Sometimes a Big Mess is a Big Opportunity

New floor, new carpet

Anthony (Tony/Pcunix) Lawrence
4 min readMay 31, 2022


Photo by author: our spare room

We are having new carpet put into two rooms this week. The house is both neat and a freaking mess; neat because both rooms are nearly empty except for things too heavy to move or two necessary until the last minute and messy because everything else is piled up in other rooms.

The spare room pictured above is never the neatest housekeeping example; it is, after all, a spare room, used for seldom used items and pantry overflow. But now it’s jammed with bric-a-brac, books, and sundry.

My closet, the kitchen, and the garage have their own share of books, pictures from the walls, boxes, crates, and what have you. I am miles away from any semblance of a neat person, but this disorder is stressing even me.

And so is the thought of putting it all back after the carpet is in.

Useful, Decorative, or Sentimental Value

There is a silver lining, though. This is a chance to purge, to clean out, to sell, to give away.

Though that has its own stressors.

Still, I’m committed to a major effort. I’ve told my wife that it may take me weeks to put the place back in full order because I’ll be sorting things out for triage as I encounter them. The only things that will be going back right away are those that are unquestionably necessary.

Books are my albatross

My books are presently residing in six cases like these:

Photo by author. Cases of books.

You can see some empty bookshelves in the background. More shelves are elsewhere.

I am not filling up those shelves again.

Even writing that sentence distresses me. These books represent my life, my business, my essence. Disposing of them is like tearing flesh from my body. It’s hard to even think of it, never mind do it.

Yet the reality is that when I breathe my last, very few of these will have any interest from my family. That means they will have to dispose…



Anthony (Tony/Pcunix) Lawrence

Retired Unix Consultant. I write tech and humor mostly but sometimes other things. see my Lists if your interests are specific.