Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cutting the clutter.... one small step at a time.

In case you haven't noticed, I save stuff.  All kinds of stuff.  I have odd bits of string, folded up bits of brown paper, wrapping paper, gift bags, bits of ribbon, scraps of fabric, old clothes...

You get the idea.

I am *trying* to do better.  Especially now that space is at even more of a premium.  I'm going to be sharing my office with the nursery stuff, because honestly the other little "bedroom" is only about big enough for a crib.  It's very small, and even the little closet has a steeply angled floor that is essentially useless for storage.  That room has become B's dressing room/office/catch-all room.  I told him that was his area to do with what he wants.  The only time I go in there is to feed and water the cat and put away bits of his work clothes.  Since I'm knocked up, he gets to change the litter box (WOOT!).  Other than that, I promised I'd not go in there rooting, throwing stuff away, or straightening.  Things have changed a bit since I made that arrangement, though.  I may end up sharing the space with him as a combined office for the both of us, later.  Right now, I think it'll be alright to have my office and the nursery combined.

I've started in my "old lady" corner in the living room.  The rooms upstairs have been thoroughly gutted and thinned since I rearranged the entire upstairs at the end of March.  I've been opening up the boxes, bins, and tins that have my Gramma's and Great-Aunt's sewing notions, saved bits of string, ribbon, fabric, paper... you get the idea (this is a handed down behavior :-P).  I've been tossing stuff I don't recognize the purpose of, stuff that's obviously past its prime (elastic that won't stretch anymore or breaks when pulled), stuff that is only available in bits too small to realistically be used, odd saved things that will never find a purpose in my home (a truly fabulous antique singer sewing needle that was so retro-cool, but realistically I won't ever use it, along with a cigarette holder, a single plastic brass-colored knob...)  So far I've actually consolidated several small boxes and bins, thrown out a small trash can full of oddments that I can honestly say I'll never use, and found a good bit of actually useful stuff.  Like five yards of thin elastic "for use in light underwear and doll clothes" that apparently cost 15 cents when it was originally purchased, and still has all its elasticity!  Perfect for those all-in-one diapers I am planning to sew.  I also found a tracing wheel, shears sharpener, several measuring tools (a ruler and some tailor tapes), and a HUGE pile of needles, both hand and machine for every imaginable purpose, and some I have no clue what they are intended for.

All those polyester slacks scraps are now gone.  I made a couple of couch pillows, and pieced a top for a couch quilt (but I changed my mind on it.  It's really not very comfy to snuggle with crunchy polyester from the 70's), but the rest of it is now gone.  I can't imagine what else I might have made with it that I would actually have liked.  It's so scratchy, even though the colors and patterns are fabulously retro lol.

I've got a few boxes of books I have no idea what I really want to do with.  I don't want them, won't read them, but don't know anyone else who would either.  I tried to donate them to the thrift shop here on post.  I didn't even want to consign them, just get rid of them.  The thrift shop won't even take them!  So... sadly, they may end up in the trash, but I've got to get them out from under my feet.

Slowly but surely, I'm trying to pare down the things I save.  I'm trying to re-evaluate what "useful" actually means, and hopefully in the process will get my home a bit more organized and less crowded feeling.  If I can open up some more space, I can possibly move some of the office stuff out of the nursery and open up that room a bit more, too.

Wish me luck!


  1. Is there a used bookstore anywhere around that might take them as a sell/trade item? Like that place in Warner Robins, ABC books or Gottliebs?

  2. There are a couple that I've tried, but in one instance they just don't take a lot of books at a time, and in another the books I have are way too old. It's sad :-(

  3. Check the local Senior Citizens Center. They might take them. I remember finding Grace Livingston Hill Books and enjoying them, nearly 75 years old. I gave them away to Purple Heart.

  4. I hadn't thought of that, Ruth! Thanks :-D

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