Here is where the rubber meets the road. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves, and do the work it will take, to fulfill the goals you made last week. Remember, things are probably going to get messier, before they get better. But it will be worth it! I promise!
The very first thing you need to do is stop the temptation to buy more fabric. Unfollow fabric shops and destash pages on Instagram and Facebook. Stay away from Massdrop! (And if you don’t know what Massdrop is, please don’t go and Google it!!!!) Don’t worry – there are plenty of other people out there to buy fabric from these places. They won’t go out of business when you stop buying fabric!
I find it best to just work on a section of your stash at a time. Unless you have a small area that you think you could realistically go through in less than a morning, then you will have to take it bit by bit!
Choose an area that will be patently obvious that you’ve worked on, so that you will be encouraged to keep going: maybe an area you always notice when you first walk into your sewing room, or a particularly messy spot that you just know will make you feel more peaceful once it’s been sorted.
For goodness sake, only take off the shelf or out of the cupboard, the fabrics/patterns/projects you will be able to deal with in the time you have (a morning, three hours, it’s your choice). There is nothing more discouraging than to have a great mess at the end of the morning, and you’re only half way through sorting. I wouldn’t suggest spending more than three hours at a time, as it can be both physically and emotionally draining. Unless, of course, your stash is small, and a concerted effort over a weekend should get it sorted!!
As you go, sort your stash into three piles:
1. KEEP – The fabric you love and couldn’t possibly get rid of; fabric that you have a definite plan for and still want to make; half-finished projects that you really want to finish, and other patterns/supplies that you are sure you will use.
2. SELL – Fabric you bought but your likes have changed; fabric that you quite like but don’t really have a plan for; patterns and other supplies that you just know you could never make in your lifetime! If you think you’ll be able to sell them on Instagram or Facebook, then they go in this pile. If they don’t sell, then you can add them to your GIVE pile. You can always read this post if you need some tips on selling on Instagram.
3. GIVE – You can put anything you’d like to donate in this pile. Either give to the Salvation Army or St Vinnies where someone who can’t afford this hobby, might be blessed by your crafty supplies. Otherwise, there are many schools, or community organizations, that would love donations of this kind.
As you pick up each bundle of fabric, or each WIP (Work In Progress), you need to ask yourself the following questions:
o Do I really love this?
o Do I have a plan for this?
o Will I truly make the effort to make this pattern?
o Do I really want to finish this WIP?
o Could someone else use this instead of it just sitting on my shelf?
You need to answer these questions truthfully, or you are going to end up putting most of your stash back on the shelf, and then you’ll be right back where you started.
You also need to answer realistically – do you have enough years left in your lifetime to make all the things?!?!
These will be hard decisions to make, but it will be so worth it.
If you truly want to see a difference in how your stash is managed, then you should be seeing results after every sorting session. This step could take just one morning if you have a little stash, or a morning a week for months, if you have a large, out-of-control stash.
It’s also a good idea to have a friend be your accountability partner – to help encourage you to continue sorting through your stash till you’ve finished. If you need help in this area, I have started a small business helping/coaching crafters in the \ stash management process. It’s called Sew Sorted, and you can contact me via my Contact Page, or find me on Instagram at @sewsorted.
For some people, this process will be a long hard slog, but so worth the effort. And you will feel ever so happy and peaceful when you have your stash under control!
Next week, in the final installment, we’ll talk about going forward – the future of your stash!
Till next time,