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A big shoutout to Sim who knows me and how I think. It was her comments on a previous post about this stuff that really helped me move past my paralysis and guilt relating to my crafting/not crafting/stash/huge number of WIPs. She suggested I put away the charm quilt that was squelching my crafting mojo, be cool with the project lying on hold for a while, and then audit my entire WIPs.

So this took me a while, both due to limited time and also having to actually face both the mess and the unfinished objects. But as one of my tasks I have tackled in my 5 day break, I actually spent a good couple of hours on this. I both created order and more serenity with my craft WIPs and space and I also found the spare bedroom bed. (I then was encouraged to sort out all the clean washing in that room the following day and found the bedroom floor for bonus points. A couple more smaller tasks to go in that room and I can sign it off as Completed. It’s funny how once you break through the paralysis, you just keep eating away at the elephant. And it’s all so much less insurmountable).

I took photos of everything. All my knitting works in progress have been uploaded to my Ravelry page. And yeah, I can see how in that form it’s all a lot less scary and horrible and a lot more encouraging to work through. My name over at Ravelry is girliejones if you’re then and want to be friends.

There doesn’t seem to be an equally useful quilting equivalent so I opened a spreadsheet and loaded all my quilt projects before folding them neatly up and putting them away in my craft cupboard. I also put all related bits and pieces for each project in its own labelled box. This killed two birds – 1. everything is neat and grouped and easy to pick up and put down and 2. it put use to all the little boxes I can’t part with.

Here’s an overview of the quilt projects. You’ll be able to see the gradual reduction in mess on the bed underneath as the task progressed.

The only thing I have left is to sort my fabric scraps. I’ve been picking up a few scrap quilt books and it turns out, saving every last morsel of fabric is ok and perfectly normal and you can make really stunning quilts from them. And you don’t have to only have one scrap quilt for all your scraps. Thus my dreaded scrap quilt which was getting me down can be finished off with the blocks made, I can feel good about drawing a line under it and feel excited about looking into other possible quilts. But first I have to sort them. So – more boxes to be put to work as I sort these according to colour. Another ongoing project but easy to go into the room and do a few and then move on.

Now I just have to decide if I feel up to cataloguing the rest of my yarn stash into Ravelry …

But I feel *so* much better now! And everything is far less daunting and confronting and doable again. And I have a few finished pieces to show! I am interested to see if my catalogues will be used by me – it can be really easy to file that stuff away and then it’s out of sight so you don’t feel bad and then you never go looking for it so you can continue to not feel bad. But the interesting thing in all this decluttering has been to let go of the guilt of having to finish something – a book, a project, whatever – just because I bought it or started it. It’s very freeing to say, “actually, I don’t like this” or “I’m not enjoying this” or “it doesn’t work for me” or “it’s not what I thought it would be” and to then act by giving yourself permission to … gift or donate the book or unravel a started project. So much future time freed up for new and other things!

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  • By Mit on 29 April 2012 at 12:59 am

    I love ravelry for organising stuff. I don’t have all my yarn stash on there as I find it easier to open the boxes and I have a fairly good idea of what I have.

  • By AlisaK on 29 April 2012 at 1:05 am

    I feel like the judgey “you are entering stash item number 37″ could get a bit old. Especially when that is just the tip of the iceberg of my stash.
    I think if you have ideas for items and you want them in a queue, it works well. But I still want to feel like I’m browsing in a store and find unexpected things in my stash sometimes.

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