Cleaning Out the Craft Room

Every year, I take some time to clean out my life of junk. I have found that excess clutter, even stuff I used to love, can weigh me down immeasurably. There are so many ways I can benefit myself and others by removing it, that some of my favorite projects each year are the ones where I have sloughed off a bunch of items I have no need for. In talking with my little sister, I've found she often does the same thing, though she's a little more extreme with it than I am.

This year, as I unpacked and organized my craft room from our move last October (it wasn't set up until after my emotional breakdowns and getting that personal space back has been essential in my recovery), I decided to go through it slowly. I trashed a lot of random junk first, but then I focused on my yarn and roving stash next. 

I went through it all and a lot of it I decided to give away. The Random Act of Kindness group on Ravelry was my choice, so first I pulled out the yarn I didn't want anymore that was still nice and unused, and searched to find people who would want it. I did find quite a long list of people who fit the bill and then began partitioning out the items and sent for their addresses to send the items on their way without the recipients knowing. I like surprising people.

This was my set-up as I went (the lone post-it was someone who wanted a card, so I sent that out first). A few days after this shot, all of those piles had been shipped/delivered (one happened to be in my own town, so I doorbell ditched it off at her house instead of paying the shipping cost).

After that was done, I pulled out all the little odds and ends in my stash--the half skeins, the handspun I had done, and I picked a pattern and started knitting with them.

I began making the most eclectic--even hideous--patchwork blanket out of all my old scraps of yarn skeins. Spousal Unit loves this; he says it reminds him of his childhood. He has since called dibs on the finished product, though I have no idea when I will finish it. The point of this blanket is to get rid of bits of yarn I don't have further plans for, so away it goes!

As you can see, it's grown. I put all the yarn bits and the blanket in a tote of its own with the needles and it's there for when I decide to work on it. It's a no-rush stash-busting project.

Then, I turned my eye two weeks ago to my fabric stash. This was certainly more daunting because I had many more unfinished projects and ideas hidden away and I have never gone through it. But, that meant to me that I should do it now. The Young Women's group at church needed fabric and I knew I had plenty I didn't want or need left, and boy was I right. I have three large, over-stuffed bins of fabric, but considering I own no sewing machine and don't really enjoy sewing, that was a bit much for me to realistically need.

I went through and organized it all and ended up with a large bag for my church, and I trashed a whole bin of old T-shirts I was going to quilt someday when I cared about quilting (never) and scraps of crappy mending and fabric projects. The remaining two fabric bins are not over-stuffed and organized for my medieval garb and doll clothing projects, with the third bin empty and stacked in case I need it under my gift bin (I have a bin that I keep gifts for the future inside--it currently has some Christmas gifts and items that might be needed for gifting sometime).

This effort has massively cleared space in my much smaller craft room, as well as in my mind. I did none of this all at once, just did it one section at a time, and rejoiced in my small victories over clutter. I highly recommend to anyone to do this. Just pick a bin, and go through it, be ruthless with yourself, and get rid of what you know you will never use or need. If it's nice, donate in some fashion. If it's not, trash it. Then you can more thoroughly enjoy the remnants in more space.


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