Enough IS Enough

My Word of the year, 2014. 

ENOUGH!  (to see previous years …)

This one showed up a few weeks ago, driving to work.  A quilting group I am part of annually shares the words they want to use as a talisman for their art. And life, as the case may be. As it happens most years, the word of the year chooses me, and I am rarely in the mood for it, or willing to give it access to my entire year, but once rooted, it refuses to allow other words the opportunity to audition for such a lofty spot in my world! And this time, I feel like maybe it needs to be tattooed on my forehead.

Because, really, enough already!  (I feel somewhat successful in last years word, Choose. I did have the foot surgery, I do have a quilt going into MAQS this February…)

if-you-have-food-fridge

Where does the word ENOUGH fall in your life? As the parent hollering “ENOUGH” up the stairs at the children bickering? At the level of stupidity at work, does the word actually mean “Uncle”? I give up, I’ve had ENOUGH, I’m moving on?

Or is it more of a peaceful, comforting hug, reminding you that you have more than ENOUGH to make you happy, if only you allow it?

You know the future’s lookin’ brighter
Every mornin’ when I get up
Don’t be thinkin’ ’bout what’s not enough, now baby
Just be thinkin’ ’bout what we got

Oh-oh, rich man, poor man, now
Really don’t mean all that much
Mama’s always told you, girl
That money can’t buy you love
”  Eddie Money

(Yes, even songs on the radio jump on the “Word of the Year” Bandwagon. Eddie Money, Philosopher. Who knew?)

So, ENOUGH. I, of course, have ENOUGH.

  • ENOUGH food that deciding what to make for dinner is the dilemma.
  • ENOUGH food that I can’t recall the last time I went to bed hungry.
  • ENOUGH money that deciding what restaurant to have dinner at is a question we ask too often.
  • ENOUGH money that we have to decide where we want to go on vacation each year, rather than having to decide which bill we don’t pay this month.
  • ENOUGH heat in our home that I sleep warmly that well, scratch that, I think I could always use another quilt or two on the bed! But I have them to use!
  • ENOUGH clothing that I don’t have to do laundry every third day. (Actually, so much clothing that the laundry seems to be full every third day!)
  • ENOUGH books (blasphemy!) that I could never be bored.
  • ENOUGH fabric to quilt every day of my life, and have to live to a ripe old age before running low. (Although, thread and batting might be needed.)
  • ENOUGH quilting patterns I shouldn’t ever have to duplicate a quilt.
  • ENOUGH creativity to ditch the majority of the patterns I do have, except for inspiration.
  • ENOUGH beads to make jewelry for more people than I know.
  • ENOUGH  cats that Nope, never too many of those.
  • ENOUGH health that most days I get up headache free, and can throw my legs over the edge of the bed with only mild groaning, can do the things I want and need to do with only marginal complaint and pain. And I make it through my day without medication of the life-saving sort. Too many people don’t have that luxury.
  • ENOUGH support from the people around me, who love me as I am, unconditionally, that I can soar!
  • ENOUGH friends and family that my Christmas tree looks dwarfed by presents.20131218-IMG_7550
  • ENOUGH hours in the day to Ok, so this word isn’t all-inclusive, and has limits. But, that sounds like LIFE.
  • ENOUGH love that I feel rich, indeed.

What do do with this word:

Therein lies the issue.  I can easily cut in half the number of clothes I buy. That frees up money spent at thrift stores, and time looking around them. I could easily lighten the load on the closet and the dresser and still have ENOUGH to be suitably attired for whatever comes along.  I can stay out of the quilt shops, and really only buy what is essential to finishing, not something because I must have this fabric. (Don’t fear, Joyce! You KNOW I will be buying!) Don’t see this as a resolution, by the way. I like pretty things!

I think this word is more of the emotional variety.

  • Glass half full and all that.
  • See the positive.
  • Look for the good parts of not continuing to acquire; indeed, looking at what can be removed from life, without creating a sense of denial or punishment.
  • A lot of that is about creativity and about being happy in your own skin and happy in the place you find yourself. 
  • Looking at everything you need to say no to, and realizing all the things you get to say yes to that so many other people couldn’t imagine!
  • Lighting the candle or cursing the darkness.
  • Being upset it isn’t Paris or excited that it is a vacation! 

