I have so many projects planned that at times I can become paralyzed. I am working on gardens, furniture, writing, organizing and the list goes on. I need a quick fix, something that can be accomplished without spending money or investing more than an hour but will help to enrich or make my life easier. So, with that in mind I chose a couple of different things to do that kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list of things to do because they didn’t seem important, while in essence they were probably the most important because they could be accomplished with very little effort and/or time and made an immediate impact. Now I will tell you that these don’t look like they belong on anyone’s Pinterest boards (although they will be on mine) because I am a realist. I have reached a stage in my life that while I appreciate beauty and clever ways to do things, my main concern is that I want it to function and look good also. Some people on Pinterest spend a lot of time and money and their projects look beautiful, great. I am looking to make my life easier and functional, this does not mean I don’t want it to be beautiful it just means that I believe function is beautiful and I like to use what I have on hand. I am sharing with you my projects when I can to show you that you can use what you have, make things work for you and help you to live everyday sensibly. I am not into spending a ton of money to organize or beautify my surroundings unless absolutely necessary. I have other things to spend my money on.
My first project was fixing a “brass”standing lamp that had seen better days for use in my living room. I had purchased( along time ago) a small lampshade to replace the old one that had become brittle and fell to pieces. I had a can of chocolate brown satin finish spray paint that would be just enough to cover it. Cleaned and degreased it was ready, so I took it outside put on one coat and set it to dry. A couple of hours later I put the last coat on basically finishing the can of paint and left it to dry. Before night fall I brought it into the basement to set and it was all ready the next day, new bulb, new shade and it is lighting up the corner nicely! In essence cost me nothing.
Herbs and spices have a shelf life: Dried herbs 1-3 years, ground spices 3 to 4 years and whole spices about 4 years. Ok, my herbs and spices needed to be culled! I had items that I bought for one recipe and never used again and items from my mothers herbs and spices(she wrote dates on the tops), now I will say here as a confession that my mother died in 2010 so to say that I had some of hers isn’t good.
It is a good idea to date them, although I don’t think she paid attention to them either.
These are from 1989 the year my son was born and he is 28 years old! I set about emptying the old ones, cleaning them out to recycle and then looked at others that I never use and cannot remember how long I have had them. I mean really do they even make Bac-Os anymore?
Some of the others didn’t even have enough in them to use properly. It was akin to the time when your husband puts the orange juice back in the fridge with only a swallow left and then doesn’t understand why you didn’t get a new carton while food shopping! These were useless but if I looked quickly it looks as if I had them so why replace them!
I had items that had formed a solid block, meaning the air had gotten to them and rendered the useless as well as tasteless. Now all of these items are expensive to replace all at once, although I will not even buy some of them as I won’t use them again, probably.
Summer is a good time to do this as I can get fresh herbs now in plant form or small bunches to use as needed and when the weather starts to cool I can decide whether or not to grow the plant indoors or purchase one at a time while needed. I may not have a beautiful, alphabetized spice cabinet, but it is behind closed doors and I know what is in there and it is functional. A small victory. I now can attack other larger projects with a renewed vigor because I have accomplished these nagging little projects.
So these little victories have helped me to realize that things don’t have to be perfect or even “Pinterest” perfect to help you enjoy living everyday.