Jan 28, 2009


I did it! I did it! Pat me on the head! Slap a gold star on my forehead! Give me a cookie! Woo Hoo!

I have always been a person who gets distracted by "visual noise". You know what I mean....crap all over the place that needs a home or needs to GO. My stash had enough visual noise to drown out everything else in my head lately, and it was causing me to funkety funk funk.

So I did what any red-blooded courageous stitcher would do...I hitched up my big girl sweatpants, poured a vat of dietCoke into a big-ass glass and headed up to the studio, determined not to come down again until peace reigned in the kingdom once more.

I started with painted canvases. I took every single solitary canvas that I have ever laid eyes on in my entire life and made a pile on the floor. It didn't matter if I had stitched on it or not -- into the pile it went. Then I picked up each one and made a FAST decision: DO I LOVE THIS? If the answer was a fast YES, then it went to the right of me. If it was UM, WELL, I'M NOT SURE, then it went immediately to the left. No rationalizing or sentimentalizing...just ruthless culling. At the end of this pile I hung up the "keeps" with their respective thread bags and put the "nopes" into a big basket:
Next up were the counted canvas charts...same procedure here. (Interestingly enough, NOT ONE Laura J. Perin chart made it into the NOPE pile). These were a little easier, since I keep counted canvas charts in notebooks.

Finally, I moved on to...gasp...brace yourselves....THE DREADED CROSS STITCH baskets, containers, envelopes, books, and project bags that have been reproducing at will for the last several years. Again, every single piece of cross stitch I own (even if it was a WIP) went into the pile (OK, I had to break this up into several piles since there was so much of it), and away I went with the LOVE IT or NOPE decisions. I purposely did this fast...if it didn't hit me as a LOVE right away, then I threw it into NOPE without agonizing over it....brutal. Just brutal.

When the cross stitch pile was done, I put the NOPES into the basket and separated the LOVES into three piles....the WIPS:

Then a basket with projects that are ON DECK:

And finally, the seasonal storage baskets:

So here's my plan.....I'm going to send the NOPE basket over to Aunt Chrissy so she can paw through it and take whatever she wants. Then I'm going to put this basket away until August. In August, when Miss Linda at House of Stitches has her Midwest Stash Exchange, I'm going to rent a table and have at it. If the Stash Exchange doesn't happen for some reason, then I'm putting this basket into storage for ONE YEAR. Next January I will take this basket out and do the LOVE IT/NOPE thing all over again. And, if I don't have anything that I just have to keep, then it's all going to a school or a nursing home for somebody else to enjoy. My theory is that if I don't miss it for a year, then it wasn't meant to be in my stash in the first darn place.

I would bet that you want to a) strangle me in my sleep, b) could care less, or c) are happy that you now have a plan for your very own stash. Please understand that the only reason I am blogging about my adventures is that I am old now and have a TERRIBLE memory. So next year, when I pull the basket out of the closet and say "What the *$&%^?", I can look back at this entry and remember what the heck I'm supposed to do with it.

(Besides, what' s the point of doing something for six hours if you can't get your friends to fawn all over you and tell you how fabulous you are?)

Stewey gave up on the entire exercise after ten minutes and I came downstairs to find him sacked out on the floor:

There was a patch of sunshine here, but methinks a cloud happened by right at the very moment I snapped the pic. Sigh.

So that's it, kids. I am purged, organized, and ready to rock! Now that I have crap put away I am feeling that I deserve a new start. Oh, what will it be? Stay tuned!


  1. Oh...I LOVE your method of purging. I'm borrowing it.

    Wish me luck...I'm goin' in...

  2. What an inspiration you are. I so need to do this. Unfortunately, my "room" has no space to make stacks in. I have high hopes though.

  3. Congrats on your purging! Excellent job! I did that not too long ago, and gave the leftovers to my sister too. Can't wait to see your new start.

  4. I still say - I sure would like to live in your kingdom :o)
    Excellent...wonderful....you need to call that HGTV show and tell them what you did! :)
    Good job...can't wait to see the new start!

  5. I wish I had the discipline to do that sort of "clean house". But *gasp* its MINE, all MINE!! [cue evil laugh] as I sneak off with ALL of my stash and don't give any of it up to the NOPE pile. :)

  6. I know just what you mean about visual noise. Just wish I weren't so much of a pack rat.

  7. Oh my GOD, Coni, you put others to shame! Ruthless, I tell you! (I so need to be this way and hopefully will learn oodles from your guidance. I have no willpower, however.)

    Can I hire you to come up here to Michigan and do it for me? *wink* If'n I bribe you with a trip to Homestead? It's right up the street.....

  8. You're brave you are. In all honesty, I would be like Stewey after six hours of purging.

  9. Good for you Coni!! I did that a few years ago. I got rid of a ton of stuff I didn't absolutely love and I really need to do it again. It funny how stuff that stuff sneaks into your stash. I gave some stuff to a friend and some stuff went on ebay and some stuff went to a stash table at get together and what was left from that I think went to the Ronald Mcdonald house. I can't wait to see your new start! :)

  10. Yep, Coni rocks. Way to go!

    Jane, looking guiltily at the pile of threads and beads I should put away.

  11. Fawn, fawn, fawn. Enough?

    Today was supposed to be a clean-up-the-studio day, but the reason for it (visits by an architect and realtor) have been put off until next week, so ... now I have TIME to do it right this weekend. Or maybe not. Saturday we are driving to LA (and back) and Sunday we are having some friends from Seattle over. Mmmmm, who set up my social calendar anyway? At least this EVENING there will be stitching. That I promise.

    Awesome decluttering. Go, you!

  12. If that's not an incentive to go to the Midwest Stash Exchange, I don't know what is! Yes, I need to clean out my stash, too--and I have been thinking seriously about doing just that--but somehow that never stops me from acquiring new stash.

    Do you see the problem here? I'm my own worst organizational enemy.

  13. You wouldn't happen to have any Shepherd's Bush kits in in your NOPE pile that you'd be willing to sell would you? If so, I'd love to know what you have.

  14. Well, sounds like your system is working for you! You look wonderfully organized!

  15. Hi Coni,
    I have a question to ask you that I did not want to post but I don't know how to reach you. If you are interested would you please email me? Michele.

  16. I am totally IMPRESSED. Hope you don't mind, but I think I will borrow it. Not just for stash (although lord knows that's the first place to go) but for clothes, books, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff....... OMG I could be gone for a long long time....send someone in if I'm not out in a week - better stock up on chocolate and away I go!!

  17. Sounds like the show that my DH calls "throwing out the garbage" I think it is Clean House or something like that!
    I absolutely salute you my dear!

  18. I love your method. Not sure that I can do it. My tastes change so often that what I love and don't love right now, in 6 months will flip flop. But at least you still have them and can look them over again in a year.