Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Less Clutter...More Content

I spent much of today carrying Stuff, with Daughter #1's help. Umpteen boxes of samples, kits, embellishments, fat quarters and assorted flotsam and jetsam were lugged downstairs to put back into inventory. I have lots of excuses why so much accumulated up in the living space -- you try doing multiple back-to-back gigs, I've had to deal with family issues, etc. -- but the truth is I'd become A Big Slob. (I didn't insist that the staffers bring Stuff back downstairs as consistently as I should have, either...big mistake. It adds up.)

This needs a bit of explanation. Brickworks, my company, sells books; kits; every kind of embellishment, from lace to trim to ribbon roses to brass charms...even matching Tibetan silver hand charms, holding hearts that say "Love" and "You!"
All these items, which are often made with a batch of other items, add up to a Lot of Stuff. Shelves and shelves of it. Add my teaching samples; paper patterns, postcards and other ephemera; other quilts and textiles in the Brickworks collection --


So far, my office, plus the company's inventory has filled the bottom half of our house -- some 2500 feet. (Just the downstairs, that is.) This generally works because the downstairs has a separate entrance. We can spread things out, and work with minimum hassle. The main area has a cutting table, shelves that hold bolts of fabric and trims, stacks of kits, etc. All around the edge of the main area are shelves that hold all sorts of kits; jars of buttons, silk embroidery floss and other goodies; and misc. books, stacks of fat quarters and so on.

A huge schrunk (German armoire) fills one wall -- three large opening doors, and shelves and hanging racks behind for everything from a 1790s baby quilt, to the Depression repro wallhanging my mom finished last year. Nearby sets of drawers hold orphan blocks, vintage fabrics and samples for classes.

That's not all of the Brickworks business, though. One room upstairs holds shipping materials, tape, etc. When Stuff is left upstairs, that means our already-decreasing living space fills up with stacked boxes and bins.

Now that those boxes and bins have been lugged downstairs, the dining room suddenly seems spacious. Lighter. Easier to move without bumping into things. Wow. What will it be like when I get everything vacuumed and dusted for tomorrow? Gracious living, here we come!

I can't let this Stuffing Up happen anymore. It's too easy to limp along and just add to it over the weeks. I MUST put things away right away from now on.

That's my Thanksgiving commitment. The Simple Dollar has their own take on this subject: they argue that Stuff doing nothing is Stuff that could be sold, or cleared away to make the space start working for itself. Earning its keep...

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