Spring Cleaning and Your Yarn Stash

Filed in Out of Our Head by on March 17, 2016 2 Comments

Several months ago I heard about a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. As a life-long messy person, I was intrigued. And although I had to discount some of the details I found to be a bit silly, the general premises made a lot of sense to me.

Spring cleaning and your yarn stash

So as the method requires, I have been working through categories instead of working through rooms. Although I still have several more major categories to tackle, I am finding that the reduction of “stuff” has been rather liberating. And yes, I have already gotten through the areas of books, office, and craft. I was also talking about dealing with leftover yarns and stash this weekend as it was the focus of the event I at which I was teaching.


I have never actually been much of a reader, so the quantity of books I own that are truly mine as opposed to my husband’s or shared was truly overwhelming. I cannot begin to tell you the quantity of books that were donated to our local “Friends of the Library” association.

Even so, I still have a significant number of books still in the house. However, the ones that were truly just taking up space (I never open or are past their point value for me) are now gone. It makes it much easier to find what I am looking for since now the majority of books are in a single location instead of tucked in shelves throughout the house. I also rediscovered some gems that I had forgotten about.


This one is always a bit strange for me since I know that there is a certain amount of paperwork I am required to keep to meet IRS requirements. But since I have electronic back-ups of many things, the actual paper required is so much less. Currently our home holds seven 3′-wide lateral file drawers (two 2-drawer cabinets and one 3-drawer cabinet). Much of one drawer was occupied holding empty file folders (I used to be a bit of an office supply junkie).

After the clean we are down to about 3.5 drawers being full. Once we go through my husband’s papers we might be able to get that reduced significantly. Ultimately, we no longer need the 3-drawer cabinet (contact me if you live in the area and are interested in getting it for a great price).

Like with the books, I am nowhere near paperless, but I realize I am keeping so much less than I used to. I am printing less and shredding more.

Craft (Yarn)

No surprise, this one can be difficult for me, but over the years and through this process I have been able to let go of so much more than I have in the past. The truth is that each time I release any of my prior stash out into the world, I have a much lighter heart. I know that it will bring joy to someone else who loves yarn just as it did for me at one time. It also releases me of the guilt to “do something with it.”

What I have kept is all the leftover bits and miscellaneous skeins because as I recently read about fabric, I consider it my palette. It is where I go for inspiration and once I find the “right” yarn, then I either buy enough or find a suitable substitution.

But since most of my knitting is done on a deadline for someone else, it is folly to believe I am going to get to many (if any) of those knitting projects just for me. When I am ready to retire from knitting (if that ever happens), then I might start looking at yarn differently once again. Either way, I am confident that I will be able to find some when the time is right.

When it comes to your yarn stash, do you go through it on a regular basis to ensure there is nothing that needs to find a new home or do you just love it all?

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