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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another year and still lots of stash to manage. This thread is about managing the various stashes we've collected for all the things we love. Arts, crafts, DIY materials, books, candy bars (well, we try not to have one of those), anything we squirrel away to enjoy later.

This may be a year to expand the stash, reduce the stash, figure out how to organize the stash, or just sit and look at it and dream of all its possibilities. The only guideline is "your stash, your rules." If you are reducing it, we cheer you on. If you are expanding it, we are a bunch of highly skilled enablers. If you want to organize it, we will share our experience and ideas.

We will also chat about all kinds of things along the way. Come join us as we share what we are doing with our stashes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For me, this is the year to put the brakes on expansion and try to use only what I have on hand. This should not be a hardship since it looks like I live in a hobby warehouse. After nearly 70 years on this earth I know I will fall off the wagon but I hope to keep the tumbles to the barest minimum. This includes all kinds of needlework stash and books. There is no way to pretend I don't have more than enough. It does not include necessities like needles and such, or the occasional tool if I find one that seems especially useful. Also exempt are audiobooks. Since I listen hours every day, I won't limit those. However I do have a backlog of new ones I've picked up at Audible sales and I will try to catch up with that before adding much new, except from the sales that and daily deals that occasionally turn up something I want.

For the first part of the year I want to dig into the cross stitch and work on some of the new patterns I just binge stashed. I also should work on some of the ufo's, but no promises there. Most of those are large and I would rather get more smaller ones done to have more variety for the display board.

Sadly I am not going to get the organization finished up today. I thought the communal New Year feasting would all be tomorrow, but it's become a two day feast. I was texted today's lunch and supper menu and since I always prefer eating to working, I guess I will be spending much of the day in the kitchen house, our gathering place. I'll enjoy that but it would have been great to get everything done here.
 

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My 2018 plan is to continue stash-busting. Limited spending on new fabric, crafts and hobby supplies, because I already have enough to open a store of my own. Exceptions are for items that get used up while finishing projects, such as glue, thread, brushes, sewing needles and quilt batting. Storage needed to contain the clutter is also exempt. I'm allowing myself $20 'fun money' to spend at quilt and hobby shows, out of which I pay admission and can buy a trinket or two.

I'm looking forward to playing with my new fabric cutter, and want to complete a large quilt this year.
 

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Same here, I plan to keep working on using up stuff in the sewing room, moreso than other craft supplies. I also want to work on making my kitchen more functional. It's pretty good but there's always room for improvement. As our food needs change, some of our kitchen habits and storage need to change, too.

We made huge progress with the garage stash last summer but we still have to put in the ceiling and insulation and continue getting all the stuff that lives on the floor dealt with. We got a lot done last season so I'm hoping it won't take too long.

As always, I'm working on food stash management. I want to do some smallish projects in the pantry and rebuild the pot rack so it meets our needs better. I built out both areas years and years ago, and our needs have changed since then so it's time for an adjustment.

In many ways 2017 was a great year for us but in other ways it wasn't good at all. I'm looking forward to moving on to 2018 and leaving 2017 in the history books.
 

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I just joined an Instagram challenge to read all of the unread books I have on my shelves before buying any more. So, that's the first stash I'm gonna be dealing with. I may actually just sell a bunch (I already sold 25 about a month ago) and then read the ones that I really want to read. Anyway, this is the first stash in the house I'm planning on organizing and dealing with in the new year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Amy. Welcome to the stash thread. I'm limiting book purchases this year too. I began by unsubscribing from BookBub this morning and I have enough unread on the Kindle that I'm going to tell Amazon to stop sending me an email or two every single blessed day about books I have to read. I ordered five clearance books from Better World Books last week and when they arrive I am going to unsubscribe from their emails and delete the icon from my phone. Lead me not into temptation!

I stayed home after all today and Sharon just sent meals over. I really could not bring myself to abandon the house in the state it was still in. I got sidetracked for a chunk of the afternoon but I have made some progress so I'm forgiving myself for that. I'm so tired of it right now almost anything can distract me - all the more reason to buckle down and just get it done. My goal was to finish by New Year's Day and I'm fast running out of time.
 

