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I emptied 13 shelves of books, CDs and stuffed animals on Sunday so I could rearrange my office furniture. I had to drag my heavy Steelcase desks across the room and walk two 8-foot tall bookcases into the spot they vacated, but I did it all on my own in under 5 hours. I nearly ran out of space to temporarily relocate everything during the process. I was a little worried my tall stack of library books would fall off the kitchen counter into the sink, but thankfully I did not incur any fees for damaged books. I decided the process counted as my weight-lifting for the day and took it easy for the rest of the afternoon.

I wasn’t even exhausted. I took a couple breaks, watched some Face the Nation (politicians suck), and I was surprised by how fast the whole process went. That’s one of the things about weight loss and being fit: it makes getting through life a lot easier. If I’d tried to move all my furniture 3 years ago, it would have worn me out. Simple little things like carrying in the groceries or parking a spot far away from the mall are not a big deal to me now. I like that it’s not a big deal.

I also like my new furniture arrangement. I feel a need to change things up every couple of years. I’d gotten so sick of the way my office was arranged. Now every time I step into the room I get a nice little high seeing everything organized the way I want it. I don’t know precisely what psychological affect furniture arrangement has on the human mind, but I know when my house is neat and tidy my mind feels more neat and tidy too. It’s easier to get things done than when I’m living in a messy environment.

Of course now I’ve started thinking about getting new curtains and a new entertainment center. Hmmmm, this new state of mind might start getting expensive.

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Merry • April 1, 2008 at 9:57 am

But you clearly need new curtains and a new entertainment center. Give me a few minutes and I’ll think up some convincing rationalizations to back this up :)

Or at least new curtains. Change the colors in a room and you can change your mood relatively cheaply.


Kendra • April 1, 2008 at 10:01 am

Ditto on the new curtains. I got some for my home office a couple of months ago and they add a softness and texture to the room that I just love.

Now if I can just figure out how to put some up near my cubicle at work….


VerseFameBeauty • April 1, 2008 at 10:42 am

Check overstock.com, especially for inexpensive furniture, and clearance sales at Target. I loaded up on curtains, sheets and tablecloths at a clearance endcap at Target a few months ago– not paying more than $1.98 for anything!

I really love rearranging furniture, too. My roommate is moving out in August and I’m taking over the entire apartment lease, so I can’t wait to turn his room into an office/guestroom and rearrange the living room and. . . hehe


Red • April 1, 2008 at 1:37 pm

The big thing for me is stairs, a year ago I was getting so winded going up the four flights of stairs to my office that I went to see the doctor about it, who basically said I was fat 8 (.

Now, I am the stair master. I mastered them stairs.


Leah • April 1, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Thought you’d want to know your book got some favorable press in TODAY’s local paper!

Whoo hoo! You’re a hot shot author in addition to being a furniture mover!


Andrew is getting fit • April 1, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Good stuff. It’s great to get organised. Buy the curtains!


Natalie • April 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Do you find that there is less clutter in your house & more organization now that you’ve lost weight? There is actually a book called, “Body Clutter” written by a decluttering mentor, because they go hand-in-hand conceptually.

PQ – I think my mom mentioned that book. Was the guy on Oprah? I’d say I’ve always been pretty tidy, but I’ve also noticed when things start to slide in my personal life my house starts to get messier too. I don’t know if one comes first, or if they just reinforce each other.


K • April 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm

So this was an office in your house, I’m guessing, rather than your workplace?

They don’t let us move ANYTHING bigger than a cardboard box in our office lest we strain our feeble little backs and have to take time off. Which is reasonable, I suppose, but annoys me no end. Even for moving boxes we have to have “manual handling training”.

I think you should buy the curtains, too. *Looks at Winnie-the-Pooh curtains inherited from previous house-owner and sighs*

PQ – Yeah, it’s my home office. Actually, it’s the office area of the main room of my one-bedroom apartment. Most people use the space for a dining room, but I have my computer desks here.


anonymous boxer • April 1, 2008 at 7:34 pm

I inherited TWO chairs, just TWO and several paint jobs, new rugs and a new sofa later….. I decided the den also needed some help.

