Lately, I have been having mini panic attacks about how much crap is in my house. This is not exactly a new situation, but either I brought in one thing too many or my tolerance for clutter went down. I call it stuffication. There's just stuff everywhere, and it's not organized or put away, and I suspect that's because there is too much of it. That amount of junk could never be organized unless I lived in an IKEA. Which wouldn't be so bad, because then people in nice sweaters could come by and buy some of it off me. Also, I could use a different kitchen every day of the week.

Some of the junk is Josh's, because the only reason we don't have blow-out fights about all the mess is that we are similarly messy people. While his piles of crap make my eye twitch, I've got too many of my own piles to harp on it. So I'm going to tend my own garden for a while, and then once I've lifted that weight, I can get to nagging about the random musical equipment lying around. If you're going to nag, do it from the moral high ground.

The first thing I did was to transform ripped futon covers into fabric scraps. We had four of these, four futon covers that were useless at covering a futon, courtesy of my pitbull. I will restate that pitbulls are sweet and faithful pets, but they are rough on the furniture. In her defense, she was not trying to rip holes in the futon covers. She was merely trying to de-stuff the futon mattress, and the cover just got in the way. The mattress itself is sad, but barely two years old, and I will be danged if I get a new one for her to ruin. At first, I sewed up the holes the best I could, and then I tried using iron-on patches, but those were a lot of work when the wound was just going to be reopened by the same muscular jaws. So, duct tape, then.

Futon covers are not easy to come by in the secondhand marketplace, and as a result I've switched to using fitted double sheets. These can be had for a dollar apiece if you're willing to dig through the bins at the Rescue Mission, though sometimes those bins also contain open safety pins and spiders. The sheet idea works great, though it still requires some fine-tuning. For instance, it took me only until the first rainy day to figure out that the sheets needed to be dark-colored, otherwise they get decorated with large paw prints. I don't care if there are muddy pawprints on my couch, but I don't want to be able to see them. The only problem with the sheet solution is that when the futon is in the couch position, the uncovered backside of the mattress shows through the wooden slats, and you can see the duct tape. The solution to this problem is to decide not to care.

I kept the futon covers, because...I don't know, because I did. Because I hate to throw stuff away. Because despite the ragged holes, most of the material was intact. Each cover had been ruined on both sides, of course, otherwise I would have just flipped them over. Obviously, I had already tried that, merely providing a fresh canvas for my dog's teeth. I had grand ideas about using the material in some kind of sewing project. Not that I didn't already have fabric scraps that I wasn't using, but now I had more.

Anyway, I decided that this was hoarding. And that when the time comes that I wanted to sew something specific, I could go to the bins at Rescue Mission. Maybe I'd get lucky and I could buy back my own futon covers. So I ripped apart the seams, and then cut around the holes so that it wasn't completely obvious that these were just ruined linens. And then I had a nice stack of fabric scraps, and I thought about how I could probably make something really cool out of this stuff, maybe I should keep - NO. That's hoarding. It feels good to purge, and it also feels good to rip things apart. Just ask my dog.

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