Letting go of the clutter
WOW --- each day at my house brings something new. No two days are alike as I'm sure is the case at your house as well. But when the totally unexpected happens, and it's a good thing -- well, the world needs to know about it.
Like most new quilters (or even the more experienced), you buy fabric because you like it and it's precious. So precious that you can't even cut into it, but then you get to a point when you realize that it's OK to cut into that precious stuff. And how many of you have said that you CAN get it all used up before you die.
The next stage in all this is when you say enough is enough. How much of my life do I want to spend dealing with this excess stuff? I will never forget the "horror" when I saw a quilter go through her stash and get rid of fabric she would never use. I thought -- I will NEVER be able to do that as I like all the fabrics I own and I CAN use it all up.
Now I've seen the light. As you know, Diane has been making lots of quilt tops (and backing and bindings) from fabric that I've acquired. The result of that has been some scraps, or I've acquired scraps through various sources. And I was slowly plugging my way through them.
This was the designated scrap area with scraps intended to make quilts for community projects.
|Storage area for scraps|
Then Cathy came to pick up the fabric set aside for Comfy Cases. I'm being realistic and know that I can't do it all, and I have so many UFOs and quilts to quilt, so when Cathy offered to take it off my hands, I didn't hesitate. Well, maybe I did -- just a smidgen. But let's get REALISTIC here -- I can't do it all.
When she stopped by (and no, I did not make her jump up my front step), we chatted. It turns out that Cathy is EXACTLY the person I've wanted to find. I wanted someone who had time (she's now retired), likes to putter and sew, and makes quilts for Project Linus and other groups. Well, did I have a deal for her!
I think she was barely at the end of the street when I went to that storage room, and this happened.
|Let's deal with the scraps|
Yep--- I decided that I did NOT need or want any of that stuff, so it all came out of the storage room. OH MY!!!! I am on a roll to get rid of the clutter in my house. While this wasn't necessarily visual clutter since it was behind a door, it needed to be dealt with.
|WOW -- look at all that empty room|
So I got to work as I wanted to make it easier for Cathy to manage. I took all the flannel scraps, which are sorted by color, put them in bags and put into one laundry basket.
|The flannel scraps|
Then I took all the scraps destined for string quilts, which were already sorted by color, and relegated them to two laundry baskets. HEY -- I have lots of laundry baskets, so I'm happy to part with a few here and there.
|Scraps for string quilts|
Then I was able to fill THREE boxes with the rest. There were some larger pieces, small pieces, and leftovers from various collections, and I hesitated a moment or two over a couple of the pieces, and then EVERYTHING went into those boxes. I even unearthed a box of scraps sitting in Studio U that someone gave me years ago. I know there were some big pieces in that box, and I had never ever looked at the contents and I didn't look at it yesterday either. Just put it in a cardboard box, and it was done!
|Transferring from cardboard to plastic|
In the process, I got rid of the last box that had been sitting in the hallway. See -- all this works out for a reason. And even better, I gained TWO plastic tubs, which I promptly switched with the cardboard boxes under the long arm. There are only three more cardboard boxes, and I WILL get more empty tubs to swap them out. All in due time!
So this is what is waiting for Cathy to pick up. Three boxes of fabric and three laundry baskets of scraps. I have offered to provide batting, backing, and to quilt any tops she makes from this. I should be careful what I wish for!
|Pick-up for Cathy|
If I have to take a month off at some point to quilt everything -- or just schedule those quilts in more frequently, then I'll do it. Together we are going to get this mess cleared up!
So a HUGE thank you to Diane who has been piecing quilt tops for several years and a HUGE thank you to Cathy, who will also be piecing quilt tops. If she wants to quilt them on her own, I'm also good with that!
In the meantime, the space now looks like this.
|A much cleaner storage area|
The two bags that are on the shelf that was empty are the next batch of fabric that goes to Diane. There are three rolls of batting to be used for these community project quilts, but I also have tons of batting offcuts in the closet in Studio U that can be used as well. The tubs that you see and the rest of that shelf are filled with fabric that can be used for backings. All I need now is the time to get them quilted.
