When I was growing up my Papa called me his princess. My husband and son treat me like one to this day. Yet, for the longest time I was a pauper to the clutter in my every day life in my home and my finances. Then one day I decided it was time to stop living like a pauper and to be the princess everyone thought of me as. This is the journey I took to de-clutter all aspects of my life and become a true PRINCESS!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


It’s amazing what you uncover as you clear and area.  Things long forgotten slowly work their way to the top and you often wonder “why do I still have that?”  

Years ago I “played with dead people” on a daily basis.  No I am not a mortician, I’ll leave that to my friend Sharon.  Nor am I freak of some sort.  I am an amateur genealogist and for a long time pursuing the ancestry of my children was all enveloping.  I spent a LOT of money on magazines, newsletters and much more.  

While clearing a small bookshelf from the debris that was on and surrounding it I unearthed all these magazines.  Some I’ve never even opened and probably never will. 

Oh I still have my love for genealogy, but now I do most of my research online or by visiting the actual sites.  These research materials I am certain hold great info for someone, but I do not see me using them for some while.  Therefore they do not pass rule #1 of the reasons to keep them. 
But the back of my mind keeps whining , “but you may want to look through them some day and find a very valuable clue. “
What to do?  I really wanted that shelf space for something else, but I hated the idea of possibility of losing even a single clue.  Then I hit upon the perfect solution.  
Our local small town genealogy society!  I knew their resources and finances were really low and that they didn’t have any of these magazines, quarterlies or newsletters when I last looked there.  That is why I bought them. 
I also knew there were people that were searching those same areas as I am.  So I decided to “share the wealth” and donate them to the genealogy society along with some church membership photos from the 1920’s and similar other materials that I knew were hiding in the closet and file cabinet.  Both of those were yet to be cleaned out and organized.  I was not looking forward to either of them.  But they were on the list to do in the very near future.
Most of these items I can easily scan into my computer using the document feed and then look at them to my heart’s content and have that shelf space for my craft room.
That way they would be available to me when I wanted to use them and others would benefit as well.  I like that. 
This is something to consider when you are clearing things out.  If something is of historical or genealogy significance, be it a written text, ephemera, or an old photo and you no longer want it, please donate it to your local historical or genealogy society.  They are always looking for new finds and have very limited budgets.  Your donation could help someone else in a big way.
Okay, I’m off my soap box now.  Back to the book case.  Once I made the decision to donate those quarterlies that left me with a nearly clear shelf to put my Cricut cartridges on.  
I know of people who own over 300 Cricut cartridges.  Even with my recent purchase of four new ones on a great sale I am no where even near 25.  So I currently only need one full shelf and space for 1-3 more on the second shelf for them.  Still I decided I would use this little bookcase for my cartridges.  It is strategically located between my work computer and my Cricut machine on my work table.  Where better to put them? 
I started alphabetizing them then ran into a problem because some of them had came in blister packs rather than the nice boxes that held the overlays and cartridges.  Plus the new universal overlay ones I had were in a box less than one third the size of the original boxes.  BUMMER!  I wanted a uniformed look.  Time to get creative. 
Many people like separating their cartridges all into one box with their booklets and overlays elsewhere. There are a lot of really good examples of this on the web.  I’ve seen clever containers made out of a flat lidded box that are divided with cut up pieces of plastic canvas to make perfect cartridge size containers, but that separates the overlays and booklets from the cartridge.  I don’t like that personally.
I know me.  If I have them stored separate something will turn up missing, or the overlay will get torn or something.  I prefer to keep mine all together, snug in a secure box.  So when I am putting the cartridge up when I am finished with it I only have to go to one source for storage.
I could put my few boxless ones in my juke box and put the overlays and books in the bottom of that, but then I’ll forget where they are and not use them to their best advantage.  Better to have all the cartridges together so I could pick and choose as I wanted from one spot when crafting.

So for those that have their individual overlays the only option was to create a similar box for those few cartridges that needed it.
First I alphabetized the ones that had the original boxes.  Then using one as a pattern I used my envelope punch board to create a box the same size for each cartridge I needed one for. 

It turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than I had planned and I spent most of one day creating them. The procedure was simple enough once I had the punches right.  My next post will include photos, measurements and how to’s to make similar boxes to fit on your shelves with your Cricut cartridges, because it would make this post far too long for those not interested. 

I knew that I still had a lot of the original box cartridges to purchase in the future, so I didn’t want to designate a whole shelf right away to the tiny new universal overlay type boxes.  
That’s when I discovered the little boxes would fit easily on the shelf in front of the original style ones, without any dangerous over hang.  Problem solved.  I could double row the boxes, see where everything was and still have a great universal look.
I moved on to the second shelf from there.  It was filled with various sizes of three ring binders.  One by one I opened them to find that either the info in them was something I no longer needed or it was something that could be scanned and stored on the computer.  An example of this were my copies of various print outs of different ancient family genealogies that I had either purchased or been given of long dead ancestors and their numerous branches. 
The out of date info was of course discarded and the genealogies set over to be scanned as time rolled on. 
Once these were scanned they would join the quarterlies I was going to donate to the genealogy society.  Again a win for everyone involved.
That left the bottom shelf nearly empty for now, but that won’t be a problem.  I can put decorative items there until I need the space for those all important cartridges
I did decide to leave my old CD container on the top of the bookshelf because not only did it fit easily, it still had several slots available in it that I could use in the future to put cd cases of stored scrapbooking items in once I determined what I wanted to store in them.  There are a lot of options for such storage.
The other slots are filled with genealogy research CD’s and they need to be right by my computer for when I am doing research.
My computer desk has a built in CD rack as well and my most often used research cds are there.
So at the end of the day I found myself with a well cleaned and organized bookshelf that I could now easily access and enjoy. It will be even better as soon as I get those boxes built.
Plus the enjoyable task ahead of me reading the various genealogies as I scanned them for permanent storage and the joy of sharing the source materials with others.

Jan who loves it when things work out that way in OK