Before the longarm

I got my longarm a couple years after I started quilting and there aren’t many photos of me quilting on a domestic machine but I came across one tonight on the old CDs. I don’t remember this photo so you know it’s been a long time since I looked at those CDs!

For those of you following along on my decluttering/packing journey I have a few tips.

First, don’t wait until you have to do it! It’s a lot more stressful when you have a deadline. Luckily, Keith and I have had some more discussions and have decided NOT to sell by owner so we probably won’t list the house until mid May. That gives me more time to get things in shape.

Second, take time for focusing completely on decluttering … that “do a little each day or each week” just doesn’t work for me. I get started and before you know it, I’m back to ignoring everything. Take a week … or two weeks … and work on it every day. Pull everything out and go through it. Donate and trash what you don’t need any longer, organize what’s left. Every time I move I say I’m going to stay on top of things and it never happens. Maybe I can resolve to completely declutter and organize every couple years … and maybe I can actually keep to that resolution.

Third, take time to really look at how much fabric (and yarn in my case) you really have. There’s something about pulling it out of closets and opening up all the bins that is eye opening! I was telling Keith not to let me buy any more fabric or yarn and he pulled out his phone to video me and told me to say that again …. I love having a generous stash and being able to just grab some fabric and make a quilt without having to shop but even with as many quilts as I make, I can’t work fast enough to keep ahead of my buying so the buying needs to stop.

And finally, get some help. I’m the one going through most of our stuff (and most of the stuff is mine) but Keith is carting the trash off and taking the donations to Salvation Army. He’s going there again tomorrow and I’m sure there be another trip or two. Luckily, it’s just around the corner.

All of this makes it sound like my house is always a disaster and that’s not the case. Other than my sewing room and beside my chair upstairs in the bedroom where I knit and crochet, the rooms in the house are not overly cluttered at all – but the closets and drawers are. I tuck a lot of things away for “later”.


  1. N’aww, lookit how happy you look quilting on your domestic.
    Sounds like you have a good system going for the decluttering now. I am like you, the house looks good, but the closets and drawers are full.

  2. Great picture! I went through the same thing when we moved a little over a year ago. I don’t have the fabric and yarn stashes you do, but I have a fair amount. We just have so much stuff. We got the kids stuff out of the house, but I still have boxes to unpack…I unpacked two yesterday! Going from 5 bedrooms to 2 was a huge adjustment, this house is just so much smaller and I have no place to put decorative items or family heirlooms I used to keep out. Must be time to pass that to my kids too!

  3. I find it difficult at times to go through my things to pack for moving. My house is similar to yours with it being neat and clean but with closets too full. My current house has small closets but I’m moving to a house with more room for storage. I will be getting rid of many things before the move but my quilting stash is quite large. I have stopped going to fabric stores unless I absolutely have to have it for binding. Last year I did buy from thrift stores and an estate sale twice. I got loads of fabric for pennies. I’m ready to start packing my lower level up next week. Moving is difficult at any age.

  4. I detest clearing things out, it’s my least favorite activity. But you’re absolutely right, it needs to be done and designating time to do it on a regular basis, whatever that interval is, makes it less overwhelming. I’m in the process of reorganizing my sewing room and it’s starting to feel good in there again. Keep up the posts, they’re inspiring!

  5. The decluttering is something that I struggle with too. But you are on a roll and will get it done.

    You have some wonderful photos. I don’t think there are ANY pictures anywhere of me sewing. There actually are not very many photos of me doing anything. Actually about 4 years ago my girls were working on the “family photo” calendar they give us for Christmas each year. Neither of them or my husband could find a single picture of me taken that year. They figured out that I’m the one usually behind the camera. LOL

  6. I feel for ya! Although we didn’t move, we did replace the carpet in our entire house in 2 weeks…about 25 years ago! We asked the carpet layers to divide the house in half. We emptied that half into the garage on the weekend and they replaced the carpet on Monday. We then made an immediate decision on every item: keep, donate, trash. We made many many trips to the thrift store. We did the same thing the following weekend/week with the second half of the house.

    To this day, we’ve been determined to acquire mindfully that which we love or truly need. We still have space in cupboards and closets.

    Congratulations on the “clearing journey” towards your final move to Georgia! 🙂

  7. Luckily I am not a saver. And having moved a lot I get rid of a lot with each move. I think as we get older, we are in our 70’s, you realize how little we really need to survive. Also needing to move my mother twice after my dad passed away really opened my eyes. Files and files of paperwork unnecessarily saved that needed to be shredded. Lots of THINGS she no longer needed and neither did anyone in the family. It is hard, sad and not something I want my kids to be burdened with. We try to go through our files, safe, etc. to clear out all the outdated things regularly. And I clean the closets and drawers out fairly often too. I like to be organized. But my sewing room has waaaaaay too much material in it…it is pretty well organized though. I am slowly trying to work my way through it and have thought about donating some of it and probably will at some point. My crocheting I don’t do often enough and donated most of my yarn. I am now only buying yarn as I do projects. That way I don’t accumulate yarn I won’t use. So those are my tips. I also helped my best friends children clean out her place after she passed away. She was a borderline hoarder, had a cedar chest full of yarn. Lots of sewing stuff and hobby stuff and hundreds of memories. It was hard on her sons and me too. And took hours and hours of time. She would not have wanted that but couldn’t bring herself to do it when she was able. Sad story for everyone. Sorry this is so long but hopefully it will help you or someone else as you are going through things and can’t decide whether to toss, donate or keep. I also ask my kids before getting rid of things if they want it because I am getting rid of it if not. So they at least get the option. Good luck with your decisions and packing. Think of it as purging and how good it will feel when you are done.

  8. Closets are a great place to store things for later. I’m basically the family historian (taking photos, keeping old photos and records) so parting with items was difficult when I downsized to move into an apartment. It was difficult to know who would keep those family items safe and intact.

  9. Love this photo of you, Mary! You are aging very well. The quilt looks nice too, what can be seen. I’m intrigued to see the setup you’re using, with no table or extension out the back. I do mostly baby to lap sized charity quilts these days and would like to downsize to a smaller setup. Think I’ll give what you do in this photo a try.

Leave a Reply