A Spot of Re-Arranging

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While I am pretty happy with the level of organisation in our home, there are always little things that can be done to improve to make things work a little better.

We have a dehumidifier which is almost an essential in our climate.  In fact, as I write this the clouds are floating past the window.  The dehumidifier is generally stored in the wardrobe in the guest bedroom when not in use.  This is not a major problem although I do need to remember to get it out if we have guests coming to stay.  Moving it would also provide a bit better access to the hanging space in the guest room.

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I feel that the ideal spot to store the dehumidifier would be in the laundry, however, that is a small room with limited storage space.

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The project to re-arrange things has evolved over a few months and the first step was to tidy and adjust the shelving in the linen cupboard.  This was relatively easy as I knew the space was not being utilised in the best way.

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The ultimate goal was to allow enough space to store the vacuum cleaner at the bottom of the cupboard.

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Then it was a simple matter of relocating the dehumidifier to the laundry cupboard.

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When the electrician was doing some work earlier in the week I asked him to change the single power point in the cupboard to a double one.  Now, the stick vacuum charger can remain plugged in while I am running the dehumidifier.

The dehumidifier is portable so does get moved from room to room but it is great for drying off damp towels or freshly ironed clothes in the laundry.  Since it is a small room, the drying effect is magnified and quite efficient.

I am currently researching the next stage of the project which is to purchase a ceiling mounted airing rack for the laundry and then I will be able to eliminate the mobile hanging rack which I move back and forth between my sewing room and the laundry at present.  This is the sort of thing I am looking at.  I also need to check with GMan about the practical implications of installing it.

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Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t think of this long ago but on the other hand it can be better to allow ideas and processes to develop over time because you will generally get a better outcome in the end.

Slow and Simple – A Goal For Living

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I was sitting and vaguely wondering what I might write today when I found the following words from Courtney Carver at “Project 333“.

Life is noisy. Inboxes are overflowing. To-Do Lists are three pages long. Time flies. We run late. We catch up. We fall behind. We never finish.

All of those things leave us exhausted and uninspired. How can we keep up and slow down at the same time? How can build in more time, space, and resources for health and happiness?

The answer is simple … use less, do less, need less, spend less. Sure, the answer is simple, but where do you start?

Simplicity can start anywhere, but it can’t start everywhere. Beginning a journey into a new way of life in the same you we ran our old way of life doesn’t make sense. Complicating simplicity by trying to do it all at once defeats the purpose. Instead, start small and start in one place.

These words really sang to me and I instantly felt my breathing slow and a sense of calm and order descend.

Courtney is correct, there are so many aspects of our lives that can be simplified that it is easy to get caught up in a whirl.

I participated in Project 333 quite successfully earlier this year.  Since then, I have not actually counted items but I am continually aiming to streamline my entire wardrobe even further.  I now know what styles and colours I really like to wear and make sure that everything I own truly deserves its place in my wardrobe.

2012-05-28 01A wardrobe is a very good place to begin your journey to a simpler life. We all have more clothes than we actually need and it is a confined space and you can easily quantify the contents.

After you have expended considerable time and energy clearing out clothes that you do not wear or even like, you will think twice about buying more.

I can assure you that once you begin, the principles of simplicity will naturally flow to many other facets of your life.  You will find yourself seeking out simpler meals, decorating ideas and simple ideas for recreation and leisure time.

2012-11-21 01Every little bit helps.  Over time you will find that you can apply the underlying principles of Project 333 to areas as diverse as your linen cupboard, utensil drawer and DVD collection.

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If you have less stuff in your life you will need less time, money and energy to acquire, store, clean and organise it.  Release the stuff and reclaim the time and space in your life.

And the final word must come from one of my favourite quotes.  This is from Francine Jay at “Miss Minimalist“.

Life is the space between our things.

So, do we want a fulfilling life or a life full of things?

The Linen Cupboard

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As promised in my post from yesterday, I have finally finished the linen cupboard that I started back in about July.  It was not a huge task as I tend to regularly check my linen and cull any excess that cannot be otherwise used, either by me or someone I know.

I finished it all apart from the 3 tablecloths that I set aside to refashion to fit the oval table.  This is how I left it.

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Most of it looks fine, apart from the 4th shelf with tablecloths, placemats and serviettes in no particular order.

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Here is the close-up of the shelf to be done.

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All finished – the tablecloths are in 3 piles.  One pile of cloths for the table when it is round, one for the extended oval table and one pile of ‘other’ cloths.  These are 3 small square one suitable for afternoon tea as well as 3 bigger cloths for the outdoor table and 2 folding tables which we sometimes use if we have a bigger gathering.  The serviettes are on the same shelf as the tablecloths while the placemats are on the shelf below.

Now I am off to make some more wool wash and hope to post the recipe and instructions here tomorrow.

Re-fashioned and Ready

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The last few weeks have a bit of a struggle blogging-wise as there seems to have been limited material that I have felt like writing about and most of it did not really lend itself to adding photographs.

In the spirit of simplicity I have been working on my sewing room – finishing some projects and working through my ‘to do’ list.  Yesterday I finished the last 2 tablecloths which I had set aside to alter from rectangular to oval to fit my current round dining table when it is extended.  You can read my initial post about this project here.

After the success with the damask cloths I decided to do the same to a plain pink cloth and a polyester lace one that I use as an overlay.  The pink one was fairly straightforward but the lace one was a little trickier.

2012-10-12 01I ended up cutting the hemmed edging and then re-stitching it onto the re-shaped cloth which worked well.

I am now looking forward to the opportunity to use these pretty and functional items.

2012-10-12 02The only thing that remains to be done is to finish sorting and re-organising the linen cupboard which was the activity which precipitated this project in the first place.  More on that one with before and after photos tomorrow.

Do you re-fashion or re-purpose linen in order to extract the maximum use from it?

Decluttering Meets Damask

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I have decluttered my linen cupboard several times over recent years but there were a couple of damask tablecloths which defied decision each time.

We now have a small round table which extends to an oval but both of the cloths are rectangular and one is quite large.  About a week ago I had a blinding flash of inspiration.  I am unlikely to ever have a large rectangular dining table again so I decided to cut the cloths to fit my existing table and enjoy using them rather than storing them for some vague reason.

This is the larger cloth on my oval table.  My mother gave this to me and I am fairly sure it belonged to my great-grandmother.  What would she think if she knew I was taking to it with a pair of scissors?  Probably happy that it was going to be used rather than stashed in the back of my linen cupboard.

I made a pattern of the tabletop, worked out how much drop I wanted and set about cutting out my ‘new’ tablecloth.

Here it is hemmed, pressed and ready for use.

Then I started on the other cloth which I planned to make to fit the table when it is not extended and is just a small, round table.

This cloth was much smaller and when I cut the biggest circle that I was able, it was still a bit short on the overhang.  So, I decided to increase the diameter by stitching some extra fabric on.  I cut 12cm wide bias strips from the leftover fabric which you can see below.

I then sewed them into a continuous strip and edged the cloth with it.  You can clearly see the join but I am not particularly worried as I now have a usable cloth for my round table that I did not have before.

I have now been inspired to re-look at my collection of tablecloths and see which ones I really should be keeping and how I can re-fashion them so that they are able to be used with my current table, either as a round or oval.

What have you given a new lease of life to?