Finish or discard unfinished projects.

It happens to all of us.

Sometimes you have a great idea for a project.  Maybe you saw it in a magazine or had the idea at Lowe’s, or maybe you are like me and are a Pinterest addict.  🙂  Regardless, you buy the materials for the project.  And maybe you even begin it.  But you stop in mid-stream.  Maybe your painting was less than perfect for some reason–temperature?  humidity?–and you became frustrated.  Maybe you didn’t really like the color of the paint you bought–brown leather wasn’t supposed to look like baby poop, right?  Maybe you needed to buy a new blade or router bit.  Or maybe you simply ran out of time or motivation.

Whatever the reason, you probably have at least one project you started a while back and haven’t finished.  So today, I suggest that you finish it.  Go to Lowe’s or Michaels or A.C. Moore or Hobby Lobby or Joann and buy what’s necessary, and then finish the project.

But let’s be honest.  Some of you aren’t going to finish the project and you know it. Not today, not tomorrow, not next week or next month or even next year.  Because you just don’t care about it anymore.  And there’s no crime in that.  Yes, you’ve wasted some money and some time.  But why waste more money and more time to finish something you don’t love in the first place?  So throw it away.  No, really.

Several years ago, I saw a blog post about redoing a thrift store magazine rack–one of those wooden ones that everyone had in the 1980’s.  And not long afterward, I saw one of those racks at a thrift store.  I thought it would hold our laptops in a place where we could easily find them, so I bought it.  And then I painted it white.  It was one of my first painting projects, and since we were still living in an apartment at that time, I decided not to bother with the “hassle” of sanding it.  I just painted.  And painted another coat.  And painted another coat.  And didn’t bother taking it apart to paint it at all.  It was fine until my then-baby started peeling away the paint on it.  And then I put it away.  When we moved into this house, I sanded it and tried painting it again.  And because of its awkward shape, it was difficult to paint without smudging.  So I put it in the garage and left it.  As of yesterday, it is in the garbage.

When I was decluttering last year, I located a Rubbermaid container of knitting and crocheting supplies I bought when I first started crafting.  I even took a class and couldn’t master that skill.  (To be candid, I have large clumsy hands, and I totally blame them.)  That was five years ago.  My niece does fiber crafting, so I sent all of my skeins of yarn to her.  I haven’t missed them.  The guest closet has a lot less clutter in it because of decisions like that one.  And I’m sure my niece was thankful to get some more yarn PLUS that yarn actually found a use.

Kenny Rogers was right, you know.  (Actually, the songwriter of “The Gambler” was Don Schlitz.)  You do have the know when to fold and when to run.  Sometimes, you just cut your losses to avoid losing more space, more money, or more time.

So for the rest of this week, go through your projects and either finish them or toss them. It’s quite liberating.

Time required:  If you have no unfinished projects, you’ll spend no time on this task.  If you have unfinished projects galore as I do, you could spend hours finishing and discarding previously unfinished projects.  I’m still working on it!


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