Saturday, February 07, 2015

Having a January sort out

January was the time for a much-needed Sorting Out of Stuff, probably because it's the beginning of the year, there's not much to do in the garden and I have some time. Some of the ideas I get from the "January cure" on Apartment Therapy, although I use that for inspiration (it's mostly decluttering and cleaning type tips, all the apartments seem to be huge, with vast "closets", but there are lots of nice ideas (setting up a home maintenance calendar anyone?), and the cleaning tips use basic householdy items), rather than following it rigidly, as I have no idea how anybody who does all of it manages to go out to work or have a hobby too. These are the things I've done this year:

I usually do an annual "weed" (yes, that is a genuine librarian word) of the bookshelves for books that I don't want to keep any longer, and send them to the charity shop or sell them on Greenmetropolis, depending on how energetic I'm feeling. We have about 4000 books in the house, and, although there is a little expansion room on the bookshelves, there isn't a huge amount of extra space, short of getting a bigger house(!), so some weeding each year is essential. I don't do the OH's books, that's up to him! ;-)

Yarn stash
Ta da - my stash now all fits into the boxes, which have all been labelled. I did an inventory of the whole lot - printed off a spreadsheet from Ravelry showing all my stash and worked my way through the boxes, checking that I had what I thought I had, picking out some things to put on Ebay, and making sure everything on Ravelry had a location so that I can now go straight to the box. I've also started linking patterns to items in my stash, as I thought I'd be more likely to use it up if I had patterns in mind for it (I tend not to buy yarn now unless I have a pattern in mind). It sounds like a massive chore, but actually it was fun going back through my stash and finding some yarn I'd forgotten about! I'm not reaching the impressive heights of Whitehart's double entry stashkeeping but I'm going to attempt to post figures each month and keep cumulative totals (I've set up a very simple Excel spreadsheet) - the idea is to have more knitted than is acquired. I'm only counting finished totals for projects, so some months might look a bit unbalanced.
Figures for January:
Yarn acquired: 0 metres
Yarn knitted (completed projects): 820.7 metres

The fabric stash is quite small, and I have no intention of it turning into a stash really - I'd rather keep it at the level of buying for particular projects, bearing in mind the amount of time I have. So, I've started a spreadsheet to list what I have - type of fabric, manufacturer, length/width, where purchased etc so that I should hopefully avoid buying something when I've already got some fabric I could use! I'll wait and see whether this works...
At the beginning of January I did wash all the fabric I already had, so I know it's ready to go when I do want to use it. Some of it has obviously got used up since then! ;-)

I generally go through my wardrobe and chest of drawers a couple of times a year (I don't have room to store everything in there, so have to change my winter woollies/summer dresses over every year), and clear out anything that's literally falling apart. So, this wasn't a January clear out, I just hadn't done anything with the clothes I had cleared during my Autumn Sort Out! In 2014 I started trying to be more strategic about what clothes I was buying and what I kept - as a result of reading Whitehart's blog (where she takes pictures of what she's wearing to work every day), and then starting to read Tadpegs, when I looked around for sewing blogs. That has started me on an annual clear out of the tights box (yes, I really am not going to wear the holey tights again, despite keeping them "just in case" or to "wear under trousers" in previous years), and an annual bulk purchase of new tights in the Autumn, plus assessing what basics I need, such as underwear and short sleeve/long sleeve tops, and then buying them in a couple of shopping trips each year.

Other stuff
Before Christmas we'd bought ourselves some new towels that matched the bathroom, which meant a Sort Out of the linen cupboard was necessary. The resulting teetering mound of towels hung around for a while whilst I found a new home for them, and they will be making their way to the local vets' practice.
I've also rehomed my old sewing machine, and had a sort through of the kitchen cupboards which has resulted in a few bags of things to take to the church jumble sale. 

Is there anything you're going to Sort Out this year?


Una said...

You've been busy. I took a bag of clothes to the charity shop today and have another bag to take next week. They are in a good condition but too big for me now.

I would really like to clear out all the things my daughter left in the loft when she moved out a few months ago. If I do it without her permission, she will never speak to me again. So far, I don't have her permission. Hmmm.

ShinyNewThing said...

We went through very similar processes when we were packing to put things in storage / move house, with the result that I am much more clutter-free than in the past. Now that you've suggested printing off the Ravelry stash and comparing it to what I've got, I feel like I should do that too. I know things have crept in or left without getting recorded.