So, soon will begin the declutter. Again. This time, it needs to be not only of things, but of thoughts. Knowing it’s a WONDERFUL life, just the way it is.  That, indeed, is ENOUGH.

I Wish You Enough– “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

(click the link to get the entire story that makes the email rounds)

WHY enough is enough-A woman I used to know as a child wrote this; it doesn’t HAVE to pertain only to Christmas!

Mountains O’things

It has been a very very long time since I have posted anything about 27-thing flinging, organizing or de- cluttering. Does it mean I fell off the wagon? Got lost under my mountains o’things? Not really. Just life and all that….

I probably stopped some time around Thanksgiving, because I took up the blog with Christmas Photo-A-Day posts, and right after the first of the year, my dad died. I’ve moved on to a Photo A Day on my other blog.

But spring is in the air (well, down here it is, at least for today!!) and I think it may be time to revisit some of the the ideas of decluttering, getting ready for spring cleaning! (oh, YIPEE!)

The major concept was to daily locate 27 things that could be removed from your household (living creatures do NOT count). Some of these things may be donated, some things may have always been trash but never made it to the garbage and some things may end up being given to someone else who can utilize them.

In order to make this a bit more ‘organized’ rather than random tossing, I had made a list of areas. This link takes you to the initial post last year.

This is the breakdown of categories I had come up with, and I have added to it how far along I feel I have gotten.

  1. Clothes-closet and drawers. This was done, and I ‘thought’ I had been successful. Sadly, Goodwill is my downfall. My new work around with this has been to force myself to wear something in the closet, and after I get it on, decide WHY I haven’t worn it lately, or get rid of it. My work clothes are starting to outgrow the location I had assigned them, so I am not putting clean clothes away, but emptying out the drawers, item by item, and WEARING IT. If it is tight, cut oddly, stained, ripped, frayed, torn, or collects cat hair more than other things, it is gone.
  2. Clothes-undergarment/socks. This is completed. Getting socks to not be eaten by the washer or dryer is another issue altogether.
  3. Toiletries/makeup. This area could certainly benefit from an expiration date check-up.
  4. Spices. Under control. Can’t change the size of the location they live, so I do have to remember to replace items as I go with smaller containers of spices.
  5. Kitchen utensils. Another section I feel has stayed under control.
  6. Dishware/cookware. Requires only a bit of tweaking as to what goes where. (getting dishes washed and put away? NOT part of this conversation.)
  7. Under the sink. I need to identify duplicates and get them used up, and really, could use another shelf of some sort under there.
  8. Refrigerator/freezer. It never hurts to go through this and toss anything hidden that has died!
  9. File cabinets Thirty minutes of my life would get this back to 100%.
  10. Knick knacks/home décor. The day to day stuff is in good shape. I LIKE it, and want to keep it near me.
  11. Linen closet. Our linen closet is too small for ANYTHING to fit in there, so I really need empty, disperse to other homes and totally declutter.
  12. Cat toys/supplies All beheaded and gutted stuffies are tossed upon witnessing their demise. Otherwise, contained and under control.Cat face
  13. Shoes Considering I don’t buy a lot of shoes because my feet are so bad, it is quite bizarre how many pairs are littered about throughout the house. If there was a place for the laundry basket to live other than in front of the closet door, I wonder if more would find a home in there? Probably can toss a few more pair.Disappointed smile
  14. Jewelry box/hair do-dads. Taken care of.
  15. Quilt fabrics IMPOSSIBLE!!! I DID the impossible. I folded all my fabrics and stored it in bins on the shelves in the studio. While doing that, I was able to purge a small amount and gave them to a single mother I know who is learning to quilt. ALL my fabric is in a container, most of the containers are in one location. (all in the studio)
  16. Quilt books HARD!!! But done. See Above. Of course I needed the space for the new ones. Quilt show is next week.Angel
  17. Quilt patterns HARD!!!  Ditto.
  18. Art supplies HARD!!! Haven’t even made an attempt.
  19. Paintbrushes/paints HARD!!!! See above.
  20. Glues and adhesives HARD!!!! See above.
  21. Papercrafting/scrapbooking HARD!!! (Ahem, cough cough) Ditto.
  22. Jewelry making HARD!!! You must be kidding! It is however CONTAINED. It all stays in one location, in containers designed to hold it, and seriously needs some editing.
  23. Magazines HARD!!! Done.
  24. CD’s HARD!!! Done. All 4500+ songs are on my iTunes/iPod. I bought two large CD books, tossed all the jewel cases, sleeved everything. Saved one shoebox full of interesting liner notes and the Christmas CD’s were not part of this. If I go into Goodwill one more time, I will need another book.Surprised smile
  25. Books HARD!!!! But, done. To Be Read (TBR)  are all in the bedroom on the headboard shelf. Keepers that have been read are on all the other bookshelves. Buying a Nook certainly has made this a doable goal. I didn’t get rid of any reference books.School
  26. Kitchen cabinets/pantry. Is this ever done?
  27. Photographs HARD!!! Digitally, I am half way there. Hard copies? HAH!Nyah-Nyah

