De-Stashing & Sharing the Bounty

OK, I’m not really de-stashing, not right now. I’ve been doing it regularly for the past several years, though, and there’s more to do. But this stuff right here?

before laundering & sorting

It doesn’t really count as de-stashing because I never actually added to a stash: it’s a fabulous haul from an estate sale that made it only as far as the laundry room and is now being sorted so a lot of it can be boxed to send as a surprise to someone far away. I washed it all in hot water with a little bleach, and I’ve got it neatly smoothed out and stacked up and am feeling pretty good. And just really, really happy it’s not all staying here at my house.

Because it’s got me really thinking about de-stashing for a couple reasons. For one thing, seeing this much stuff in the room where I work is really horrifying. I’ve got some other stuff waiting to be altered, and all together it’s an overwhelming amount of stuff. Having it all here makes me realize how hard it is to even *think,* never mind work, in a space filled with this much stuff.

The other thing is that the place where I got this was the house of someone who had recently died, and her friends are going through her stuff. And, honeys, she had a LOT of stuff. Tons of stuff. Stuff still in the bags in which she bought it. Clothes, fabric, trims. I bought three boxes/baskets full of vintage handkerchiefs and linens, most of which still had the price tags from the sales where she bought them. There are hundreds of these, and no one had any idea what to do with them. They’re nice but not really valuable, and vintage hankies are kind of an acquired taste. I washed half a dozen large loads of these and have spent the last couple days sorting through them.

And thinking, all the while, about what I need to de-stash next–because I don’t want my husband to have to do it after I’m gone. The stuff I’ve saved over the years is the kind of stuff that’s valuable to me in doing the things I do (wool felt, old silk, faded and worn denim) but that isn’t worth much of anything at all to anyone else. The truth is, to anyone else it’s just a bunch of junk that’s going to be a pain to have hauled away. So while I’m keeping the materials I use all the time, there’s other stuff that’s going to go.

It’s going on my list of New Year’s Resolutions: Get rid of everything I don’t need and *use* OR really love a lot. For me, this applies mostly to clothes, and the rule there will be: if I’ve never worn it, it goes out. Sure, I may think it’s fabulous, and I may have spent weeks stitching on it, but if I’ve had it for years and haven’t ever worn it, there’s no room for it here.

What’s your weakness? Blank journals? Streteched canvasses? Colored pencils? Wooden cigar boxes? If you’ve got something you’ve been hanging on to but haven’t ever used, maybe 2012 is the year you can find some new homes for it all. Remember: clearing space makes room for something new. Not just new stuff, but new energy. New ideas. New ways of thinking.

Me? I’m off to the store to buy a big shipping box. I know someone who’s going to be delighted with this stash~~

after laundering, w/one of the studio assistants

ready to be boxed up

Ricë also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


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