I may need to find someone who is willing to put bindings on by machine, and we'll have a little production company going! The quilts don't take long to bind, so I may just do that myself.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled, and I'm now ready to purge my stash. NO --- it doesn't go to just anyone. It's going to be used to make community project quilts. And it'll go a little bit at a time. When they are ready for more -- then I'll give them more. It's all neatly stored at my house -- no need to clutter up their places. I NEVER thought I would say that!
If you are retired and want to sew, but do NOT need more quilts, thnk about making quilts for community projects. If you have fabric or know of someone who is destashing and needs to get rid of fabric, let me know. Cathy is always on teh hunt for fabric to make quilts for Project Linus and other groups, as well as pillowcases for Comfy Cases. I can put you in touch with her. Although with what I've given her, she'll be busy for a while.
Wow --- it was my lucky day yesterday, but there is so much else going on that I couldn't even celebrate.
I didn't quite finish sorting the orange box of paper. Mentally, I was wiped, and I can get it done today along with another box. Today's box is a lot of odds and ends that have been sitting on the table for eons. I suspect it will be a challenge to decide between keep, toss, or donate. However, after my progress this week, I suspect it might not be that hard. When in doubt -- throw it out!
OH -- so here are the tubs under the long arm. FOUR of those are filled with fabric to be donated. The rest belongs to me and includes supplies for machine embroidery or the serger.
|Plastic tubs neatly organized|
And when you do one thing -- other things arise. I pulled out a container with large plastic bags, which I've hung onto in case I need one to pack a quilt. Well, one of the bags was those disintegrating bags, so I had to clean up that mess.
|A decomposed plastic bag|
Then as I was using the cordless vac, it died, so the battery needed to be recharged. I feel like I'm on autopilot because, in the past, that would have stopped me cold. But NO -- everything is charged up, cleaned up, and I'm determined to keep this place looking better.
Plus, one more customer quilt got finished well before bedtime. It was done before dinner!
|Customer quilt - DONE|
There is one more that I'd like to get done today, and then I'll call it quits until after I get back.
What's the status of the renovations? Well, we knew it was going to get worse before it gets better. This is where the planter used to be. Now the tree stump is gone and some of the brick along the step. There's a story there and I'll share it another day.
|Where the planter used to be|
|Removing tree stumps|
|Can I escape again?|
|Checking out the temporary gate|
|Hey -- who is under the deck?|
|Mom -- where's the gate?|
|Whoa -- we're allowed to go under the deck!|
|Transferring files and watching a video|
|My new MINI hard disk|
|That's a LOT of files to transfer|
|Rules to cope with paper|
|Murphy chowing down on the veggies|
|That's a good girl Murphy -- eat your veggies|
|Lilies gone mad|
|The peony is almost in full bloom|
|Moss in the forest|
|My new haircut|
|A new felt pad|
I made a list of all the things that need to be done or repaired or dealt with. So now my brain no longer has to store that information. The list is long and I hope to get half of it done before I leave on Monday. Wish me luck!
I still have presentations to prepare, but most are up to date and as soon as someone sends me a picture, I insert it.
I'm happy with my progress to say the least, but I'm even happier with my ability to let go. That has been a struggle for years and I suspect that is what stops other people as well. I wish I could give you an answer as to how I figured that out. I think the biggest thing for me is seeing other people downsize or pass and leave these huge messes for their families to deal with.
And the more you do, the easier it becomes. And there is NOTHING more exciting than walking into a room and actually being able to reach anything without climbing over something or stumbling on something or having to dig deep to find something. It truly is freeing and the more you get rid of, the more you want to get rid of. I know where I want to get and I'll get there. My priority right now is the visible clutter in this room. Then I get to start the process all over again. I hope it won't take eight years like the first time.
Imagine that -- if it took me eight years (More or less since I stopped buying and started purging), what would it be like to walk into someone's house and have to purge their stuff when they are gone? It would be sheer agony and I don't want anyone to have to deal with that in my case. The office will definitely take several rounds of decluttering before it's almost all gone, but baby steps. I am determined to make this happen.
PHEW --- can you believe that day? Well, I'm out of here to do the same thing all oer again! Well, different stuff today.
Have a super day!!!!