Monday, August 30, 2010

Thoughts on Too Much Stuff

Hi all, I don't know where the days go at the moment but the weeks seem to be flying by! I've been on a manic decluttering again, which has resulted in a big trip to the tip on Sunday and a trip to the Op Shop yesterday. It's SO good to get all that 'stuff' out of my house and backyard. I only wish my place LOOKED like it had been decluttered!!

Here's a pic of the trailer and back of friends 4WD on our way to the tip.

The trouble is, I am really good at organizing, so my place does look a little cluttered, but not terribly so. You see I have dozens of 55 litre tubs in my bedroom floor to ceiling on shelves so that I can access my fleeces, yarn, finished projects, not finished projects, and so on. So the place doesn't LOOK too bad. BUT ...... I FEEL like things are coming in on me and I want to scale back a LOT. And I mean a LOT!

But how does one choose what to get rid of? What if I want to go back to that hobby? I spent all that money getting all the tools and paints and papers and brushes and glues and books and information on that hobby, and now what? Do I just chuck it? Freecycle it? Sell it? (No way, that takes too long). What if in a few weeks/months I decide I want to get back into art again and play around and all/most of my stuff is gone? What then?

I've thrown out a LOT of fleeces, those that I KNOW I won't enjoy spinning. Friend who was helping me commented that I 'spent good money on those fleeces......?' NOT what a declutterer wants to hear. But when I bought them I hadn't spun that breed before and thought I'd give it a go. When I tried them out it was pure hell and I don't want my spinning to be hell, I want to enjoy it, so OUT they went!!

The other question is, what does one DO with all the yarn she spins??? I've known for a while that's it's the actual PROCESS of the spinning that I enjoy, not having the finished yarn to actually MAKE something with. And now I'm getting snowed under with handspun yarn. "Well sell it" I hear you say. I don't know if I want to, or even could sell it. A lot of it is just a couple of balls of this or that, and much of it isn't real soft for skin touching items..... So what does one do?? My tubs are getting fuller and fuller and I look at them and just wish they'd STOP breeding.....

I've been reading a lot about Minimalism, where people live happy/comfortable lives with just the bare minimum of things. It costs them less, they don't have clutter, it's easier for them to move house, it's easier for them to clean, and so on and so on.

I wish for this style of life, BUT am I really that sort of person?? I do love my junk, there's just too much of it. That's part of the thrill for me, getting a new hobby and then going out and getting ALL the new tools/supplies/books for it. I guess it's part of the chase for me.... And then I end up feeling overwhelmed and here we go again, a bit decluttering starts....... more therapy for me perhaps?????

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

And the Decluttering Goes On.....

Hi all, you'd think by now that there'd be nothing left to take out of this little house after all the decluttering I've done but believe me there is PLENTY!! I have half a load sitting in my car waiting for a stop at the Op Shop, and my friends trailer (borrowed and in my backyard) is about two thirds full.

A couple of days ago Toby decided that he wanted to play in one of his toy boxes like a hidey cubby, so he pulled out ALL of his toys one by one and sorted them by himself with NO prompting from me. I just provided a box for stuff for the Op Shop, a garbage bag for broken bits and pieces, and a smaller box for the toys he was keeping to go into.

He happily sorted through them and then also sorted through a set of three drawers and got rid of a ton of papers, old drawings, and those dreadful little plastic toys you get at MacDonalds with the Happy Meals. Boy was I glad to see them go!! He did an amazing job and now he has way less, it's easier to tidy up, and it all is not taking up so much space in his toy area in the loungeroom.

Next to his toybox he has a big tub of blocks and a cartrack, then a tub of Thomas the Tank Engine train stuff, then a tub of matchbox cars, and finally a box of Lego, plenty to keep him busy.

I sold his toddler bed on ebay last week and I knew Toby would have problems letting go of it even though he's been in a big-boy bed for ages, so I told him he could have the money we got for it. He was very happy to let it go then, and he bought an elephant game (I'll explain this another day with pics), and some gameboy games. He's very happy and I'm happy to have another item out of the house that's not being used.

I also noticed on Freecycle the other day that a lady who I've gotten a few things from was advertising for a spinning wheel. This lady is lovely and she has autistic sons like I do, so I offered her one of my wheels, you see I believe what goes around comes around and I was given my first wheel off Freecycle. I told her I would sort one out either today or on the weekend and she could come and pick it up. She's pretty excited, and I'm thrilled to be passing one on to someone who is excited to be learning to spin!

As I was sorting through my spinning stash last night, I put a few things aside for her too, like fleece samples I've been sent to try, and some fleece staples that I dyed recently, oh and some roving I dyed too. That way she can just play with some different fibres and textures as she learns.

I've got a little boy climbing all over me right now so I'll finish this here and come back later. xx

Crochet Anonymous

Wooly Bullies

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Washing & Decluttering Fleece

Hi all, I've been doing a lot of sorting out in my spinning stash and have decided to get a lot of it washed and spun so it won't take up so much space. I feel like I am over-run by fleece!

Some will be thrown out as I know I won't spin it and I don't want to stuff around trying to sell it, waiting for it to sell, waiting for buyers to collect and/or having to wrap it all up to post to the buyer. I have my friends trailer here and it's half full waiting for a tip run, yes I will throw out fleece if I know I won't enjoy spinning it. Life's too short.