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I shuffled a few things around in the sewing room. Got rid of DH's stuff that had been stuck in there temporarily. I can get in and sit at the sewing machine. I put some christmas craft stuff away. Before I knew it, it was 4pm and the sun was going. I'm going to try again tomorrow to get that surface cleared off. The stuff on it now may just end up in a box on the floor.

Our overnight temp is dropping like a rock. I just looked at it a few minutes ago and it said -19. I thought, holy cow that must be some kind of record! Then I noticed the decimal point between the two digits. :glee: Since I've been sitting here it has dropped to -2.5.
 
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At 11:27 I am pretty much out of time. I've accomplished quite a bit though. Tomorrow I think we are only doing supper together so I may have more time here than I expected. Both guys are off tomorrow and one of them is going to get drafted to haul some now unused storage containers to the attic. While ago I bagged up the little containers I had been using for the beads and tossed them on the trash heap. That hurt, but the sections are too small for anything except beads and too many of the snap down tops are unreliable. They are that not very clear translucent plastic. It was ok for the beads, but it would be impossible to see the small bits of metallic thread well enough to distinguish many of them without opening all the lids. That is the only other thing that would have fit in the tiny sections but it was just not practical, so I just gave up on them. At least they were cheap. Which of course is probably why the tops weren't great.

I am not allowing any more container purchases with one exception. When I get all the floss ready to box, if I don't have enough I will get more of those because they are the only practical solution. I have several I can empty of what's in them - odd things like Persian wool and such I have used a little, but not often. That kind of thing can just go in zip lock bags in a cubby. Other than that I have to make do with whatever is on hand. I have spent a lot on the house and craft storage the last six weeks or so. Too much. But I'm very happy with how it's turning out.

I haven't looked at the weather but we were supposed to be in the low 20s tonight. CH - I'm glad you don't really have -19, but I bet SD would settle for it!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!
 

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This year is the year I've decided to pare down a LOT! If I haven't used it in two years, I don't need it. I also know that less stuff means easier cleaning! Woohoo!
 

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Sounds like you're making progress, CH. Always a good feeling. And I'm happy for you you're not at -19. We were supposed to get wind chills around -36 overnight so I hope no one died coming home from parties. Last night the weather guys were saying we were over eighty consecutive hours below zero so far. It's supposed to hit double digits above tomorrow though. Something to look forward to.

D, sometimes storage just doesn't work out when it seemed like the perfect thing when you bought it. Then it's best to let go. That happens to me a lot with bags. That's why I kept buying different things for sewing machine trolleys that made me all happy in theory and all disappointed in reality. It sounds like you're getting your space whipped into shape anyway, and that's worth what it cost for new storage IMO. Bad storage that doesn't work is so annoying and frustrating.

Good for you, Rhonda! I can't agree with the idea of getting rid of stuff I haven't used in two years, but we're all different. If it works for you, go for it! It's hard to let go of stuff but it gets easier the more you do it.

We let Cody out of her cage after two months and a round of antibiotics and so far she seems to be reliably using her litter box. I sure hope so. She's a nice kitty and we don't want to put her down, but don't want to have her spend her little life locked up, either. She's been purring like a freight train and stuck to me like a tick whenever I'm sitting down. She's been a lonely girl.

The base cabinets Husby moved into the FR are only 2'x4' but I'm going to leave them at that size for now. They have a vinyl countertop which will be good for cutting things, so I can use those cabinets as is (as are?) for a while and see if it's what I want. If I decide it is, then I'll start making some changes. I'm pretty sure I want a bigger top for cutting and shelves back to back with the cabinets for storing canned goods we buy in bulk to make dog food, which we need space for for the foreseeable future. I have some various options in mind but I like to use something for a while before I decide if it works the best for me. I'm glad to be repurposing them instead of buying something new. These are the cabinets I salvaged some random drawers for, because the cabinet was a sink base that had drawer fronts but no drawers. I wasn't happy with how that turned out when I put the new drawers in, but when I looked them over yesterday I can't recall why. At any rate, the price is right so I'm just going to make them work.

