After finishing mom’s cardigan last week, my attempts at working on a project (either Mimi’s cardi or Kris’s sweater) have proven short-lived…
This past week, I had to seize on the unique and truly extraordinary mood that struck me – one that comes about as rare as a blue moon – to clean, organize, and arrange my home. Yes, yes. I know. I organize, categorize, and arrange for a living - but at home is a different story all together.
It was precipitated by a long-held hope for a new dining room set. Before we were married (~2000), Kris and I were very fortunate to find a very nice (and affordable) used dining room set in the classified section. We didn’t have a house yet (ahem, we were still in college) but we liked this enough to get it, and luckily, we were able to store it in Kris’s parents’ house until we bought our house in December 2001. The set served us well for many years, and it was quite nice – but the time came when we (okay, I) wanted something smaller and simpler – easier to get around, and more suited to our style.
I believe that if you have the space, you will fill it with things that you don’t need and will never use. So, I cut down my space – specifically in the china cabinet – and filled a dozen bags and boxes with “said” things and made the long overdue trip to the thrift store. What catharsis!
Capturing this moment on film proves that it happened – before the table is piled with books, knits, random paperwork. Or can I attempt to keep it this way?
The funny thing is, once you start organizing (at least, once I start) it is hard to stop. Striking while the iron is hot, and all of that stuff. So, I rolled with it. Next on to the pantry!
I buy lots of items in bulk – it just makes sense with our diet, and in theory, it is supposed to reduce the amount of paper and plastic waste. That is, if you don’t let all the plastic bags that you used to transport your grains to you home take over your pantry… but now…
I maintained while I contained! And look how pretty the lentils and wild rice are in these glass jars! (They were at Target and were reasonably priced. They had three sizes available.) And the real plus is that I asked the cashier at my market, and I can take these containers in to the market for refills – they will weigh them beforehand and I can fill it, and they will charge me the difference. Saving plastic bags and the hassle! Perfect! Filling these containers with my grains, seeds, legumes, nuts, and dried fruit brought a great sense of contentment. I gazed lovingly inside my pantry for a good 20 minutes after filling them up. *sigh*
…and when you are on that train, you don’t get off…
Next up, my crafty bookshelf. Oy. A mess indeed. Major cleanup was necessary.
I have to say that I really do love the way that the knitting community supports these amazingly talented people within our ranks, and that there is such a market for great patterns that can be downloaded immediately after purchase as a PDF. It is beautifully convenient. The not-so-convenient part is the hole in the technology though… I don’t like to print off this pattern and use more energy and paper – but it is also not too convenient (or comfortable) to knit in front of my computer so that I can look at a pattern. I guess a laptop is the best way to solve this problem… does anyone else deal with this?
So, what all of this means is that I have a lot of paper patterns that I have printed off the computer over the years – ideally, I would love to hole punch them and stick them in binders – and maybe that is the next step. In the meantime, I just arranged them with all of my books and magazines. The bookshelf allowed enough space for my books that are taller than 9-inches, and enough room for my back issues of Interweave Knits (+ Knitscene), and Vogue Knitting (+ Knit.1 and KnitSimple) and the yarn company pamphlet books from Berroco, Patons, Jo Sharp, Dale of Norway, Classic Elite, Rowan, and Lopi.
This exercise in organizing my knitting and craft books made me realize that I never need to buy another book or magazine or pattern in my life. I have *plenty* of inspiration from these sources to keep me busy for the rest of my time on this earth… but then I saw Bonne Marie’s new Mondo Cable Cardi… hence the (futile?) attempts in my title to this post. Yeah, fall is the hardest time for me – and I suspect for many of you too. These designers sure know how to up the ante for the fall collections – they get me every year.
Of course, there is more to be done – much more! and I am planning to do so soon - but it sure does feel nice to have some parts cleaned up and out. Simplified and minimized, at least for the time being.