Dusting our bookshelves yesterday, I found myself staring at a stack of books I’ve had more than 30 years. Every move – high school to college, apartment to apartment, rented houses to our first real home – I think these may be the only items that have made every trip. Yet, I can’t tell you the last time I looked at them.
I love what they represent – my childhood love of old movies! – and still love their contents, but do I love them enough to dust them for all eternity? No. So, I applied my theory of use-it-or-lose-it and committed to either finding a way to use these or come to terms with letting them go.
During my last trip to our attic (searching for items I could use for other upcycling projects) I brought down several too-good-to-throw-away containers. Toys that are made to last tend to come in equally well made containers. Keep that in mind when you’re sorting through your things – the contents may be missing, incomplete or no longer useful, but what about the bin?
You will never hear me say “I have too many containers.” Storing, separating, or even hiding the materials I collect for my work is so much easier when I have beautiful bins of all shapes and sizes. And how cool are these? For a moment, I considered using these Lincoln Log and Tinker Toy containers as-is and just think of them as retro or gitchy. But, let’s be honest; in a house with children under the age of 18 they’ll just look like more clutter. So, out came the Mod Podge.
One container helped solve my use-it-or-lose-it dilemma and is now covered in some of my favorite photos from the Pictorial History of Gone with the Wind. Another bin is covered with scraps of paper (all 2″ x 3″ or smaller) saved from scrapbooking, card-making and upcycling gift tags. I’ll probably do the same thing with the third bin, if only because I need to use more of my pretty scraps (I swear they multiply in the dark!).
Sure, in the end, I’m still left with three books – except now they’re sitting in my craft closet (as fodder for future projects) instead of collecting dust on my bookshelf. But, clearing a shelf wasn’t really the point, was it? For me, this was another reminder that I find so much more joy in using something than I do just having it.
Plus, did you see how beautiful my new bins are?