The series where we talk about having a thoughtful stash.
So last week I talked about identifying the reasons why we stash. Which was an incredibly useful way of figuring out how to create change - I loved your comments too - but this week for me was all about getting practical. And the first step was looking at what I actually have, and seeing whether I could figure out practically how I purchase, what I purchase, and if possible figure out why.
And it was really interesting. What I found was many many things I have purchased without thought. Many things where I'm not quite sure why I purchased them. For example, I have two metres of BRIGHT YELLOW linen that is of a skirt weight. I don't really want a bright yellow skirt…..and I don't remember ever wanting a bright yellow skirt. I can't for the life of me figure out what it was for, especially as 2m would be a lot for a skirt?
I'm not sure if my stash is large or small. I know it isn't huge, but in a way that isn't that relevant. What is relevant is it's thoughtlessness.
So here is what I have learned:
1. I buy yarn in smaller than useful batches. I like a yarn, I think it is pretty and I want some. I don't want to buy a sweaters worth (as that would be excessive ;)) so I buy a little. And a little isn't that useful. So it sits there. Three balls of wool over and over.
2. I buy bright fabrics that catch my eye in a store, but they aren't what I want to wear, and they aren't what I want the kids wearing, so they sit unused.
3. I don't use scraps because I keep buying for the next project, so I always have something new and shiny to play with. Therefore I am super inefficient with fabric. I have lots of pieces of 0.5m or less. Lots.
4. I have a massive mending pile. And again, it sits there because I often have something new to play with, instead of working with what I have.
5. I avoid using fabrics and yarns I really love. I'm worried that I won't love what I make. I'm worried that if I use it for one project I won't be able to another (classic opportunity cost avoidance). I'm worried that I haven't thought up the "perfect" project.
6. I keep some of my supplies in sweater form. I have made many ill-fitting sweaters over the years as I have been practising in the gap. And instead of accepting that mistakes are how you learn, and addressing the fact that they will never (EVER) be worn, I leave them in the cupboard as monuments to learning. And that is being generous to me and my motivation. I've started addressing that this week.
I'd love to hear about your stash - what it looks like and why.
Previous post: Stash Less - Why we stash!
Note: I wanted to clarify, in case you have missed earlier posts (or I confused you) that I'm not saying I want to go stashless. I love having a stash. I believe in a stash. But I want to have a mindful stash. I'm saying that I want to reduce my stash and reduce my stashing behaviour - so I want to stash less often, As Kasia said in the comments last week "if I'm not making just collecting, I'm basically hoarding right?" I don't want to be a hoarder.