It’s soooo much cheaper than moving.



starbird • April 1, 2008 at 10:09 pm

“Body Clutter” is a book by the FlyLady, whose name is Marla Cilley. She’s a sweet Southern lady.

I don’t know how to do links, but look for her at: http://www.FlyLady.net

“Personal online coach to help you gain control of your house and home. Site offers housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life … ”

She’s saved many a disorganized person, not a born-organized person like you, PQ!, including me. She’s a lot like you though – non-judgmental, inspirational and funny.

PQ – Oh, ok, I’m familiar with FlyLady, but I didn’t know she’d written a book called “Body Clutter.” I was thinking of “Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” by Peter Walsh


Merry • April 2, 2008 at 12:23 am

Okay, I’m pimping my (co)blog here, but check out


the link above references a post that gives several different sources for the theory that living a life filled with clutter makes it harder for you to stay thin-and-fit.

(Sorry, Pasta Queen, no more blog pimping!)


KateH • April 2, 2008 at 1:28 am

Peter Walsh was just on Oprah the other day like you mentioned, only now he’s got a new book out called “it’s all too much” and it’s a great book for people looking for home organization tips and ways to get started. Its really for people who don’t know where to begin as far as de-cluttering is concerned.


GurlyGirl • April 2, 2008 at 7:27 am

I feel the same way about my kitchen. If there is alot of cluter around, I don’t want to cook. If it’s clean and neat, watch out here comes Emerilette.

When you’re not motivated to make efforts to change whatever is “messy” or “out of control” in your life, in manifests itself in lots of ways – overeating, clutter, stacks of stuff that needs to be sorted but yet never does.


Marla • April 2, 2008 at 8:12 am

[totally harshing your mellow] Moving furniture and books around is how I developed that awful Plantar Fasciitis that I’m still dealing with! On top of weights and daily walking it was just too much overuse.

I’ve heard of that body clutter idea, and while it sounds interesting, I suspect there’s no connection. I like things sparse and ordered and all Swedish Modern sterility, and my normal-weight husband is a huge packrat.


Paige • April 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I sometimes get the urge to move furniture and then it has to be done right away. Then I push and pull and huff and puff until it’s done. And then I feel better. My office, however, is a pile of clutter balanced on another pile of clutter. I’m trying to cut down on the piles, but it gets discouraging.


Mel • April 2, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Hey! I don’t post very often, but I’ve read you since… forever. Anyhow– imagine my wide eyes when one of my students was reading the paper, and there YOU were in living color! Front page of one of the sections. :)

Was exciting for me!


cara • April 2, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Speaking about doing things that you didn’t use to be able to do… I was talking to a friend tonight about how I LOVE roller coasters and she was saying how she didn’t like riding in the front of the coaster. Are you kidding?? That’s the best place to be!! I told her. But sadly the last several times I went on a coaster I couldn’t ride in the front because the ‘fat-people’ seats are stuck in the middle with extra wide seats and extra buckles. I remember feeling so sad about having to be stuck in the middle of the coaster.

Not any more!! I can ride up front the next time we go to the amusement park! Woo hoo!!!!


MizFit • April 3, 2008 at 6:50 am

on 99.999% of days this is the only reason I do it:

That’s one of the things about weight loss and being fit: it makes getting through life a lot easier.

thanks for the reminder.



Merry • April 3, 2008 at 10:15 am

You’re in the papers now?

PQ – My book was mentioned in an Associated Press article about weight-loss memoirs. http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/story/2634224/ Newspapers pick and choose stories from AP feeds to publish, so I guess a couple papers have printed the story as well as the cover image of my book. I didn’t mention it here because I’m tracking all the self-promotional, book-whoring stuff at my book site http://www.halfassedbook.com


AG • April 4, 2008 at 11:53 pm

We are so on the same track. I am treating myself to an entertainment center and curtains.

For curtains, I’m going to buy fabric and get a friend to sew them or you can use that stitching iron tape. It’s sooooo much cheaper and they will look so much nicer.

As for the entertainment center – I’m looking all over craigslist and I’m buying the cheapest thing and then painting it! I say go for it – you’re a writer and your place should be somewhere you are psyched to work in.




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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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