Monday, August 16, 2010

Love what you own, use what you love...

So, the main goals of this summer's house projects were to replace crappy old carpet with pretty new flooring and to repaint walls that desperately needed sprucing up. So far, so good! We are definitely attaining those goals.

However, I also had some sub-goals for this house re-do project, because I can never have too many goals, it seems. My sub-goals went like this: 1) Get rid of all the stuff I just don't love/need/want/use anymore and 2) make better use of the things I do love and already own while 3) repurposing as many things as possible in order to 4) avoid the purchase of too many new things that have the potential to just turn into stuff I no longer love/need/want/use at some future date.

I've been doing a fantastic job with #1. As I mentioned the other day, we just gave a porch load (literally) of stuff away to the Vets last week. In addition, I have a few things I'm going to try to sell on Craigslist, if I ever get my arse in gear and figure out just how to do that. And I have some other things that I'll likely put on my local Freecycle list. It really does feel good to get rid of things, whether I get some cash for it or not.

In cleaning out though, I realized I have a lot of things that I love but don't use nearly as often as I should, considering how much I love them. This realization is what prompted #2. My pottery collection is a good example. I started buying pottery several years ago, usually at fairs or when I'm vacationing and find a good pottery studio. I love supporting artists, and while I may not be a crystal or china person, I love pottery. So, when I was moving things out of the china cabinet the other day, which is where my pottery is happily housed and displayed (it long ago displaced my grandmother's china that I pretty much never used), I asked myself why in the world don't I use it more often? I have a couple bowls I use pretty regularly, but that's it. I'm determined to make better use of these pieces from now on.

#3 and #4 are sort of a set. When I'm doing a house project like this, where my rooms are changing in major ways, I know it's inevitable that I'm going to need to buy some new things. Like fabric to make new valances for the windows, and in the case of our new floors, I'm going to need to buy area rugs because we've never needed them before. However, the temptation is there to buy other new things too. For instance, I'd love to get some new lamps for the bedroom, and a new comforter for the bed. And maybe some fun new things to hang on the walls. But really, I don't need these things, and I don't want to spend a ton more money than what we're already spending.

So, I'm making every effort to repurpose other things in the house so I don't have to buy a lot. In the process of cleaning out and moving things around, I've uncovered some things I forgot I had, things I really love but never had the place for them before. Now I do, and I'm going to use them. And I'm also going to make better use of the myriad photographs I've taken in recent years. Prints are pretty cheap, and I have a ton of frames here on hand. I want to be better about putting them out where we can all enjoy them instead of leaving them languishing on my computer's hard drive.

I'm not a patient person by nature, and it's frustrating to me when I think of how long it's going to take to put all the finishing touches on the rooms. But, frankly, it's exciting too! And I can't wait to see how it all ends up! :)

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