The fleece I'm going to throw out is some really fine stuff, Merino X, I don't know what possessed me to buy it in the first place, in fact I can't even remember buying it. I loathe spinning really thin fleece that is fiddly to spin.

But when some more of my tubs are cleared out, I'll have more space to put away what I do have, and the thought of that makes me happy.

In my bedroom I have a whole wall, floor to ceiling, of 55 litre tubs. They sit on shelving for easy access and these are where I store my yarn/fleece stash, but the trouble is, I have MORE tubs scattered around the house with MORE fleece and yarn in them. It's TOO MUCH!! Way too much!

The decluttering bug has struck again and this afternoon I happily threw out another pile of papers and sorted and cleared and tidied. I now have a space where earlier today there was none.

I only wish I could make things as quickly as I want to use up my yarn! Not all of it, about half would make me happy!

Here's what I've been washing:

Both fleeces here are Finn/Border Leicester/English Leicester/Corriedale, this first one came out a lovely soft grey with a few areas of a rich dark grey, a gorgeous fleece!

This one washed up into a gorgeous white color.

Tomorrow I'll be washing some English Leicester that I think will come out a lovely caramel color. And there's also some chocolate brown Border Leicester to be washed. Washing these couple of kilos of fleece should fill up my drying racks nicely. Being full-on winter here I have to do my fleece drying inside and I have limited space, but the good thing is that our heater is running almost non-stop as it's raining and freezing cold, so it's ideal fleece drying weather inside.

Seeya xxx

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ramblings About My Stuff

Hi there, why is it that as crafters, the amount of 'stuff' we have seems to grow and grow...... and grow! This year I have been through a number of de-cluttering phases with endless runs to the Op Shop, giving stuff away to friends, and just general throwing stuff away that's of no use anymore.

Why is it that I'm feeling at the moment like I never did anything???

I've been reading a few Minimalist blogs and I just love their way of life. I love the clear areas in their homes due to the lack of stuff to clutter it. BUT I know as much as I love to look at their homes, it's not for me to live that way. How do I find a middle ground?

I've been being really careful about what I bring into my home for quite a few months now. I didn't even buy one ball of yarn or one fleece when we went to the show at Bendigo, and that is a miracle for me. I've been using up my yarn stash and except for one short time of craziness a couple of months ago, when I was on a yarn-buy-binge, I've very proud of myself at not having gone out buying loads of yarn, especially since there have been a LOT of crisis times here recently.

I guess what I'm wondering here, is if there are 'creative' Minimalist people, or even if such people exist?

Yes I know of course they do, but I'd really be interested to see just HOW they manage their supplies, their tools, their books, etc etc.

I was reading a blog this morning, and there is a movement going on in the Minimalist world where people are deciding to ONLY OWN 100 THINGS!!!!! Can you believe that!! 100 Things! My goodness where would I even start? If I can remember the name of it I will post a link.

The woman even did her whole list of what she owns on her blog and it was amazing. Can you believe how freeing that would be, to only own 100 things? I am in government housing and have my name down for a swap to a country area. I can't begin to imagine just how long it's going to take me to pack up this house, the mere thought fills me with dread! AND I have three kids worth of STUFF to move too..... AAARRRGH!!

But my point is, that how would it be, if you could just throw your whole 100 items that you own in the back of your car, and go.....

I remember when I was married (ugh) in my mid-twenties (long-divorced) and we had a number of caravans that we lived in at different times, and a decked out bus. The caravans were 15ft, 18ft, 20ft and a 30ft. I loved living in those caravans at various times when we were following the fruit harvests and doing the picking. It really made us question anything we wanted to buy, because there just wasn't the extra space like in a house.

I remember when we had the 15ft caravan and we drove from Victoria to Western Australia to try and get a job in the mining industry. We packed WAY too much stuff, and then wondered why our tyres kept blowing out and even the rims crumpled as well!!! Young and stupid?? You bet! So we had to dump out half our belongings at a little bush town somewhere in South Australia.

The guy at the truck stopped was thrilled with my husbands tools, stacks of them, we just had to give them away to lighten up the van so we could keep going. Money was running short and we needed to get to WA as quick as we could.

The wife at the truck stop was mighty thrilled too, she got my treadle Singer Sewing machine. Yes I cried a few tears over that one too, my husband said he'd get me another one, I'm still waiting 18 years later.....

That machine was the lovely black sewing machine in almost perfect condition. The treadle all worked perfectly too and I was very keen to use it once we got settled in WA. The cabinet it came in was the ones with the three drawers on either side and the dark wood that's all hand-carved..... as I said I sure did cry a few tears for that one.

I did crochet back then, I remember my stash of acrylic yarns and a tin of hooks was stashed under our bed at the back of the van.

Living in a caravan is wonderful, so many people bag the lifestyle but it really is a wonderful life, the freedon to just up and go whenever you like, and the lovely, and sometimes strange, people you meet are such an experience too.

But anyway back to my stuff. I'm feeling snowed under at the moment, everywhere I look there is stuff. I have the urge to just take most of it, dump it in the trailer and do a dash to the tip! That would give me the space I crave in my house..........