The Two Year Test: One Way to Thin Your Pattern Collection

Currently unable to sew for myself or for the upcoming baby, I am concentrating instead on clearing excess out of my house.  My goal has been to reduce my craft stash by at least 30%. 

I pull out a bin of say fabric or patterns, make a quick count, and then use a calculator to reach 30%.  For example if I have 20 pieces of fabric on a shelf, 20 X .30 = 6.  My goal is to get rid of six pieces either through donation or trash.  ( I know using a calculator appears a bit anal-retentive, but how am I to know if I have reached my goal if I don’t have correct numbers?)

This approach took out nearly half of my fabric stash as reported in last Tuesday’s post.   I am moving systematically around the craft storage area and patterns were next.

I store my patterns by category in file boxes. I spread it all out on the bed to make it easier to go through.

Pattern reduction can be hard.  When I pull an envelope out and see the front photo, I always think, “maybe?”  Or, “You will never know when this will be just the thing I want to sew!”

Luckily this time around I have a built-in gauge.  Not only is pregnancy nausea making me lose my sentimentality, but the pregnancy itself is giving me structured parameters.

Given pregnancy, nursing, and babycare I have about two years before I am back to my pre-pregnancy size.  All I had to ask myself was

Am I Going to Want to Wear This Garment Two Years from Now?

Or Will There Probably be Some New Fashion I am Excited About?

Asking myself those simple questions rid me of 50 patterns!

I started out with 192 patterns, got rid of 50, leaving me with 142 patterns.  Not exactly pattern poverty I understand, but a considerable reduction.

Here is a typed version of the chart I scribbled on the back of an old receipt as I worked through the pattern stash.

The next item on the chopping block is the bead cabinet.  Yes, I used to bead and make jewelry often before I had my daughter.  Finishing the closures  or nipping the ends of wrapped wire can can cause small bits of metal and fiberglass to land I know not where on my floor, just ready to splinter into little bare feet.   Over the past few years I have backed off of this hobby.  I think I should move some of my stash on so current crafters can get some joy out of it. 

Next Post: Tuesday, April 5, 2011: God Willing!  I hope nausea does not impede me from going through the bead stash.  If I get it done, I promise to report. 🙂


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elaray
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 06:06:46

    I like your approach. When it’s all finished you’ll *know* your goals have been reached. Good work!


  2. Sister
    Apr 03, 2011 @ 23:20:10

    Wowzers – that’s a lot of patterns! Congrats on decluttering!


  3. Clio
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 06:17:24

    That’s exactly what I should do! And a great way with that 30% rule


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