I’ve been in “clear the decks” mode recently. A little before Christmas our water heater catastrophically failed and had to be replaced, and in the process managed to leak water all over the floor of the garage which includes my sewing area. Not much was destroyed, just a couple of sewing books that were on the floor, but a lot needed to be sorted through, dried and/or re-cleaned. I’ve used it as an opportunity to clean and clear out the garage, which is our storage area/workout area/my sewing room, not to mention the laundry room and it occasionally even has a car in it.
It’s a frustrating process, because we’ve lived in our current place over ten years now, and as tends to happen we’ve collected a lot of stuff which has ended up in whatever niches of open space exist. I feel like that for months now I’ve been taking bags to the thrift store regularly, and throwing a lot away or recycling it, and it still looks like I have too much stuff. I am not a minimalist by any means, but it certainly does impress upon you that everything that you buy also has to be dealt with at the end of its useful life (or whenever you don’t want it anymore), and that takes time, energy and sometimes money.
I am excited that I’ve found a donation location that will take unwearable garments and textile scraps, thanks to a helpful person on my local Freecycle list. Any fabric of useful size that I no longer want can go to FabMo, and wearable clothes can go to the thrift store, but I always end up with those little bits of fabric that usually get thrown away, if they can’t be used for quilts, and torn or worn-through clothes. Most textiles can be recycled if they can’t be reused (denim gets turned into house insulation quite often, apparently).
Right after the water heater incident, I went through my pattern stash and did a cull, donating the unwanted patterns to FabMo. I still have 3 file boxes full of patterns, and that’s just counting the envelope patterns, not the magazines. Assuming I made one new piece a week, which is laughably faster than I actually sew, I could have new projects for a couple years without buying anything new. That’s a little ridiculous.
I refused to make specific 2013 sewing resolutions, but as January continues, some goals for this year have crystallized. I haven’t bought much fabric for a couple of years, but I am still really far from stash equity, and I also want to work on using the patterns I have and getting rid of those I will never use. Melissa at Fehr Trade and some others did a Burda-a-month challenge last year; maybe I should do a “new pattern a month” challenge myself.