Monday, 25 January 2016

Me & The Konmari Method of de-cluttering Part 2 Altered clothing

I must have made some impression on my de-cluttering in the few short weeks since Christmas, I have five empty storage boxes from the loft, I have a healthy eBay account (77 things have gone) and I have bags ready for charity.
So far I have tackled things I wanted to get done, later I will get to the things that need to be done but don't float my boat!
I started with my wardrobe and did a massive de-clutter and fold of everything I had before replacing. I did the shelves and one or two drawers in my dressing table. I got rid of shoes and boots I had not worn in ages, I sold three pairs of boots and intend to buy one new pair from the proceeds. Here is the charity pile!
Because I was asking 'does it bring me joy?' the clothes thing became easier. If I did not like how I looked in something, it headed to eBay or charity. If it did not sell on eBay, I have started to alter things into things I would wear.
Usually you don't like something because it doesn't fit very well, so I set up my sewing machine and started taking things in and adding darts here and there or turning things up if they were too long. I have reclaimed several items this way.
I had already started a Pinterest board about altered clothing and it has inspired me to have a go at changing a few more things! If it doesn't work I have not lost anything as it was going in the charity bag anyway!
So here is my first alteration. The scarf I liked but was huge and had a jade pompom edge I didn't like. I bought it in the sale as it matched my dog print skirt. First I folded it in half lengthways and cut it, then I refinished the long edge. I unpicked the pompom trim and I like it much better! In fact I could make two!
The cardigan was a 'Mantaray' cardigan with a crochet edging and pockets. It had a stain on the neck edge from a hairdressing incident, so I unpicked the neck edge and rolled a new hem to the outside and hemmed it by hand. I unpicked the pockets and removed them and where there were lines left where the pockets had been I stitched pintucks with a zig zag stitch to make some waist detail. 
I have also shortened a skirt by four inches and stitched some waist darts in two blouses. I have lowered a neckline on another blouse and unpicked the shirt collar and shirt tails from my 'Barney' jumper as I could hardly get my head through the hole! I suppose I should have taken before and after shots!!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Me an the Konmari Method of decluttering Part 1

Yes, I know it should be 'the Konmari method and I' but I wanted to share with you 'my' journey so far on this life changing way of approaching your belongings. Today's post is about Why? and How?

I have not read the book, I may be preaching to the converted, but from what I read on the net and a checklist I printed off Pinterest, this is how I am going for it.

First of all you have to decide to do this, it is a big commitment but the benefits are life changing and a sense of release, life is so much easier with less 'stuff'. Here are my photo's I have sorted so far and I have four more boxes that look the same! Perfect!

The reasons why?
First of all, know where I am in my life, you may not be in the same position but you will need to think of your reasons so you can move forward: I am mid fifties, scary when you see that in writing; two sons in their twenties, one of which lives away, the other came back home from Uni (twice, two courses) while he saves up to buy his own place; a puppy, well he is one now; semi retired; four bedroom family home we have lived in for 15 years; I am a naturally organised person living with an obsessive tidier.
Each one of the above things has a contributing factor to the way you live your life and how much clutter you have.

Things that prompt de-cluttering (in no particular order) are:
1. When you move house and until this house, we had moved about every five years during our married life, with hubby's job. This inevitably leads to a clearing out of items at regular intervals.  their home, or when your own children leave home.
2. When there are life changing situations like losing your parents and having to clear
3. When you have a change in lifestyle e.g. leaving work.
4. When you want to clear a room for decorating.
5. When your loft is full. This house is different we have lived in for 15 years so the loft has got to maximum capacity, despite a couple of semi clear-outs during that time.
6. New Year's resolution, this one has a lot to answer for!!

I had hit all of these in the last five years so 2016, no job and a full loft was the jumping off point!
Wanting to do it and knowing how to do it are two different things. I just needed simplicity and funnily enough the permission to let go, particularly of things that I deemed sentimental, (I'll come to that later) Just simply asking 'does this bring you joy?' was an eye opener, I could lose the guilt.
Think back to your first home and how little you had and then work out how the 'stuff' has accumulated over the years, this will help with how you keep it tidy afterwards. Having children, inevitably adds a lot of clutter that comes with them, which for some strange reason as parents, we feel we can't let go of!

Due to circumstances, most people's children are coming back home after University, it's a fact of life, jobs are scarce and houses are unaffordable so we have the boomerang generation of children that keep coming back. I don't have a problem with this, but it does have implications. Living with children is different to living with your child as an adult, they just have more 'stuff' and the fact that you sent them off to Uni with enough stuff for a home from home, means they bring it all back, or most of it!  I agree some of it gets ditched, but in our case, our son then when back to Uni two years later and bought a whole lot of stuff he looked after and doesn't want to chuck and nor should he! Hopefully he will get his own home and need it again in the future.