Areas of interest not in my 27.

The den. That is Timmy’s domain. When we had the carpet installed the room was emptied, and he did his own version of de-cluttering while putting everything back.

The Attic. I have this small window of time that I can comfortably get up there and work. The location stinks. There isn’t enough room to stand up straight, the floor isn’t solid. And a lot of stuff got shoved up there during the carpet. But I was very careful sending things back up after Christmas, so I feel confident that Christmas can be moved to one side.

The Garage and Shed. Timmy’s domain, and he is interested in getting a shed that will pass inspection and then he can clean out the garage. ( He has this idea of putting a CAR in there? Anyone heard of such a novel use for a garage??)

How about a SUCCESS photo??

THE GUEST ROOM!

2011 2 15IMG_5982

New carpet, new bed. The bed has three full depth drawers under it. The wicker box under the window holds a lot of linens (see linen closet, above)

The bookshelves have ALL my genealogical stuff and old family letters and photos. The basket in front is temporary because I have an art show that I am getting photos ready for. (and the closet is de-cluttered, too)

I had a cancellation for next weekend. I’ll leave the light on!

OK, so I’ve fessed up. How are YOU doing??

Edit Attaching this link to a very interesting article…

90 Day Improvement Plan…

(90 Days to Thinner Thighs!!!90 Days to a Whole New You!!! 90 Ways to….)
I can’t promise any of the crazy magazine cover stories. What I CAN guarantee you is that in 90 days, you will be looking back at 2010. Yep, a mere 90 days until the new year. Think of all the things that need to be done in the next 89 days. Parties to plan, gifts to buy, meals to cook, traveling to visit family….I know, you need a nap just thinking about it.

But the question I am posing today is this: Of this past years resolutions/thoughts/promises/ideas you had, how are you doing?
Sometime around the end of month one, I decided to de-clutter. And for a bit, I did well. 27 thing flings occurred in many rooms in the house, right down to the sock drawer being divested of orphan socks. I had grand plans, great goals. And I even thought maybe that if you journeyed along with me, you’d keep me honest, motivated and accountable.

None of which happened, I am sorry to say. There ARE great improvements, but I LIKE my stuff too much. I am not a hoarder; those shows scare me. On the other hand, I would do bodily harm to the hosts of those clean sweep shows, where they don’t take into account anything of any sentimental nature…to them, if it doesn’t match, it isn’t worthy of owning.

And the romantic in me, the sentimentalist, the genealogist—well, we all cringe when they seem determined to create a movie set of a person’s house—with two or three ‘personal’ touches.

The same thing can be said for magazines. I have the chance to peruse the home magazines at work, and every winter, they offer a slew of ‘Reduce Clutter’, ‘Storage Tips for Small Spaces’ and other creative ways to suggest that you go out and BUY a bunch of storage containers to solve the problems (Addresses and websites conveniently listed at the end of each article.) And yes, some of the ideas they have are clever; artfully displaying a few items.

But again, they are movie set clever—not real houses, with 2-6 real people, a couple of pets and not enough space, who already own things. This house was built without a coat closet, without a utility room or a broom closet. That is the reality of the thing. Therefore this past year, back when I WAS posting weekly about de-cluttering, I carefully avoided suggesting that one purchase a magazine to get a great idea or five.

