These are pretty dangerous words for any crafter, quilter, or DIYer. They usually come out of our mouth just as we chuck some unused tool, material, or supply in the trash, only to wish we still had it within a few months!
I'm an avid purger. No, this doesn't mean I throw up all the time (gross)! Instead it means I'm constantly looking at all the "stuff" I own and constantly judging whether it really needs to be kept or is in need of a good chucking out the door. Case in point is when I trashed my closet last year.
This is kind of the opposite of hording, where you save every thing in the world (including your empty fast food bins and candy wrappers) just in case you MIGHT need them one day.
I'm just not that kind of person. When looking at an item, I think very hard for a second "Do I need this right NOW?"
If I can't come up with a cool project idea, or if the item just feels like junk, that's it. I don't worry excessively about hurting my old rotary cutter's feelings. The blade gets changed when it gets dull with no feelings of remorse. It's just a simple blade!
But I've definitely learned my lesson this weekend. A few months ago I went through all my tools and decided it was time to chuck all my electrical wiring tools.
Back in 2006, Josh and I renovated a room in our basement to make a den. Because we planned to move our TV downstairs, and because the room in question had almost no sockets to plug things in, I learned how to wire sockets and switches.
I amassed a lot of electrical / wiring tools that year and pretty much haven't touched them since. I've fixed the odd switch or bad socket here or there, but not really had to take care of any major projects since.
So it makes sense that when I looked at that box of gear a few months ago and realized I hadn't touched it in 6 years, I easily made the decision to chuck it.
Only to need it less than 3 months later.
Yep, I'm wiring again, this time a few sockets for the laundry room and updating a switch that has long since needed to be changed.
This weekend I decided to change this room's dark fate in favor of a new purpose. Rather than let all this wonderful space go to waste, I'm converting it into a place to dye fabric safely and easily out of everyone's way, but still within the house so I won't freeze to death if I decide to dye during the winter.
What made this job a million times easier is all the leftover wood we have laying around (one of the few things I don't purge because I definitely will use it... one day). Finally, finishing the wall is making for a much cleaner, more tidy appearance, but when I reached the first electrical socket, I knew I'd hit a speed bump.
The switch for this room was super old, still encased in a super tiny metal box with an awful clacky switch that was seriously loud enough to hear in the office (all the way across the house). So I decided to update the switch, but then started thinking...
What about electrical sockets around the work table? What about extra lighting? What about plugging in my crockpot or a plug-in-light?
It's a dangerous series of thoughts... and it usually leads to the hardware store.
Where of course I forgot that I'd thrown out my wire strippers and testers and all the little tools that made this job easier. Instead I ended up stripping the plastic casing off the wires with an old pair of scissors.
But I'm happy to say after a long afternoon of fiddling with wires and sockets, this project is done! No, I still haven't finished the walls, primed, or painted, but the knowledge that I will at least have lighting and electricity in this area is comforting.
And you know, even for having thrown out all those tools, working on this project just proves that you don't need every tool, gizmo, or gadget in order to get the job done. Yes, it required a bit more time and ingenuity, but the outcome was still the same.
So I guess the moral of this story is to throw out useless junk (if you're not using it, don't keep it), but also don't beat yourself up for the things you throw out and DO actually end up needing again! Chances are you can find an alternative that will work just fine.
Now I'm up for a much needed break with Downton Abby and a hand binding project!
Let's go quilt,