Thanks for the great comments and emails about yesterday's post, guys! You made some great points.
I went through my books and magazines yesterday. It was great! I felt better and better with each one I let go. It was like a weight was lifting with all of those images that at one point I had thought, "Oh, I might like to make that!" but have never gotten to. I'm feeling way better about that part of my office now, if anything I feel like I am still keeping too many!
You want to know the most interesting part? There were many books and magazines that when I picked them up I thought to myself, "Oh, I know I love this one. I don't even need to look through it." But I made myself look through each one, to make sure I really, really loved it. And you know what, probably half of the "I know I love this" books and magazines didn't spark joy once I looked through the projects again! It was incredibly eye opening.
I really like what MJ said in her comment yesterday about "decluttering for my fantasy self." I think I've been holding on to things that my fantasy self thinks I love, and more specifically my fantasy self thinks I have time to get to. This is an interesting concept, isn't it? In all parts of my life I have been trying to simplify, watch what I really am using, and get really focused on what I want to be spending my time on. It is this clear focus that is really helping me sort through things and keep only the things that I want to be spending my crafting time on. I stopped buying yarn and craft supplies right after P was born-- minus the special skein here or there, or something I was getting started on right away (I do craft for work, after all!!!). The mental simplifying and focusing like this has been there, it is the physical simplifying that is just now happening.
Here's what I have been doing. Beyond evaluating for if something "sparks joy," I have asked myself, "If you walked into a store and saw this today, is this something you would be willing to part with your money for and bring home and store?" Since I love so many crafty things, but realistically don't want so many things, this has helped me beyond just sparking joy. In the rest of the house this is not such an issue, but in crafting my logical side takes over and thinks, "Well you really like this and you might need this at some point, you should probably hang on to it. And craft supplies can be expensive, so don't be wasteful since you are definitely not going to stop making!" Deciding whether I would go out and intentionally buy it today is helping me overcome this thinking.
With the sparks joy concept, plus letting go of my fantasy self and focusing on my realistic here-and-now self, and my "Would you love this enough in the store to bring it home today" thought, I tackled my yarn stash today. I took it from six big bins.....
To three big bins. (Notice my fabric stash there to the side and back in the photos!)
Not too shabby I think. I'm feeling good about what I kept and what I let go, and I think in 6 months I will re-evaluate again and see what has not been touched. I kept some things that don't entirely spark joy and I probably wouldn't buy that exact version today, but I have projects planned for them. For instance, I kept some left overs from some book writing projects that aren't my favorite colors, but I know they would make great socks for my kids, which I want to make more of. I would definitely buy that yarn again in a heartbeat, just not the color I have left overs of. So I figure I will give it some time and see if I get to these type things (or if that is my fantasy self talking) and sort through again later.
Now I am starting on my fabric stash, which is definitely proving harder than my yarn stash, surprisingly. I think it is because sewing takes me so much less time than knitting these days that I have been leaning towards more sewing projects. And I can get sewing projects done sometimes while the kids are up! I always have a project or two on my needles, but I have like 17 sewing projects going in my mind all the time just waiting for me to walk into my office to get started. And, I have been obsessing over scrap projects recently, so there is that to deal with since I look at my 2" scraps and think, "I can use this!"...I'll let you know how this part of the stash sort goes!
I love this conversation! I will definitely keep thinking and posting about this idea. Thanks guys! This is really brightening my week.
Also, my Interweave Knits only went back to 2002, not 1998 like I thought!