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On Washing Fabric + Just Getting Started


gray buffalo check curtains

I hit a slump a few weeks ago.

My motivation has been low.

My to-do list is multiplying like rabbits.

My neck and back got tweaked after dragging a treadmill down the street and then trying to carry a giant bag of potting soil by myself. (Why do I think I still have the strength of a 20 year old??)

I just wasn’t getting much done.

I thought back to a few bigger projects I’ve worked on recently, trying to figure out what I did exactly to get started.

For my recent PTA audit, I started by sharpening my pencils and printing out spreadsheets.

For a bunch of mending projects I needed to get done, I made a pile of things and placed them next to my sewing box.

Even for writing a blog post, just adding a title to a post and listing a few ideas is often enough to get me started.

Right after I started thinking about big projects in tiny steps, I came across this article about the Ivy Lee Method. It struck me, not because any single project is the most important thing I could do on a particular day (one of the big ideas behind this method), but because of the idea of overcoming the “friction of starting” by focusing on just one single step.

So, for my project today – curtains for BB’s room, something that’s been on my list for TWO YEARS – I started small.

I washed the fabric.

(And yes, I actually wrote “wash fabric” on my to-do list.)

You may recall that we did a few projects in his room a couple of summers ago. I ordered gray buffalo check fabric then to make him some coordinating curtains.

But I just haven’t gotten around to it. It’s shown up on my to-do list every couple of months, but I knew it was going to take a long time (I’m not a very fast seamstress). The thought of making these curtains start-to-finish was overwhelming.

gray buffalo check curtains

But just getting started with the smallest possible step – washing the fabric – was easy.

gray buffalo check curtains

After that, I broke it down into tiny steps that I could do in little bits of time – measure and pin the panels, iron the hems, sew the hems, install the curtain rods, attach the clips, hang the curtains.

gray buffalo check curtains

And then, just like that, it was finished!gray buffalo check curtains


BB got this awesome microscope for his birthday from the Fake Adopted California Grandparents. It’s been SO much fun to look at anything and everything we’ve come across over the last few weeks!

(Confession: Our kids clean their own rooms, but I did some deep cleaning for these photos. It NEVER, I mean NEVER EVER looks like this. He came home and said, “Whoa, Mom! What happened to my room? It looks amazing!” Yeah, don’t get used to it, buddy.)

gray buffalo check curtains

gray buffalo check curtains

Every time I walk by his door, I smile. (Even with the piles of LEGOs back on the floor.)

I LOVE how much brighter and put-together his room looks with the curtains, and I appreciate the daily reminder to break big projects into the next tiny step.

(Next on my list? “Fix finials” – because these mismatched ones on BB’s curtain rods are driving me bonkers!)






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