Weaving Wellness Month: Destashing and Taking Inventory of that Mess
Welcome to Mirrix’s third post as part of Weaving Wellness Month! Every Wednesday this month we will be featuring a blog post related to weaving and wellness. Check out our first post here on experiences and happiness and our second post here by guest blogger Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten on yoga stretches for crafters.
Today’s post is by Mirrix CEO Claudia Chase. In it she discusses workspace cleaning and destashing. Check out her six steps to destashing success below!
I am not a hoarder by nature. I don’t need to hire someone to help me get rid of stuff. I do that fairly well without guidance. That being said, why is my studio and storage closet and cupboards filled with so much stuff I obviously will never use? It just happens. So in celebration of Weaving Wellness Month at Mirrix I decided that my path to wellness would be to take inventory of all my Mirrix stuff. This hasn’t been done in a while. It’s been done piecemeal, throwing out a thing here and there but no concerted effort to really take stock of all the stuff that has consumed my free space.
This is not a one or two day job. This is a big project and it takes thought and division of goals and projects. For example, I can’t just say: gotta get rid of stuff? I have to say: need to get rid of old catalogues (yarn makers who have been out of business for ten years but I still cling to their sample cards!), bank statements from the last century, credit card bills which I’ve been paying online for years and literally twenty years of everything Mirrix has ever done not so neatly stored in boxes with the date of last year. I have made a dent in the paperwork but have only filled one garbage can. The rest has to be shredded and that could take days because my shredder is pretty wimpy.
The next project was to go through material I’ve been saving for thirty some odd years. Some of it (the velveteen) I actually new I want to use for an upcoming kit. It’s gorgeous stuff I bought from a dress maker thirty some odd years ago but I had no idea how much I had left. It was mixed in with a bunch of material I can live without. I went through those boxes and carefully folded and stored the good stuff and plan to bring the rest to the give away shack at the recycling station. This is my pile:
And the the magazines. I will need reread them. I removed the handful that I thought I might actually reread some day or need as a reference now that I’ve finally found them. But mostly, I need to get rid of them. So eventually I will find a good new home for them. Here is my pile:
I have a long way to go. That storage cabinet is a sore spot. Oh and that closet. Okay those two closets! I am going to have let go. I am going to have to admit that some of those tapestries are awful and just need to leave. What do I want to do with this stuff? A lot of it will make someone else really happy so most likely I will just give it away, possibly mention them on our closed Facebook page. I just want this stuff out of here and I want all my shelves to look like this one:
Let me set out some goals for you if you want to take this uncluttering journey:
Step 1: Identify the areas you need to destash. For example (and for me): paperwork, beads, yarn, half-made projects, nick-knacks, supplies for kits.
Step 2: Tackle one area at a time. Take all your paperwork and put it in a pile on the floor. Pour yourself a cup of tea. Sit down with this stuff and start going through it. Divide it into three plies: 1) shredding pile, 2) garbage pile, 3) must keep pile. If you are like me, your keep pile will be the smallest. Then deal with it (shred, toss out, put away).
Step 3: Take our all your supplies (beads, yarn and tools) and put in piles of: 1) must, must keep, 2) give away, 3) sell. My sell pile is more of a “give to someone who needs it more than I do pile.”
Step 4: Oh those half-made projects that are keeping you from moving to new projects: if they are made of beads, recycle them. If they are made of yarn, you probably can’t do that. So dare I say: toss it. Sounds harsh, but you will sigh a big sigh of relief once they are out of your life.
Step 5: Knick-knacks: Oh how they pile up and gather dust. I was able to get rid of quite a few. The only things I won’t get rid of are items that were made for me or precious items given to me by a friend or family member. But a broken basket I purchased for myself has no place in my life nor does a candle with its wick missing!
Step 6: Other stuff buried in drawers and cabinets and trunks. Empty them out. Pile them on the floor. Is it really necessary to keep that old dried out bottle of ink you bought in the last century? The stray bits from looms you no longer own? Pens with dried out ink and colored pencils too small to hold? Curled paper? Nasty looking erasers? Sand that has landed in your drawers somehow? Clean it out and clear it out. If you have’t used it in five years, you just might never use it.
I am the daughter of a mother who constantly got rid of everything. In retrospect, I am not so happy she made me give away my Barbie dolls the day I stopped playing with them. They would be worth a fortune. So I an half her and half me. I don’t like to hoard but I do value certain things and will not get rid of them unless someday I am forced to carry all my belongings on my back. My husband, on the other hand, just lets stuff pile up inelegantly. But he never notices when I get rid of some of that junk. He just doesn’t notice. Thank goodness!
The question you have to ask yourself: Am I a hoarder and how much joy do I get from this stuff I can never find when and if I need it? Do I really need it?
And lastly, with the stuff you do keep: neatly store it and acknowledge its existence so that someday when you do need it you will remember you have it and know where to find it!
For me, my brain is such a mess of stuff that my workspace needs to be neat. When I start a project I have to organize it to death before I can begin. Destashing is one way for me to hold onto my sanity while I try to be as creative as possible. And that is the goal: keep your space clean so your mind can clutter!