A Place for Everything, Sometimes

The trouble with having a spare room is that you have some spare space. And if you have some spare space, you’re more likely to hang on to stuff than you would be if you didn’t have the space to store it.

We have a spare room. On rare occasions, it’s a guest room. When it’s not a guest room, the ironing board stays up, which is really convenient for quick wrinkle removal. The sewing machine is in there, so it’s easy to mend things quickly. Under the bed, there are some boxes that hold old photograph albums and some extra comforters. A washstand that belonged to my grandparents is full of gift wrapping supplies: ribbons, bows, scissors, gift tags, and tissue paper. There’s an antique armoire full of craft supplies, like beads and jingle bells and chenille sticks, sewing supplies, quilting supplies, and quite a bit of fabric.

When I’m not working on something, and all the doors and drawers are closed (and the ironing board’s put away), it looks pretty good in there. As long as you don’t open the closet.

The closet has: more fabric, thread, patterns, gift wrap paper, gift wrap boxes, gift wrap bags, some old toys, out-of-season clothing, and yarn. And then some more yarn. And maybe a little more yarn. It was cluttered, stuffed to the gills, and an embarrassment when workers like the plumber and the cable people came, and I would need several minutes to empty out the closet floor because that’s where the access to under-the-house is.

Doesn't this look so nice and neat!

Doesn’t this look so nice and neat!

A while back, I saw, on sale on Amazon, a shoe organizer. And I thought, that might make a nice organizer for yarn. And, in organizing the yarn, I might be spurred on to do some better organizing and evaluation of what should stay and what should go.


When it arrived, I put one side together. Then I got sick and then I had to finish a writing assignment, and then I put the rest of it together, and then Kevin and Peter came, and then I had a couple of completely free days to tackle the closet and its stuff.

I moved out the stuff on the floor, and ferreted out all the yarn. I also found, as I pulled things down from the shelves, two sets of knitted squares that were meant to be lap afgans, which people in my knitting group make and donate to retirement and nursing homes. And, there was a completed afghan, folded up nicely and stored in a zip-locking bag.

I wanted to keep the floor as free of stuff as possible, so I hung the shoe organizer on the closet’s back wall, and filled it with yarn, mostly. There’s some fabric in it, and several small storage containers that have knitting needles and crochet hooks in them.

I worked all last Saturday sewing those squares into complete afghans and spent the past few evenings adding edging.

A just-right space for toys cars and trucks

A just-right space for toys cars and trucks

I’m just a little, bitty bit, um, concerned about this weekend. Kevin and Peter are coming back to Waco, for Kevin to participate in a chess tournament. When they were here a couple of weeks ago, the shoe organizer was sitting on the floor in the guest room, kind of out of the way, waiting for me to tackle the closet organizing. A couple of days after they went back to Fort Worth, I went in the room to get to work. Apparently, the shoe organizer looks very much like a parking garage. I hope Peter’s not unhappy to find that it has become a storage facility for yarn, instead of little toy trucks.




For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 (New Revised Standard Version)

The Sunday after I got the closet all organized, I needed some yarn for Sunday School. No digging. No searching. I opened the closet door, saw just what I needed, and took it to church. Then, back at home, I easily stuck it back in its place. And I’m trying very hard to stick with the realization–NO NEW YARN!! Nothing can come into the house until a significant amount has gone out.

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