For those that know me, I'm a bit of a control freak. Apparently, I NEED to be in charge. I need to see what happens with my stuff and how it gets used. I'm thrilled to report that I've eased up a WHOLE lot. I think that's one of the reasons that we find it hard to let go of things. God forbid that someone else may choose to use my stuff in a totally different way or they may assemble a quilt in a different way than I would.
I'm so happy to report that I'm so OVER that. Oh yes -- I still like to be in control, but I'm learning to let go. And you know what? The more you let go, the more you want to let go. It's amazing how much clutter and UFOs weigh down on you. The guilt, the stress, the inability to work. All that is GONE.
As a matter of fact, I was so excited to get up today that I had a hard time getting to sleep even though I was tired and I was wide awake at ridiculous o'clock this morning.
Part of it is my organizing - I now have my digital "to-do" list. I LOVE it. I can move tasks to any day on the calendar. If I don't get it done today, then I can move it to tomorrow or whatever date is appropriate. I don't even have to put a date on it if I don't think it needs a date. Oh boy - I should have done this years ago. It's the BEST thing ever. Gone are those scraps of paper with dates and crap on them. GONE!!!!
My calendar is meticulously (most of the time) organized. It has to be because other people review my calendar to book dates, so I have to be on top of it. I do have a few things to add, and that must get done today, so no double bookings happen.
I'm clearing the clutter from the house and happy to report that it's mostly the office left to finish off. Then I'll start at the top and work my way down to the bottom. This time, it won't take long to go through things, and I'm prepped to get rid of absolutely everything that I don't regularly use through the course of a year. The rest? It's going!! I'm going to need a much smaller house one day!
I think I would have been bored out of my mind if I had done it all at once. Over the last 7 years or so - it's been a HUGE learning curve.
So all that preamble to get to the story for today. Diane is the ABSOLUTE best EVER!!! Fortunately for me, Diane lives just around the corner from me. Actually, I can almost see her house from mine if I peek through the forest. She is an excellent quilter, and well - she's been a lifesaver. Just wait - Diane - you won't like me later today when I stop by your house!
Diane was part of the group that met at my house in the past for community project sewing. I had "donated" a lot of fabrics for this cause. I need not worry - there's still a LOT left for me to sew.
Anyway, when the lockdown occurred, Diane wanted something to do. After all, how many quilts can you make for yourself or your family? We still had some kits made up (By Helen Anne - kit maker extraordinaire!). So Diane has been working her way through those kits. When I was attempting to fit stuff under the long-arm, I found more stuff to add to the donation pile.
The other day, I got an e-mail from Diane, and she is running out of stuff to sew and did I have something else for her to work on. Oh - Diane - you're going to have fun! I found bags and bags of flannel of all kinds. I was only going to give her part of it but decided that she needed the whole lot to sort it into categories - adults, children, holiday, etc. That's my car errand today!! I would love to say that I'm going to walk it to her house, but I don't think it would all fit in my wagon so it has to go by car, although I could make two trips with the wagon. But I do need to run the car this week.
I was almost in bed when I decided that I needed to get that all out for her. That's why I was so excited. Then I took pictures of this storage room. OH MY!!!! This room used to be a total disaster. I mean a TOTAL disaster with bags and bags of everything strewn over the entire floor. Now have a look.
This is what greeted me when I opened the door. These were bags and bags of quilt tops that Diane has made this past year. Rose has also made a couple, and there are a couple of finished quilt tops in there.
But what a mess. This is NOTHING compared to what it used to be. And it was a HUGE mess when the water leak occurred in this room.
|The stacks of quilt tops|
And this was the corner with all the flannel and scraps. I did take this picture after I pulled kits for Diane, hence the two empty baskets on the floor.
|The community projects corner|
But I was on a roll. Let's get this place cleaned up. So here we go - a tour of this storage room.
Most of it was already in place - no major organization needed.
This is the stack of boxes that house NOVELTY prints. I know - a bit obsessive on my part, and now to find that fabric with keys on it, I need to go through all those boxes, one by one until I find it. I guess one day, it would make sense to sort by type and write on the box - food, sports, etc. But for now - at least it's all neat and tidy in those boxes.
|Boxes of novelty prints|
Right beside those boxes are these containers. The bottom one on the left is filled with Halloween fabric. I know - I can't help myself. Then above that is a container of yarn. I must do something with that bag of selvages, and there's a HUGE container with more in a closet upstairs.
