On Monday I move to a new office. After four years in a small interior room with no window and nowhere near enough shelf or floor space, I am finally able to move to something much bigger, with a window, and with some new shelves that should make it possible for me to get some of the piles of books off of the floor. Finally. Some of them have been there since 2001.
When cleaning out my old office I found a series of things that I had completely forgotten that I had -- old conference papers that I had planned to read (back in the old days when I took conference papers on paper; these days I'm basically all-electronic and won't take physical copies under most circumstances), half-edited copies of things i was once working on, and so forth. One accumulates crap when one sits in an office for a few years -- particularly if the office is small and stuff has to be tucked into small cubbyholes and crevices, where it is promptly forgotten.
I found three separate folders labeled "things to read soon." Nothing in any of them has been read.
If it weren't so disruptive, I'd recommend that every academic move every three or four years, or just after you complete a major project. (I just sent my book manuscript off to the publisher for review; hopefully there will be a contract forthcoming later on this summer.) It's very disruptive -- I have no idea how long it will take me to put my books and files back in order -- but I did manage to toss out a lot of old crap, and I think that more will be tossed when I unpack next week. Plus, I grabbed a bunch of stuff and brought it home, so even if it takes me the rest of the summer to get set up, I have most of the essential things -- or at least those things that I think
that I might need in the next few days. Given that not everything I own is digitized, I need to have it all available all the time in order to really work efficiently, because I never know what I will need until I need it…
Anyway, the new space should make things easier. I like my old neighbors -- including the Honors program -- but having a window and some actual floor space, plus enough room for a table in addition to my desk and about twice as many bookshelves, makes the difference.
Now I just have to hope that nothing important gets lost or broken.
[Posted with ecto]