When we lost hubby's parents five years ago and had to clear their house, we kept a lot of photographs and things in boxes in the loft that have not been touched since. This is still to do.
I had also put all our photo's in the loft due to lack of shelf space and was worried about their condition up there.

I left teaching two years ago after teaching full and part time for 20 years and had amassed a lot of resources in that time (all teachers can relate.) I went on supply and thought I may need all of them and then when my son went back to Uni to do his PGCE I kept them for him. Now he is 6 months into his first job, the supply has dried up and I am not enjoying it any more, it is the right time to let go.

Our house is at that age where things start to go wrong and need to be attended to which can often prompt a clear out. In our case we wanted to make a second lounge for our son in one of our spare bedrooms, the 'stuff' has to go somewhere!

What to do with it all?
Contrary to what you might think, I don't simply bin things I have options:
1. eBay or Gumtree (if you can get cash back in, its a win win)
2. Charity donation
3. Re-use or recycle

If you have time, listing and selling things on eBay is great, you get something back. If it's a big item of furniture or delicate, I list on Gumtree or in the local paper. I try to fill 'known' charity bags that come through the door, but also there is a charity drive in drop off for the local hospice that we used a lot when we cleared FIL's house, they will collect furniture too that you haven't managed to sell yourself, so there are always options.
I can't throw a book away I have to donate and a lot of charity bags wont take these or bric-a-brac any more so I use the drive in.

I know the Konmari method advocates disposing of it straight away but I wait until I have a boot full before I drive into the city to drop it off.

So go away and think about it;
Are you ready to de-clutter and simplify your life?
Think about Why you have the stuff in the first place?
Where you want to start in your house? 
What do you want to do with it? 
Set up a tick list so you can see progress.
Set up an eBay account and Gumtree account if you don't have one. Buy parcel tape, Sellotape, cheap envelopes and packaging materials. Keep packaging you can recycle.

It wont happen overnight, it's not quick, but the happiness the process is bringing me is well worth it. Why not follow my Pinterest board on organising here.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Documenting weeks 1,2 &3 2016

Well here are weeks 1,2,&3 all done and very quick! I have been so busy with my Konmari method of decluttering and getting things sold on eBay I forgot to take many photo's! The cards are a mixture from my December Project Life kit from Studio Calico and my January kit along with Peppermint Granbergs Goals card set from SC too.
This year I am treating this project less like a diary in picture form and being more selective about the things I include. It's a good idea to get your goals down on paper and then you wont be able to give up on them! I'm going for a less busy look to documenting this year, a bit more minimal! Let's see how I get on! As always, thanks for looking! x

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


Looking for the 'joy' in everything, as this is my One Little Word for 2016. This brings me Joy, it's simple and unfussy and I love it! I have turned a photo fail of all four of us at Christmas into a positive outcome! 
The top 6x4 is Maggie Holmes Open Book from Crate Paper the middle card is a 6 x 4 out of a set over at Studio Calico last month by Peppermint Granberg and the word joy is made from one of Studio Calico's new chipboard alphas which I stamped and embossed with 2016 from Peppermint's stamps set and then mounted on a patterned acetate. I trimmed another 3x4 card from the set down to a smaller size and stitched it on the Y. I added our surname to the vellum in this white alpha from the Clara collection from 7paper. I like it so far! No photo= no problem I will get one eventually but we are together so rarely now, it might be February before we are altogether again! TFLx

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Mega Studio Calico Stamp sale!!

I've been a member at Studio calico since 2008 and have a lot of clear stamps! I've decided to purge! Scary but I'm doing it, they are not getting used! 

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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Hello Twenty Sixteen! New Year, new ideas, new look!

Like everyone I have been looking forward to making some changes and planning some new starts! I have just finished off my Project life albums for another year (my fourth to be exact.) 
I have decided this will be my last year of 12x12 as I find them so difficult to look at afterwards! You need to sit at the table to balance and album this big, so I have opted for a 6x12 album for twenty sixteen.
I have revamped my blog header to freshen things up and used this photo of my new album to inspire me through the year!
Last year I had the Heidi Swapp black and white planner and only manged to keep it up until the summer when my dad was ill. This year I was bought this Kate Spade diary, by my son, for Christmas, so here's hoping I can go further with it this year!
The 6x12 album I have chosen is the Teresa Collins one from We R Memory keepers. I trialled this format for my December Daily and loved it so I am looking forward to working with it. 
I was inspired by Kelly Purkey's work and pinned a lot of her spreads to my Pinterest board to refer to as I go along. I particularly like the 6x12 pages so I will be making some of those page protectors with my fuse tool from We R memory keepers.