Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I hate storage

Because when people have storage space, they fill it. And when they fill it so it's full, they start cramming. And when they've crammed it all the way, they start making stacks nearby. And when they make stacks, "full" or "no space" become pretty meaningless.

I'm all for small organizational containers, because it's easier to keep large spaces/shelves/drawers/boxes neat with small boxes/bowls/bags/dividers, than if everything is just in there loose. But as far as just storage space...

I just spent 2 1/2 hours cleaning out the pencil jars and top drawer of the kitchen desk. I was trying to eat lunch, but I couldn't find the bread knife. It wasn't in the knife drawer, but about 15 other knives were (which we don't use very much) along with 2 pairs of scissors. I wondered why we needed 2 pairs of scissors there, since we also have one in the knife block (yes, more knives!), and several more pairs in the pencil jars on the desk. So I pulled one pair out of the drawer, and went to the desk to take some of those out too. It turns out we had 9 pairs of scissors - just in the kitchen!

We also had (in my opinion) way too many pens and pencils, so I emptied the jars, washed them, and put back the pens and pencils I thought should actually be in there. I threw away all the ones that didn't work, along with all the extra pen lids laying around. There were five highlighters, which we don't use, so my dad took them to use at work.

All that didn't take too much time, but the pencils I put back in the jar weren't all that sharp, so I made the mistake of opening the drawer to look for a pencil sharpener.

I discovered there's a liner on the bottom of that drawer, which I didn't know. I'm not exactly sure whether I've ever seen it before, because the drawer is always pretty full. I found 3 staple removers, 2 staplers (in addition to the one on top of the desk), about 7 various-sized boxes of staples, a Queen Amidala pen that came out of a cereal box when Episode 1 came out, about 10 MVP/VIP/CVS/etc member cards, 5 rulers, about a billion sticky notes, 8 larger pads of stick-on notes, 3 packs of index cards, 4 boxes of paperclips, at least a hundred loose paperclips (across the entire bottom of the drawer), 3 boxes of pushpins, maybe 30 loose pushpins, about 20 loose safety pins, 7 packs of pencil lead, a Scottish Festival flyer from 2009, a birthday invitation from 2008, 3 bottles of liquid glue and - yes - 2 pencil sharpeners.

And all I wanted was a bread knife.

Monday, August 11, 2014


In the spirit of decluttering, and of finishing a project I first blogged about several years ago, and of discovering that DMC bobbins fit better in my floss organizer than my store brand bobbins: today I went through and cleaned out all the embroidery floss I don’t want. I had a whole bunch - some from a set of a bunch of 2-metre flosses, some I’d bought for actual projects, and a grocery bag full of floss that came from our free “boutique”. Most of those were colors I’d never use for anything, unless I needed to embroider vomit on something. So I finally went through them all and kept only the ones I love, which I wound/rewound around the DMC bobbins.

I’ve been using an off brand of bobbins, because that’s what they sell at WalMart, but they were juuust too wide for my organizer and had to sit a little bit slanted inside the compartments. But today I opened some DMC bobbins and discovered that they fit sitting straight. So anything I wanted to keep, I put on a DMC bobbin.

This inadvertently helped me make decisions faster about whether I really wanted to keep a colour. If I kept it, I had to wind it. Most of what I had already wound on my off brand bobbins were short (from the 2-metre set) so I didn’t bother rewinding those. I just decided which ones I love and wrote down the numbers (to buy 8-metre skeins later), and put the short ones in my donate box. Because they’re really too short to do much with. They’re not even long enough to do a single running stitch across the quilt I’m making.

I kept a few short ones (the skinny, slanted ones in the picture), but I'm going to buy long ones of them. As for the ones I wound today, I'm going to buy DMC number stickers (because I think it looks better than handwritten), but for now I just have the tag stuck in there with the number sticking out.

I have the color name written on the bobbins as well. It helps me sort them and decide which shades go together in a project. For example if I can't decide whether 2 pinks match, and their names are Cranberry Dk and Cranberry Med, then I can guess that they'll look okay together.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

(sneak peek...)