Category: Spring Cleaning

Life is Messy – KonMarie Process continued

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I’ve tried to think about how to apply the Konmarie techniques for decluttering to my fabric stash. I mean, that category just embodies so much for me, it’s sentimental, it’s precious, it evokes joy in some way or form. But if I touch every piece of fabric (which I’ve been known to spend an hour or two just re-folding it to put on the shelf) will I find that every piece brings me joy? Truthfully, no. In 2015 I not only tried to refrain from buying new fabric, but I also decided to gift some fabric that I had remaining from when I had a fabric shop, I purchased it a long time ago and it was not anything I was in love with. I feel like I passed on a lot of joy to other people who seemed so happy to get that fabric! I know they will put it to good use and it gave me joy to give it away! I also recently sent a priority box full of fabric to a woman who is teaching second graders how to sew. How exciting is that!?

I think I will find more joy in making quilts out of the fabrics that bring me the most joy than just keeping them there to look pretty on a shelf.

Here’s the funny part. The fabrics on my fabric shelf are sorted by color and they are in ROY G BIV color order! Plus a separate cube each for grays, black and white, and low volumes. But the fabrics in the color cubes are not my MOST favorite, MOST precious. Those are stored in other places. Maybe in a plastic container on a top shelf, maybe stacked on top of the cube bookcase, maybe in that red cabinet with my Quilt Books. I don’t know why but I haven’t even given my favorite fabrics the place of “honor” Maybe because I didn’t want to break them up to store them with the color groups. That makes sense. But if I were to sort through all my color fabrics and determine what I want to really keep for future projects, I bet I would have room left over for those favorite fabrics.

People often ask if they should store their fabrics by color or by designer (or both). Sorting my non-precious fabric by color made a lot of sense, because then I could see that I had a TON of blues and reds and greens so I consciously stopped buying those colors. I was low on purple, orange and yellows, so those became more appealing to me once I did the color sort. But now, I’m considering the need to have them sorted this way. Then again, I also really love how they look in order like that. Maybe I just need an extension to my current bookcase (the one I have is the Kallax from IKEA which has 9 cubes but they have a variety of configurations).

As I said before though, the process of sorting through all of this should be devoted to a special Fabric Sorting Day. A special day when the kid is at school and hubby is at work and the rest of the house is clean so that I feel like I can give myself permission to enjoy the process.

It is definitely some food for thought.

Happy Stitches,

Anna

P.S. Did you know that my friend Kristan has a FREE 7 day mini course about how to declutter? You can enroll for FREE right here!

Life is Messy

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I am reading through the Marie Kondo book called the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it’s been…interesting. I find myself having to hush my inner voice that says “This woman is obsessive compulsive!” and “She definitely does NOT have children or probably a significant other” She describes how she comes home each day, follows a very specific routine of putting everything in it’s place, everything she has in her purse is taken out and put away and she thanks it for doing it’s job that day.

Yes, I realize she is from a different culture. As an American, I think I would feel silly (and probably get some strange looks from my husband) if I spoke to my clothes and the things in my purse every day. (Although I did hear my son saying “Bye house” when we walked out the door the other day). While the idea of putting everything in a specific space does have some appeal (one morning my husband woke me up about 10 minutes to 6 AM to help him find his keys) and I do have a routine of keeping specific items in a certain pocket in my purse or putting my keys in a specific spot, but talking to my clothes? No, probably isn’t going to happen. But that’s OK.

Now, how has this book helped me? It has inspired me. The core concept of her book is to only keep items that give you joy and discard the rest. Let’s just say this is a struggle because I’m not the only person in my house. Marie Kondo addresses this briefly by saying to only worry about your own stuff. That seems to make sense, until you realize that even if you narrow your own stuff down to just the things that bring you joy, some of the items owned by the other people in your home may still cause mental clutter. I’m still trying to figure out how to address that.

What have I managed to do so far?

