Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What We Save

 
As much as I want to be working on new art in my studio, I feel that I have unpacking looming large in the garage. About 90% of my stuff has been moved here, and as I go through boxes it is evident that much of this stuff hasn't been looked at in six years or more. Shocking what we brought here, like three boxes of magazines that I didn't even know we were saving. Seriously. I have loaded my car with stuff for recycling at Staples, and to donate to Goodwill, and that is just a teeny bit of what is left.
Here is a box of my quilt ribbons. I never even think about these, so why am I saving them? I am NOT sentimental. So I put them on the wall and took a good photo of the group and then I am putting them in the trash.


Don't tell me to frame them, or make them into a quilt or save them for my non-existent grandchildren, because if I have no interest in keeping them, why clutter up someone else's life?
I also found a bunch of frames that I bought before we moved away from our nearest IKEA. Most of the glass got broken on the way here. The matting is not acid-free, so what will I do with them? I guess, tossing those is next. It is grueling to make these decisions, based on my past bad decisions, but I will feel much better when it is out of the garage and out of my storage space.
What I have learned again, for the umpteenth time is that I have everything already, but just can't remember where I put it.

30 comments:

  1. I also struggle with getting rid of stuff that no longer has a place in my life because, unlike you, I am sentimental. That is a very impressive collection of ribbons!

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  2. I've found that a good photo of stuff is as good as the stuff itself. And takes up less room.

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  3. I have been looking for my 4-H ribbons every since I moved the last time. I really wanted to find those, but so far no luck. Funny how we all look at items differently! I have been getting rid of a lot of stuff in preparation for the next time I more and it is a very freeing feeling to feel a load has been lifted.

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  4. Oh my, Melody! You are speaking to me. I am going through a major house renovation so its similar to moving.

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  5. I think I've figured out why your house looks so streamlined, and my does not! Sigh.

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  6. I am absolutely tuned in to what you are doing. I just moved my studio upstairs out of the cold basement into one of our son's empty rooms. I don't know why I didn't do this before. I am also purging and having fun at it. It's like a load off my shoulders. I had/have way too much stuff which, I think, puts a damper on the creative spirit. I feel more calm, productive, and happy with less stuff and am keeping just the items I need for the art I really like to create. Love your blog and look forward to your posts every day. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  7. Melody photos are a great memory and saving them on your computer, blog or online photo album is so space saving! I have trouble with what to do with all the quilts and bags, etc. that I make. I give to friends and relatives (which are only a few people). I have tried to sell them but so hard to sell things. So do I give it all away the quilts I have no more space for? After all the work that goes into making something handmade if I do give it away, I would like it to go to a good home and not end up being used as a rag for some guy who works on car engines, lol!!! I have heard of such stories! You seem to be able to sell your quilts so easily, but you are more well known than I am and are a true artist too. Then there is the issue with how much to charge. Do I sell cheap so someone will buy it, or charge what all the time, materials, etc. is worth? I hear some say not to sell too cheap because it looks like you don't value what you do. But if I hang on to something for years trying to sell it for a certain price and it doesn't sell, do I drop the price, or give it away? Just curious as to your opinion, although you don't have the problem selling like I do, but did you when you first started making and selling quilts? Appreciate any suggestions you have.

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  8. Decluttering is such a "freeing" experience :) I plan on doing that this summer. Our attic has become a storage space for EVERYTHING!!. A lot of it was brought from our home in TX 6 years ago and hasn't seen the light of day since. I dread going through it but it has to be done!!

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  9. Wow, that is a tough decision, to toss your ribbons. When I give a quilt away, any ribbons associated go along with it. I take a picture of the quilt with said ribbon.
    A few years ago, I purged all my fabric. I gave three jeeploads to ladies that answered my ad on Craig's list. One lady, who clearly could not afford fabric, took some for quilts for her grandchildren. One lady took some so she could teach her daughters to sew. One lady, when I started emptying all the boxes out of my jeep, said "I just wanted some greens!"
    I have never missed any of that fabric, was able to organize what i kept, and it is so satisfying to go to my shelves and pull from my stash. I rarely have to shop. Of course I do, though. It was also satisfying to help pass on the craft of quilting.

