The Purpose of Destashification

Monday, August 27, 2007
So in the post just after (before? so confusing) this one, my Secret Pal asks why I'm destashing... I think partly tongue-in-cheek, but it bears asking nonetheless.

Dear Secret Pal, never fear, I am not getting rid of stuff JUST to make room for whatever you send. (Though it helps!) ;)

There are two big reasons why I am getting rid of stash:

1: I have a lot of yarn that is cheap, used for something else, or basically useless. Like many people, I have spent much time (and money, unfortunately) in the yarn sections of AC Moore, Michaels, and Joann. This means I have a fair amount of some pretty disturbing yarns, including fur, weird boucles, and supersaver acrylic. While I have no moral problem (oops, nearly wrote "beef" there - that would've been ironic, eh Cass?) with acrylic, I do recognize that a nicer yarn (even if it is still acrylic) is much more fun to work with. Also, there are the inevitable extra/partial skeins left over from FOs that either need a new home or need to be turned into something. So, reason #1: To use up/get rid of the cheap/stale stuff to make physical and emotional space for good yarns.

2: Last fall I decided it was time to tidy up the stash. It had been in one giant plastic bin and several smaller bins, and piles around the house, and in a cabinet... you get the idea. I bought two of those large stacking 3-drawer "systems" at Lowes and proceeded to try to stuff (in some semblance of order, remember, me=librarian) the yarn collection into the six drawers. Actually, into five drawers, with UFOs in the bottom one. The original idea was to have yarn in four drawers, WIPs/UFOs in one, and FOs in another. This was nowhere near likely last fall; even now, after having cleared approximately 30 skeins (20%?) out of the stash since January, I can close the drawers, and have pretty much cleaned out the UFOs... but I've got a ways to go before the FOs can move off a shelf and into a drawer. So, reason #2: To make better use of space and organization principles.

You could also say that I have a pathological need to maintain a healthy and working collection of pretty much everything I collect - be it books (I did my field study project on the reference collection of the US EPA-RTP library), my garden (I love to weed!), or my yarn stash. The idea that there is useless yarn in there - waiting, if you will "just in case" rather than "just in time" - is really irritating to me. And when I realize just how much money I spent to purchase that yarn, I get really steamed up.

I am pleased to note that this month I have now officially broken even: 9 skeins given away, 10 skeins knit up (1.5 done this weekend), 19 skeins purchased/gifted. Which means that since totting up the 140 skeins in July, I'm down to 129.5 so far (7.5% gone!). And there are a few more days left in the month to get into the black!


  • Channon

    Great idea! I'm not that disciplined though...

    I haven't forgotten you. I hope to get your contest prize out to you in the next day or so!

  • KT

    I figure some people go to monasteries to learn the Rule of Somebody Organized. I set goals and attempt to reach them. :)

    No prob on the contest prize. I love getting surprises in the mail!

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