LOVE this project! Here’s something I wrote after visiting the boatyard, and then, back in London, finding an old wardrobe with these little plates inside: shirts, pyjamas, etc. It got me thinking about organising emotions, decluttering, finding a good home for things of emotional significance…
First, gather together all the stuff.
Lay it on the floor, if you like.
Measure it, down to the lolly stick jokes.
See how much space it takes up.
Work out how large a piece of pegboard you’ll need.
Try arranging things into how frequently you use them –
every hour, every day, or maybe never but
you’d be anxious if they weren’t there, within easy reach.
A good wood butcher can
whittle down your mess, plane ribbons off,
glass-paper it to paper smooth
(listen: the airlocks in his knuckles
pop like bubble wrap).
He’ll know towpaths, compass points,
where to walk a dog. He’ll show you tumulus;
sawdust lumped under the rug.
You can use a magic marker
to draw around edges,
whack in a long nail for hanging.
There’s peace in this place for everything
and everything in its placing.
Your wardrobe, slim now as Parma ham
had a compartment for sundry items,
and in your hinged desk, the smell of ink well.