Wednesday Giveaway

Congrats to Lizabeth Fullam who won this week’s giveaway— a Sugarbooger Sandwich Box with a leash* of foxes.

SB-Sandwich-Foxes

You can carry all sorts of quilt-y notions in a sandwich box — or you can carry a sandwich :-). I have several different sandwich and bento box styles at pieceocake.com. Click here to find them all.

sandwich box with notions

*According to wikipedia, a group of foxes is referred to as a skulk, leash, or earth. Who knew?!

What is Yazzii?

If you get my newsletter, you know what a Yazzii is. If you don’t get my newsletter, a Yazzii is a kind of organizer that is perfect for quilters. Here’s a video showing the Petite Mini Organizer.

Click here if you don’t see the video.

If you are interested in a petite organizer, click here. If I’ve sold out of the color you want, email me. I don’t know when my supplier will have more in stock but I’ll start a list and let you know when they come in.

And (you heard it here first!) after I sent the newsletter, I got requests for the Large Mini Organizer that is about 4″ wider than the petite organizer. You’ll find the large mini organizers on the same page. If I run out, I’ll order more.

And, it gets even better! You can personalize your Yazzii with a wool applique block! Susan Buntz was kind enough to share this photo of her very own Yazzii organizer. Isn’t it cute!

YazziiApplique-SusanBuntz

I leave town tomorrow to visit the Quilt Crossing quilt shop and the Boise Basin Quilters in Boise, ID. If you are in the area, I look forward to seeing you!

I’m tidy!

Have you read ‘the life-changing magic of tidying up‘ by Marie Kondo yet? It’s a best seller, and for good reason. Ms. Kondo has been tidying since she was 5. In her book, she writes clearly about all of the systems she has tried over the years and the insights that she has had. It’s a small and tidy book—a quick read. She does repeat herself a little but that’s OK. By the time I was finished I was motivated to tidy.

I have always considered myself to be a tidy person and in the past several years I have weeded out my possessions several times. But I still was aware of an underlying sensation that there was just too much stuff around me. I read this book and realized that I have always gone about the weeding out process the wrong way. Rather than deciding what to make go away, it works better to consciously decide what to keep.

She recommends starting with your clothes. Take everything out of the closet, out of your drawers. Pile them on the floor or bed. Don’t do this room by room. If you can’t tackle all of your clothes at once, work in categories: pants, shirts, dresses, etc. I decided to tidy all of my clothes at once. I share a small-ish closet with Steve (who was not remotely interested in tidying his clothes). You can see my empty shelves…

KonMari-Tidy-1

And the empty rod. There’s another empty rod on the other side of the closet. I get/need more closet space than Steve**.

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Here’s almost everything on the bed. I emptied drawers from the dresser onto the bed after I took this photo.

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One of the best parts of the book is the way the author makes you understand that you really only want to keep what gives you joy. Those clothes that I bought and maybe only wore once gave me joy back in the day, but not any more. Holding onto them is not doing me (or the clothes) any good at all. Once you accept that and get the hang of deciding, it actually goes very quickly.

She also explains the logic of how to fold and place your clothes in drawers. I was skeptical until I tried it. I am now a true believer and will never fold and stack clothes in a pile again. I promise.

KonMari-Tidy-6

Ms. Kondo likes storing things, standing up (not stacked) in simple boxes on shelves.

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I have a lot fewer clothes in my closet. No more hanging t-shirts, they are all folded now. I realized that what remains is truly what I was wearing all the time. The rest was just in the way.

KonMari-Tidy-4

It took me about 6 hours to tidy my clothes, fewer hours than I thought it would take. Everything was touched and either bagged to go away, folded neatly to go into a drawer, or rehung and placed in the closet. After the clothes I moved on to purses and bags, shoes, books, and bathroom stuff. As I said earlier, I have been un-cluttering for the last few years and that helped this process go faster.

I still have categories of things to tidy but I’m taking a short break. What I can tell you is that I feel mentally lighter. I am finding it easier to concentrate. If you are feeling a similar urge to tidy, I strongly recommend this book. Everyone I know who has read it, has the same feelings about it.

**I did try to encourage Steve to read the book. He is beyond not interested—and he gave me a look that make me think that I was perhaps going overboard with the tidying ideas. That got me to thinking.

I realized (again) that our house is full of my stuff (that his salary helped to buy). Steve has never been a shopper, or a collector of stuff. He is interested in tools, but only the tools he needs. He has to be forced to buy clothes. He is not into knick-knacks. He is particular about what goes into the kitchen but he does not over-stock it.

He likes the way our house looks and functions, and he likes it tidy, but he doesn’t feel the weight of our possessions in the same way I do. So I have given up trying to get him to read the book and am instead being thankful that he has always loved me enough to put up with my acquisition, and de-acquisition, of things.

Tidy is good.

I went to a lovely open house event recently. The house was was perfectly decorated and almost zen-like in its overall lack of clutter. There was art on the walls but very few objects on surfaces. What was on display was more interesting because there was not much competing eye candy.

Then I found this article by Penelope Green from the NY Times about Marie Kondo, a 33-year-old professional ‘tidier’. Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, sounds like a good read.

To quote from the article:

Ms. Kondo’s decluttering theories are unique, and can be reduced to two basic tenets: Discard everything that does not “spark joy,” after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.

I was in the mood to de-clutter anyway but all of this sent me over the edge. For the last many days I have given away, boxed up, and thrown out extraneous objects that no longer make me happy. Elanor and Jack claimed some things, which was nice. The house feels happier—for sure, I feel happier :-).

Steve is slightly mystified by all of this tidying activity because he was around for the years when I enjoyed acquiring stuff. Thankfully, he’s happy with less clutter. And, in the spirit of being tidy, we are not leaving stuff out on the kitchen counters. The kitchen is his space so this is a team effort. Dishes are washed (not left in the sink) and put up rather than being left to dry on a towel on the counter. The kitchen wasn’t a big mess before, but it’s so very nice now!

ZenKitchen

In addition to all of the this, I watched the video that was linked to in the NY Times article.

I have vowed to be a better folder. The sock drawers came first:

SockDrawer

The closet shelves were next:

Folded-Closet

Everyday, I’m refolding a little bit more, and it feels so very good! We can’t control much in our lives, but being tidy gives me a sense of control, and orderliness, that calms my spirit.