part of project deClutter, I purchased a filing cabinet, the assembly of which is a whole other story in and of it self (and probably the next thing I’ll write about on here). Today I finally managed to get the whole thing together. Satisfied, I scanned the wallspace in my room, trying to decide where to put it. I decided I wanted it to go where one of my bookshelves stood, and that the bookshelf should move somewhere else.

Collapsed bookshelf, recollected and put to the side in my room.
Collapsed bookshelf, recollected and put to the side in my room.

The collapse of the bookshelf is totally due to my own faults of character. I have a disastrous combination of a desire for efficiency (my mom sometimes calls it laziness) and an “I’ll do it” complex. A law student, I had laden my bookshelf with casebooks, reference books, and a bunch of loose paper (which is why I bought the filing cabinet…). I knew I should take the books out before trying to move the shelf, just because it would be too heavy. But what a pain for me to take all the books out, move the shelf, and then put them all back in when I was done five minutes later.

So I removed most of the books, what I thought were the very heaviest, and left of some of the remaining material. I began to move the bookshelf. I saw the back starting to come loose a little, but figured, eh, it’s a cheap bookshelf. I can fix that when I get it into place. Then some creaking, and then….BOOM.

Result: epic fail. The thing completely and utterly collapsed. It’s irreparable.

So while this helps me add to my deClutter list (26.5 and counting), I will have to make a trip to Target tonight to purchase a new bookshelf (good-bye $25 and whatever time I’ll be stuck in Charlottesville traffic) so that I can get the other books off my bed before I go to sleep tonight. What a mess.

This is the twin of the bookshelf that collapsed, and what it looked like before I worked my moving magic. I will not be moving this one anytime soon.

This experience just reteaches me two lessons I apparently have a hard time learning. First, take the time to do what needs to get done well, so you don’t have to do it again (or have to buy something to replace what you broke). Second, if you need help, ask for it. Don’t assume you can do everything on your (okay, okay, my) own.


  1. Oh no!! I’ll make note to myself when I move my bookshelf. Btw, your twin bookshelf also looks overloaded (some of the shelves look like they’re bent in the picture – actually, similar condition to mine right now) – be careful with that, and maybe move some of the books to another place..

  2. Ames, that was an amusing read! Although, I betchya the experience wasn’t so amusing huh.
    I kind of did my project declutter when Mom came…blogging about it makes it more fun though

  3. I can imagine this exact thing happening to me! I have the same I-can-do-it streak that rears its little head too often.

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