At The Corner Of Hype Street And Boosterism Boulevard

Yesterday, I thought I was at the intersection of Broad Street and Front Street in downtown Columbus.  But when I looked at the street signs, it appeared that I was instead at the corner of “Commit to be Fit” and “Top 7 Intelligent Community Way.”  So, of course, I immediately began jogging while mentally performing differential calculus equations.

IMG_1325Does anyone else have this issue in their city or town?  In Columbus, street signs are no longer reserved for providing the visitor with useful information about where they are.  Instead, the signs often are used for civic boosterism or one-shot nods to a visiting convention or celebrity.  So, because a group named Columbus one of the seven most intelligent cities in the world, we’ve got to make sure that anyone tromping around downtown is reminded of that fact.  As for “Commit to be Fit”?  Well, it’s a laudable goal.  Now, how the heck to I get to Schmidt’s Sausage Haus?

I love Columbus, and I think it’s a wonderful place to live and work, but I don’t think we need to constantly be hyping our special little corner of the world.  Putting up street signs that brag about our community intelligence seems awfully needy to me.  It also is likely to provoke curses from motorists who are looking at the street signs to provide guidance on how to get to where they want to go.

Here’s an idea:  why don’t we just let the street signs of Columbus do their job of telling people where they are, and leave it up to the visitors to our fair city to figure out on their own what a fine, brainy place Columbus is?

Feng Shui Shelves

When we sold Mom’s condo recently, our realtor gave us some advice about how to “stage” her home.  Less is more, he advised.  That meant emptying out the place to allow the rooms to seem more spacious and airy.  It also meant leaving only a few well-positioned items on shelves that previously were crammed full.

IMG_4216His techniques worked.  Mom’s place never looked so good, and we got an offer we accepted the first weekend it was for sale.

Whether it’s “staging” or feng shui concepts, the experts agree that decluttering is a key first step to making your home look better.  If it works on a place that is being sold, why not try it on a home that is still being used?

I decided to apply the approach to the shelves in our study.  Over the years, new books, papers, photos, and various random objects were deposited there until they were overflowing.  It was really bugging me, so on Saturday I decided to tackle the shelf project.  The papers were stored or pitched, the photos taken away, the random objects were thrown out or placed with more care, and the books were carefully evaluated for likely future reading.  We figured if we hadn’t read one of the later books in the Clan of the Cave Bear series at this point, we probably weren’t likely to do so now.  Through that process, three bankers’ boxes of books were taken off the shelves.

When I was done, I was happy with our work and thought our shelves looked much better.  The study felt like a better place.  A feng shui expert, or a realtor, would probably say that we still have a ways to go — but it’s a start.