De-Cluttering · Home Improvement · Quilts and Quilting · Sewing

Softie is Not Amused


What the heck are you doing to my playground?”

Yesterday I needed to MOVE stuff. 

I go through periods of LOVING the kitchen, loving food, loving experimenting with cooking and baking, and writing about it and photographing it…

And then I hate it.

Okay, not hate.  That’s too strong a word.  But I get burnt out a bit and need to do something ELSE.

I think there’s even a seasonality to it, somewhat, though in August that might not be apparent.  I’ve been gravitating toward the fabric portion of my creativity spectrum. 

And fabric sort of equals quilts, which is, in my mind, anyway, a wintery thing.

But also, quilting because a friend of mine is having a baby soon and I’m working on a baby quilt for her.  That’s going along fine, and I’ll show you what it looks like when I’m done.

But my work space down here (in a corner of the basement) has been getting cluttered, it’s crowded, and all my fabric is stored in big rubbermaid totes underneath the taller work table, and it’s a HUGE pain in the posterior to get to.  Plus – it’s just organized – loosely – by color.  Or sections of color.  So there’s a bin with pink/red/yellow/orange/peach/and some purple…and another with green/blue/darker purple/tans/browns.  And one with blacks and grays and whites.  And one has quilts in it that are in need of repair.  And I think the other has a whole mish-mosh of things that I’ve shoved in there because I don’t know where else to put it.  Oh, yeah, and there’s one of those long, under-the-bed things with pieces of wool that I’m going to use (some day) to make a braided rug. 

It’s a big mess and it’s hard to find things.  Not exactly a welcoming environment when you are in the throes of quilt designing.

I’ve been wanting to rearrange and reorganize it all for a while now. 

And yesterday, I jumped in.

Bill and Alex were at Alex’s baseball practice (he’s actually the SMALLEST kid on the team right now – kind of a novelty for my tall, skinny boy.), and I tend to tackle huge moving projects when there’s no one around to help me.  I’m just weird like that.

So, the first thing I had to do (or wanted to do) was take everything off this nearly 6’ high bookcase.  It was full of photos in boxes (that need to be put in albums, but WHEN???) and empty frames and ring binders of B&W negatives from when I used to do my own processing and printing…PLUS cloth baskets of MORE fabric, or partially-completed projects, and all kinds of other stuff that I just shoved on the shelves because I didn’t know else where to put it. 

Julia wanted to help with this whole project, so I sent her up to Alex’s room to take all his stuff off this tall kind of shelfy thing made of wire panels and plastic connector thingies.  I wanted the wire shelfy thing because the cloth baskets are designed to fit in the compartments.  So she put all the stuffed animals on his bed, and while she arranged them all in a sort of family portrait configuration against the headboard, I emptied the rest of the stuff off.

Then I moved that contraption out of his room, Julia swept up all the dust, and then I moved the big, heavy bookcase up from the basement.

Julia offered to help, but if the bookcase fell, she’d be squished.  It was heavy.  So I did it myself.  At first I thought I could slide it up the (carpeted) stairs, but the top corner kept catching on the carpet, so instead I pulled it up, step by step, and maneuvered it around the little tight hallway and into the living room.

Then I had to get it up to Alex’s room.  One more flight of stairs.  But these stairs aren’t carpeted, so I needed to protect them.  So…I put big bath towels on the stairs and was just about to get the bookcase into position when Bill and Alex arrived home.

I met them in the kitchen and told Bill I could use his help, and he nodded and went on and on about how well Alex did and big kids on the team and so on and so forth, and as he talked I kind of guided him into the living room and it was really, really funny when he just stopped talking in mid-sentence at the sight of the bookcase near the stairs.

It doesn’t happen often.

So, Bill and I carried the bookcase up the stairs, which was probably a lot better for the stairs AND me, and then I assigned Julia and Alex the job of putting all of Alex’s stuff BACK on the shelves, while I went downstairs and moved more stuff around.

Next step – a big shelf.  I was using our old bedroom closet doors – well, one and a half of them – as a tall work table (up on sawhorses), and there was still another half of a door just leaning against the wall gathering dust.  I wanted that for a shelf above the work table.  So Bill got big brackets from the garage and took care of that for me. 

Julia helped, sort of.


And once that was done, I put my work table back together, but I moved it over so it was flush against the wall where the bookcase had been.

And that was about all I had time for in the afternoon. 


Last night, after the kids were in bed, I got back to work.  I just wanted all the big stuff in place, so that today I could work on organizing all the smaller stuff. 

So I’d been thinking I wanted a banquet table (I have two, each about 60” by 30”) along the left wall, with that wire shelfy thing along the back of it – this would be where I would house all my fabric, or at least most of it.  And there’s still the big, bulky rolltop to contend with.

That rolltop.  I go back and forth between wanting to sell it and deciding to keep it.  I’m in a “keep” phase.  And I thought it would be perfect right under the window where Softie and Scratchy like to spy on birds and pretend they might be able to catch them.


The space.

Very tight space.  I measured.  I thought.  I clenched my teeth.  I got stubborn. 


And…because I am actually VERY good with spatial stuff…and good with a tape measure…I got it all to fit.

With less than an inch of space, TOTAL, between the low table, the desk, and the high table.

Some days, I rock.

So, I got all that done last night and decided to stop there and go to bed. 

Today I will tackle the fabrics and jewelry-making stuff and everything else.

I’m very excited about it.

Unlike Softie.

One thought on “Softie is Not Amused

  1. Sounds like myself many moons ago. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do.
    Your bookshelf was my toilet. We had a nice powder room, but, our main bath was circa 1920s. Really.
    One day while my husband was out, I turned off the water to the bathroom, emptied and disconnected the old commode and dragged it into the center hall. When he came home he went upstairs to change his clothes. DEAD SILENCE for at least 5 minutes. Needless to say our bathroom was immediately re-modeled.
    That was fun, hope the people who bought out house like my taste, I’ve moved on.

    Good luck in your new venture, so nice you have a willing helper.

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