The UnTidy town Award

If you are a fan of Barbara O’Connor’s blog, as I am, you will know that she is a neatnik who could give Martha Stewart a run for her money. She talks about somewhere in Ireland (I think) where villages are given “Tidy Town” awards.

I would never, ever win one for my office. I spent the weekend purging because I had finished one big research project and needed to make room on my desk — and thus in my head — for the next. I managed to thin out my books, easier to do when I think of the kids reached by Page Ahead or my local elementary school who will be the recipients of said books. I pitched computer manuals for the computer I had 10 years ago and I even weeded things off my bulletin board.

But the wall of paper made up of old manuscripts has me beat. What do I do with the 21 drafts (and then some) of the Two Bobbies? The plastic bin full of Hattie stuff?
Not to mention the shelf of books about eastern Montana.

What do you do with the “stuff” leftover after making a book?

My groaning shelves really need to know!

No Responses to “The UnTidy town Award”

  1. Liesl

    What do do with old books you will never read but hold special meaning to you:

    Wallpaper you office.

    Make them into lamps. (Drill a big hole down the middle of the books, stick the lamp in. Voila! Sentimental yet functional.)

    Make a new dog house for Winston!

    What I would do: Throw everything out, but I’m a throw-out aholic. Limited space you know.

  2. Martha Brockenbrough


    Margaret Chodos Irvine keeps a box for each book full of the artifacts. If you have the storage space, you should do this. Someday, a library will want it!

  3. Karen

    I have a feeling the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota would love your stuff. They have an amzing underground city full of books and manuscripts donated by children’s writers. Contact Karen Hoyle and tell her Karen sent ya.

  4. Kirby Larson

    Martha, can I store the boxes in your garage? 😉

    Mine is full of my kids’ stuff, including a Rainbow Brite play stove.

  5. Liesl

    Ha ha. I actually did that for a friend of mine. We spent all afternoon going through her stuff and I coached her on “letting go.” We had a dumpster full at the end of our purge session and she felt great! It’s so freeing, just let it go! You can’t take it to the grave!