OMG - How did I get all this stuff!!???

meskauskasJune 30, 2006

I've been cleaning out my craft room to make way for the new cabinets that will hold all my fabric and quilting supplies, along with some other craft stuff.

I've spent all of today, sorting out what's to toss, what's to go to Good Will, and what's to go to the local art center for the developmentaly disabled. Now I'm sitting here feeling dusty and disheveled..and in a state of disbelief.

OK...I don't know what sneaky gnome dragged all this stuff into every nook and cranny of my craft room, but I swear as I dragged it all back out again, it started expanding. I couldn't have bought all this..could I? No - that's impossible. This must have been some sort of reverse robbery...instead of taking stuff, they came and left it. That must be it!

Where did I get all of this stuff? What was I thinking?

Wow...I'm going to have to keep my distance from Michaels in the future...FAR into the future. Maybe I ought to wear a garlic necklace on sale days or something...



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Oh Clara, I feel your pain sister! I went through my 30 year accumulation two years ago--unbelievable what we gather! I donated 13 large boxes to a charity that teaches women in underdeveloped countries to sew (was easier for me to say goodbye to fabric if I knew it was going to a good home). Even after that, the nooks and crannies have been filled. My DH says I could sew from now until my death and my DD will still inherit fabric saying "WHAT was she thinking??". Oh well, there are FAR worse vices we could have---right?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 10:35PM
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I know just how you feel. I just sent a box of art supplies to a young man in Washington state who impressed our mission team. I have 3 boxes of books for my parent's church yard sale, tossed out several bags of rubbish and you can't even tell I made a dent. Gotta just let go of some of these things. Where did it all come from? Does it count as an investment? Can I retire on it? Will it grow up and leave home or just vege here forever?


    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 11:15PM
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Oh Beverly, I hadn't thought of it, but I have to go through my books too. Sigh...well there's another 3 or 4 boxes...

Your'e right halcofam..there ARE worse vices we could have for sure - but darn it, I don't like tossing stuff that I shouldn't have bought so much of.

I guess I just have to remind myself that it's all relative in the grand scheme of things. I've gotten some of this stuff for free, or very little money, because someone else was cleaning out THEIR house at the time. Besides...I have a friend who doesn't think twice about spending $300+ for a pair of designer shoes...and for me, I'd rather have the fun of doing crafts and quilting. In the end, when she tosses her worn out Pradas...and I give away my excess craft supplies, it's all the same. We got the use out of it that we wanted, and now it's time to move on. Anyway...that's my dogma and I'm sticking to it...LOL!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 3:47AM
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LOL Clara! I can see you with that garlic necklace! LOL! Maybe you'll start a new trend?

The free stuff is my problem! I can't say no to the free stuff! Although, the last time there was free Sunbrella at my office I managed to not even go up to the Designers' area on the fourth floor. I knew if I went up there, some of the rolls of fabric would be coming home with me. So I just didn't even go up there.

Since I have to travel a half hour to get to a decent quilt shop, I make myself use what is in my stash. So at least the stash does not get out of hand and only gets replinished maybe two times a year.

