Monday, November 08, 2010

Stash Diving and Decluttering

I suffer from a wonderful schedule in which I am off on every other Friday. For the last year or so I have been using that lone day to accomplish the majority of my sorting, cleaning, and decluttering.

It's a day off work, but not a day of not working.


This last Friday was a very busy day. I started off with the resolve to photograph all the yarns I don't want to keep *gasp* and get them listed on Ravelry. For the dual purpose of getting them out of the house and of getting a little cash in my pocket.

I started culling, and anything that I could not think of a reasonable project, within a reasonable amount of time (which for the purposes of this exercise was about 15 seconds!) that I wanted to make, then it went in the To-Go pile.

I was totally ignoring brand names, what I paid for it, what I meant it to be...if I didn't want to cast on with it now, it went. I mean, really - why did I buy aran weight cotton in my colors? Because I really want to wear a heavy summer sweater in Michigan?? Two sweaters' worth?? Super bulky pink yarn? So I can bury a baby in a sweater that weighs more than she does? I've made some pretty poor buying decisions, and I've been hanging onto the results of binge-shopping for far too long.

In about 45 minutes I had ruthlessly tossed my entire yarn stash! I pulled out bins and boxes and bags from all corners of the basement, as I had already migrated all the yarn to the basement.

I was left with four plastic bins of yarn to keep, and an enormous pile of yarn I didn't really care about.

Because for me, it really was a form of hoarding.

And when I was done, and had neatly packed the yarn I was keeping into tidy bins by weight, I phoned Jofran to gloat.

And she was duly proud of me.

And promptly sold the entire lot to a new knitter.

How much yarn are we talking? This much:

Four normal-sized garbage bags, one enormous garbage bag full of sock yarn, and a box of random cones.

It filled the trunk of the Jetta and the back seat.
I drove it all to Dearborn and left behind a huge weight from my shoulders and a very overwhelmed new knitter (who has since, I understand, sold off parts of the stash that she doesn't plan to use and recouped some of her own investment - smart woman!!)
I felt so free, so light, so happy to be getting rid of all that...clutter... from my life, I wasn't even upset about selling it at a fraction of it's value. Granted, I could have listed it all on Ravelry, and sold it off in tiny increments, running to the post office daily for a few weeks, sorting through the piles daily, and constantly monitoring my messages, and I would have made back close to 75% of my investment.
And driven myself crazy in the process. And I would still have some of it hanging around afterwards.
Instead, I dropped the whole pile into the lap of an ecstatic woman who would not have bought herself such nice yarn in a yarn shop, and nowhere near the price she would have paid.
And I'm happy with that.
For me, buying the yarn was an experience. Kind of like going to the movies, or getting a massage, it was something I enjoyed at the time, and I was glad to pay for that experience. I enjoyed it, I loved the yarn (at some point), and I paid for experience of owning it. It is no longer an asset to me. It had become clutter, and was sucking the life and energy out of me, along with all the other crap in the house and garage that I haven't gotten to getting rid of yet. I was able to part with it so easily because the yarn itself no longer held any value for me.

I have no regrets about getting rid of it in this way.
Well, I guess I do have one. I feel badly for the sweetheart I sold it to - she later had a bit of a panic-attack of the what-did-I-just-do variety.
Later that evening I felt completely guilt-free while winding this lovely cake of Schafer Anne in preparation for a new project .
And I am left with one dilemma - what in the world do I do with this?

For scale, those are 10" tiles on the floor.
I do have limits on what I'll dump on unsuspecting new knitters - so this bag remained behind.
100% wool, mega-bulky yarn in natural sheepy colors, some in dreadlocks.

Pay the shipping, and you can have the whole bag!


Jofran said...

Well - there is now one happy knitter one happy weaver and one enabler happily petting their new yarn in Dearborn.

Alwen said...

Looks like it wants to be woven into wool rugs to me!

Mel said...

Congrats on the decluttering! I need to call you about a scarf and socks!!! (need/want both) =)

knutty knitter said...

I;d love the wool but the shipping..To New Zealand??

Unfortunately not I'm afraid.

viv in nz