Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Some kind of crazy tidying and organising bug got me over the holidays, and even before the New Year bells rang, I began whittling away at the accumulations of things around me, those little drifts of stuff that collect here and there, in a drawer, on a window ledge, above a fire. Then when the rain stopped long enough for me to sprint across the garden to the shed, I tackled a stash.
[Side note: not The stash, but A stash - more specifically my stash of yarn.]
Last year, we remodelled our bedroom and substituted a gargantuan built-in wardrobe for something slightly smaller. While all of that was happening, my stash of yarn - organised into 4 clear plastic boxes - was sent to the shed to await repatriation. Over the summer my knitting mojo has been fairly elusive and not much has happened (see this if you don't believe me), but with Christmas and all, I picked up my needles again and the mojo was back.
Kondo's approach to tidying/decluttering is to discard first and then organise. She advocates gathering things into one place, and handling everything as you decide whether to keep or not. Her test involves asking yourself if something gives you joy. For the stash I used a 'do I want to knit with this?' test.
It was surprisingly easy to part with a lot of stuff: novelty bobbly yarns; squeaky acrylic; single balls of chunky yarn; half a pack of green wool yarn - I used the other half to knit a nice cardigan, but couldn't imagine making anything else in that colour; a whole pile of slubbed cotton yarn in bright pink, and something similar in black which I've had since the 1990s, Habu paper yarn which I've had for about 5 years but never worked out what I would do with...
I also let go of two very lovely handknit Aran sweaters that my maternal grandmother made. They were made for my dad, and I have had them for at least 10 years. I tried them on (again). They still made me look like a lumpy sausage. My husband tried them on too. They made him look like a badly dressed schoolboy, wearing a too small hand me down. I hope they find good new homes with people that they fit.
Other things were definitely on the keep pile - all of my nice hand dyed sock yarn, and plain 4 ply for baby things, small piles of nice DK yarn, some odds and ends of mohair, and some cones of grey and teal yarn that I have distant plans for. I managed to hunt out all the little project bags concealed around the house and gather them together.
The end result was a big pile of things
We donated it to a local charity shop later that day (the Bethany Shop next to Summerhall in case you are interested).
And, the rest of the yarn was organised into 2 clear plastic boxes, and stowed without drama in the wardrobe. Tada!
One box is mostly DK or heavier weight yarn, and the other is 4 ply, sock yarn, lace weight and other special skeins.
It's nice having my yarn nearby again, so I can squish it whenever I want. It feels like a good to be clearing out and clarifying like this.
My next target is books, and then after that I will have to take on
Cue scary music.