Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is Your Stash Worth Storing?

I confess, my kids are off from school this week and blogging is not a big priority for me. I have ventured into the garage for a bit of decluttering but just a bit. Here's some good decluttering news from the garage though. I was able to sell one of the guinea pig cages that we no longer use. (Decluttering for fun and profit?!)

I'm planning an attack on the cutlery drawer later today. Do I need a fish boning knife? (I'm vegan so probably not.) How many skinny rubber scrapers does one family need? (I hate skinny ones, they do a lousy job.) Is it time to get rid of the knives with the handles that have half come apart from broken rivets? (Probably yes, they were a wedding gift back in 1990. I think we've gotten enough use out of them.) What other mystery crap is taking up space in that drawer??

Meals have been pretty basic. I've relied heavily on my 14 day menu for inspiration. That's not so shocking since that's what it's there for. I guess what's shocking to me is how well it's working.

We've begun the great closet change up, where winter clothing is trucked up to the attic and summer clothing is brought down. This is a great opportunity to go through clothes and weed out the too worn items. Several of Jim's shirts are too worn at the collar and cuffs to be repaired but they'll make great material for the upcoming little boy boxer short project. Other shirts are being saved for rug making projects. The trick is to keep the useful, store it well and still get rid of crap along the way. This is the real challenge.

I save all sorts of things if I think they'll be useful down the road. For example, oversized envelopes with just my son's name on them get sent home from school several times a year. I save them and use them for shipping out my own stuff. I also save padded envelopes. You just put an address label over whatever was written on the envelope the first time. (In fact, I think Ruthie and Sarah have been the recipients of these preused envelopes.) These are useful and easy to store.

Unfortunately, not everything is so clear cut. Only you can look at your stuff and decide what is worth storing and how best to store it (without buying more crap to store it in!!) I'm wondering if a project log would be useful. It could be a place to catalog what you've saved for what project and maybe even to write down a goal finish date. Like the meal plan, would it help you get started on your next project and avoid the abandoned project piles of the past? Could you use it to help you clear future clutter? (If I don't start by this date, I'm never starting this project and these materials should be donated?)

What do you think?


Ruthie said...

Katie ~

I like the idea of a project log, or maybe a little project notebook that you could use 1/2 to list your supplies and 1/2 to write possible future projects. That might be worth investing in...

I'm assuming you're already a member of this group, but I really like:


Anonymous said...


I have a stash of new fabrics that were bought for various projects and then not sewn right away. I have been trying to sew from this stash instead of buying new. Yesterday I made a tee shirt from a fabric that my mom bought for me when I was in high school. Probably about 1976. Talk about your vintage fabric. lol

Katie said...

Ruthie, I hadn't heard of that group before. I just joined since I'm always looking for new ideas. As for investing in the notebook, there's no investment for me. Anyone with kids will tell you, there are always a few notebooks that only get a few pages used during the school year (even though the teacher insists they're necessary.) I have a whole stash of these in a drawer just for such occassions.

You go Margaret! Vintage is good. Think of how hip you are making a tee shirt with vintage fabric!

Chile said...

The concept of a project log sounds good, but it probably wouldn't work for me. I tend to put way too much thought and energy into setting things like that up and then fail to follow-through. I'm trying to wean myself from over-planning and just get right to the work. YMMV, of course. :)

Kali said...

If it is something that costs more to store for 3 months than it is worth, I get rid of it.

Just my two cents worth!

We've eliminated over 2,600 items from our lives since December 1, 2008. It has been very liberating.