I didn’t suggest that one read self-help books about clutter either, because they too seem to be of the ilk that it ALL go… and they don’t often suggest some pretty storage idea; no they basically think that one is either looking to live life as a hoarder or a minimalist. They suggest taking photographs of all things that are of a sentimental nature to you, and then pitching the objects in question. But it’s not quite the same thing, passing on a photograph of a cherished stuffed animal to your grandchild, you know?

Look, I admire those who can live life with a fork, a knife, two t-shirts, a towel and a back-pack to hold all their earthly belongings. More power to them, if that makes them happy. But I wonder if there isn’t a mom’s attic somewhere where they are storing a bunch of their past? If blank white walls truly make you happy, go at it. I like color. I like design and pattern and things that have stories.
So. Where does that leave me on the de-cluttering scale?

I still have to do the attic. Summer was too hot to deal with it, but hopefully with autumn I can get up there. And I want to re-carpet the house before the holidays, because putting it off isn’t going to get it done. And it NEEDS to be done. (I need to have the couch re-upholstered as well.)  I, of course, haven’t really finished the 27 thing flinging, either. The den hasn’t been touched. (The den is Timmy’s domain. That is my excuse.) I bought myself a Nook earlier in the year, and so I know I can start divesting myself of some books. Slowly. I am not about to tip the shelves over and pitch everything, because I can’t afford to replace everything on the Nook right away.

I can truthfully say that I probably could find 27 things in the kitchen, but only if it included out-of-date yogurt in the fridge or something. The kitchen has managed to not get re-cluttered. (Really, hunny. It’s a totally different thing if it’s not put away …that is a behavioral thing, not a de-cluttering thing! :) )

My studio needs to have a shelf by shelf re-organization as well. That is probably the room where the whole thing fell apart, because there is so much in there, and it all could have a purpose at some point! (Ah, the mantra of the magpie, “But it’s pretty, and shiny!!”) I lost sight of the forest for the trees- I admit it freely. My fabric has been contained; the boxes I chose are perfect and I am very happy with the way it is working. However, I do need to open them all and sort by color. But that is not something that needs to be done now.

Re-carpeting the house, however, is the thing that has made me aware that I really need to put this thing into over-drive. All this stuff has to be moved, right? I have two rooms (the kitchen and dining room) where we have already replaced the floors. The rest of the house is chock-full-o-stuff that will need to be moved. As there is currently no bed in the guest room, it seems like the time to do it. (And because my daughter informs me that the bed needs to be built before she arrives. :) )

I believe I am beyond a mere 27 thing flinging now. It is going to require a minimum of an hour of dedicated time spent per work day, and probably a nice chunk of any day off that has not already been booked (and it’s that time of year where a lot have been booked). I need to really analyze the things in the space, the storage they are in or not in, whether it needs to stay in the location it is in or can be moved, and whether it is better off at Goodwill.

So it seems that surfing the web, reading, goofing off with this or that project will need to take a back seat for a few months. I DO need to make some holiday gifts, but other than that, maybe I need to limit my play time until I get all of this done.

I will get my photo website all set up for the holiday gift-giving season—I have a few really neat things getting ready to launch, and I will need to gather and post my Christmas Photo-A-Day, starting on December 1. If I feel the need or desire to go off topic here, I will. But beyond that, do you think I need to simply post a “I DID IT” post every day? And maybe you will reply that you do, have DONE something, to get yourself to the place you want to be in 90 days. :) :)

It may be a push, but wouldn’t it be nice to say on Jan 1, 2011 “I am FINISHED and that the new year is mine to do with what I choose? To create with wild abandon?”

Progress…

I would simply put photos, but then you might not realize exactly how much work I have done so far!!!! So, here I go, baring my soul….Hopefully when I finish I will remember to use my ‘real’ camera, so I can say I am a photographer!! Ugh, don’t judge my photo skills on THIS blog!!!)

