Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Job Well Done!

Everyone say it with me- WOOHOO!

I'm finally finished cleaning my sewing room!

Yes folks, it's official- everything is where it should be, and if it didn't have a spot, I put it out on the porch. I have a lot of stuff on the porch now!

I never realized just how much clutter I was clinging to until I started decluttering and leafing through my craft books. Many of the books are brand new (or close to it), and I've hardly cracked the spine on them! Not that they aren't good books (many of the quilting books)- I just have too many with similar patterns or crafts. So I gave them up, along with a lot of craft stuff.

I might just be selling it all soon- I'm not much for yard sales, but I was thinking of putting an ad in the paper or online. I think I have close to 50 books!

I really need to learn how to add pictures to this blog so I can show you my 'new and improved' space! The room has really opened up, and every container is labeled and stacked for easy access. I love it!

There's really only one problem now. Have you ever cleaned one shelf, only to notice how shoddy the rest of the cabinet looked? So you do another shelf, and another, and pretty soon you're restoring the entire room! Well, I did an entire room, and now I want that to happen in the entire house! No more sticking stuff in one spot because it doesn't fit into another, no more hot spots for clutter....I couldn't imagine having one room like that, no less my entire house!

When I had finished cleaning, it felt as if a huge weight came off my shoulders- and I liked that feeling. Even my kids were impressed when I showed them! But the entire house? No one is in my sewing room but me, so that's much easier to control. But with three other people using all the other space, I have a hard time seeing that happen- at least for more than five minutes.

The hardest part for me is maintaining the space- which should be the easiest when you think about it! But I usually wait until my life is threatened under piles of falling debris before I do anything. A bad habit I know I have to break, but there it is!

For now, I'll take refuge in my nice, neat, clean sewing/writing room when I get too overwhelmed. I have to be there anyway due to so many projects, so I don't think that will be a problem!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning- in the Fall?

I admit it- I'm not the best housekeeper. I hate cleaning! But I hate clutter more.

Last week I got fed up with my sewing space- things were too cramped and stuff was piled everywhere, some piles leaning farther than the Tower of Pisa. Some had decided to take the plunge entirely, scattering
supplies and fabric about my floor like giant confetti. I had to do something.

I found my stash of graph paper and sketched out a rough layout of the floor. Then I guesstimated the size of the furniture, making little rectangles of paper that represented my sewing machine, table, bookcases and cabinets. I toyed with them for a bit until I came up with the perfect layout for the room- and of course almost everything had to be moved!

I happen to be blessed with the most supportive husband in the universe, and he agreed (with a muttered 'about time!') that I did in fact need to revamp the space. I made plans for a writing space too, because I was tired of my writing materials being scattered about the house. My husband heartily agreed this was an excellent idea, since my writing projects were often mixed in with his piano music!

There was one stipulation though- He said I was going to be the only one to touch my supplies- he refused to take the blame for anything that got misplaced or wound up in the same void as the socks go when doing laundry. I agreed (since I don't like anyone touching my stuff!) and rubbed on some elbow grease and got to work.

Clearing and cleaning is one thing, decluttering is quite another! I found I'd kept a lot of stuff I would never use. So I started a new Pisa tower of patterns and other supplies, boxing them up before they fell over and killed someone. I am now 90% finished, and the unwanted supplies are happily sitting on my porch awaiting new owners- once I place an ad. I want the room to be finished first though- you know how it is...You think you're all done, give away all the stuff, and just when you finish organizing, you find just a few more things that could have gone out too.

So I'm waiting. I should be finished this week!

I'll be so happy when I can finally open the windows and get some of that fresh air I talked about in the spring- but why do I always manage to finish spring cleaning in autumn??

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life in the Super Hectic Lane

I have to admit I'd never thought I would ever be in the fast lane of life. I'm a homebody most of the time, and like life to move along at a nice pace. However, I can still say I'm not in the fast lane, because I blew past that lane a while ago! I'm now in the lane of the Super Hectic, going so fast my poor mind can't seem to keep up.

The past two weeks especially!

The quilt is almost finished! I should have that done sometime today, but today is also Grocery Day, and of course it's 96 degrees out. I wasn't going out because of the heat today, but other obligations outside the home have warranted me to be out and about- dagnabbit!

A few months back the car broke down on a hot day similar to this one (alternator blew). But I believe I failed to tell you that last week on the same stretch of road, I broke down again! This time the coolant decided to blow all over, making the engine smoke. Using skills that would even impress those at NASCAR, I drove, turned off the engine and coasted, stopped to cool the engine, started and shot forward, and repeated this until I got home. It was a triumph I hope I never have to do again, but I was very glad God got me through it without a mental breakdown!

We found out that hose and a temp gauge needed replacing. It cost a whopping 15 bucks to fix it all. After all that, you can't tell me there's no God!

However, I might be taking a different route to the store- that road seems jinxed!

Blessings were in the mix though- I had silently prayed that God would give me some kind of indication of what He wanted me to focus on in life- other than the mom and wife stuff. You see, I have been struggling with whether to focus on sewing or writing as an at-home career, and simply couldn't find my way. So I decided I needed a little help (okay, a lot of help) from Him.

I asked Him to show me a cardinal if He wanted me to write, a Blue jay if He wanted me to sew, or a white dove if He had other plans- and I left it at that.

So when Grocery Day came along, I had forgotten all about my prayer until my daughter pointed out a pretty bird in someones garden as we drove by. It was a bright red cardinal! I love it when He answers prayer!

Now it's the week before the kids go to school, and I have organized their clothing and supplies so they'll have what they need when the time comes. My son is going to middle school for the first time. Because he has Aspbergers, there will be a yellow bus stopping door to door from the house to the school, which is a great relief to me! My son loves to talk (he takes after his mom), and I seriously doubt he'd have made the right stops if he had to use public transportation. I could imagine getting a phone call later that first day..."Sorry about this Ma'am, but your son seems to have gotten chatty and was dropped off at the bus terminal...can you come pick him up?"


I still have to get the schedule from the bus driver, so I know when he's supposed to be ready. It could be as early as 6:30, from what I hear- but I hope not!

And I completely forgot this was a three day weekend! See what I mean by Super Hectic? You know you're going too fast when you forget there's vacation time coming up! Okay, so it's not my vacation time (we haven't had one in twelve years), but my husband is going to be off from work. No 5:30 alarm, and no place to go- we invented the 'stay'cation before they had a word for it! But what a blessing it will be to be able to get off that Super Hectic highway and go on the back roads to do a little sightseeing with my husband for a while!

So if you are like me and cruising the Super Hectic highway, you know there isn't much time to smell the roses- or even see if there are roses! So this weekend I offer you a challenge- take at least two hours for yourself and do something that doesn't require 'accomplishing' anything. Read a book, people watch, play with the kids (although that is accomplishing something, anything fun doesn't count as work!), and do something to let your mind and body relax.

I plan on sleeping late and taking a walk in the park with my family this weekend! Just get off the highway and enjoy yourself!