Too Many Things

I haven’t been on adding too much here or on Wild Prairie Design Studio lately, because my computer gave up the ghost and I’ve been plotting and planning on paper for weeks about what I want to do and where I want to end up.

My father gave me a new-to-me laptop, so now I feel like I’m playing catch up on a lot of things and trying to recreate my patterns.  I might be more apt to backup files now after losing most everything.

I’ve also been refreshing my hand applique skills and recently took a wonderful class with Carolyn König.  Hand applique is a huge challenge for me.  However, I figure it’s a little bit of occupational therapy for my sensory and dexterity problems from MS.  Added bonus, the supplies take up a lot less space in my home.

That said, I might have really challenged myself by starting Aunt Green’s.

Aunt Green's

Hopefully I can finish this beautiful pattern.

When I’m not quilting or working, I’ve been trying to clean out my home office/quilting studio space and I can’t believe the number of items that seem to be tucked in every nook and cranny.  As I pull them out of my very large desk (heading to a new home soon), I’ve realized I have nowhere to put the items.

So, with boxes of binders, books, pens, paper, and tons (literally???) of quilting fabric and notions, I’ve created chaos out of an office that once held everything hidden out of the way.  Now it’s all stacked in my office, my kitchen, and my dining room.

Quilting is also more fun than rearranging an office.

anyhow, I think I liked knowing I had access to all the things I (might someday) need but also knowing that I could put it in a storage container or behind a cupboard front.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Every office supply (and a whole lot of quilting notions) at the ready was quite comforting.

Once it was all pulled out of the desk and bins and sitting in front of me, it was overwhelming.

room sized desk

You can’t even imagine how many things were inside this desk, and these file cabinets!!  Way too many things.

home office

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So these images are my “before” pictures of my home office and quilting studio.  You can’t even tell that I quilt in this room based on these pictures, which is kind of amazing to me.

I read that the average home has 300,000 items in it (I couldn’t find the actual source of that statistic, just many pages referencing it.)

I told my children that I figured I could easily get rid of 2,000 things!

That’s just a drop in the bucket if a house contains so many items.

Neither one believed me, so of course when I’m confronted with a a challenge, I almost always take it on.

Nerdy-Joy Alert: I numbered a notebook with 1-2,000 (that took a long while), and headed the pages with “What” and “How” (donate, recycle, trash, give away) to keep a running audit (aka proof) that I could really do it.

I’d like to downsize my home in the next three years, so it’s a good way to move towards that desired outcome.

I have things in my home that no one gives me permission to use anyway.  Maybe it’s MS, or just being Joy, but I have a running list of things I’m not supposed to use.  Power tools, saws, step ladders…

I forget the rest of the list.  It is a fairly long list.

So all those things can be the first items to go and they will count towards that 2,000 item goal.

My short-term goal is finishing my new (smaller and more stream-lined) home office, but my long-term goal is selling my house.

I might take a long time to accomplish both goals, but I’ve got to start somewhere.

I have no idea what my new office will look like, but over the years I’ve squirreled away some ideas in a notebook.  I might pretend I forgot that power tools are on the official off-limits list and try a few things.  I’m also trying to downsize the amount of quilting supplies, fabric, and notions that I have (Scary, right??  Who does that??).

If I really get desperate, I might ask for help.  That’s a skill set I don’t have!

Now, back to work.  Or maybe procrastinating while working on my quilt.

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  • You are so wise to start this down-sizing process in advance of your plans to down-size. We bought our house while we still had two children, two rabbits, three dogs, and two cats living under our roof. Now it’s the two of us and our kitties. I am thinking down-sizing is probably in our not so distant future. I know when my parents moved from our 6 bedroom family home to a three bedroom apartment, it nearly did my mom in. Bravo to you for having the wisdom to create this great plan of attack.

    • Leslie, thanks for stopping by! I bought my house when I still had two kids living here and then it was just me and my son. It felt like way too much space for me. My daughter is moving home for a bit, so hopefully she can help me purge some stuff and fix up my house to put on the market in a couple years. I think an apartment or a condo might be more my speed these days. I can’t imagine downsizing a 6-bedroom house!! That sounds like an undertaking not for the faint of heart.

  • I can say from personal experience that getting rid of stuff is really freeing. When we downsized from a 2 bedroom condo to a 40 foot RV, we could only keep the things we loved the most. It was wonderful!

    I wasn’t a quilter then, so I didn’t have all my fabric. Now we live in our “bigger” home: we moved from the RV to a 52 foot boat so I have room to sew, ha ha! But still, the space is really limited so we must continually choose only those things that make us the happiest.

    I hope you will find, as I did, a great peace in downsizing.