Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Art of Tidying Up....Sewing Room Edition

My sister-in-law turned me on to a book about organization called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Written by Japanese professional organizer Marie Kondo, it reveals long-term strategies for dealing with the seemingly constant volume of clutter that plagues our homes, particularly our closets,drawers and storage spaces. The main thing I took away from it was that purging does not require eliminating things because they number too many, but eliminating things that do not bring us joy. I thought the book was interesting and I have already started incorporating some of the many tips found within. When I tell friends about it, they are like - "YOU? Interested in organizing? Let me put on my surprised face..." And they all pooh-poohed the notion that tidying up could be either easy or life-changing. I will always disagree. I started with my kids' rooms and after 3 days and several hours later, I collected a box worth of consignment clothing, a box for trash, and 4 boxes for sale or donation. And they haven't missed ONE thing that I removed from their space. I tackled the kitchen pantry (1 bag of trash) and the dining room (1 box for donation). We just went through a cross-country move so I would argue that our stuff has been reduced anyway, but it sure did feel good to pitch more.

Next up, the sewing room.

Well, I call it the sewing room. Others might have reason to call it the laundry room. Here in California, just like in Virginia, my sewing stuff is wedged into the smallest room in the house....and I love it! It is always a bit of a mess, full of unfinished projects, pattern notes and a variety of other items that need attention of the sewing kind, like hems, holes in jeans and buttons. I can find what I need, but I am always feeling like I could do much better. So I decided to give this space the tidying up treatment. I dumped all of my fabric on the floor in the living room and started sorting. So much fabric - so little time - is all I kept thinking. Much of what I found was scraps or very little yardage of certain fabrics. I bagged them up and set them by the door to be taken out with the trash. After all, if I haven't used them in all of these years, they must not be bringing me joy so they should go. I finished folding and straightening the other 4 tubs and felt complete. Until the next day. That bag of scraps was really haunting me. Why couldn't scraps also bring joy? I decided to set about trying to find a use for them. I can always make bias, or hair bows, or pin cushions with this stuff. But how about a whole dress? Let's try and see. I found some blues and started cutting and piecing.

And then I spent a happy Saturday afternoon sewing while my kids frolicked around town with the husband. And - I am taking a very small victory lap - I can use those scraps! The dress is peasant, shabby-chic, bohemian-cute (sort of - I'll have to work on my pattern matching). Four different fabrics, each panel gathered and sewn to the next, with straps and trim made of fabric as well. It is nothing that innovative, for sure, but it is made up of what others might deem just too small to use. I rescued the bag of scraps, organized them by color/pattern, and put them back in the sewing room, satisfied that since they now bring me joy, I should keep them.

Now I just need to make 10 more of them and post them to Etsy. My daughter loves it so if I don't sell a single one, she will have a fun wardrobe for the next year. I do enjoy tidying up, maybe even more than sewing. The fact that by tidying up I found something new to love about sewing is all the better. I haven't tackled my own closet, my bedroom or the bathroom cabinets. Frankly, the sewing room is still a hot mess. But I have far too much sewing to do now so all of that tidying up will just have to wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment