Fix It, Finish It, Use It Up

Fix It, Finish It, and Use It Up as a Tool to Declutter Your Home | the beauty in simpleI might go so far as to say that decluttering is a hobby of mine. I know, I need to get a life. It’s a continuous process for me, but at the moment my house is fairly well decluttered. However, I do have some unfinished projects and products that take up closet, drawer, shelf, and mental space. My focus this year is to fix it, finish it, use it up as another tool to declutter my home. The satisfaction runs deep – finished work and a clutter-free home.

Here are a few projects I’ve been working on…

I had a growing pile of clothes that needed mending. I spent a few hours on a recent weekend making the repairs. The pile is gone and the clothes are once again being worn.

A chest drawer held two silver Christmas bells, whose handles had broken off. I finally took them to a jeweler for repair. They’re back where they belong, in the Christmas box. (Yes, I only have one medium sized box that holds all my Christmas decorations.)

I have a few skeins of yarn that I’m casting on the needles to make into hats and some fabric yardage that I’ll turn into clothes, baskets, and bags. I get a sense of accomplishment from whittling down my stash.

There are a few bottles of liquor that I’ve had so long I can’t even remember why or by whom they were purchased. I’m clearing them off the shelf by mixing some creative cocktails. I kind of like decluttering.

I’m ticking things off my list that need fixing, finishing, and using it up. The trick is, not to bring any new projects home until some of these are out the door, off the needles, down the gullet, and what have you. What’s cluttering your home that needs to be fixed, finished, or used up?

8 thoughts on “Fix It, Finish It, Use It Up

  1. I have some weaving supplies leftover from a school project. If only I had access to a loom, I would love to use up the yarn to make a couple small projects. I love to declutter too…but one roadblock I come across is sentimentality. The yarn reminds me of when the kids were younger and I did so many projects at school, and I think my son (now 18) would enjoy weaving again too if he had the chance.

    1. As much as I enjoy using up my stash, I also think it’s nice to have one for when the creative mood strikes. I know what you mean about sentimentality – I have a piece of fabric I’ve had for years that I love, but I can’t bare to cut into it. Ridiculous, huh?

  2. If you have brandy, vodka or whiskey, you can make your own vanilla extract and “kahlua” and other infused spirits that cost a lot of money in the store. I also make my own medicinal tinctures using mostly vodka (think dandelion roots, echinacia roots).
    Read some articles recently about “mending” coming back in style. Perhaps there is an opportunity again for people who know how to repair things. I was looking for a shoe repair place recently and there are none left in the town closest to me. I ended up driving over 60 miles to another area that had a harness shop and the owner was happy to repair my sandals. Of course, I waited until I had other business in the area to justify driving there…

    1. I just used a cheap bottle of bourbon (that someone gifted us) to make vanilla extract. I’ve never used bourbon before, but I thought it was worth a try. I don’t have any vodka lingering, but I love your suggestion for medicinal tinctures! I’ve been having so much fun with my mending. I often make repairs with embroidery floss (that I’m also happy to use up). The results have been great. I’m lucky to live near a wonderful store that not only sells high quality shoes, but also encourages bringing them back for repairs, resoling, and polishing. I love the ethics of buying quality, maintaining and repairing the item, and keeping it for a long time (maybe even a lifetime).

  3. I, too, love to declutter. It’s my favourite activity. Too bad my family won’t let me do as much as I’d like. I’m working on my yarn stash at the moment, trying to get a few Christmas gifts checked off the list. One thing our town has started is a Repair Cafe, once a year, where people bring things that need to be repaired and learn how to do it under the guidance of experts. I think all places should have this. I haven’t been yet, but I will go this year as I have a sofa cushion that needs help.

    1. I think we’d get along great! One thing I do to get around family members who aren’t as anxious to get rid of stuff, is put things in a box out of sight. If they don’t ask for it or notice it missing after a certain amount of time, off it goes to another home. I love the idea of a Repair Cafe. It’s incredibly empowering to know how to make and repair your own things.

  4. I love this! I’m on a similar mission this year to clear off those projects that have been hanging around in my head and in my home, taking up space for too long. It’s daunting to think about doing all of them, but a year’s amount of time makes it a good challenge and gives plenty of space for it. Some of the things that are on my list: Thank you for the encouragement to keep on keepin’ on.

    1. It is daunting for me when I think of all the projects I want to complete, but it’s made easier when I do one project at a time from start to finish. I loved your post on “a month of simplifying” and agree with what you said, “the absence of to do lists is what I’m really after.”

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