Ooh, an easy one…. (or not)

14.  Jewelry box/hair do-dads

This could be simple, or it could be complex. Who knows. I don’t own lots of ‘good’ jewelry; almost everything in my jewelry chest is sentimentally meaningful; that and a couple a bucks can buy me a Starbucks.

So how do you fling this? If you can not ever foresee yourself wearing it again (Hello, Madonna? The 80’s are calling!) and you can’t convince one of your kids to wear it on Halloween, then it probably is ready for flinging. (Or taking apart and using in a craft project—IF you DO craft projects, and IF you take it apart and sort it and place it with your crafting materials, and IF you think you actually will use it!!!! Lots of IF’s for a very good reason.

The reason? You’ve kept it 20 years already, moved it from house to house, and not worn it. Can you be trusted to take it apart and use it for your craft??? Can you? No lying to yourself. Mismatched earrings—if you haven’t found its mate by now??? Make it into something else, or fling.


Can it be described as classic or trendy? Trendy doesn’t last, so it’s more likely fling-able. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue new trendy purchases in jewelry…the little trendy touches can update an outfit and yourself inexpensively, and give your spirit a boost. If the item isn’t classic, but it is SO YOU, keep it—if you wear it. If you always wear it ONLY with one blouse, maybe you should keep it with that blouse.

I have a friend who has a wonderful collection of handmade and one-of-a-kind jewelry that she has carefully collected over the years. When she dresses, she has coordinating earrings, necklaces, bracelets and even rings sometimes. I envy that pulled together look; there is probably nothing she can fling this go round.

If it is classic, but just not you anymore, consider giving it to your daughter, niece, cousin, sister, friend—someone who will appreciate it. If it has great monetary value and not much sentimental value, consider selling it.  (Don’t discount the idea of saving —my mother-in-law saved her late husband’s engagement ring—complete with the box it came in –and when my husband proposed, I got the ring (and the box!) )

Hair doo-dads: I am a victim to all sorts of hair accessories. I do not own any banana clips, thank you. But I do have a couple of other torture devices, and a collection of headbands, mismatched barrettes, ouch-less ponytail holders (which I collect on occasion from the floor of the house; they are favored toys for the cats).

I also have a box in the closet full of curlers of differing styles; not one of which has touched my hair in eons. That is a definite fling. And the variety of curling irons? Hairbrushes and combs?

Plenty out there for you to fling, people!

Now, the hard things: I started a bit of flinging in my studio the other day. This is gonna be one heck of a fling. I have some wooden Ikea boxes that hold my writing implements. Pens, markers, paint pens, highlighters, pencils galore.1DSCN0387

I gathered them all (well, actually I forgot my colored drawing pencils) and got a sheet of paper and scribbled. If it didn’t write WELL, I flung it. Turns out I own a LOT of highlighters. And Sharpies. And gel pens. Not nearly as many regular writing pens as I would have suspected (I have an unnatural attraction for new packages of pens at the store) but enough that I felt compelled to grab a handful and take them to work, since our pens are always walking away.

I am going to make it my goal to clear off the top of the cutting table (!!!!) and re-home or fling everything on it so that it may actually be used on occasion as a (!!!!!!) cutting table. That should occupy my free time this week.

(That and some gardening –hey, new season, new dreams–and actually getting the next quilt in my challenge started. This month the word is PASSAGES.)

If you don’t have a studio    😦 then maybe you are close to having a flung house!  Take a look around you, and make your own flinging lists. What have I missed? (Garage, kids rooms, attics, extra closets—my house is sorely lacking in closets)…. You can play along week by week actually FLINGING while you listen to the slow torture that is the complete flinging of a studio, starting NOW.

Carry On flinging…

  • Linen closet
  • Cat toys/supplies
  • Shoes

Does it feel like we should be DONE already???  I chose three categories this week….Some easy, some difficult?

Shoes, for ME, aren’t difficult. I may WANT a lot of pretty, impractical ones, but my feet don’t. I listen to my feet.

If you are going to judge me (for a job, promotion, friendship or what-have-you) based on the fact my shoes aren’t the to-die-for perfect pair for my outfit, rather than appreciate that I know my limitations and work within my abilities, so be it.

My horribly flat, bunion-ed feet need to be comfortable …free and barefoot if possible, but otherwise not forced into something that resembles the shape of my foot not one bit.

The linen closet in my home resembles an ironing board cubby, so I am somewhat forced into obedience here as well. (In my childhood home we actually HAD an ironing board cubby in the kitchen. Ours had shelving added and it was a nifty spice rack…)

A general rule might be:

One bath towel and wash cloth, per person, per day. (Do the math. That seems quite generous. Make it less if you know it works for you!!)  One set for every extra sleeping accommodation. (Couch, guest room, inflatable bed…) That isn’t to say you only use the things once and wash, but it seems more than a reasonable number to allow for laundry issues.

BIG HINT: They do not need to match the bathroom perfectly. They should be more than threadbare. If they are threadbare, move them to car-washing or pet-cleaning status.

If you remember to put them out, then seasonal linens are acceptable to keep. Think about storing them WITH the appropriate holiday decorations, however.

Sheets, pillowcases, etc. One set per bed ON the bed, two back ups. Again, you can allow for seasonal adjustments.

Really, do you need 6 or 7 sets for one bed? Save the nicest sets. (Highest thread count, not stained, still have all the matching pieces…) Maybe store the extra set for the guest room IN the guest room.

