Archives for March 2014

What To Do With Left Over Material

tableclothesThis is tough one for all of you sewers and crafters out there.  But even you have to admit you have kept extra material for years that has never been used but you keep, just in case. My mother in law was a seamstress and she was good. At times those extra pieces of material she had came in handy for all sorts of things.

My mom said back in the 60’s that all women had a sewing  machines and they used them. It was common to go to the material store several times during the week to check out and buy left over material on sale.

All of those quilts we had growing up came from left over material. And if your parent or grandparent went through the depression it only would make sense that they would keep scraps of material for that very reason.

Even I got into quilting when my kids were little so the temptation to keep extra material around made perfect sense. But those days are over for me so why as I holding onto all of that material.

Getting rid of things I don’t use is becoming more and more freeing. Someone out there could make something creative out of my left overs.

Back in the eighties my son’s grammar school had a material drive. They would collect material and women in the community made quilts using that left over material. Those women made hundreds of quilts that were donated to an orphanage overseas. Those kind of creative people out there are just waiting for your donated material.



Perfectionism Is The Enemy Of Progress

TulipsI heard this phrase on the radio today.

From Wikipedia;

The perfect is the enemy of good is an aphorism or proverb meaning that insisting on perfection  often results in no improvement at all. The phrase is commonly attributed to Voltaire…..

The first story that came to mind was a family I knew that lived out of boxes for years and could never make a decision. When asked why they had not hung pictures or put things away they said it was because they wanted things to look just right and therefore could not bring themselves to make the final decision.

Sometimes you just have to plow ahead and accept that you might make a decision that you regret. This is when we ask ourselves…what’s the worst that could happen? If you are stressing over hanging the picture on the wall then the worse that could happen is you would have a little nail hole eventually above the picture. So what! Fill it with fill or toothpaste, take a q-tip and dab some paint on there. So what!

The same goes with organizing which can’t happen unless you declutter.


It’s not alive! It doesn’t require a funeral or a memorial service. It’s not going to Heaven or Hell, it’s just going to someone else that could use it. That’s all.

It’s simple.

Stop stressing and relax, it’s just stuff.

What To Do With Suitcases

suitcasesSeveral small events, all combined, have pushed me into working towards the life of a minimalist. For me personally, it is a clutter free life that offers freedom from stuff or sometimes even junk that consumed time and energy, and not in a good way. I was never a serious hoarder but I can completely understand the tendency.

On a repeat episode of Hoarders there was a man that collected lots of stuff but it was the first time they spent time on collecting suitcases. It reminded me of a time in my life during the 70’s, when I had lots of suitcases. After spending the year abroad at a University it was time to come home. My suitcases, (plural) were full and HEAVY. Really heavy. Those were the days before all of the fancy rollers and lighter suitcases came out. Back in those days the suitcase itself was heavy.  suitcase problems

When I returned I thought I never wanted to see another airplane, subway, or train ever again. It wasn’t because I didn’t like to travel but it was because lugging those suitcases everywhere got old and made the traveling experience such an effort, not to mention the sore arms and back from all the lifting.

The public in general are smarter about traveling with too much luggage. One reason might be because many of the airlines now charge for luggage. The other reason is, if you go stand-by, you can’t check in luggage.

That old luggage with many other bags and suitcases usually end up in top of a closet or in the garage. Some use for storing things. In that case, you need to ask yourself what you’re storing and will you use or need in the next year.

Old suitcases can end up with a not so pleasant odor. Just open your old stored suitcase and take a whiff.

The question. What to do with suitcases and travel bags that you no longer use.

The answer. Get rid of them.

Sell at a garage or yard sale.

Take to the goodwill.

Find a charity that can pick up from your house.

Ask if anyone in the family wants them.

If it is in bad shape, toss it.

For the crafty person out there…..

Put legs on them and make a table and sell as creative art.



How To Keep A Secret

Keeping A secretThe question that is asked the most is,

How do I successfully get rid of my spouses stuff?

The answer…. You don’t!

Now before I take the spec out of your eye, I need to remove the log out of mine and confess that I rarely follow my own advise. We know how attached we can become to our stuff. Especially the stuff that has sentimental value. Maybe it belonged to a mother or a father. Maybe it is worth a lot on E-Bay and we have plans to make millions… whatever the reason, it is important to keep (for now).

Would you agree that most women are in charge of the stuff in the house? This should be reason enough for the women to make the decision on what stays and what goes. Some might think that women are typically the hoarders but I’m not so sure that is correct.

So for today don’t throw out his stuff. Find a place that is his. Like the man cave in the garage or a corner of a room or his closet where the stuff can be stored.

If it happens to disappear make sure you are the only one that knows about…….