This Lent I’ve decided to do a few things to “get my house” in order . A sort of major spring cleaning for my body, my house, and my soul. So needless to say, I haven’t been sewing a whole lot lately, because I’ve been busy trying to learn new habits.
I’ll start with a little story of my house and how it has gotten completely out of my control since I started sewing at an insane pace. Lots and lots of sewing…… I’ve always sewed, but not on such a regular basis as I started to after I started blogging. It seems like somehow the chaos grew around me as I sewed, but I didn’t notice it until recently, when I looked around and was like.”How did this happen?” It was like I just woke up out of a fog, and saw the mess around me. Maybe it was the sewing, or maybe it was just me not wanting to deal with my stuff.
We’ve lived in this house for ten years, longer than any other place that we’ve lived together since being married 22 years ago. And there are lots of places to store stuff. Old sheds, two garages, a 30 foot shipping container hidden behind the garage. There’s been some serious storing and squirreling away of things going on here. When my mom moved out of her place and stayed with us for a year, she brought all her stuff here, too. Then she moved into a small, furnished place with a room mate that didn’t have any room for her furniture, so all her stuff just stayed here in the shed and container. That was two years ago.
Then there is my stuff…Boxes of handmade clothes no longer worn, but that I can’t get rid of, costumes I may need for school plays in the future, boxes of art projects made by five kids in all their life stages, old dishes, old curtains, and furniture I can’t bear to give away, because I feel it’s too valuable to just give to the thrift shop, and I want to sell it instead, but then I never do. More old furniture and paintings that the kids might want someday when they get their own places. Just typing this out makes me realize that yes, I am a pack rat. But somehow, I manage to clean it up before I have company, so people who come over often don’t realize I have trouble keeping things tidy. Sometimes!
I’ve tried purging lots of times. I just did a major purge of my closet and sewing space last year, but things fell back to the old ways after a few months. The stuff just started piling up again. A few trips to downtown, some estate sales, and a few bolts of fabric given to me, and bang! My fabric hoard had grown out of control all over again.
I was reading through my Bloglovin posts last week, and somehow I ended up on The White House Black Shutters home decor blog, not sewing related at all. I do read lots of types of blogs. It was there I read about the 40 Bags In Forty Days Lenten Challenge.
I decided I’d join in. So far, I’ve filled about 4 bags to donate or throw away. There are lots of tips in the Forty Bags Challenge Facebook group. I’m taking my spring cleaning a step further. Because I’m pretty sure I have more than forty bags to donate!
Who would have thought, say back in the 1930’s when people had to be frugal and before cheaply mass produced everything came into existence that having too much stuff’ would be a major problem for their future ancestors’ lives? As my friend Patty would say, it’s a quality problem. It’s an embarrassing thing to admit as well, because it make me see how wasteful I’ve been to have had the luxury to to haphazardly accumulate things I don’t really use.
Then this week I found out about this little book . I’m having so many light bulb moments and am really excited to share the book with you. It’s called The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, a thirty year old organizing expert from Japan . And I have never been so excited to tidy up my house than I am after reading it. Marie Kondo just manages to make organizing with her Kon Mari method sound fun! I am hoping that yes, IT WILL CHANGE MY LIFE, too! Maybe I can become a tidy person,after all.
The first step in the Kon Mari method is to start by going through all our clothing. I’ll be going through not only my own stuff, but my husband’s stuff and the girls’ too. I had been ‘organizing’ all wrong! Just folding and sorting and getting rid of things I hadn’t worn for more than a year, or storing and folding fabric I might use someday, but not really getting to the heart of the problem of having too much everything. Fabric before I started phase one of my fabric purge.Fabrics after a small purge.
This is still going to get messy and won’t stay this way long. I just have too much fabric. But can I actually give away fabric I like, even though I may never use it? We’ll see……
I have a big plastic bin of different colors of crochet thread I bought at a rummage sale a few years ago, just in case I decide to learn to crochet someday. I have two plastic bins of thrifted cashmere sweaters I’ve been wanting to make into a blanket for three years , but have never gotten around to doing. Oh, brother.
I’ve also made some progress on Gigi’s stuff. Following the books’ instructions, I took everything out of the dressers and put it all on the floor…Made a keep pile because she likes these things and they fit her…..We decided what we would give away and what we would throw away because it was too junky or stained to give to someone….And we got her dresses out of the dresser and hung them up on a rack from Ikea. And then we realized we don’t need this second dresser at all, so I’m giving it away.Which is kind of hard because I really like this vintage dresser. But I don’t need it anymore.A peaceful and clean corner.