During the covid-19 pandemic, many people in my social bubble have turned not just to handcrafts but other home projects. Here are some thoughts inspired by attempts to clean up my fabric scrap bins.
The older I get, the oftener does it happen that visual clutter bothers me. Even though I’ve managed to fit my fabric scraps neatly into bins in the past, there are too many, and the sheer amount is adding to the corona stress.
Letting go, however, is hard: besides reminders of projects made, for me there is pleasure that comes from simply the act of making, plus, afterwards, from wearing or using or giving the thing, and even later from remembering all those pleasures.
Then, of course, the fabrics are beautiful in their own combinations of colors and patterns. And an otherwise insignificant piece could be just the thing I am looking for for some future project.
I’ve found a few solutions that help me – to some extent. 🙂
1) Fold all scraps, even small ones, neatly into the same dimensions (e.g. folded-napkin-sized) so that ragged edges and smaller pieces of the same fabric are contained on the inside. It drastically reduces space needed vs. a jumbled-up collection. If they’re in a box, it’s not hard to lift each bundle out of the way when looking for something else; if on a shelf —->
2) Arrange folded fabric by color. They look really pretty that way.
3) Make the very special ones into a usable item to see every day. Sadly, not a fast solution if that’s what’s called for.
4) Frame several of the special fabrics and arrange a set of them on the wall. We did this with Husband’s high school drama t-shirts that weren’t in wearable condition anymore.
5) Divide scraps into “def keep for now” and “maybe” piles. Move “maybe” somewhere else (e.g. into the “things to donate” area). If in a given time period I haven’t missed them, it’s a sign to let go. Alas, not a fast solution either.
6) Just plunge in and throw some out. This I find the most difficult. I’ve discovered, though, that I can cheat myself into doing it if I take e.g. the ones in the worst condition (or the oldest, my least favorite colors or whatever) and throwing out “only” this one and keep the rest. The next time, I take another most undesireable or useless batch and get rid of “only” them. The problem with this approach is it requires consistency and time.
Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear your solutions!