Hey, I don't drink, smoke, gamble or run around with men (at least not anymore) so yes, there are worse habits to have.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 8:35AM
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I also can't say no to free fabric and sewing notions, etc. Have tons of stuff from friends and neighbors and people who know people that they were all getting rid of. Find it very hard to throw any of it out although I do try to reorganize it every once in a while. It's stashed in different parts of the house as my sewing room is very small and very full. I am an admitted fabraholic. But as Teresa says, could be worse habits to have.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 9:20AM
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I've been trying to pare down my "stuff" - and not just my sewing stuff, for the past 2 years - ever since I retired, I've been looking at everything with a more critical eye - maybe just have more time now to get serious about what I want to keep or need - that first summer I donated 17 boxes of just all kinds of things you accumulate over the years, plus my huge 7-ft artificial Christmas tree (some places didn't want it!) an old computor desk, a chair that was my mothers (my brother unloaded it on me, he was one step ahead of me in decluttering, and amazing how you think you should own stuff that you maybe don't even want or need, because of its sentimental value!) the list goes on and on - I don't want my kids to someday have to dig through our house trying to decide about everything we own, and I know one daughter will want to keep everything "because it was Mom and Dad's" (see sentence about "sentimental value") so I'm doing it for them ahead of time. I had a nice little chrome and vinyl chair, box of nice books, 3-4 boxes of this and that out on the porch Thursday for Salvation Army to come pick up - they sorted through it all, and only took about half!!! - left the chair and the books - ??? My neighbor took the chair for her front porch, and the rest of the stuff I'm dispersing here and there in town to charities - it's NOT coming back into my house. I'm much more picky about what I buy now, and accept as freebies - don't need all that I thought I needed or wanted in order to be happy. As my daughter says - "There's a difference between needs and wants". Boy, didn't mean to ramble on about this! (And I do have a box of fabric pieces to donate to a church charity - of course that was one of the boxes S.A. didn't want).

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 11:10PM
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I must admit I am very guilty of the "Sentimental Value" thing. I cannot for the life of me throw away a picture of my children. It is too much like throwing a piece of them away to me. I have been getting better (don't keep duplicates) and they are at least sorted by year.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 11:28PM
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I inherited most of mine and had to painfully declutter before I moved...told the guy I had a ton of stuff and 6,000 lbs. plus the piano, he said 4,000 and I ended up leaving stuff behind because the truck was too small and still paid $232 extra. I'm just a master at organizing and getting a lot of stuff in one small space, know what I have, and the size truck I need having moved all of it several times--and I moved to a downsized condo with more cupboard space with everything unpacking with room to spare including the 2 year sewing accumulation.

It's the room to spare that has gotten me in trouble in the accumulation department. Buy a serger, that is more accumulation for needed supplies, another sewing embroidery machine, more stuff. I spent Friday evening putting more accumulation away and reorganizing that and glad I kept my mother's triple dresser with 9 drawers and thinking I should have kept my big 5 drawer chest I've had for 30 years and was sick of looking at it--yea that had sewing stuff in it too. My storage closet outside is only half full but that's for tools, paint, you name it...yep, accumulated that an extra hammer somewhere and don't know who it belongs to.

Needless to say I'm on an accumulation diet and will work with what I have.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 7:21AM
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I'm guilty of the sentimental thing too - especially since we're antique collectors as well.
As I was sorting my craft room (which had also become a storage room for miscellaneous antiques that we no longer display), I came across several things that we've "inherited" over the years.
One was a cake plate/cover that my Aunt passed along. This was one of those cake plates/covers from the 50's - aluminum and plastic top, with a pressed glass bottom..not exactly what you'd call decorative. I realized that I had kept this thing for years, not because I liked it, but because she gave to me, and it had memories attached to it. I'd only used it once or twice. I took a deep breath, and into the donation box it went. You just can't keep everything.

At least we know we're not alone...for proof, just look at the storage facility industry. These places are everywhere, and a survey showed that while people initally rent storage with a "I'll just keep it here for a little while" idea in mind, the reality for many is that it turns into long term storage - much of which is made up of everyday items that they don't have immediate use for and probably will never use again. They just don't know where else to put it. I can vouch for that too - as DH and I sometimes go to auctions that sell off storage units along with the other antiques and collectibles. The contents of a storage locker always goes for cheap, and sometimes I've watched as people open the containers after they have purchased them. It's just ordinary stuff most of the time - I always wonder why people pay every month to store things like old pots and pans, bedding, exercise equipment, etc..

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:42AM
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I am slowly changing my thinking about keeping stuff. But not too fast. One thing that helps me is putting stuff I want to get rid of into a hollow behind the sofa. Then I get DH to bag it for me - if I don't see it again I'm OK. All I have to do is look at something and I remember enough to write a book about it. So if I don't look I'm OK.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 6:56PM
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