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  10. I started to write this whole "thing" about cleaning up/clearing out/passing on, etc and then realized that I just wanted to reiterate what you said.....I have everything I need already and "more" is not better, not necessary, not life changing -- it's just more.

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  11. The last time we moved, the mover's boxed up at least one box full of empty boxes. I know because I'm the chief unpacker. That won't happen again. Maybe you should do a painting of your ribbons?

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  12. Anonymous1:29 PM

    I love your idea of taking a photo of your ribbons and then pitching them. I wouldn't have thought of that, I would have just thrown them away...I am the most unsentimental person I know. De-cluttering and de-accessioning (as the museums call it) is SO freeing. I always feel like I have lost 5 pounds when I get rid of a whole box of stuff. Anytime we get a phone call from the Salvation Army, Purple Heart Veterans or whoever solitciting donations, I ALWAYS say yes, even if I don't have a box or bag of stuff, then I go around collecting stuff to put in the donation bag. There is always plenty of stuff I haven't used in months/years. Claudia w

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  13. And just think...when you throw everything away you will have so many empty totes you will never have to buy another one (well, this year at least). You are make good headway in your purging. Such an inspiration to the rest of us.

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  14. Anonymous2:22 PM

    I tell people I spent the first half of my life collecting stuff (fabric, yarn, books, magazines, my children's stuff) and now I am spending the second half of my life getting rid of it. Being sentimental and frugal are my two obstacles, but I am getting better and making progress. I have learned that taking a picture first frees me to let things go. AustinNancy

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  15. When life is cluttered with yesterday, there's little room for today, let alone tomorrow.

    Hooray for looking forward, not back!

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  16. I haven't done a good purge since I moved into this house 9 years ago but I started earlier in the year and I feel so good to be able to give to people who use the item or give to goodwill and I feel so much lighter as I know when I go wherever I am going my family will probably put most of it in a skip

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  17. I agree with you on the ribbons. When we moved I kept only a few that meant a lot to me. The others went in the trash and I haven't missed them!

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  18. When you come to the patterns, give us a shout and we will buy some.
    Frankie White England

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  19. I sold my house and moved into a small RV, 33 years worth of stuff. I also took a lot of pictures and then sold, donated and threw away all but a few small items that I could take in the RV with me. Even 90% of my fabric stash went. I still sew in the RV, but try to be careful about what I buy.

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  20. Moving is the absolute worst nightmare in the world. I dread my next move, I've been in my house for 26 years and those were the peak hoarding years too! It will be awful.
    You seem like the most organized person on earth too, you are always reorganizing! I love your new place and can't wait to see everything set up, no pressure though, take your time!!

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  21. Argh, the organising of a move and its aftermath! I loathe it. I start packing for a move and I'm all organised, everything is labelled and I get my stuff boxed up and it is all wonderful. and then there is the Rest of the Stuff, like the massive amounts of wires and cables and doo-dads that DH keeps that get shoved into boxes and then there is the Other Rest of the Stuff which get thrown into bags and boxes and shoved randomly into spaces... Sigh.

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  22. Deborah, I know how you feel. We had a humungous house and it was f-u-l-l- of "treasures". I started a year before we were planning to move and worked at sorting one room at a time. I donated and trashed until that room was perfect, then got a student in to paint. Then I moved on to the next room and repeated it. When the time came we saw the house we wanted, bought it, put on the market and sold all in less than three weeks! It couldn't have happened if I hadn't systematically worked my way through that huge house. And painting and decorating room by room meant the cost was spread. Good luck!

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  23. Getting rid of the extraneous stuff will be like taking a huge weight off your shoulders. What is done can't be changed, so throw away guilt with the stuff. The future is ready and waiting to be lived

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  24. A lot of good points in the comment sections. It is hard to learn to let go. But once we let go, it's easier to let go the next time. Putting things away is a good time to purge. I recently replaced all the carpets in my house, which meant emptying every closet. I purges once while emptying, and a second time when putting things back. I liked being able to see the closet floors!

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  25. When we have stuff to toss the first thing I question is can it be used or recycled by others rather than be landfill junk. We have City re-use stores here where teachers and general public can pick up items for crafting for a single $5.00 fee no matter how much one takes. Its an excellent resource and an excellent place to donate crafts stuff and items to keep them out of landfills. I've seen how teachers make use of old prize ribbons to make crafts with school children.

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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com