Friday, February 24, 2012

Week 1 - 40 Bags in 40 Days

The first few days of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge were a piece of cake!  I had a pile of things already gathered and set aside for Goodwill in the garage so I just grabbed a box and added to it until it was full.

I found so much junk to donate I have a bag already started for next week!

While I was in the garage I spotted a floor lamp that I meant to take to Goodwill months ago (like when I was pregnant last summer!) and added it to the pile.

To finish off this week I have 3 bags of paper that I gathered from the office, dining room and randoms drawers and piles on the floor. 

They are full of junk mail, magazines, newspapers, expired coupons and some of Lucy's art.  We always pick out our favorite drawings and paintings together to save or put up on the walls and recycle the rest.  Someday I would like to come up with a better way to display the girls' art but for now this works for us.

The little artist followed me with a toy camera while I was taking pictures of all our clutter and junk.

The grand total for week 1 is:
1 box full of stuff + 1 floor lamp both ready to be donated
3 bags of paper ready to be recycled

Not bad for a short week!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 Bags in 40 Days - Clutter Removal Challenge

I keep everything.  Seriously, everything.  I make ornaments from recycled soda and beer cans that I sell in my Etsy shop so I have boxes of empty cans in my garage, washed cans drying by the sink and I even keep the boxes the cans were purchased in just in case I come up with a use for them.  Cereal and cracker boxes are saved and cut into business cards (I stamp my info on the back) and the Sunday paper comic section is used for wrapping and packaging.  Lately I have been washing and saving baby food jars with grand plans of storing homemade play dough, slime and finger paints in them (thanks Pinterest). 

Most of the boxes from our move a year ago (and 2-3 moves before that - details here) currently reside in our garage.  I cannot bear to give them up because I know that as soon as I do we will move again and have to stalk craigslist and call grocery stores for boxes (moving 3 times in 9 months will do that to a person).

We still have unpacked boxes stacked by the front door, end of the hallway and in our master bedroom (romantic, I know).

At this point whatever is in these boxes needs to go since I obviously haven't needed it in at least a year.  A few of them have baby gear that will be sold or given away along with several large plastic tubs of clothes in Lucy's closet.  I started going through some of it earlier this month to prepare for a kids consignment sale in March.

Maternity clothes will be sold along with all the outgrown baby stuff. (This tub is in front of my nightstand which is also just a few feet away from the stack of boxes shown above......more romance!)

Our house is small and full of junk and most of it is mine.  My crafting passion is repurposing but that does not mean that I have to hang onto every interesting cardboard tube just in case I want to try a project.   If I do not use an item that I received as a gift and it collects dust or takes up valuable closet space it needs to go.  If a shelf, dresser or TV stand is past its prime, does not fit our style or is a hand-me-down we have had for ten years it can go.

I am joining Ann Marie at White House, Black Shutters in a clutter removal challenge dubbed 40 Bags in 40 Days.

She even has a free printable game plan for those who like to be organized and want to join the clutter removing party.  We all have clutter, let's attack it together!

Check back each week to see my progress!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Upcycled T-shirt Projects

Pinterest is amazing.  I recently joined (finally!) and have pinned so many projects and recipes I want to try that I will probably never get to all of them.  If you are not familiar with Pinterest I highly recommend long as you have lots of free time to spend browsing.  It is highly addicting!

While checking out my pins (projects or ideas I saved) the other day I realized several are projects that repurpose t-shirts. 

The t-shirt pom poms tutorial on Craftaholics Anonymous can be used to create pom poms in different sizes and then used in a variety of ways (ornaments, wreaths, party decor).

click to repin on you Pinterest

I will definitely be trying Little Bit Funky's awesome 20 minute crafter: how to make a t-shirt into a skirt tutorial soon.  Looks easy to make, easy to wear and best of all it's free! 

click to repin on you Pinterest

This next tutorial for repurposed t-shirt bags is in Hungarian.  However, the pictures explain the process very well and you could always use Google to translate.  I think with the pictures alone it looks pretty simple.

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Make It and Love It has several tutorials for making Valentine's Day outfits for kids from recycled t-shirts but I love this Ruffled Heart Valentine Dress.  Make a dress for almost any holiday by replacing the heart (shamrock, Easter Egg, flower, fall leaf, pumpkin, turkey, Christmas tree, ornament, snowman).

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This amazing t-shirt latch hook rug tutorial comes from xoelle.  While the rug is to die for she warns "this rug was super inexpensive to make with the resource of money- it was very costly in the resource of time. I have easily 60 hours invested into this rug, and many many more hours donated by family and friends."  So, if you love the look but don't want to spend that kind of time you can buy them on Etsy.

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This adorable layered skirt from Ruffles and Stuff requires no hemming!  This is another one I have to try....she makes it look so easy.  She also has tutorials for aprons, pillows and a rosette shirt all made from old t-shirts.

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Happy Repurposing!