On the right are two FLAT boxes filled with bicycle fabric. Yes - More than I will ever use. Then a box with seasonal flannel, a box with supplies for making tuffets, and then TWO balls of "yarn" to make jelly row rugs. They are ready to go!!!
|Well organized storage boxes|
This is the view that you see when you enter the room now. The black box on the left and the two cardboard boxes above - can you guess what's in them?? OH MY GOD -- ALL the row by row stuff I collected (OK - BOUGHT) over the years. Why???? Behind that are some drawers with cross-stitch and yarn. The box in the front center is filled with quilt tops made by Diane. The black shelf (you only see its end) is filled to capacity with UFO from classes I taught.
|Not necessary neat, but well organized|
And here's the corner with the community projects stuff - all super organized. Everything at the end is to make community project quilts, and this is AFTER the flannel was removed. There is stuff to make backings on the shelf and kits for when Diane finishes with the flannel. The two blue tubs and the two clear tubs beneath them are filled with Minky or fleece that will be used for backings for the community project quilts. The Minky is leftover strips that will be assembled into backings.
The cardboard box beside the tubs and the two containers beneath that is stuff to make pillowcases. We didn't get a chance to make pillowcases this year. So when we can have another day - I've got supplies to make up more kits for pillowcases.
And the tub and laundry basket on the bottom right contains the rest of the quilt tops that have been pieced. Now everything is neat and tidy and super easy to find.
|More super neatness|
But WAIT - there's one more wall. This is a shelf of MORE UFOs and my GO cutter tools. Do NOT judge me - I've made HUGE leaps and bounds to get this under control. And once Diane has the other corner under control, I'll be digging out more stuff for her to work on. As long as she is willing to sew, I'm ready to donate to the cause!
|The UFO shelf|
All the fabric for the string quilts is in that back corner, and I like to work on those - no one does it as well as I do! OH GOD - I have to have control in at least one area!!!!
But the best part of it is the win-win. Diane has something to sew - she loves to do it, and I have material to make into quilts, but no time. And someone will be benefitting from all these quilts when they get done. I still have a few quilts that are ready to quilt before making the backings for these ones. It's all a process, and the fact that we've made this much headway? I'm thrilled beyond belief and RELIEF.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Diane for all your support. You've been a godsend, and I can't thank you enough! I must treat her to lunch or something when we can escape from our houses!
My pile of empty containers that I'm putting in the furnace room is getting larger and larger! I'm not ready to part with anything yet - well, if anyone needs a laundry basket, I have a few of those that I can part with. It's nice to have a container if I need to organize something. But at some point, those will have to go as well. For now, they stay - except the laundry baskets - I'm done with laundry baskets!
Now back to the office. I found OLD VISA statements from years ago. They are in the shredding box. And even though I've removed handfuls of receipts from this box, it seems to be bottomless. But I'm getting there. I keep a pile on the floor beside me so I can grab a few if I'm waiting for something.
|The bottomless box of receipts|
|Happy 50th birthday, neighbor!!|
|A rogue twist tie|
|Trimmings from paper piecing|
|The last of the arcs|
|These arcs need to be trimmed|
I'm so motivated to get this entire mess cleaned up. I just know that I don't have the time to do it all at once, but the more that goes, the more I want to get rid of it. I'm so excited!!!!!
Well, what would you like to clean up today? I think it's time to take a look at your projects. Are they in bags or boxes? Are they labeled? Perhaps you need to make a list of them? Are there any tools in there that don't need to be stored in the boxes? This is going to be a HUGE job - well, at my house at least. But I'm happy to report that they are all in containers of some sort - just not necessarily neat and tidy. But the more empty shelf space I get, the better they get organized. Oh yes -- there will come a day when this is totally under control. I've come so far, and I'm thrilled beyond anything I thought possible.
Other than a few quick paperwork tasks, I have the ENTIRE day to myself. WOW!!!!! Don't worry - I have quilts to quilt and bindings to make and apply. Lots of stuff to putter with, and I need to prep for two classes tomorrow. All in a day's work at my house.
And HEY - it's a long weekend. Well, that means absolutely nothing to me - weekends don't even mean anything special.
On that note, I'm out of here!!!
Have a super day!!!!