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How to make a scissor and stabilizer organizer for sewing and embroidery.

As I was walking around Goodwill the other day I came across this thing. IMG_0637

It is rough and ugly but I knew I could make it into something so I bought it.  It sat on the desk for a few days before I figured out what it would become.

It became this.

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It now sits right behind and to the left of my sewing desk. If I need scissors, embroidery stabilizer, or a seam ripper all I have to do is turn around and ta da,  there it is.

The first thing I did was clean it with a damp rag.  It wasn’t very dirty so I didn’t need a scrub brush.  I did need a dowl for the stabilizer.  I loaded up the dog in the truck and took her to our favorite hardware store, Home Depot.  Home Depot is my favorite hardware store because it has everything.  It is the dogs’ because they will let her come in.

Once home I hit the dowl and the wood rack with krylon spray paint. My favorite decor color is blue.  I have a whole ocean/peace/tranquility thing going on.  After it dried it was just a matter of hanging it on the wall and putting my scissors, seam ripper, and stabilizer on it.

Super easy!  Super cheap! Super functional!

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Organized Yard Sale

You have been decluttering for a bit now.  Some things were given away. Some went in the trash. Some were listed on Facebook or Ebay.  Some of it is still lingering in bins in the garage.  Those lingering bins are the signal that it is time for a yard sale.

An average yard sale is not organized.  Stuff is jumbled in with other stuff. Nothing is tagged so if you ask what the price is and it seems high then you assume the other stuff is also high and leave.  Stuff is dirty or broken or just plain ugly.

So how do you take your yard sale from average to spectacular and money-making?

1. Cover your tables.  A twin sheet covers an average folding table.  Pick them up at Goodwill or another thrift shop.  Nobody wants to look at dirty tables.

2. Inspect every item for cleanliness and free of breakage.  If it is broken put it in the recycle. If it is dirty wash it.

3. Tag each item with a price sticker.  Be realistic about your prices.

4. Group like items together. Kitchen stuff goes with kitchen stuff.  Toys go with toys. Kitchen stuff and toys do not get mixed together.  Leave enough space between items so that it does not look like a pile of junk.

5. Have cash on hand. $10’s $5’s $1’s and quarters.

6.   Plastic bags and newspaper (for wrapping breakables) is a must have.

7.  Make signs that are bright and catchy. Attach them to boxes that you can set on the street corners.  If it is windy take some big rocks or bricks to put in the box.  At the end of the day pick up your boxes.  It is so disappointing looking for a yard sale and finding out the box is from weeks ago.  Plus it makes the neighborhood look trashy.

8. Advertise on social media.  You can pay for an add in the newspaper but this is usually unnecessary.

9. Greet each person that comes to the sale. Don’t be pushy but if someone looks like they are looking for something in particular go ahead and ask them.  Don’t make too much small talk unless they start it.  Definitely don’t tell them your life story.

10.  Wear comfy but appropriate clothing.  Have a chair, a bottle of water, and sunscreen.

11. Before the end of the sale decide what you are doing with the leftovers. Are they going back in bins for another yard sale later?  Or are you going to donate the stuff?  It is perfectly OK to do either or both.  Just don’t put it back in your house. That will defeat the purpose of getting rid of the clutter.

Happy Yard Sale-ing!

 

 

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Buying used: save money, save the earth.

I love buying used but I hate shopping.  Unless it is yard sales and thrift shops.  Growing up I wasn’t allowed to go to yard sales or thrift stores.  When I asked why my mother said “we are not Those kind of people”.  That was her answer to a couple of other questions I also asked.  I am not sure what “Those” kind of people are but I have become one.

I craft and sell on Etsy and through this blog.  Sewing is tranquil and helps me unwind from being a social worker.  Sewing feeds the creative part of my inner soul. It can also get really expensive if buying retail from Hobby Lobby even with the 40% off coupon.  I do buy some things from Hobby Lobby. It is the only fabric store in our small town. The majority of my fabrics, threads, ribbons, zippers, and notions come from estate and yard sales.  Occasionally I find sewing supplies in the thrift stores also. This brings down the cost of being creative.

By buying at yard sales and thrift stores I provide a service to those who are selling and the the earth by “recycling” not needed stuff that may have gone into the landfill. Other peoples unwanted stuff becomes my useful stuff.  I only buy things I will actually use and will use in the near future.  When it comes to fabric the near future is the next five years. The majority of my home is furnished and decorated with finds from yard sales and thrift stores.  My clothes come mostly from thrift stores. Except for underclothes those are exclusively brand new.

Buying used also helps the community and yourself. You are providing an income to people that need it the most whether it is the person having the yard sale or the thrift store that provides a community service.  Buying used is almost always a win-win for all involved.

Share with me in the comments how and what you buy used. I enjoy hearing your ideas.