the Simple Project.

This sign adorns the entrance of our house, and convicts me all the time. In a good way.

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I love the meaning behind this sign, on so many levels… Simplicity is a deeply ingrained desire of mine.  Because I’m in Mommyhood right now, I realize this doesn’t mean a perfectly clean house, as great as that’d be… You live in your house, mess happens, it’s all good. But to me, it’s more than just “mess”… it means “less.” I could keep our house simple and efficient if I had less to work with.

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Now, I do think that clutter has its place.  Some people can make clutter enjoyable–do you know anyone like that? I lack this particular skill, but I have a couple of friends who do it well. I think it’s because they have an artful eye; when stuff is displayed in a way that makes it fun to peruse when you visit, or is a talking point, and you know there’s always a story behind the objects, that suddenly makes clutter “homey.” You see who someone is through the objects they keep. Unfortunately, my clutter is usually junk (junk mail, odds and ends, things no one else really needs to see, no story behind it). It’s not art. It’s in the way, and detracts from the house rather than adds to it. I wish I had a more artful eye!

I don’t even know how so many little things make their way into our home; it just happens, as naturally as dirt on the bottom of my shoes. It’s just there, and like dirt, you don’t realize how much of it you have until you sweep it up and see all the particles together in the dust pan.  That sense of relief of emptying the dust pan is what I have been feeling the last few days.

I didn’t realize I had so many things I could get rid of from my basement until last weekend. And this isn’t even our first purge of the year–we’ve taken various loads out in the last several months!

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I’d love to create a craft space of sorts in this corner of the basement… but I realized I just can’t do it how I’d like with all the stuff I have. Some things have to go.  That stack in the middle of the picture, with the sticky notes…  They contain baby clothes, and lots of craft items: stamps, fabric, ribbon, you name it. I purged all of my craft stuff, which felt really good. I kept asking myself, “Why have I been keeping this??” It’s freeing to just be honest and say, “No, I’m never going to use (blank), and I don’t need it.”

My plan is to put a tall shelf next to the table, and stock it with crafty things… and to get rid of the 90s TV stand back there, which has served as a storage unit for awhile now. I found some pegboard in our storage room (score!) and would like to spray paint it white and hang it above the table for easy access to most-used tools. I have twinkle lights and bunting waiting to be hung. I can’t wait.

But first, some organization. Let’s call it the Simple Project.

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This is all of the fabric I am keeping, and I was so happy all of it fit nicely in a plastic container I had previously used for stamps. I have a stack about equally as big in my giveaway pile (yikes). I know it’s always fun to have a stash, but I felt a little sheepish going through this because almost all of this was intended for projects I never got to. Or am still working on.  Wishful thinking fills up your house, ladies!

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In the above photo, the box on the right holds my large fabric pieces… the fabric caddy on the left is now home for fabric scraps (fat quarters), buttons, and patterns.

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I have two button boxes; the one on the bottom there holds a bunch I’ve accumulated over the years, and the blue & green paisley can was my mom’s. Those buttons are who knows how old–I used to spill the can on the floor as a kid and organize them.  There are very few things of my mom’s that I really feel attached to (besides her letters), but this is one of them. I love that it now lives where I’ll be able to see it regularly.

So my goal is to pare down and organize by fall, which is quickly approaching. I know with my husband’s nudging and prodding I can do it (I always need pep talks for this stuff :). I feel like I should be focusing on simplifying rather than bringing new things into the house…  I want to look back at my sign and genuinely say, “I am!”

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