Cleaning out my fabric stash and making space for something new

We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Looking back, looking forward, and cleaning out my fabric stash

I love the beginning of thingsnew sewing projects, new projects for my business … and of course the new year. Beginnings offer us the opportunity to start again and do things differently, and to discover new and better ways of doing things.

Let go of the old, make room for the new

Over the years I’ve found that the best way to begin new things is to first let go of the old things that aren’t working well, whether they’re physical things like unfinished sewing projects, or intangible things like old habits or self-defeating thoughts. This isn’t always easy but things that aren’t working for you are like anchors that keep you tied to the past and tied to old ways of thinking and doing things. They prevent you from truly moving forward with renewed energy.

One of the things I’m letting go of this year is my fabric stash.

As a fabric lover and gatherer my whole life, over the years I’ve collected an amazing assortment of different types of fabrics, threads and sewing-related stuff. Some of this stuff I haven’t looked at or touched in years.

Fabric stash: Before

I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that my fabric stash has had its own room where it was stacked in boxes and shoved into closets. I didn’t think to take a proper before photo and only thought about it half way through the cleanout, however this will give you some idea of what things looked like in the fabric room. It was sort of organized, but it really was a mess. And there was far too much “stuff”.

Looking back, looking forward, and cleaning out my fabric stash

Fabric stash: After

I’m still in the process of organizing, but I sorted through each piece of fabric and decided what to keep and what to donate or throw out. It’s taken me weeks and I had to go through it three times before I was done. Then I moved the files and boxes out of my sewing room/office and into the fabric room.

Then I moved the fabric out of the fabric room and into my sewing room/offce. This is all I’ve kept, plus a few small containers of fabric scraps. Instead of leaving it in boxes, I’ve rolled and stacked the fabric on a bookshelf where I can see it every day. The colors are so beautiful that every time I walk into the room I have a difficult time not reaching out to pull some fabric and start sewing.

This has totally changed the whole energy of my room. Instead of walking into the office every day with it’s shelves full of dull files and papers, I’m now pretty excited to get going.

Looking back, looking forward, and cleaning out my fabric stash

I even got rid of my small, plain embroidery scissors and bought myself this beautiful antique-style – such a pleasure to use. If you want a pair of these beauties for yourself, you can find them here on Amazon.

Looking back, looking forward, and cleaning out my fabric stash

What’s else?

I have lots of new beginnings planned for next year, some I can share, but some I can’t, at least not yet. My main intention though is to work a little less, and enjoy a little more …

Sewing – that is more heart-centered and meaningful.
Looking back, looking forward, and cleaning out my fabric stash

Travel – discovering new places and fresh inspiration.

Space – making room for the unexpected. And to stay on track, I retired my old day planner that had me scheduled to do almost the same thing every day for the last several years. Which was fine then, but it’s time for a change. This year I got a new planner that has a slightly different focus

Looking back, looking forward, and cleaning out my fabric stash

and asks slightly different questions

Looking back, looking forward, and cleaning out my fabric stash

which will guarantee very different results.

Happy New Year!

6 thoughts on “Cleaning out my fabric stash and making space for something new”

  1. Thank you for your article and photos of cleaning up your fabric stash. My New Years resolution is to do the same. I am going to clean up my stash of small pieces of fabric and make a scrappy quilt. I have decided to only buy fabric for each project, instead of buying on a whim just because it is pretty.
    Of course I am not succeed, because I get so excited when I see a new project you have so graciously shared on your website, that I must do it. Please don’t stop sharing.

    Happy New Year to you

  2. Well done, Linda. It is always a big job. I go from painting, to embroidery, to sewing machine to art journaling so I have priorities and keep moving things around but always a bit messy. Happy New Year to you and an uncluttered one. Best Wishes Cindy

  3. Apparently, we are all going to hone up our “brave” skills in 2017. Looking at your beautiful “after” stash. My yoga friend (and owner of a quilt shop) said today she has cleaned out her own private stash and donated lots to a charity quilter. I am going to do the same thing! Fresh air feels pretty good.

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