Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tidy-Up (Saturday): studio closet

A Tidy-Up day starts when I empty everything from the designated closet or given category and pile it all into the middle of the floor. This time it was the closet in my studio that housed clothing fabrics, patterns, fabrics for making purses, silk ties, a collection of new (empty) sketch books and journals, and several roll-around drawers of embroidery floss and other things. The closet was stuffed to the gills.
Studio closet, stuffed to the gills

As I pulled all the fabrics (and projects) from my studio closet, I kept saying “I should finish this.” Of course, the red-flag word is “should.” Right. Back to the all-important questions:

Does this spark joy? Do I really want to commit time to this? Is this something I want to do, or is my “fantasy self” speaking?

So, all this stuff came out of my closet and ended up on the studio floor; it took up half the room about knee- or thigh-high. (I must admit that all the stuff from the closet joined the needlework project bags already piled up on the floor.) Oh, my. Overwhelming. It’s time to divide and conquer.

Contents from my studio closet

Clothing fabrics in one pile; handbag fabrics in a pile; muslins and light-weight cottons; uh oh, more quilting cottons (I thought I had finished with those); ah, there’s that yardage and a wall hanging I wove back in the day when I was being a hand-weaver. There was my large collection of silk ties for making into something wonderful. And that was just the fabrics.

Silk ties awaiting to be made into something wonderful

I decided to concentrate on just the fabrics for this day. While making separate piles I was able to put some fabrics into donation boxes (no-brainer, quick-decision fabrics). Later, when I start to put the remaining fabrics away, I’ll ask the important questions about each piece, and maybe give away some more.

Fortunately, I live in an area of the country where the concentration of craft people is very high. This means that there are a number of people who would appreciate some good fabrics to work with. A friend of mine who is in several guilds—quilt, sewing, fiber arts, embroidery—has said she would take any fabrics and share them with her groups. I contacted her to offer the fabrics.

My friend came over and took away boxes and boxes (I forgot to count, probably 8 or 10) of fabrics and what was left of the magazines from my previous magazine clear out. Said friend will take all those boxes to her quilters’ and sewing guilds. I hope those fabrics will find their way into some wonderful projects. I feel lighter already!

Remaining clothing fabrics, bottom shelf

Remaining fabrics

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, you should keep it.  If you were to give it up in a mood of self-sacrifice or out of a stern sense of duty, you would continue to want it back, and that unsatisfied want would make trouble for you.  Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has any attraction for you, or when it seems to interfere with that which is more greatly desired.  Mahatma Gandhi


  1. Wow!! That was an undertaking. Your 'after' pictures look great. Very good quote from Mahatma Gandhi. One other consideration I would add is 'if someone else needs or wants it more than you do - make it a gift to them' which is exactly what you've done with all your excess fabrics.

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  3. I absolutely love the question, "Does this spark joy?" That should be my question for so much in life. Great blog post. I think I need to blog the question and link back to you from my Wordpress blog. I'll let you know when I do....if that is allright with you???

  4. The question comes from Marie Kondo, in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Yes, linking back is fine with me. I hope the question helps you in whatever you're doing!