De-cluttering the craft stash

trilobiteFebruary 1, 2010

Can someone please talk me through passing on fabric and yarn I'm not using?

I need room a lot more than I need fabric I haven't done anything with in *gulps* fifteen years, but I need a pep talk.

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Sort out what fabric no longer suits your sewing plans and sell it on eBay.

I dumped a huge batch of cotton fabric quickly as a "Instant Stash" for quilters. I made fat quarters and sold them in collections based on style or color, then sold the rest in several huge batches.

Even the scraps went as "Big basket of scraps for string quilts or appliques" ... not for much, but it went to a crafter who was happy to get them.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 1:48PM
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There are groups around--usually affiliated with churches--who knit and for the homeless or missions. If you wanted to donate I'm sure they would be happy to get it. My cousin belongs to one of them. If you put a notice in your church I'm sure there's someone who knows where it should go.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 2:31PM
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There are folks who need that fabric: Community rec center, Senior Center, Home Ec dept of your local High school, Girl Scout troops...
15 years is a long time, so claim a tax deductible donation and reclaim your space!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 3:06PM
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I've been donating my fabric to an artist re-use place. They LOVE to receive old fabric. Having a place to donate it makes it much easier to give it away.

I went to donate a bunch of kids fabric at Christmastime one year, but the place was closed for cleaning up. As I was bringing the fabric back to my car, a woman came up to me, explained that she had kids and asked for the fabric. I said yes and carried it to her car. Then, she reached in the car and pulled out two lovely bags she made and gave them to me as a thank you. The whole exchange really made my day! And, I didn't have to bring the fabric back home!

Maybe such a place exists near you.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 11:15PM
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Trilobite, I am in the same boat - only I have other crafting supplies in addition to yarn and fabric. These are good ideas. I'm going to start asking around to see who can use my stuff.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:24PM
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Thank you everyone for all your suggestions!

And you've hit the nail on the head, some of this stuff is nice and I'm having real issues just taking it to the random thrift I usually take stuff to.

Also, some of this stuff I am still using. I'm just trying to bring myself to pass on what's no longer to my taste and keep only what I love and inspires me.

I'm going to try the "reverse discard" trick. That's when you start with what you CAN'T live without, what you really really love. After you've determined what you don't love, it's a little easier to pick through it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 9:09AM
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I'm a bit late chiming in. What you decided to do is exactly what I was going to suggest. Instead of deciding what to give away, decide what you really want to KEEP. Then give the rest away. Our sewing plans and tastes in fabric change over the years. Go with what interests you these days! :-)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 7:10PM
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I'm attaching a link for a website where you can make pillowcases for kids with cancer. There are directions on the website. I saw this woman on Martha Stewart some time ago. I believe you can donate just the fabric as well. There are drop off locations all over the U.S. Just an idea for anyone who wants to find a home for cotton fabric.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pillowcases for cancer kids

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 11:55PM
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i have been going thru this for a while too..i used to teach craft classes and do a lot of crafts..but when i lost so much in our house fire i haven't wanted to spend that much time and $ in putting things in this house only to lose them again..and how much will i make for other people..a few baby afgans?

i'm also getting to where my hands (polyperepherial neuropathy) are in such bad feeling in fingers, numbness...that some things are just difficult for me to do any more..

i put a lot of money into beading supplies a few years ago..and now my fingers don't work very well..also embroidery and hand sewing etc..

and then i put a lot of money into patterns to sew myself clothes and then gained back 50 pounds..not really excited about sewing when i'm so overweight..

so there is a lot to think about here..what will i really be able to do..and if i'm able..will i really want to do it.

i'll be 60 in a year and a half..i need to clear in my head what i want to keep and what i don't..and go from there..

i haven't worn a piece of jewelry in a few how much do i need to have..i think the beading stuff will be some of the first stuff to go..even though it is mostly all brand new..just too hard to pick up and why if i don't wear it.

i enjoy painting and crocheting and am sure i'll do some sewing in the future..but other than that..i think i'm going to pass on all the rest of my crafting things..boy won't the charities love that !!!!! and i'll have a lot of room

and then there is gift wrap..i seldom give gifts any more and if i do i usually use a i think 90 % of the gift wrap stuff is going to move on as well..

move it move it move it

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 1:28PM
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For me there are usually 2 issues:

One is whether I am experiencing a sense of loss or disappointment in myself if I had accumulated stuff for a craft, or a collection, and didn't do it or lost interest but can't admit I won't ever do it. That takes a bit of soul-searching and pep talk. Usually I can see that I have just too many interests and it is just a part of me to get excited over something but later realize I don't have time and energy for it or just realize that when it came right down to it, I did dabble in it, but I like some other things I am doing more, and I realize that I still have hobbies and interests and it's just time to let it go.

Other is when it is a good current interest but maybe I've refined it, usually focused on a subset of something, and then I can do as above and say, let's line all this stuff up and see what no longer fits in my form of the hobby. That can actually be fun, because you are "specializing" further. Like, I want to grow every flower and vegetable there is, but I began to "specialize" in certain things that worked best with my growing conditions,gardening energies, and how they fit in with other interests, and that very focus helped me let go of stuff associated with the too-broad approach and give myself a break on it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:30PM
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I can tell you if you contact your local nursing home,any craft items that you have and are willing to donate would be greatly appreciated. I work as a Life Enrichment Director an I am ever so greatful and thankful when crafters clean out and donate, and the residents are toon my resident help me go through the items and start planning how each can be used. Craft supplies are items that Nursing homes can never have too much of cause you always have a large group using them. Thanks for sharing where ever you decide to share your excess supplies with.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 9:25PM
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Ronbre, if you live in or near a major city, you should be able to sell your jewelry making supplies on Craig's List. If you live near DC, I know someone who would love to buy it.

I have a zillion hobbies and enjoy them all, but usually do only one or two a year. I was guilty of buying way too much but I stopped a few years ago. Put a moratorium on buying. I only buy if I have a project 95% completed and run out of something I need to finish it. So I am not adding to my supplies, and I am slowly using up my stash. VERY slowly.

Will donate some paper mache boxes. I've decided it makes more sense to focus on painting wooden boxes; they last longer. But it has been two weeks and I have not taken the paper mache boxes to the thrift store. Sigh.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 10:01PM
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One of the things they teach on Clean House is to par down at least half, or try for quarter. Split what you have into like and dislike. Then split that into what you think you will use and allow yourself to keep that amount only. To take it further do this: give yourself a date to use that fabric by. Say 6 months. If you don't use it, donate it. Then allow yourself to only buy for a current project.

For organizing lots of supplies you can take plastic shoeboxes, dollar store is cheap. Label each box and sort away. Label them. They store just enough to keep you busy but not hoarding.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 4:52PM
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