corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)
Well, I managed to take 3 computer cases to the dumpster this morning. I verified that I can get my table from the dining room into my closet (it'll take up half the available space but that leaves me room to get in and room to sit down). Now if only I didn't have cramps and feel like I've been run over by a truck, I'd have this stuff half done by now!

Anyways, what I was thinking about is this. I went through a bunch of crafting boxes, and I found nearly-complete sets of things:

  • I have the blocks for block printing, I have the ink, but I don't have the brayer, the knife/gouge, or the paper.
  • I have seed beads, thread, and beading needles, but nothing to sew them to and no connectors or fasteners to make anything out of them.
  • I have half a quilt worth of backing and a quilt top somewhere, but no batting or quilting pins to lay it out with.


So why do I still have this stuff after 3-4 years? Because I never finished out the set of what I needed. It's like a card game where you make sets and then lay them down, or your hand winds up completely full. Having not enough stuff for anything makes you have too much for everything.

So my first steps in this are going to be to use what I have "full sets" for, to put together bags and quilt tops and hats and vests and all sorts of fun things as my mind dreams them up, and then with the space that clears, to finish up the things I've wanted to do and never had the supplies for.

And before that, I have to clear the space to work. And after that, I'll be content!
corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)
Not that it's related, but I am tickled by the dual names for Stove Top Dressing and Stove Top Stuffing. In some parts of the country it's called stuffing, but in other parts people prefer the word "dressing" and think "stuffing" sounds sort of vulgar.

So today I want to talk about clothes. I've been thinking about how many clothes I should own, because I don't think the answer is "discard clothes until you have the right amount." It's like throwing things off your plate until you reach the correct number of calories-- it's a good strategy only if everything there is equally useful to you.

I have certain outfits that I actually love washing because I'm excited about wearing them again. They're flattering, modest, useful, and expressive.

So, I'm asking myself-- why can't EVERYTHING I wear be that way?

There's a technique for culling your clothes out that begins by saying "Turn your hangers around, so that you have to push them away from you to take them off the hanging bar, then when you hang an outfit up after washing it, turn the hanger the right way. That way you'll know what you really have never worn."

This is a great technique for people who actually wash their laundry and hang it up. I definitely salute them.

Anyways, a better question that I've seen, for clothes and everything else, is "How much is enough?"


  • One outfit isn't enough.
  • Two isn't either. I have to wash mid-week. For the same reason, three isn't.
  • Seven outfits is a start, but there are different seasons and I can't use a two-layer system to go from 105 degrees down to 15.
  • The two-layer system does get me through 9 months of the year, though. So that's 7 for spring/summer/fall, with a few addons, and... what for winter? Extra shirts and some tights? A couple of sweaters?
  • One of my "big dreams" is to have five beautiful handmade sweaters, all different. I figure it'll take me a year to get each one completed, between projects.
  • I want long skirts that look good on me-- this will mean gore construction (er, cutting panels, not the blood-and kind) but I think I'm ready for it.
  • Why can't I want everything in my wardrobe with the same fervency I want these things?


Why can't I want... wait. I can!

Somehow, I got caught up in "get rid of what you don't need or want" and never noticed that it's about "own what you need and want." Make it, own it, use it... and love it.

Maybe there is an abundant sufficiency in all things, even in this?
corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)
So, last night I played a number game with myself and I learned a new trick for deciding which things in my life are worthwhile.

I pay $480 a month in rent for a 900 square foot apartment in which I fit 3 people, 3 cats, 4 computers, 2 sewing machines, stacks of yarn, four stuffed book cases, almost every kitchen implement known, a 56" projection television, a couple of tables, and also this time of year a Christmas tree. No partridge in it, the cats would've et it by now.

Anyways, for those of you who hate story problems, the pertinent numbers here are:

$480 per month for 900 square feet, meaning 480/900 dollars per square foot, or in other words:

I pay 53 cents per month for EACH square foot in my apartment.

Now let's take my closet. I love my closet. I moved to this apartment BECAUSE of the stunning closets. There's one regular sized closet in the kid's room, a linen closet plus a regular sized in the hall, and the master bedroom boasts TWO walk-in closets, both 5' by 6' more or less.

It doesn't take a vintage HP calculator (h/t [livejournal.com profile] bikergeek for the link) or a Deci-Lon slide rule (not my pic, but I own one of these now) to figure 5 x 6 = 30 square feet...

That's 30 square feet per closet, times 53 1/3 cents per month, makes $16 a month, $32 for both closets.

Random thoughts on that:


  • If I didn't need ANYTHING in those closets, I could move into an apartment JUST smaller and pay $32 a month less.
  • On the other hand, what if someone offered me a magical increase in my apartment space of 60 square feet for just $32 more a month? I'd jump at it!
  • I desperately want a crafting room/office/whatever space to store my stuff in AND work on it.
  • It's best to put me in the smallest room possible, because my stuff expands to fill the available space.
  • If I clean out both closets, move my clothes to the armoire (er, I call it that because it's French and sounds nice, it's really just a white pantry cabinet) and free up a table, I can build my own personal crafting space with a DOOR THAT SHUTS and make as much of a mess as I feel like and leave it whenever I have to stop.


So, well, aside from the closet-- in general, what's space worth? Let's take my bag of fiber stuffing. I paid $1.50 or so for it a couple of years ago and it's been taking up a square foot of my floor space ever since; I use some, but don't throw out the rest because I'd have to buy more the next time I wanted it a couple of years later.

A quick hand at the math will realize that a square foot of floor space costs me $6.40 a YEAR. So, in order to save $1.50 worth of material, instead of recycling it or donating it or sharing it with a friend who also makes dolls and pillows, I've used up $6.40 of space a year in storing it.

A lot of people rent storage spaces instead of cleaning their stuff out, and most people eventually realize that they're paying far more than the items in storage are actually worth. But no matter where my stuff is, I'm paying for the space to keep it in, paying to heat it and cool it, paying for the steps I take around it every day. Having an emptier place would be soothing to me emotionally, and require less upkeep (when your place is full you have to "shuffle" to get things out). And when it comes down to it, I don't want to turn into someone like this woman (warning: Fark.com thread, may be naughty words in comments, BIG pictures of very cluttered house)

I'm not saying stuff is bad. I'm just saying that before I invest more of my time making money to pay for the space my stuff is in-- I'm going to consider how much of it I really need, and whether I need the space more than I need the stuff.

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Corrvin

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