Culling the Herd

This move to Oregon is going to be a very good thing.  Once we’re actually there.  Until then, I am struggling to stay positive amid the stress of keeping our home in show condition for a sale, packing, and purging, all while trying to maintain a family routine and have a fun summer.  Whew!  I’m tired just saying all of that.  The good news is, we’re almost finished with our house projects and soon will be able to spend more time on summer fun and less time painting, cleaning, moving dirt, and rearranging furniture.

The impending move has me mentally going through my yarn and knitting book stash, contemplating only keeping those items I truly love.  Over the 4 years I have been knitting, plenty of yarn has found its way into my possession.  Some of the yarn I purchased thoughtfully, others more spontaneously.  Then there is the gift yarn, yarn I accepted in destashes or swaps, and the leftovers from almost all my projects.  That is a lot of yarn.  I know it’s light and doesn’t take up much space, but I am trying to apply the same rule to my craft supplies as I am for the rest of our possessions: cut down by 50%.  It’s expensive to move, especially when you’re talking about moving some 3,000 miles coast to coast.  So we’re getting a shipping container and only taking what will fit into its 16′ x 8′ confines.  This is a bold and slightly scary strategy, but one that will leave us moving only the best of what we own and love.

I think this is a good challenge.  We seem to expand and contract our things to fit into however much square footage we are living in.  That means that when we moved into a larger home, we went out and bought 2 new sofas for the family and living rooms.  That leaves us with 3 sofas and a futon.  Way too many!  My yarn stash also increased when I was able to have a dedicated craft room. I guess all of this is to say that we will be having a family moving sale this summer, and I will be having a yarn and knitting book destash sale.  If you’re interested, please visit my Sale/Trade page on Ravelry and make an offer.

Also, it’s time for another giveaway!

Leave a comment on this post by the end of Monday, June 28th to be entered to win. Tell me about how you stash, de-stash, organize, or declutter.   I will draw a winner at random who will receive the following:

Classic Knits at Home by Erika Knight

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15 thoughts on “Culling the Herd

  1. Sometimes I set a percentage goal for myself too: cut down by a third, etc. Sometimes I just go through the bookshelves or the knitting stash and pull out everything I don’t really love. It helps if I have a dedicated box to put it in, and also a specific place to donate it to.

    We might be moving this summer too, so I’m thinking about ways to declutter/destash. Good luck!

  2. it seems like no matter what i do the stash keeps growing!! i use rubbermaid containers to organize and i TRY (key word) to always have a scrap buster project going. scrap-ghans are good for donating or for keeping in the car for long trips or when you need an outdoor blanket! it is an uphill battle! good luck on your move, i enjoy your blog!

  3. I don’t destash LOL The one time I did destash I just got rid of all the polyester/Walmart purchased yarn and kept the good stuff 🙂

    Also, that dog is sooooo cute! I will take him off your hands! LOL

  4. The last time I destashed I went through and pulled out those yarns I hadn’t enjoyed knitting last time; the yarns that were in colours that didn’t inspire me and ones I’d bought for the boys but hadn’t knitted up before they needed more yarn than I had. And then I went out and bought more, sigh.

  5. I try not to stash. I try not buy yarn unless I’m going to be using it immediately. This works pretty well, except for when a project gets abandoned. I tend to abandon projects if I start a new one, so I have to be a pretty monogamous knitter.

    I just cleared out a whole lot of clutter (and decided I didn’t need leftovers of everything I’d ever knit with) last month. I gave away a lot of stuff to our church basement sale, and recycled or threw away the rest. You can see the results of my re-organization here:

    http://pdxknitterati.com/2010/06/01/ikea-idea-realized/

    And now I feel like I can breathe again! I can’t think when I have too much clutter around me…

  6. WHAT!!!! Just send it to ME! I hate to sound greedy, but if you know I will love it then by all means send it my way. We need to talk…..

  7. I suck at decluttering. I’m a pile-ler. I go through phases and I’ll do a huge cleaning in one day and clean out one room, then I’ll slack until I can’t stand it and do it again…

  8. good luck on your move. i am retired and in my 70’s now, and soon it will be time to
    really de-stash. as in moving to the HOME, it will be hard as we learn to love our yarns and getting rid of them is like getting rid of an old friend. Books are the hardest. you can, however, feel good about it when they get a loving home. carpe diem.

  9. Organizing – I use clear shoe boxes to sort my yarn by colour. They look great stacked on my shelving unit.

    De-stashing – I teach high school and I am always looking for supplies for my students. I work with students at-risk and I teach them how to knit – I can’t get the knitting needles out of their hands! Perhaps there is a local school, nursing home or cancer centre (my Mom is part of a survivor/cancer patient knitting club at our local cancer wellness centre) that you can donate your yarn to. My class and I knit preemie caps and silkscreen onsies for local hospitals.

    Best wishes in ‘condensing’ your belongings – hope your move goes smoothly.
    L.

  10. Funny that you have this post today as I’m currently culling things from the house. I usually do it at the change of every season. Also, the kids have a strict toy in, toy out policy. Good luck with your move!

  11. I would love to say that I’m super-organized, but what I really do is: let everything get completely out of hand, then have fun organizing into 99c plastic bins from Home Depot. Repeat. Usually when I’m reorganizing, I see some yarn (which I usually don’t have enough of) that inspires a new project. I try not to have more than two projects on the needles at one time, though.

  12. Once in a while I get the destashing urge and I try to find the yarn (or other stuff) that has a very very small chance of actually being knitted. I’ve sold things on eBay before, usually for a very low price, and I have a bag of random skeins ready to be listed when I’m back from vacation…

  13. I am terrible at day-to-day de-cluttering. I just don’t “see” the clutter that piles up around here – my husband sees it all, so he reminds me about it. When I do get in the zone to declutter and purge, I can be quite ruthless. A great motivator for me is to watch any of those reality shows about Hoarding and that usually scares me into action.

  14. I stash like I breathe. it seems to be involuntary.

    Occasionally I destash like I diet. Painstakingly, moderately successfully and only for as long as is absolutely necessary.

    Good luck with your move – that fresh start feeling is intoxicating 🙂

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