2.23.2012

Useful and Beautiful :: Laundry Room

Another week, another project! Once the office was taken care of, I knew that the next room to tackle had to be the laundry room. Unlike some folks, I actually had a cute laundry room hidden away under piles of junk, projects, and un-ironed clothing. Armed with no more than a trash bag and a couple of donation sacks, I took the laundry room from this...

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To THIS:

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Not bad, eh?

And in the process I managed to make four pillows (one from an old sweater I was going to toss), fix a hem, repair two sweaters with holes, sew a button back on, and turn two pairs of pants into shorts (one for me, one for Peter). Whew!

The really annoying part is that those projects only took me a few hours over the course of two days - so why didn't I do them earlier? Throughout the WMP and Little Bites plan, I have learned that I have horrible procrastination tendencies that I have given into for far too long. By finally facing them head on, I have been able to clear my house of the clutter that was taking over, complete projects that had been put on hold for years, and experience the satisfaction of walking through our home without feeling guilty about what's stuffed in drawers and hidden behind closed doors.

Sometimes it's about stepping outside your comfort zone and taking a risk. See the cabled pillow down there? I found a sweater sitting under piles of junk on my craft desk. It had a rather large hole near one arm and I knew there was no way I was going to have the skills to fix it. Close by I spied a pillow form on top of the pile and a little light bulb went on. I grabbed the sweater, turned it inside out and started sewing a square. I wasn't sure if it was going to work or not, but I figured if the sweater was going out anyway, I had nothing to lose by trying. A few minutes, a pillow form, and a few buttons from my stash later and, voila! An adorable pillow that was hiding under a mountain of overwhelming stuff.  

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But that's not all! I purchased the fabric, paint, and stencils for the "Give Thanks" pillow back in the fall. In fact, I was hoping to have the pillow made before Thanksgiving 2011, and although I got the "Give Thanks" stenciled on the fabric, I lost interest when the paint smeared and the pillow was less than perfect. Three months came and went, and when I pulled it out this time, I thought, "Why not?" It was already painted and cut out, so all I had to do was sew it up. After all, if I hated the way it turned out, I could always stick it in the donation pile, right? Well, guess what? I didn't hate it. In fact, I liked it so much that I've decided to leave the pillow out all year long as a reminder that we need to GIVE THANKS for everything.

Instead of letting things pile up and become overwhelming, I need to fix a problem as soon as I see it starting. If I find a hole in a sweater, I need to march right into the laundry room and darn it (or at a minimum, go through the pile no less than once a week). In less than five minutes, I can have it sewn up and ready to wear again, instead of allowing a mountain of projects to become overwhelming. As I work on being a good steward, I'm learning that it's not just about keeping my credit card tucked into my wallet, it's also about taking care of what I already have, even if it's not that "perfect" item that I want.

Just one more practical lesson, brought to you by the William Morris Project (and a touch of introspection). If you'd like to see how other participants are coming with their projects, make sure you pop over to visit the WMP that Jules hosts at Pancakes and French Fries each Thursday.

18 comments:

  1. Love your laundry room--and such a good reminder! Surely I have things lurking about that I could quickly repair . . . hmm . . .

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  2. Your laundry room is so, so great. Mine is stuck in an unfinished room in the basement, complete with soul-sucking fluorescent lighting. Trade? No?

    Love the pillows, too. Last year we did a No-Spend month that forced me to look around the house & see what I could make from what I had on hand. It was actually really fun, and I tried many new things - some successfully!

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  3. I too have a decent laundry room. Though you wouldn't know by looking. It is a disaster. You have encouraged me to move closer to tackling it once and for all.

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  4. It's fun to know that you and I were both working on our laundry rooms this past week. Yours turned out beautiful. And useful. Whaddya know? I have to ask what the two cabinet looking things are on the wall. I'm assuming one is an ironing board, but what is the other?

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  5. "I'm learning that it's not just about keeping my credit card tucked into my wallet, it's also about taking care of what I already have, even if it's not that "perfect" item that I want." So true. So true.

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  6. Fabulous! What a super feeling to get things done. I've been reading about the brain and it may be that certain brains are wired to procrastinate: the rush on gets from FINALLY completing something is something the brain craves. You may just be wired that way --as I am! Once a week may be too often--you may need to anticipate doing the thing for two eeks before you get the "pay off" your brain needs. Play around with it and see.

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  7. Thanks everyone!

    Pamelotta - Those two "cabinet looking things" are actually an on-demand water heater (top) and a dirty clothes pass-through into our bathroom closet for all of our linens (bottom). :-)

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  8. I'm having a little laundry room envy--mine sounds like Ms. Amy's. I do have a laundry chute that goes from the 2nd floor down to the basement, for which I'm eternally grateful. So often it's a revelation that a little time invested in making a space neat and functional results in so much other productivity! I'm surprised every time!

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  9. I can't stand it...you have an amazing laundry room AND you're crafty? Stop that! (Love the sweater pillow.)

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  10. oh the sweater pillow is amazing! love the buttons

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  11. Your laundry room has me green with envy! What a great space :) And the sweater pillow is fabulous. I do not sew, but maybe I should learn . . . great work!

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  12. Oh, I think you are quite fortunate to have a sewing table in the laundry room! Everything in one place is sooooo nice! Right now our ironing board is in the hall closet, and the laundry is in the half-constructed basement. Not really craft-inducing. I will put off simple sewing projects forever, thanks for reminding me how silly that is, your pillows are great, and the whole space is cheery and ready for...anything! Thanks!

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  13. Nice job! You've got a great looking laundry room.
    It also astounds me how long we put things off that would truly have taken a few minutes. It's a tough habit to break...
    Love your sweater pillow -- that's awesome!

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  14. Great job! I love your laundry room! The built-in's on the wall remind me of mine in my kitchen. Also, the pillows turned out awesome! :)

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  15. I am jealous of your spacious laundry room! Way to go on cleaning out another room.

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  16. Get out! It looks amazing! I love your laundry room, and I love that you own it, too, by saying that it's awesome. Too many times we women are quick to diminish ourselves or what we have...for who knows what reason. I do it all the time, and it needs to stop!

    Great, great job.

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  17. Great job Carrie! Love the dedicated sewing area, so tidy and ready for use. The pillows are awesome, the stencilling is fantastic. Nothing but good things to say :)

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  18. Thanks for all the kind comments, everyone! I'm still in love with both of my cleaned out rooms and I don't want to go back to the way they were before!

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