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Balance is key.
Two great passions I have that recently needed balancing are 1) having a beautiful, decorated open space where the family can relax, think, create, play and thrive and 2) clinging to my favorite materials until I find a purpose for them, (or more realistically, until someone trips over them then drags them to the dumpster while swearing profusely.)
Recently, my husband, baby girl and I moved states, and in the process, we exchanged our two-story three bedroom/three bathroom condo for a one bedroom/one bathroom apartment. Now, don’t get me wrong: we LOVE our new apartment and our new city, but in order to continue to thrive in this environment, (as opposed to drowning in clutter), we’ve had to figure out how to balance these two passions.
Let me tell you why.
Since I’m always looking for new projects, I hate to throw any materials away that could possibly be used in the future, even if initially, I have no idea how I’m going to use them. I’ve been burned too many times by the regret resulting from realizing, usually a week or so after getting rid of something, “that would have be PERFECT for this!”
So basically, I cling on to random crap for endless amounts of time, hoping I can find a creative purpose for it. While still hating clutter and wanting a clean house.
So, to accommodate my love (obsession?) with not wanting to throw materials away, I’ve been actively looking for practical, creative uses for my materials.
Enter these two beautiful wood ladders that have now been used for three practical purposes:
Initially, these slim ladders were the back halves of two bookshelf ladders that a close friend of ours made for our wedding.
The front two pieces are currently serving as awesome bookshelves in our home, per our friend’s design, but I didn’t have the heart to throw out or give away the back halves! So instead, they moved on to…
… holding our crazy amount of board games! I randomly had a ton of rope left over from another craft project, so all I had to buy were five ceiling anchors, (able to hold up to 200 lbs each, so I figured we’d be covered), and then I strung the ladders up to the ceiling and added our board games.
Every time someone came over to the house, this unique storage idea was unanimously complimented, and it made me so glad I held on to those ladders rather than caving in to my clutter-driven stress and tossing them out the window! I wish I could provide more detailed instructions on how I strung up the ladders, but I honestly winged it because I was impatient…
Now, in our new apartment, we noticed right away that the ceiling eeeever so slightly shakes when the upstairs neighbors walk around in a particularly animated way, (I like to think they’re closet flamenco dancers practicing for their big break), but whatever the case, this didn’t seem like an ideal situation for a hanging ladder containing all of our games.
I still didn’t want to get rid of these beautiful ladders, but was thinking it might finally be time to let them go…
Until I remembered we hadn’t bought a dinning room table yet.
So, the ladders were disassembled, chopped up, and remade into this neat dining table for the family! It’s small, but the perfect size for our new place.
Sometimes you have to just get rid of clutter. But, if you have a material that you really think is worth it, there’s almost always a way it can be repurposed.
You might have to hold on to it for a little while until the opportunity arises where it can serve as the creative solution to a new problem, but it is always worth it when you finally find the perfect fit.
Stay restless, Creatives!