It's a new year with some new plans. I'm happy it's here. :)
 

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Glad to hear Cody is out of prison. Hope her issues have cleared up. Our cats are extra snuggly this time of year, too. I get all 3 of them on me when I lay on the couch in the evenings.

Working in the sewing room this afternoon. Took down the 2017 calendar and put up a "new" one. The dates in 2018 fall on the same days as 2001, so I am re-using one I saved. IIRC, I used it in 2007 also. And don't toss that 2017 calendar, it repeats in 2023!

I have been sorting through a box of papers and stuff I saved for various reasons but haven't touched in over a year. Some of it got tossed, not as much as I would have liked. I also cleaned up a bunch of crafting supplies and put them in a spare organizer box. It doesn't make room, but at least it's not constantly falling off the table. I have been using some Wilton cake pans to hold stationery, but DH said he would take them in to work and see if any of the ladies there would like them. I was never able to get anything to bake properly and was unable to sell them online. Getting rid of those does make some space. And there's a shoebox of dollhouse stuff that can go into the basement with the house.

I repaired (again) a picture frame that fell off the wall last fall. DH wants to 3d print a special hook to hold it securely. His first attempt failed (design flaw, not his fault) and the pieces have been sitting for months. But now it is back together and ready for hanging. Dh says he needs to find the right screws.

Tired from sitting on the knee scooter. It's great for getting around, but my knee starts to hurt after a while. Taking a tea break and considering what to do next.

It's a beautiful, sunny 6F today.
 
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Spent the second half of the afternoon going through old binders looking for a quilt pattern. I have 7 old notebooks of costume stuff. That was a trip down memory lane. Pre-computer, pre-internet, pre-digital camera days. I used to hang out in musty libraries and photocopy pages from books, or trace them on graph paper, and make sketches. I wrote newbie costume guides for Ren Faires and distributed them among friends. Some ended up being "published" in various enthusiast newsletters. I even had one festival costume mistress ask if they could use my work as guidelines for their cast!

I also went through 3 binders of quilt patterns, designs and sketches. I used to write "how to" guides, like how to attach a binding, or how to sew backing pieces together. A lot of those were also "published" in guild newsletters. So much of that on the internet now, I doubt they still print those things on paper. I did not find the pattern I was looking for. I did manage to squeeze the 3 quilt binders into a spot on the bookshelf, instead of the floor.

DH is going to take the folding hand cart to the garage, and I found more christmas stuff that can return to the basement for another year. So there is progress.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Rhonda, I am much more likely than Spirit Deer to agree with the two year rule. I just have no patience for unused stuff sitting around. Now that I have an attic some can go up there, which is probably pretty much the same as getting rid of it.

LOL I think a broke a record for the shortest lived New Year's stash rule. I just ordered containers for spools and bobbins. I have always just had them tossed in a box with the predictable ensuing mess. In my defense if I had managed to finish up the organizing when I wanted to, I would probably have already bought them. But that really is the last unless, as I said, I need a few extra floss boxes.

I'm still making progress too. A neighbor put some now unused containers in the attic this morning. I will probably have a few more things by tomorrow - some wire shelves and anything else that ends up unused I am keeping a few containers accessible should I need them.
 

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I re-use old calendars also, have several to choose from. I ordered a $10 AC Moore gift card from doing surveys. That is the one I was so irritated about - they limit me to choosing that GC only once per calendar quarter. So it worked today. Of course I have not used the yarn I bought there with the last GC a couple months ago. :vs_blush:
 

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Finished off Dad's scarlet and grey afgan last week. I like the way it turned out. I used the six 1lb skeins I bought originally. I have the two extra skeins still but I'm sure I had find something to do with them, eventually.

Started work on my friend's black agfan. I had picked up navy blue to mix in as I couldn't find enough black yarn initially to do the whole thing in one color. But I went back last week to check if I could find more black yarn and was able to pick up what I hope is enough to make the whole afgan in black. On sale, no less. I also picked up more of the navy blue yarn to make a full afgan as well since a lot of people like blue. At this point, that will go into the stash but I tend to go through blue pretty quickly that I'm not too worried about it staying in the house long. I got the blue on sale as well.