I’ve sorted through my clothes (which I’d say was less than most people have anyway) and only kept those things that I find joy in wearing. (I think I need to buy new clothes soon)

I’ve re-folded all the clothes in my dresser so that they follow her way of folding and now I can see all my clothes (did the same for hub’s drawer) and now I’m finding that when I used to hate folding clothes, I’m treating it as a mini meditation. Last night I folded clothes before bed while the boy was falling asleep. It was a quiet activity to do and I didn’t need a lot of light, then I could put things away and go to sleep with a clear “laundry conscience” which is my new favorite word (I just made up).

I’ve tackled the kitchen cupboards. This is a big one because we don’t own a lot of kitchen stuff, but we have a TON of cupboard space so the empty cupboards became a sort of dumping ground for our stuff. Well, no more! I was going to just tackle ONE cupboard, but once I did one, I just kept going and went through all of them. No big deal, I also scrubbed the kitchen counters, sorted through the drawers (except for one junk drawer I still need to tackle). I haven’t gone through the lower cabinets yet. That’s where we store some appliances and things, I don’t think I’ll have a problem sorting through them either. Truth is we just don’t cook super fancy meals that require special tools, so why keep all that clutter around?

I also sorted through my Quilt Book cabinet upstairs. I was able to donate a lot of books to my local library. I get so excited thinking about all the people who will be able to learn about sewing by checking out those books from our library. I wanted to try the “touch everything and only keep what brings you joy” technique in my sewing area, but it needs to be reserved for a time when I can devote a full day to it.

My husband thinks I’m on some crazy decluttering spree right now, and maybe I am. In remembering my word for the year, which is Passion, I’m sort of throwing myself into the process of cleaning up. I guess everyone thinks about cleaning things up in January, maybe in preparation for Spring Cleaning. The weather here in Houston is so Spring like that perhaps it’s spurring these feelings early. I know I could halfheartedly try to declutter a specific area, but it will immediately rebound to clutter again (which is something Marie Kondo addresses in her book). I want to avoid that. I think that methodically going through everything in the house is going to really help me understand what we have and why we have it.

A lot of people don’t do a whole house clean up unless they have a major life event like a new baby or a big move. We don’t have plans for either in our future but why not do the clean up anyway? Why start the year as a continuation of the things that were weighing us down last year?

More thoughts on this in another post. I’ve probably bothered you long enough.

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Spring Clean Fling 2015

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Wow, try saying that tile 5 times fast! I decided on a hash tag for my Spring organizing posts on IG, it will be #springcleanfling2015 because if you can believe it there are already posts on the tag with the same name but no year! I’ve decided that I will do a round up of my links and posts about Spring cleaning/organizing on Fridays during April. That way if you aren’t on IG, you won’t miss out on the goodness and you’ll have the whole weekend to try out the suggestions!

Here are links to the ideas I’ve posted this week

Washi Tape Cord Labels

Magnetic Strips for Bobbins or Scissors

Mason Jar Storage Shelf

If you want to post some ideas feel free to use the hash tag above to share on IG or post your ideas in the comments here! I love more ideas!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Spring Clean Fling

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It’s a new month and Spring has sprung here in Houston (I have the sinus infection to prove it).  It is so tempting to jump on the spring cleaning band wagon.  Instead of sharing tons of pictures of beautifully organize, already perfect spaces, I thought I’d dig into my Craft Room Organizing Pinterest boards. My plan is to share some ideas that are really fast, inexpensive and easy to take action on, like right now! The picture above is an idea I found today from Domestic Adventure and it looked so easy! (You have to check out that original post, the before and after is awesome!) Just mount a magnetic strip on the wall (they are usually in the kitchen section for holding knives) and use it to hold your bobbins, scissors and even presser feet! She does make a good point about the bobbins getting magnetized and the problems it could cause for computerized sewing machines though. So use caution when implementing this idea.

I love the idea of making good use of the vertical space in your sewing room/creative area and clean off your sewing table.  I know that anything around my sewing machine is in danger of being pushed to the floor by the project I’m working on.

By the way, I’m also sharing these tips on my Instagram account and I actually haven’t come up with a cool hash tag yet! But when I do I’ll be sure to share it here!

Also if you want to feel better about the state of your space, check out #honestcraftroomcleanup for some great before and after clean up pictures!

(Note: I’m trying posting this from my phone so if the format seems strange, it is because I’m using the wordpress app!)

Happy stitches and happy spring!
Anna