Why unfinished projects encourage us to keep stuff

After five years I have conceded defeat. The antique meat safe which I acquired after my in-laws died should not belong to me. For several years it lived at my parents house because it was too large to fit in our flat. One Christmas I spent an afternoon stripping paint but ran out of steam to repaint it. Then we moved into a teeny weeny house.  The meat safe moved in with us – still unfinished. It didn’t fit and sat awkwardly in an alcove, cluttering up a room.  Eighteen months later I have finally realised that the meat safe has to go.granite tor.JPG

Unfinished projects or UFO’s can be a bit of curse. They offer so much potential and  might represent a whole lot of work which means we can be reluctant to get rid of them. But there is no point hanging onto something for ten years if you really aren’t going to finish it. By then you probably have lost interest or your taste has changed and don’t want it anyway.

Unfinished projects need not go to the tip. Recently a relative mentioned she had been given a half finished patchwork quilt which came from a charity shop. She was thrilled – there was a lot of expensive material in that unfinished quilt.  She has finished quilt which now adorns her bed. Your UFO could be someones treasure.

These days I’m now a whole lot tougher on myself with numbers of projects on the go. I keep a project book which lists all projects, including really little five minute ones like sewing on a button or shortening a necklace. If I’m ever at a loose end or have an hour to spare I have a ready made list of projects to get stuck into. Having a list also makes it clearer that I’m stuck on project because there is a problem.


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