Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Tackling the Hoard


Stuff. Boxes and baskets and bins of STUFF.  Yards and yards of fabric, collected from my time working for Hancock Fabrics specifically to get their closeout prices. Fabric collected in the years BEFORE I worked there, also from Hancock Fabrics, because I had ideas and plans and each one called for more fabric. Fabric passed on to me by my grandmother, an avid quilter in her 90's, when she moved from her home into assisted living. Fabric cut from shirts and sheets I bought at thrift stores because of the pretty colors and patterns that inspired SO many ideas.... but very few completed projects, to be honest. I've only ever made 3 quilts, one for each of our 3 daughters. 

But not just fabric. Sewing notions, not only my collection but my grandmother's, and my aunt's when SHE moved from her home to live with her son in another state. Measuring tapes, seam rippers, standard bobbins (which do not fit on my Bernina), zippers still in packages, buttons collected by my stepmother from a thrift store where SHE worked and gave to me, needles in lovely little books with vintage art on the outside. Vintage patterns. 

Yarn. I store my yarn in Samsonite suitcases (purchased at thrift stores). And in totes to hold different projects "in the works." And lined wicker baskets. Yarn gifted to me, collected by me over years and years, hundreds of skeins and hundreds of magazines full of thousands of patterns I intended to make. And some I did make. I love crocheting. And I dabble in knitting. 

Books. Shelves and boxes and flats FULL of books. Books I enjoyed in childhood and either still have or hunted down and re-collected to share with my children and grandchildren. Books that were made into movies -- Peyton Place, The Egg and I, Cheaper by the Dozen (the original with Clifton Webb, not the entertaining but wholly fabricated remakes with Steve Martin -- I am a purist when it comes to books and movies and music and REMAKES. But I digress). Magazines. Crochet, Art, Philosophy, etc. Hundreds of magazines with inspirational pictures that I love to thumb through and go buy the materials to make one of the projects therein---and find myself back at the top of this page. 

There are many other things in my hoard. Clothes I'll never wear again, mementoes (sic?) from relatives long passed that none of my kids, and very few of my cousins even, have memories of. Cookbooks. Puzzle books that each have only a handful of pages completed. Ball point pens in the junk drawer. A cigar box AND a large peanut butter jar full of nuts and bolts and nails and screws and eye hooks and mug hooks that I may or may not need one day. 

So. This year will be the year of thinning. Not my body, not intentionally anyway. I'm not a dieter and I would love to exercise if it didn't make me SWEAT. But the stuff. Some I will use, some I will donate, some I will recycle, and some will just have to go into a landfill. I simply can't keep a landfill in my home, even if it's organized in neatly stacked boxes and cubbies. I'm currently going through a workshop type of course called "Put That Stuff Down," relating PTSD to our reluctance to let go of objects. I would recommend it to anyone in my position. It's been a real eye-opener for me, and I can quickly identify what triggered me when I started to go through a box to become discouraged and push it away.  Applying this information has helped me to remove several large boxes and one huge contractor-size trash bag of things from my home. Even though, I'll be honest -- I went back through the bag twice to see if I'd thrown away anything good. Haha!!!

Hopefully, although I never really get into a habit of posting on here regularly, I'll document this journey here. 

Happy and Healthy New Year,
Tam