Decorating / Help / neat little extras / Troubleshooting with Stephanie

Un-clutter (and Un-rage) with Upcycling

How. can. I. manage. all.. this… CLUTTER?!? If you live in a capitalist society, the gradual accumulation of minimally useful crap might be driving you crazy. For me, closed, orderly systems are satisfying. When everything has a place where it belongs, where it lives happily with its fellows and says, “Ahhh, there you are… what’s up homeslice?” a small, mischievous voice celebrates victory. Me: 1, Chaos: zilch. Bwahaha. And hey, because of crafty internet users, you can use the stuff you already have to organize the stuff you don’t want to get rid of. And you won’t have to buy more stuff! Welcome to *trumpets sound* the world of upcycling.

Most of the creepily-perfect pictures of craft rooms on Pinterest involve buying a whole lot more thing-a-ma-bobs, which you’ll have to disassemble, move, store, donate, or otherwise deal with at some point in the future. Instead, make it easier on yourself. Deal with what you’ve got. Here are some great ideas–in order from easiest to hardest–to help calm the chaos without adding to it:

1. Use forms that already follow function. Design is hot in SF and Silicon Valley. A lot of products come in packaging that’s been designed by pros to catch the eye and complete your happy circuit. Put your electronics cords in Apple electronics boxes. I mean, they’re pretty and pretty well-made, so they’re begging to be reused. Make up products can also come in a set of 4 sturdy mini-walls. Say thank you to the packaging designers and go with it. And wait…shoes can go in shoeboxes! Who knew?

what i did with my sheet music2. Holy cans reincarnated! Sweet Nothings and Yesterday on Tuesday both have instructions for turning cans and canisters from your pantry into appealing pen holders and the like. Different textures, different looks, same principle. Get busy, and hear the satisfying clink of formerly wild gizmos hitting that aluminum base.

gravity-defying paintbrushes

I think they’ll try defying gravity.

3. Hang upcycled. Alright, so I was snarking on Pinterest earlier, but this board has some sweet ideas for hangers and wall decorations. I’m skeptical that this old-paintbrushes-as-hooks will hold up, but someone’s gotta try it and report back. For those who doubted the real-life skills of the kids with permanent mohawks: shame on you.

4.  Frame yo’ face. This is the Bonus Round. Double jeopardy, the Final Countdown… you know. Time to put your skills on the line for an old window-turned-scarf-rack. If there are still panes in the window, please wear protective gloves and your Common Sense Hat while removing said panes.

Speaking of common sense… it’s good to keep in mind that even with our best efforts, clutter happens. Our lives happen. And if you’re doing it right, life gets messy. Trying to wrassle the world into submission, even your own small world, can be draining. If you’ve reached your limit and your room isn’t Pin-able, it’s cool. Don’t go Gilmore on your happy. Zen it out. Let it go.

Go in your home ball, why don't you go in your home

(Or are you one of those who can’t get enough practi-crafty? Really? Sheesh.  I have some half-finished projects you might like…alright, fine, here are some more ideas to check out. Drool away. Or you don’t have the time to make your old stuff into a handy shma-nananah? Someone else probably made one, and they’re selling it on Etsy. Reduce, reuse, recycle, baby, ’cause we all like our hooome.)

Now that home ec is over, will you wear my Pin? Awww…shucks.

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(Photocredits: Sweet Nothings, CMyBacon (via Pinterest), Film Guru Lad)


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