Yesterday I was being a good girl and trying to get some projects finished instead of starting any new ones (there are three new projects that I really wanted to dive into, but I made myself be responsible instead). I sewed on half the buttons onto each of two projects. (yes, I did only half of two instead of finishing either one, that's just the kind of girl I am).
Then I was knitting the last sleeve on something else, and I was at the "work even until it's 17 inches" part of the instructions. So I reached towards my nightstand for my tape measure, only it wasn't there. So I looked around next to the bed, and didn't see it. I realized it probably WAS there next to the bed somewhere, but I couldn't find it because "next to the bed" had also become "the ridiculous mess next to the bed." Even though it may prompt my mother to disown me, I've got documentation as to how ridiculous the mess was, and I'm going to share it with the world:
In that pile are at least 5 knitting projects in various stages of completion, complete with knitting needles, tapestry needles, my stupid tape measure, random yarn, you name it. You can even see my Su Doku book in there in the middle right! This is the pile of junk that I add to every night as I'm sitting in bed watching late night TV before going to sleep. I do most of my knitting during those few hours before lights out, and I like to do it sitting up in bed, with all my tools handy and lots of space to spread out. Then when I get tired and it's time for sleep, I have a tendency to just shove everything off the bed and it ends up in this pile. Which had gotten to the point of annoying even ME.
Now, you may be thinking that I must have multiple tape measures lying around the house. You might even be thinking that it's a waste of quality knitting time on your day off to clean your own mess just because you need a tape measure, when you could go downstairs and find one of your other 15 tape measures that are in other projects, or by the computer, or by the couch.
Well, I thought of that, too. So I went into my stash closet, which is the nearest place in the house that might have a tape measure in it. And when I opened the door, I realized my fatal mistake:
I ended up spending the next several HOURS going through everything in this closet and making it neater. I have way too much yarn, but it's mostly all in this closet so I tend to forget that there's that much in there. And sometimes when I open those doors looking for something, I discover stuff in there I didn't remember I had (this time, I found Jo Sharp DK that I forgot I bought when it first came out!). And stuff I don't know why I'm even keeping, much less why I bought it (I threw out 3 garbage bags full of junk I'll never use that I can't resell).
I know this is far from a new topic, but keeping one's stash organized is a royal PITA, especially if you happen to be of the creative type that doesn't mind a mess and wants everything accessible at a moment's notice in case you get that flash of inspiration and just have to use that silk that you know you have somewhere, and you have to use it NOW to swatch while the idea's fresh in your mind and exciting. The worst part of organizing your stash, at least in my opinion, is being able to find what you're looking for quickly.
I separate my stash into projects or yarn for projects, and keep each in its own clear plastic bag. Tapestry and other knitting bags are pretty and more presentable, but you can't see through them and there's no chance I'm going to remember if that silk is in the flowered tapestry bag or in the navy canvas bag. Being able to see through the bag is imperative.
Enter the Hefty bags:
This is the single best thing I've found to organize my stash. We even use them at work to keep customer's projects that we're doing finishing on. They're clear, reusable, and fairly sturdy, although the zippers break pretty easily if you use them a lot. But they're cheap enough that you can just buy more when they break. The trick is to buy the 2.5 gallon size, otherwise you can't fit a whole project in there.
So yesterday, I cleaned up that ridiculous pile next to my bed and put a bunch of that stuff in the closet, in an orderly fashion. I also reorganized what was already in the closet, and put like with like. Witness the Koigu stash:
I used a box's worth of Hefty bags to do all this, and it was really worth it. I can finally see everything I have at once!
Found during this little excursion into neatness:
I have too much stuff.