Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rotate, Repurpose, and Reclaim

I'm deviating from my normal fair today. I was thinking back to before my last move and what my sister and I had to do to ready ourselves for it. We recognized that we desperately needed to be rid of at least half of what we'd been carrying around for half our lives or nore.

While I was thinking about that I thought about all those DIY shows out there that tend to complicate things and cost the viewer money in the long run. I'm sorry, but what TV thinks is inexpensive and what I know to be in that category are two different things. That's why I decided to write this little piece about how to get what you enjoy for nothing or close to it and help a person declutter at the same time.


If you’ve lived as an independent adult woman for several years, you’ve probably come to a point of declaring war on knick-knacks. This war may have started because a visitor broke one of your favorite pieces. So, what do you do to declutter and still retain your favorite décor pieces?


It can be as easy as a spin on the decorating lazy susan. If you’ve decided that you simply have too much in the way of knick-knacks and mementoes, begin organizing them into themes. Create lots by pooling all those sports items into one group, old world items into another, retro into yet another and so on.

Are there pieces which don’t really work and you don’t have great attachment to? Find them a new home. For all those pieces you just can’t live without, decide which theme you wish to use right now. Put everything else into secure, labeled storage bins and put them in the basement, attic, garage or storage closet.


At this stage you might want to look at your décor’s color scheme to see if that still satisfies you. If not, simple inexpensive changes can solve the dilemma. If you don’t already have unused fabric lying around--and many modern working women don’t--despair is premature.

Go to your closet. Open it up. You’ve needed to go through it anyway. Sort out all of those clothing items you still like but never wear. It’s too old, too young, too whatever. Take a good look at it. If you just can’t part with that wonderful pattern or fabric--after all, that’s why you bought it in the first place--make use of that fabric.

Take the item apart. Now you have pieces that can be used for other things. Don’t know how to sew? No problem That’s why someone developed Hem Tape. Strike down that enemy called Fear and grab the iron. You, too, can be a fashionista.

Those decorator pillows that have seen better days can be recovered without difficulty with any fabric used in a multitude of ways. Large scarves can wrap those pillow packages for a new look. Buttons and bows can be used to secure a pillow inside a new covering. Those wonderful, but unworn skirts and blouses from the closet can become new fashion statements for your décor.

Some of those closet treasures can be used as accents on draperies or curtains. Scarves can be real treasures here, too. Don’t have enough to go around but like the idea. Thrift stores can be a girl’s best friends.

The same can be said about finding cheap flat fabric in the form of bed linens, drapes, and tablecloths. For a few dollars you can have choices galore for usable fabric or new décor items for pennies. Think of it as raiding someone else’s closet.


Reclaim your home’s personality by highlighting those features that you most enjoy with your possessions. You can always frame a beautiful piece of silk--or any other fabric--and use it as art on the wall. Designers do it all the time.

Keep those thoughts on themes. For the next six months or so, would you like to live at the beach? How about a country house? Or perhaps, a small loft in Paris. You can have it all with some thought and imagination.

You can cluster a group of baskets or houseplants in front of the fireplace during the summer to accent that focal point. Or place varied level candle holders with various-sized candles inside the cleaned fireplace to add both light and life to it during summer. Drape that small afghan that your grandmother made for you years ago across the arm of couch or chair to go with the cottage or country theme.

Use your favorite pieces for this highlighting and allow yourself the joy of showing your visitors who you are now, today. By using select knick-knacks and mementoes, you force the visitor to examine your home, and you, in a new way.

No longer will he/she worry about breaking something. Instead, your uniqueness can be seen. Your personality will no longer compete with your dwelling for a person’s attention. You will become the star of your own presentation.

Now you can sit back and enjoy the entertainment prospects without concerning yourself with having to discard all of your possessions. If you’ve kept the best and show them a few at a time, you’ll be amazed at the difference in the feel of your home. It’s now more spacious, more relaxed, more focused. And you will be, too.

I hope I've given you some ideas for your own stashes. Next time I may actually write about writing.

A bientot,


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