Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Declutter - Week 16 - the hall closet

I'm jumping in again. 

I tackled my hall closet this last week. It had become positively overflowing especially with shoes as well as coats and sweaters that had seen their best days. 

I went through my shoes and found 10 pairs that were able to be tossed! Yes 10 pairs. Wow. 5 of them were worn out and went into the garbage and the rest went into the goodwill pile. I still have way too many shoes but the ones I now have fit and are wearable and are indeed even something I am likely to wear. 

I also tackled the coats and sweaters hanging up and found a number that were able to be released. A couple are going to goodwill and the rest are ready for the trash heap. 

Here is the pile that has been released! 

Now to tackle the top shelf of the closet....

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Declutter: Week 12

I missed week 11 - I've really been blocked with attacking my stuff. But I picked myself up this last week and tackled my underwear drawer. 

My first clue it needed to be tackled is that I had all my underwear in the laundry yet the drawer was full. What was that about? Well after some invesigation I found out. 

I had a collection of old bras. I don't wear them but I guess I was keeping them "just in case". Also there was some "D" grade underwear that needed to be tossed - you know it's ready for the garbage when it doesn't even make it into the laundry when you are putting off doing laundry...

Also I found a plethora of things that just didn't belong there .. receipts, a phone charger (I'm not even going to figure out how that got there), some craft supplies (no idea how they got filed under underwear - the mind truly is boggled), pens, and buttons. Those have all been rehomed into much more appropriate places. 

And the reward - a drawer that holds all my underwear and isn't stuffed to the brim with unwearable "stuff".

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Declutter Week 10: The great purse clean out

I was out the other day and noticed a couple of things.  Not only did my purse weigh a ton but there was no way I could find anything in it for the clutter in there! It was a total disaster.

So over the last couple of days I've tackled this, seemingly larger inside than outside, receptacle of all odds and ends.

Receipts went into the garbage (and why was I keeping a receipt from a dollar store purchase?), as did tissues, old envelopes with notes on them and directions to places I've been and either will not need to go to again or which I can find again without directions. 

I found sewing notions in there, about 5 pencils and 3 pens (yet had you asked me for either I would have had no clue they were there). They've all been relocated, other than one pen, to more appropriate homes. 

I also went through my wallet and cleaned out old receipts, expired promotional cards, and duplicate business cards. 

I can now actually find things in my purse and while it doesn't weigh nothing, its much lighter than it was!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Declutter - Week 9

This week I tacked a couple of shelves in the kitchen. I had gotten to the point I wasn't even really using the space as it was too full to function well at all. 

My first move was to rehome some some vintage canisters to above the cupboards where they can function as a nice display seeing I wasn't using them as I was afraid they might get damaged.
So now they are safely displayed and not taking up valuable easy-to-reach cupboard space. 

Next I went through the various goods that I had stocked there and disposed of some things that had expired in 2012 as well as a few things that just looked dubious and couldn't see myself ever using. 

Then to getting some easy to see through containers from my stash of tupperware (another thing I need to sort through) and putting goods from the bulk store into containers rather than have them in bags. 

And voila - a couple of shelves of kitchen cupboard that are once again accessible and where the contents are no longer going to hurtle down on anyone so foolish as to open the cupboard door.

Monday, February 24, 2014


A placemat made with a mini charm pack called Wrens and Friends. 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The kitchen table: Declutter Post Week 8

I'm pretty embarrassed by the before picture. 

This corner of the kitchen had become the dumping ground for a number of things: boxes that needed to be taken to the garbage, a coffee maker that needed to be set up, a non working printer that need to be thrown out, various boxes of stuff that had no home and reusable grocery store bags.  Everything just seemed to end up there and the before picture definitely shows that. 

I'm much happier with the after picture. The coffee maker is set up. Trash has been taken to the garbage chute - three trips worth of it. A fresh table cloth (the old one will be washed and returned to the friend who lent it to me a few years back. Reusable grocery store  bags all gathered and ready to go down to the car where they will actually be available when I go shopping. A few things got moved to the table that I'll eventually look to re-home when I get to cleaning out other kitchen cupboards.

And look I even have a floor!!!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Drawstring Pouch

This is very loosely based on a tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens.  I made some changes to that pattern and the fabric sizes so am redoing the directions here so that I can follow exactly what I did again.

This takes approximately 2 FQ's of quilt weight cotton. One will be the main fabric and the other the lining. The pouch isn't fully reversible. You also need a cord or ribbon to close the bag of approximately 1/2 a meter.

Cut 2 squares of each fabric 8 by 10.5 inches. Cut two (one of each of main and lining fabric) circles 6.25 inches in diameter. This just happens to the the dimensions of a Fiesta bread and butter plate. 

On the 2 main fabric pieces.  draw a line one inch from the top and two inches from the top on both the front and back of the material.This is best done with a fabric marker that can be erased.