Blankets, comforters, quilts. Ok, quilter here. Do not ever fling a quilt. Not one that was made for you, or by someone personally. Find someone to give it to if you must, but it doesn’t go to Goodwill! The bed-in-a-bag $79.99 special, sure. But not one made by hand (By hand, I mean individually created and made by one person to give to anther person,  one at a time.) It can be made on a machine.

If your grandmother made it and you don’t want it anymore, and can’t find someone of your family or friends to take and appreciate  it, email me for my address. (Seriously.)

Blankets with holes–cut them up for pets, or turn into lap blankets or put in the trunk for emergencies.

Tablecloths. If you own them, do you use them? Is there a cabinet in the dining room where they fit and actually get pulled out to use? Otherwise, they seem like prime flinging material.

Pet supplies.


 IMG_5455 Rory.

 IMG_5599 4x6 GandolfIMG_3801 Miss Tatiana.

We have three (not short-haired) cats, seven cat brushes, four lint rollers and STILL have cat hair everywhere. Gonna have to fling the brushes that don’t work, and that they don’t like. Examine their toys and fling the ones that have had the stuffing pulled out of them. (Literally in our case. Hamish had a habit of disemboweling  little fuzzy mice. We would come home and find a flat green mouse and snowy white ‘innards’ of poly filling everywhere!) A crinkly bag (complete with fuzzy tail) houses all their toys, until they pull them out again.

I have a basket on the bookshelf in the den with the brushes and such, which I need to sort and fling. The bath and kitchen cabinets have their meds and vitamins and soaps, gloves and hose for bathing, but they were flung back when I did those rooms.

I think we may have come to just about the end of the easy stuff. Stay tuned, and start your spring cleaning in a spot you’ve already flung. It will be….well, not a joy….but far easier!

containing it all…

Well, the Olympics has been over for a week….did you find this week easier to fling or harder because of the topic (books and magazines?)….

I know I am slowing down…the beginning categories were easy….clothes, dishes, who CARES about that stuff!!! LOL.  It’s these last few weeks that I have not done well….I may need you to check on me and make sure I am walking the walk, ok? Can I hear some success stories?

I think I have, for the most part, resisted the urge to send you out to BUY things to hold all the stuff around you. I believe my thought process was something more along the lines of, ‘lets not buy more containers to store stuff we should be flinging, lets FLING!’ I tried to not fall into the ‘this will make everything easy, if you purchase XXXX"…’ trap.

There is always a breaking point, but the idea was not to get so sucked into the storage sales, the organizational sales that retail pushes on you at the beginning of the year. (Did anyone notice that one of the campaigns run for Sunday coupons was actually about tossing old medicines and clearing out medicine cabinets and re-stashing with all the first aid needs of your family?)

My breaking point is now. And since I have cleared all the shelves at the CVS’s near me, I can share this without fear of MY plans running amok!!

I love containers, boxes, bags….anything decorative that holds stuff. I break down and buy this cute little box or that adorable little basket.  The problems are two: They don’t all play well together. This box doesn’t fit on the shelf with that basket, or looks odd or doesn’t stack well.

The other, and far more difficult issue is that I prefer to have EVERYTHING out. Yeah, a bit of a conundrum. I love the boxes, and the way they make the area look pretty, crisp; and technically they are so helpful to organizing, but I need to have everything at my fingertips! I am a visual person–if I don’t see it, I don’t HAVE it.

Problem number two is a personal issue, that I will have to resolve (Tweak. I play at finding the best way constantly.)

But problem number one will simply require money, and a bit of decision making.

I had to lay out money to buy ALL of the particular storage totes that I decided worked best for me. (Yes, I found a sale.) But the fact is that these containers all stack neatly, are that milky clear color, and easily accommodate the items I want to store.

By the way, this storage is for the studio. I know, we haven’t gotten there officially. (and that many of you don’t have a studio…) …But I have LOTS of stuff going on in there.

Some of the containers I currently use in this room may be repurposed in other rooms, were decorative trumps function. Some others will be flung. This is going to be a LONG Fling in here, when we get there.

Thoughts on storage:

  • Big Lots, CVS, the Container Store, JoAnn Fabrics (the superstore sized ones), Target, Bed Bath and Beyond. There is no ONE place that is going to solve everything for everyone.
  • Just because I am modifying storage doesn’t mean what I have doesn’t count. I can gather the pieces that are similar and use them in some areas, because these pieces DO work. It’s the areas that are NOT working that I am playing with change.
  • Price DOES matter. (At least the full price.) Some of the ‘off’ brands may be great, but the larger items, the ones with drawers, the better (stronger, probably more expensive) brand is a better idea. Mostly because the drawers will not cave from weight, etc.
  • Plastic, wood, hat boxes, baskets: You need to decide on the type of storage and what will GO into the storage container. You are not limited to one type of storage, but resist the urge when shopping to buy a BUNCH of things that don’t work together. That’s what you (I) already have.

The next big task is to avoid simply moving things from box one to box two without flinging. It means that the look of the room is going to be worse while in progress. Accept this.

A labeling system and a shelving system to hold all your boxes needs to be assigned. I own a P-touch, or if you have nice handwriting, a Sharpie and some labels is fine. Something consistent would be better. (just the visual aspect of it….you will feel more organized at the end, don’t you think, if it looks crisp?)

After that?? It’s really up to you. I don’t know WHAT room you purchased containers for, I don’t know HOW you prefer storing things.  Just remember to FLING it first, and store only what is worth storing.

Make this a week to tweak what you have finished, look around the areas you have flung to see if it stayed flung or has it gathered stuff again—basically, ponder how things are going. Shop for some storage, if you find that is a place where you are lacking, and think about beginning your own version, at your own time, of Spring Cleaning. (I am SO not helping out on this one, sorry!!!)