 

This is the desk area, before. I am calling everything else DURING, because it is a process. The During photo shows I have cleaned off all surfaces. I am going to have to go back later and tackle each of the containers on the shelves and decide if it’s kept or flung. (The craft materials in question are scrapbooking, rubberstamps, some stencil paints, mixed media stuffs…. during shelfbefore shelf)

 

 

 

 

 

The Computer area (from whence all these posts are formed…) I should have made this before  a vertical shot. Oh, well. The During shows that I cleaned out the boxes that were under my feet;  almost everything there was flung. A good deal on the top shelf was flung as well.  (I went WAY over my 27 things this time!!!

before desk

during desk

The Cutting Table area, before. Tatiana mostly lives under this table, it is the only safe place in the house from the boys. The tower unit next to it houses my jewelry making supplies, and precut fabric squares in different sizes, and pre-gathered quilt fabric collections and WIPs. I have eliminated a number of containers in the During, and made the top of the cutting table far more comfortable for a cat or two to decide to nap on. (I will need to remember not to leaves projects out. )before cuttingduring cutting  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fabric area, before. I can actually iron on this board, although I need to step around the litter box. (see above….) The bins are pretty much the ones that will be staying on the shelves, but they need a serious flinging and sorting and folding of fabrics!! The During mostly shows a cleared out area. I have removed about 4 large bags of craft materials so far, and a good number of small totes.

before ironduring iron

The next step. This is where I need to be careful, and not overshoot my limitations. Opening each container, deciding if I am keeping the fabric, trimming off the really rough parts, refolding it and making it go back into color sorted containers.  I did two containers today. I KNOW that I could do more, but I also know that I will start envisioning quilts, and will start deciding to move fabrics around and I will end up a few hours later with many many piles of unfolded fabrics…

Here is one (not terribly awful) box of fabric, before. It was well sorted by color already. I measured the size of the majority of containers and cut a cardboard that is smaller by a bit. I am going to open each fabric and refold it around this board. I am not worried about it being a perfect fit, because each box has a bit of give. I will then slide the cardboard out (for a few reasons—1, cardboard is acidic, 2- that is a LOT of cardboard to cut, and 3—it will take up a lot of space in these totes otherwise.) I have a lot of small pieces of fabric, I rarely purchase over a yard or two….

 beforeduring

fab fold

finished

One completed tote. (Eleventy-billion to go.)

 

 

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOTHER-LIKE PEOPLE IN MY WORLD!!

(HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOM AND TO JOE ON WEDNESAY!)

Getting down to business….

I have taken a few weeks  lately to chatter about other stuff. Let me stop and say thanks for all the comments regarding the music; interestingly I came across this little article about the Beach Boys this afternoon….seems to flow with my ideas a bit.

And for our anniversary good wishes, we thank you too!!! We took a mini vacation to Myrtle Beach for our anniversary, and that was, overall, a lot of fun!

But, now, back to the flinging. I am spending too much time, I think, worrying about the minutiae of this as an exercise, and missing the big picture. (This isn’t atypical for me—when I used to draw, I could get lost in the iris of an eye, and forget all about finding the shape of the face.) Being detail-oriented instead of looking at the overall scheme can be a failing sometimes! I have no problem planning, plotting and executing redecorating a space, but keeping the floor swept??

So, while I have been flinging, and divesting myself of things, I am still bringing things in. And I am not capable of getting rid of as much as is needed to really SEE a difference. (At least to me.)  After all, I still have clutter. I still have things that aren’t ‘necessary.’ And so, I stop —finding the will to continue fade,  seeing this as a never-ending battle between wants and needs. Basic economics 101, of the emotional sort, I suppose.

I am not looking for a minimalist lifestyle. I can admire that goal for others, but I do like my ‘things’.  And I ‘do’ too many types of art/crafts, have too many ‘interests’ if you would, that take from me the desire to spend non-work time cleaning, and divesting. I’d rather any day sit here and fiddle with Photoshop than organize a shelf!

As I said, I like my things. And that includes my clothes, even if they are mostly from Goodwill. I guess the best thing is to stay out of there, too!!  Truly, I end up wearing (when not at work) the same old same old. But I like to have my pretties, and after bringing down my summer clothes, find my hanger situation back where it was pre-fling!! This time is harder, because I LIKE everything left, and it FITS, it all seems to match/blend and is in good repair. The problem? I saw those empty hangers and found it acceptable to wander through Goodwill. I came up  with a few cute outfits, great colors, and they cost under $15. And no hangers to hang them on. Sigh.