All seams are 1/4 inch seams unless otherwise indicated.

Sew the short ends of the main fabric together, leaving the space between the lines un-sewn. Sew to the bottom of this tube the 6.25 inch diameter circle. There will be a small be of easing to do as the fabric tube is slightly bigger (0.4 inches) than the diameter of the circle.
Sew the short sides of the lining fabric together and then attach the circle to one end of the tube.   

Place each of the main fabric and lining fabric pieces inside each other right sides facing together and sew a seam along the top leaving a 2-3 inch gap for turning. Once sewn turn right-side out. 

Top-stitch around the top of the bag closing the gap used for turning. My top-stitch line is approximately an 1/8 of an inch  from the top of the bag

Sew along the two marked lines. 
To make the cord: Cut a 2 inch strip X width of fabric. Turn over each end 1/4 inch and iron flat. Iron fabric in half then turn fold over each side to the middle. Iron. Fold down the centre and iron flat- Sew down one open side of strip about 1/8 to a 1/4 inch from the side. 

Thread the ribbon or cord, using a safety pin, through the hole in the side of the bag.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Declutter Week 6: The dreaded desk.

I finally tackled the desk nook in my living room! It had been quite an eyesore. So much so that I avoided taking the dreaded before picture. Rather I'm showing off the clean "new" desk that I've uncovered. 

The old printer that was there has been replaced with a fully hooked up new printer that actually works thanks to a tech savvy friend! The cupboard under the desk has been cleaned out too and it's actually possible to find what's stored there. 

As part of the desk tackling we also went through all my old computer parts, cords and cables and have gotten rid of over two thirds of the stuff that I had. No more am I keeping a broken motherboard, adapters for computer parts I no longer have, and a collection of about a dozen (!) phone cords. 

I'm really pleased with what I've accomplished this week! 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Japanese Knot Bag

I wanted an easy and different bag pattern and found this great little pattern for a Japanese Knot bag. 

Side 1
Side 2
 I had some purple fabrics that I thought would be just perfect for it. I know... big surprise that I'd want to make this purple! I fussed a bit and interfaced the bag which gives it the nice body. 

I enjoyed making it so much I made it in pink too:

It looked like, and was, a quick and easy project. I'm going to definitely make again, probably with a few tweaks to personalize it and hopefully adapt it so there is no hand-sewing. 
 The pattern can be found here . Pattern errata:  cut 2 pieces each of bag lining and main fabric not one piece as indicated.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Declutter Week 5: Blogs

I really wasn't focused on doing much in terms of decluttering this week but I did manage to do some electronic decluttering and clean up my blog list.

I had eighty.. yes eighty blogs on it. Way too many to follow. On quite a few there was nothing new to follow as the bloggers were no longer updating their blogs.

So I got busy going through the blogs, deleting those that had lapsed through inactivity, removing the couple that were now private for subscribers only and a few that covered topics that I'm no longer overly interested in or that were focussed on hobbies I'm not currently doing. I don't need any new hobbies. I really don't need any new hobbies. 

I pared my list down from 80 to 27! 

Next task - to find a blog reader I like.

I was using Google Reader but that product/program has been discontinued. I'll add finding a new blog reader to my list of projects...

So not a lot of progress this week, but at least I accomplished something.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yes I used a pattern.

I spend hours looking for patterns on the web and finally find one that looks
"almost" perfect. Then I start changing everything:

  • the fabric used was a different weight than the fabric in the pattern
  • The dimensions were changed.
  • Top stitching was added.
  • A slightly different casing positioning was used than in the pattern.  

Seeing how simple this project is there wasn't anything left to change after that. 

I think it turned out pretty good though if I say so myself.  

It's a shoe bag.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's still clutter...

I discovered a hidden treasure trove of clutter this week. All ready to go out to the Salvation Army store too! But look at it.. It never made it out of my house. 

~ Sigh~ 

I'm good though. I haven't gone through the bags and I'm not going to. I'm just going to focus on getting rid of them and not repatriating the clutter. 

My goal this week is to get it into the car and to the Sally Ann.. Even if it's packed and ready to go it's still clutter if its taking up room in my house.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Scrappy Goodness

As a quilter I seem to collect scraps of material. They've been getting put into a couple of bins.

 One of my projects recently has been to go through my scrap bin and either toss it or use it. I'm proud that my bin is now closeable! I've done that by either tossing or using. I've still got plenty of scraps left but its a lot more manageable than it was.

I've been making these blocks with scraps from my bin.

And now have a whole lot of them!

Decluttering and creating. Always fun!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bathroom Counter clean up

Spurred on by my friend Bonnie at http://jaspersgems.blogspot.ca/ I decided to join her in a decluttering challange for 2014. Here is my small start at the mess.

Here it is after decluttering. Much stuff was put away while some was tossed.

A bit of progress to start the year!