Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The dilemma of decluttering

I love reading about de-cluttering. I love the idea of getting rid of all the stuff that's clogging up my space and my energies. But I also love the idea of being ultra-frugal, of avoiding waste and getting as much use as possible out of something before passing it on or disposing of it. And these two often come into conflict. Add into the mix that I am by nature a MASSIVE hoarder, and struggle to let go of the most mundane, useless, impersonal things (say, a packet of noodles that's several years past it's use-by date), and you have a constant inner battle over what to do.

A classic example of this is my craft pile. Consisting of half-finished projects, fabric and wool bought for things I've not yet made, and numerous scraps and old clothes which I am holding on to in case I ever take up quilt making, this pile spreads through three cupboards, the wardrobe, under the bed and most recently, a growing pile on the sofa. Hardly ideal!

So I'm slowly trying to work my way through my project pile and my stash, as this is the only answer for both frugality and decluttering. My latest achievement: an oven glove! This project was started quite recently (I ran into issues with insulation) but is pretty frugal - the main part is made from a tea towel I picked up in a flea market in Finland (isn't it gorgeous?!) for a tiny sum, and the mits are cut from odds and ends of previous projects. I did buy the binding and the insulation, but there's plenty of insulation left for me to make further oven gloves as gifts. (Although one way of looking at this is: I have added more to my stash than I used up in this project...)

Honesty compels me to admit that I did get the main panel on the other side (hidden in the photo) the wrong way round but after four and a half hours, I couldn't face unpicking everything. The stitching is also a little messy as I had to sew over the bias binding several times to catch all the edges, but this is the first time I've used bias binding so I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. And it works!!


  1. I would say that it is completely acceptable to add to your stash in order to use up your stash! The oven gloves are great. I had exactly the same problem when I used biased binding for oven gloves. Make the multiple rows of stitching a feature I say. Part of the charm... Now you'll just have to take up quilting to use up some more bits!

    Eleanor x

    1. Thanks, nice to know I'm not the only one. I'm planning on having a go at an unquilted patchwork throw first - there are some lovely rough-edged ones on pinterest!

  2. Oh yes I fully understand what you are saying. I joined a decluttering August theme with Rhonda at down to earth, but didn't keep up with it. a while back I de-cluttered my craft cupboard, and now I cant tell you how many times I look for something and then remember that I gave it away. Drat! I love your oven mits.

    1. Thanks! It's exactly the fear of that 'oh, darn!' that keeps me from getting rid of things, but I hope that working through it slowly - one project at a time - will help!



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