Add to that the fact we had a “mega-blow out, I had no choice but to buy” paintbrush and acrylic paint extravaganza at work last week. I now have to figure out WHERE to store this bonanza, and more to the point, I need to finish this flinging and STICK with the tenets of some level of simplicity if I am ever to USE all my wonderful new toys….

So, into the studio I go. Holler for me on occasion, will you? Make sure I haven’t been buried alive under all my wonderful THINGS???

I foresee a great divesting, and a great pain. (Or simply a great failure to do anything.) It is impossible that I will ever ‘use’ all that I have here, and it is impossible that I will be able to avoid adding to it—there are too many wonderful colors and patterns and ideas in the world. Maybe I need to sell some things?  Etsy, here I come? With cute little packages and piles of pre-organized color and fun?? Can I do it?

I guess I need to start with a photo, huh? This is the view (somewhat already pulled apart….) of one corner of the studio…..DSCN0430

….complete with abandoned quilt challenge…..BIG SIGH…..

Wish me luck, offer me encouragement and tales of success, will ya???

~~~The room is 10×10, it won’t get bigger. I won’t spread out into the house (hey, you need SOME limits, right?) I quilt, I ‘ahem’ scrapbook, I do some jewelry, some assemblage/mixed media paper art, and I am a photographer. It’s all in here. (As is cat #1 who has taken up refuge from cats 2 and 3 under the cutting table, and currently, a litter box to …well, you know….keep the rest of the house….well, how else to say it? P-free.)~~~

 

 

 

 

Cyber-flinging…

No, I don’t mean getting to hurl your computer across the room, no matter how much the idea appeals to you!

Let’s fling files, and junk mail and old, out of date folders. This could get messy, folks— make sure you are paying attention, because you don’t want to lose something important.

First, email. Junk mail, advertisements, message board memberships, forwarded jokes and the like.

Have more than one email address!! It doesn’t have to be with your internet service—Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail— there are plenty of places to open free accounts. Choose the one (or more) that works the way you like. Open a second or third account. You can make it easy on yourself and just call it “Firstname.LastName1” (Mary.Smith1, Mary.Smith2, etc) Why?

Because the next time you go to a store, or fill out some survey or buy online, you can use the address that you choose to be for marketing purposes. You want this to be different than the one you give to family and friends. You should check it often, for special sales and such, (and who doesn’t love a sale!!) but it won’t clutter your daily, personal email. If you are newly doing this, then every time you receive some sale message, IF YOU STILL WANT TO RECEIVE MAIL FROM THEM, go to their site and change your address.

Second, DO you still want to receive mail from them? You ordered a sweater for a gift from a company you don’t normally shop at, and now they bombard you daily? Unsubscribe!! Usually right at the bottom of the message, you have a link. (A low-impact way to do this is what I have been doing. Each day, at least ONE piece of marketing email is either unsubscribed or re-subscribed to a different box.)

If you are a member on a message board, can your Email program sort these messages into folders, so you can read at your leisure? If so, take the time to set them up properly. If not, consider changing programs!!!

Then, take a look at the message boards themselves. Are you not really involved in all of them? Remove your membership! Don’t be a slave to it. Choose those that fit best.

Now, onto the harder stuff.

(All the following assumes you have a good command of your computer, and I am unable to give precise direction as so many things are different….)

Your C drive—is it sluggish and slow? Do you have folder after folder of writing, memos, and other files just cluttered here and there? Do you NEED them any longer? (Itinerary for a trip taken two years back? At best, print it and store with your photos and other souvenirs. You haven’t printed the photos yet? Store the file in a folder labeled Archives-Various.)

Remember, use the folders to your advantage, just like a real filing cabinet. Make the categories relevant and useful to YOU, and FLING the stuff that is out of date!

CAVAETS:

  1. Do not go digging into places you shouldn’t be. Be careful that your flinging doesn’t go so overboard that you need to call in the computer repair person of your choice to put you back together!!!! (While MY computer repair person seems to think nothing of 11PM house calls, yours may not…)
