Thursday, July 11, 2013

Declutterring

We are in the process of de-clutterring our home, a closet at a time, a room at a time ... with my husband and I working in different areas so as to avoid a nasty divorce.  After 42 years, it would be a shame to come to blows over what is worth keeping and what is not.  I am working with household stuff for the most part and he is working with two filing cabinets filled with papers accumulated over 33 years in this house.  We each have our area of expertise and we each are sticking to our areas, with just the occasional consultation.  I must say he is keeping the shredder busier than the Nixon White House.  The recycling collectors are going to just love us.

 While working in the spare bedroom, I came across a box of old jeans that I had put aside because I had this ambitious idea of making a braided rag rug from old denim strips.  Like most of my ambitious ideas, this one pretty much stopped at the gathering stage.  I decided to get some of the preliminary work done, tearing the denim into approximately 2" wide strips.  Well, I wound the strips I have torn into a very dense and heavy ball, currently about the size of a soccer ball, but weighing quite a bit more.  As you can see it fills the basket in which I am storing it.  Since I still have about 20 pairs of jeans to tear up before sewing the strips together, I'll be start winding another ball.

I think I'd like to prep all this stuff during the summer and save the actual braiding for the winter.    The braiding would be a nice repetitive task to do while watching TV after a hard day's work, not too terribly taxing for my weary brain.  I am hoping to get a small area rug out of this: maybe a circular rug with a 4 foot diameter.  But until I start the actual braiding, I have no idea how much "shrinkage" there'll be.  I may have to hit the thrift shops for some more old jeans.

I wonder how many other old projects I will discover as I dig through the clutter.  I wonder how much I'll discard and how much I will keep.  Getting rid of the housewares will be easy enough.  My church has two annual white elephant sales, run by our Men's Club.  And I have an empty storage closet here in the school building.  I am bringing my "donations" to work and storing them in the closet till the Fall sale.  So far, I have brought tons of Tupperware, no longer needed by our much smaller family; dozens of mugs [everybody always gives teachers mugs, lotions or candles].  I have got to be careful when donating things students have given me - the items have to be old enough so that the students are already long gone from the program and won't have their feelings hurt.  Clothing and quality housewares can go to the consignment shop.  Books can go to the library.  When I finally uncover my husband's old stamp collections and my old coin collections, I shall see about turning them into cash.  For almost two decades [70's and 80's] Bill collected plate blocks and the First Day Covers [envelopes with new stamps, postmarked at their post office of origin/first release] and a complete set of postcards First Day Covers as well for that period.  I am figuring a little Internet research might help us realize a small profit.  I don't know what I'll do with old tools and fishing gear that Bill no longer wants or needs: probably the Men's Club sale for that as well.  It's interesting going through all the stuff.  When I run across some of my children's favorite books or those special toys, I send them on to my grandchildren with stories of how their Daddy or Uncle Dan or Aunt Ange used to enjoy the items.  It's kind of a family history deal.  Some heirlooms will be passed on to my children while I can still enjoy seeing them enjoy the items [why do people wait until they are dead and gone to pass things on?]  Oh, well, it's a nice summer project ... sort of like an archeological dig of Bill and my married life.  Somehow excavation sounds so much more dignified and upscale than de-cluttering.

7 comments:

Vickie said...

Good for you Regina. It will be interesting to see how far twenty-something pair of jeans gets you with the rug.

CalamityJr said...

I so need to work on that same project. I have to say you may have made it easier to get started just by changing the title!

Linda said...

Good luck with your decluttering - I always find it very therapeutic.

Vera said...

Love the excavation term!! Wish I could get my husband to excavate several areas in our house...such a pack rat (of course, I am too with stitching and knitting stuff:)). Grat way to spend a rainy day.

Laura said...

We're going to start doing that at our place too pretty soon - I think it's great that you want to make the rug! Be careful in selling your coin / stamp collections - make sure you research thoroughly their approximate values ahead of time - you might even want to save some for the grandkids!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Good luck with the excavation! I think it's great to pass things on while you're still here to see the enjoyment.

This year I've bought the teachers books as leaving presents, in previous years I've stitched something but my son has had both his teachers before so they already have a sampler from me. Wine is always popular as a gift at our school!

Julie said...

Looking forward to seeing this rug.