Stashing less, stashing better - all of these things are important to me and I thought it was time for me to share a bit my experience so far. I have definitely de-stashed, through selling and some serious review of my stash - and giving away quite a chunk of it. Whether I can stash less though, the jury is still out there but I have tried to put things in place to stash less.
1. I have no choice - I have a minimum space for my stash.
We have a small house, or cozy for the 4 of us (and that's without the boys having too many things). Mr MiH, bless him, built me a shed/hobby room (yes the whole shed, I know), it is not big but it is my place and I love it. He built shelves, 4 of them - 4 boxes can fit on them - that's your lot. This is where all my yarn and fabric stash will live. At the moment, it is basically one in, one out when it comes to yarn, I have a bit of room for fabric but not much.
My first tip is not letting the stash take over your rooms, keep it in one place and stick to that limited space for your stash.
2. Look deep into your stash and don't be lazy
For me the project usually comes first, and then the choice of yarn/fabric. And here lies a massive problem, I already have something in mind, and I find it hard to adapt that vision to my stash. And I buy more fabric/yarn for the project. I am able to say no to Baby MiH when he wants a new toy, but not to me when I want new fabric/yarn for a new project.
For knitting, I will be making more adaptations to projects to use the yarn I already have. It seems obvious, but it is not to me. I usually try to match the type of yarn to the project yarn. You get obviously the best result like that, but at the same time you look at your stash and find a yarn that you like, make a gauge and work your maths.
For fabric, you could dye your fabric to suit your dressmaking needs. For quilting projects, I may be using more techniques like small scraps to get the 'general' colour scheme I want.
My second tip is that you may already have what you need in your stash but not in the form you want it to be, think creatively about using your existing stash - the answer for your next project is probably there.
3. Don't be tempted
I have deleted all emails offering sales. And it is SO hard, but I cannot be tempted until I have space. It is too easy to be tempted and get fabric/yarn you don't have a project for.
So my third tip is to stay away from temptation.
4. Annoying stash - the small batches
My stash is made up of a lot of one skeins. I have just realised that this is really not that great. I am going to knit more socks to use them. They are all pretty skeins so there is no way they are leaving my sight, but I need to make space, so socks we will have. Having kids help of course, so more things for them to come!
So my fourth tip is to try and stay away from the annoying stash
5. Social media and stash management
I have sold yarn on my blog, I have seen it sold on IG, there are groups on facebook to swap your stash. Make the most of it, you may not need it, but someone else may do.
My fifth tip is to use social media to its full extent - not just for projects but also selling your stash.
6. One project - one purchase
When my stash will be finally under control (oh the day!) I will (try to) buy materials once I have made an inspiration board, found the pattern and be ready to cut/knit and get on with it. It will come in to be made into something. Cannot wait for this to happen.
My final tip is to buy only what you need.
Here are my tips, what are yours? Share them in the comment box, it will help me (and maybe others) a lot.