  2. PHOTOS. Don’t just fling. And, by the way, this could take TIME!!!! Take a break. Work a bit at a time. It didn’t get this way in a week, you probably can’t undo it in a week.

PHOTOS: Make sure all your photos are in one folder on C.

Then, make additional folders and label by year (2010, 2009, etc).

Inside each year folder, make a month folder ( 2009-JAN, 2009-FEB, etc)

Gather all photos that are on C, sort by DATE TAKEN. Select all images taken in Feb of 2009 and move to C:Pictures/2009/2009-FEB. (At this moment we are sorting; you don’t need to look at images for whether they are worth keeping. That can come later. Once you have established a system, however, you shouldn’t put ‘bad’ photos in it.)

Do this for all the photos you have. Make a file for photos others have sent you/things you have collected online, etc.

If you find that in May of 2009 you went to cousin Jim’s wedding and took a lot of photos, you can make a folder called 2009-MAY_JimWedding and put those photos in there ( C:Pictures/2009/2009-MAY/2009-MAY_JimWedding) The rest of the photos taken in May will simply stay in C:Pictures/2009/2009-MAY. You can do this for any special occasion, vacation, etc, where you have a good number of photos of a particular subject (that cutie pie grandchild for example!)

Continue until all photos are in folders, by year and month.

Using your photo viewer, (of whatever type you use, I can’t give specific direction) look at everything, and do this,folder by slow folder:

Fling any photo that is obviously out of focus, dark, blurry, or otherwise an epic fail. If it is with the subjects eyes closed, and the photo following has their eyes open. If the group shot was taken 13 times, save the 2 or 3 that are ok. Do you have images that are really meant for the recycle bin? Then FLING them. Right into the recycle bin. If someone’s expression is good only for blackmail, either blackmail them already or fling it. Not so quickly, however, with photos of YOU. Don’t edit yourself out of the family by being overly critical of images of yourself. Your grandchildren will thank you.

The only reason to save a really bad image is—IT IS THE ONLY PHOTOGRAPH YOU HAVE OF THE EVENT OR THE PERSON. AND IT HAS GREAT HISTORIC SIGNIFANCE. See, that eliminates most of the reasons for saving the bad ones.

Now, Rename the images you have saved. Select all images, and sort by date taken. Find your select all/rename option and call all the images you just sorted through and found worthy: 2009-MAY_JimWedding The program will add a number to the end of that for you automatically.

Next, do photo editing if you do such a thing, burn CD, order prints, send to family, BACK UP images.

Is there any image you would like to print?  Print them. Order prints. Today. Sign up for Kodak Gallery, or Shutterfly, or Snapfish or load them back onto a card and take them to Target or to wherever, but get them PRINTED. After all, WHY did you take the picture in the first place?

Burn a CD. Back up in some fashion. Create a second set of these images. Grab a fine point sharpie, LABEL the CD in the center, 2010-JAN, photos. 1 of … . Put the CD into a jewel case, and create a spot to store it. Important images? Maybe  burn a CD that will stay in someone else’s home as well.

Also, create offsite storage online for additional backup protection. Use the online gallery at Kodak (about $20 a year IF you don’t order photos from them) or whichever place floats your boat… Smugmug is my choice. I am thrilled with all the options I have there. My account is at the pro level, but you can purchase lower level accounts (less bells and whistles, but still same storage facilities and ability to print.) Use this coupon code  and save $5.00 if you choose to go with them. PMfvFGKyQzxgg

Whatever you do, don’t trust the fact that you have never had a computer crash. In this age of digital cameras, and every moment being recorded, we have a true opportunity to end up with no images if we are cavalier about their care and storage. Old negatives may be shoved into the backs of dresser drawers, and get scratched and stick together, but they can still be printed. A file, lost in the computer, if not backed up, no longer exists if you haven’t at least printed it, or emailed it to someone or burned a CD/DVD or backed it up in cyber-space.

Now, a quick note about access, then I will leave you alone. Images you have shot belong to YOU. You possess the COPYRIGHT and control whether other people may print it or borrow it, or put it up on their blog. Just as you go to my photo account, you will find you can’t right click and save. Those images are MINE.

