Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tidy-Up Fridays

My current magazine collection, Tidied Up, Yea!
Fridays in this household have gained a new theme: Tidy-Up Fridays. For the last two weeks, I started my Friday mornings by reading an article or blog(s) on the minimalism theme. This reading really helps me get to that place where I can actually make decisions about what I want to keep in my life. Then I choose a cluttered room or category that is weighing heavy on my mind, and find that if I devote my day to that one category, I can make good decisions. By spending that day (with appropriate breaks, of course) concentrating on one thing, I make visible, palpable progress. This progress, by the end of the day, leaves me feeling lighter and clearer, and that sparks joy.

Fat quarters all in a row (I really like blue)
Fridays gained this new theme by default: it’s the one day of the week that I don’t have meetings or classes or obligations to others. There is one Friday per month that I meet with knitting friends to knit, but we don’t meet ‘til afternoon so that gives me the mornings to devote to my tidy-up theme. Fridays are also at the end of the week when I look back at what I've done this week and discover that tidying up or decluttering got postponed or ignored for whatever reason. Tidying Up is my One Goal for this year, and I mean to meet that goal, and Tidy-Up Fridays will give me a time structure to make that happen.

Fat quarters and magazines in their new Home.
What's all that in between? Hmmmmm
Last week, I tidied up my clothing; this week’s Tidy-Up Friday focused on my studio, the clutter monster in my home. There are mounds of projects or potential projects on every horizontal surface. There are piles of materials and tools and other things, as well, but the projects and potential projects have become the biggest monster. I have begun to realize that I will not work on most of these projects. I have also learned that, while “Does this spark joy” is a great question for eliminating some things (my clothing, in particular), it doesn't work so well for others. The projects category falls into the latter camp.

Fabrics ready to be donated
The studio and the projects category were monsters too large to tackle all at once, though. So this week I focused on the quilting fabric. I haven’t really done any quilting in several years, almost a decade, yet the fabric sits there patiently waiting to be made into something wonderful. Do any of these fabrics spark joy? Yes, some of them are quite wonderful. Do I really want to commit the time to making something with this? Ah, now there is the question for potential projects:
 “Do I really want to commit the time to this?”
And my answer to many of the quilting fabrics was, “No,” so they went into the donate box. I pulled out some of my clothing fabrics, and found that I didn't want to commit time to some of them, either; now they're in the donate pile. These fabrics will find good homes with quilting and sewing friends. I wish them joy in their new homes. 

I've made a good start on the Tidy-Up Fridays, and I feel lighter and freer. There’s still a long way to go to Tidy Up, or declutter, my studio. Then there’s the rest of the house, but that doesn't seem so daunting now that my clothing and quilting fabrics are culled to a reasonable level, one Friday at a time.

“No wonder so many adults long to return to university, to all those deadlines--ahhh, that structure! Scaffolding to which we may cling! Even if it is arbitrary, without it, we're lost, wholly incapable of separating the Romantic from the Victorian in our sad, bewildering lives...” ― Marisha PesslSpecial Topics in Calamity Physics


  1. Wow!! Looking GOOD. Pretty soon you'll have a room you can actually play in and know where everything is. Great idea to have a designated day for these activities. I know that after I retired the idea of no more deadlines was wonderful. Since then however I find that if I don't create some arbitrary deadline of some sort things languish around here *smile*.

  2. Don't those Fat Quarters make your heart sing? I don't quilt, but every time I see these in the store my heart pitter pats a bit...the tidying up looks amazing. Good inspiration for me!