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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oh wow

I've talked about how my house always looks like a hoarder house.  Over and over again I clean it out only to find it looking like this a few months later.  I can blame no one but myself for the rooms looking like this.  Do you notice there is no furniture in this room?  Only stuff piled all over the place and my closet office in the corner.  This is supposed to be my substitute living room since the actual living room is my studio space.  About a year ago this room was completely empty.  My daughter had just moved into her own house and taken all her stuff out of here.

A lot of stuff comes into my house but very little stuff goes out.  Heck, I don't even have a full trash can on garbage day.  At most, there will be one bag of trash in the can.  I create very little trash when cooking or cleaning and most of the other stuff gets rescued.  I'm stuffing my house like a strange looking turkey with myself right in the middle of it all.  When someone offers me stuff, I can't seem to say no to it.  Why?  Well, at the time it is offered, I think to myself..... I can use it for this or that so I take it.  Somehow I never seem to get around to using whatever it was I accepted.  I know there are more projects in this room than I will ever be able to complete.  Strange that I have a plastic drawer tower with empty drawers right next to stacks of stuff.

I use a lot of this stuff.... but I don't use it all.  Quite a bit is for my quilting business or my textile art or my charity quilts or my cardboard art.  Some of it is things gathered for a new recycle craft I want to create or for a new art piece.  There's completed quilts waiting to be donated to charity this year at Christmas.  There's art quilts I've made and gotten ribbons on that should be either given to my kids or hung up for me to enjoy.  Hmm... do my kids even want the art quilts?  Would I just be adding to their own pile of stuff? 

There's cardboard boxes with interesting flutes or texture I could use for my cardboard art projects.  There is cardboard furniture in various stages of completion just waiting for me to work on and post the instructions on my cardboard blog.  There is a potty seat that Ladybug hasn't needed for well over a year.  Why is it still here?  Could I be unmindfully hoping it will be needed for another grandchild?

There are 11 window quilts I rushed to get quilted back before winter.  I installed only two and never got around to doing the others.  Probably because I was unhappy about making all of them a full foot too short.  How many years have I tried to get window quilts on the windows?  5, 6, 10?  I believe I took the last one's down in 2000 with intentions of replacing them right away.

It's the rescue of stuff that causes so much of the mess.   (and the stress)  I have good intentions when saying yes I will take it; but, will I ever get around to actually doing it all?  When someone offers me a piece of fabric I immediately think of a quilt it would look nice in so I take it.  My intentions are good.  When I see a cardboard box ready to put into the trash I will notice it has potential in a piece of furniture or an art piece for the wall so I rescue it.  But the box somehow doesn't ever get used.

There is t-shirt scraps just waiting to be made into some new underwear for myself or to make rugs.  There are pillow cases rescued from a friend that are just waiting to be made into dresses for Ladybug.  There are cook books and art books and quilting books that I do use but they don't have a convenient, permanent shelf to live on. 

I've noticed that for the last year or two I've kind of drifted from one project to another without ever completing any.    Time management is the most likely cause although it could be more.  I start projects only to be taken away with work commitments.  The quilting pays the bills so it takes priority over completing a me project.  Once a project is set aside it becomes very hard to get back to it because it gets lost among the piles of other unfinished projects. 

Yes, I know I'm semi-retired from quilting for others.  I don't do nearly as many as I did in the past.  Maybe I should consider not quilting at all for a few months?  I can cut down the bills to bare minimum and get by.  Not comfortably but enough to survive.  It would mean giving up a lot... like the internet and cable and call waiting on the phone.  It would mean cutting back on the laundry and daily showers.  It would mean no air conditioning this summer. 

Umm... I'm not sure that's the way to think.  Let me reverse that.  Maybe I should not do any me projects for a few months and concentrate on just machine quilting?  It would mean the cardboard furniture would not get made.  It would mean not creating portrait quilts or charity quilts or my own underwear, rugs, and window quilts.  It would mean.... Umm, nope.  I can't do that either.  Too much of the way I live depends on my skill of re purposing instead of spending money.

Where is the balance?  How can I continue to be creative with found objects and at the same time keep my house from looking like a hoarder house?  Maybe I should store this stuff in the garage?  Umm... I don't have one.  Maybe in the basement?  Don't have access to mine.  Maybe the attic?  Nope, don't have access to that either.  Under the bed in the guest room?  There is no bed in the guest room.  In a spare dresser?  Don't have any.  How about in an extra closet?  They are all being used.  One is my office, one is stuffed, and the other is for my clothes.  Well, half is for my clothes, the other half is stuffed. 

Ok, I've bored you enough for today.  I have some serious thinking to do while I work on the next quilt.  Just one more thing.  I've been stopping by Jilly's blog for a visit over the last few days.  This morning all I could do is say.... Wow!  She has really cleaned her house out and it looks wonderful.  You should see what she's done with her quilting stash.  Go have a look.


jillyヅ said...

Hi Anita, Thanks so the pat on the back, its much appreicated.

Its nice to see empty space, but it has taken almost 3 years...not to scare anyone trying to downsize. My big hurdle was my husband. He didn't want to let anything go. It was like pulling teeth and I felt like the mean old witch, but I just kept asking him, "does this fit in with your life today?" Such as hanging onto two complete 8 place sets of china with serving sets. As we would rather be outdoors, and our place is simply too small to entertain, why hang onto it??? It all left our place yesterday. It was finally his time to let it all go.

I wouldn't give up AC and I think you really need alot of that fabric etc for your business. Only thing I can suggest is decide on one or two or three things(quilting business or quiling pleasure) and let go with what doesn't fit at this time. And in reading your blog, you lady NEED to focus on your health.

My problem with quilting and fabric is I will always think I can do it all, but I can't. It was tough letting so much go, but needed to for my piece of mind.

Happy Mother's Day
blessings, jilly

Anita Estes said...

Hi Jilly,

I'm at the point I realize I can't do it all. I'm not superwoman like when I was younger. I can't multi-task as well as I used to.

Your right, I need to focus on my health. All this stuff isn't helping with that. I really want a simpler life which also means less stuff.

I want peace of mind too. Seeing what you did let's me know what I want to do can be done.

Joyful said...

I'm glad Jilly is inspiring you to let some things go and focus on your health. Blessings. xx