Be careful if you are storing/backing up your images someplace like Flickr/Picassa Web/Photobucket/Facebook—the more descriptors you put on the images, the more opportunities you provide for someone to steal your images. You don’t want someone’s innocent child to have photos taken and used in ways that are not appropriate. Choosing a place that has passwords, and that the general public can’t just peer around in is something to consider.

Oh, and by the way? You need to do this to ALL your computers. Good luck!

Ooh, an easy one…. (or not)

14.  Jewelry box/hair do-dads

This could be simple, or it could be complex. Who knows. I don’t own lots of ‘good’ jewelry; almost everything in my jewelry chest is sentimentally meaningful; that and a couple a bucks can buy me a Starbucks.

So how do you fling this? If you can not ever foresee yourself wearing it again (Hello, Madonna? The 80’s are calling!) and you can’t convince one of your kids to wear it on Halloween, then it probably is ready for flinging. (Or taking apart and using in a craft project—IF you DO craft projects, and IF you take it apart and sort it and place it with your crafting materials, and IF you think you actually will use it!!!! Lots of IF’s for a very good reason.

The reason? You’ve kept it 20 years already, moved it from house to house, and not worn it. Can you be trusted to take it apart and use it for your craft??? Can you? No lying to yourself. Mismatched earrings—if you haven’t found its mate by now??? Make it into something else, or fling.

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Can it be described as classic or trendy? Trendy doesn’t last, so it’s more likely fling-able. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue new trendy purchases in jewelry…the little trendy touches can update an outfit and yourself inexpensively, and give your spirit a boost. If the item isn’t classic, but it is SO YOU, keep it—if you wear it. If you always wear it ONLY with one blouse, maybe you should keep it with that blouse.

I have a friend who has a wonderful collection of handmade and one-of-a-kind jewelry that she has carefully collected over the years. When she dresses, she has coordinating earrings, necklaces, bracelets and even rings sometimes. I envy that pulled together look; there is probably nothing she can fling this go round.

If it is classic, but just not you anymore, consider giving it to your daughter, niece, cousin, sister, friend—someone who will appreciate it. If it has great monetary value and not much sentimental value, consider selling it.  (Don’t discount the idea of saving —my mother-in-law saved her late husband’s engagement ring—complete with the box it came in –and when my husband proposed, I got the ring (and the box!) )

Hair doo-dads: I am a victim to all sorts of hair accessories. I do not own any banana clips, thank you. But I do have a couple of other torture devices, and a collection of headbands, mismatched barrettes, ouch-less ponytail holders (which I collect on occasion from the floor of the house; they are favored toys for the cats).

I also have a box in the closet full of curlers of differing styles; not one of which has touched my hair in eons. That is a definite fling. And the variety of curling irons? Hairbrushes and combs?

Plenty out there for you to fling, people!

Now, the hard things: I started a bit of flinging in my studio the other day. This is gonna be one heck of a fling. I have some wooden Ikea boxes that hold my writing implements. Pens, markers, paint pens, highlighters, pencils galore.1DSCN0387

I gathered them all (well, actually I forgot my colored drawing pencils) and got a sheet of paper and scribbled. If it didn’t write WELL, I flung it. Turns out I own a LOT of highlighters. And Sharpies. And gel pens. Not nearly as many regular writing pens as I would have suspected (I have an unnatural attraction for new packages of pens at the store) but enough that I felt compelled to grab a handful and take them to work, since our pens are always walking away.

I am going to make it my goal to clear off the top of the cutting table (!!!!) and re-home or fling everything on it so that it may actually be used on occasion as a (!!!!!!) cutting table. That should occupy my free time this week.

(That and some gardening –hey, new season, new dreams–and actually getting the next quilt in my challenge started. This month the word is PASSAGES.)

If you don’t have a studio    :( then maybe you are close to having a flung house!  Take a look around you, and make your own flinging lists. What have I missed? (Garage, kids rooms, attics, extra closets—my house is sorely lacking in closets)…. You can play along week by week actually FLINGING while you listen to the slow torture that is the complete flinging of a studio, starting NOW.