Of course, it's now really cold and I'm only on skein #3 of the black afgan. It's just now starting to cover my lap, leaving my legs really cold. Fortunately, I have a small fleece blanket to cover my legs while I'm working. It hasn't gotten above freezing this last week. Saturday is supposed to be dangerously cold. Not sure if I'm going to huddle under the blankets or go to the local mall and work on a lapgan there. I can people watch while I do that. Then again, I've been going to the coffee shop more often on weekends to work on my story.

I did donate a blue 'rag-bag' afgan to one of the charities through the church. I don't remember who I made it for as I saw him only once and haven't seen him since. That's ok. I made that afgan from yarn from my stash.
 

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The only reason I disagree with the two-year rule is because I know I circle back to things. It's not at all unusual for me to stop doing a particular craft for years and then suddenly find a renewed interest in it. Crochet, knitting, and tatting are good examples of that for me. I've compromised on stuff like that by setting a limit on the amount of space a hobby can take up. Once that space is full, I don't buy any more for it till something gets used, unless I get rid of something to make room. Designating space has made a huge difference here, because things aren't allowed to outgrow their spaces so I don't end up with piles of clutter. As most of you, I'm a big fan of nice entertainment centers I've turned into storage cabinets. Here's my limit for bead, fur, and leather storage:

We picked up this cabinet and several others for different purposes, many of them for just $10 each. With minor modifications such as adding backers and shelves, they've made fantastic storage spaces.

I also haven't used my pasta machine for a long time, in spite of good intentions. But now I'm using it to roll out crackers and I'm so glad to have it. Eventually I'll get to making more pasta, because we need to avoid the sodium in the store stuff. That's just one example of kitchen stuff I hang onto longer than maybe I should. :)

I keep some storage containers and bags because needs keep changing. Others I get rid of because they're unsatisfactory in some way and I know I'd never use them.

I started a new batch of ciabatta yesterday and I hope it turns out better than the last batch. Husy loved those but they were more like biscuits than light, airy ciabatta, just dense and not nice at all. I don't know what went wrong. I've had such great luck with that recipe and made it numerous times, so I'm sure I did something I shouldn't have.

I might make pitas, too. I want to try that again and see if I can get them to be more airy.

I'm trying to get organized in the kitchen so I started a list of staples I need to make for the freezer, mixes, and pantry. I'm looking now at recipes for a Bisquick mix DIY that has no or low fat. No way to avoid the sodium though. I cannot believe how much sodium is in baking soda and baking powder. So many experiments, so little time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Congrats on the finish renmerc! I use a lot of blue too.

I'm getting down to odds and ends on the organization project. I still have a fair amount of "level 2" sorting and organizing, like getting the miscellaneous floss in color order or sorting beads, charms by type and such, but the "level 1" is virtually done. All the kinds of materials are gathered and in their new places. That is the part I've been so anxious to get done. The last sorting doesn't count as housework but as playing with the stash and is a lot more fun.

I agreed to keep LG one more time tomorrow. I may take her with me on a shopping trip. I need some boring things like a/c air filters and bookshelf peg supports at Lowe's. One of the pegs was lost when I moved and I'm tired of the wobbly shelf and having to remember to be careful what I put on it. If not, I'll think of something here for us to do.

Sometime soon I need to unpack the new sewing machine and give it a test drive to be sure it's ok while I'm still in the return window. What is hugely vexing is that all my large cuts of fabric have gone AWOL. Or maybe just MIA though there was little A to speak of. Since I didn't plan to use it anytime soon after I moved, I packed it up for the attic. I was convinced it was in a clear plastic bin, but when I had one if the guys search for it a couple of weeks ago, he couldn't find it. I didn't have him go through boxes though. And did he really know what he was looking for? I think when we get to nice comfortable spring weather I will ask my new neighbor to do a more thorough search. She will be willing and I can make her some bread for her trouble. It's just too cold to even think of doing it now.

Crazy cold. It was 19* when I got up while ago and probably won't get above freezing today. I'm a little concerned about the water pipes but I'm doing what I can. We build here for extreme heat, not prolonged cold. It will still drop in the 20s at night the rest of the week, but starting tomorrow it will get progressively warmer and sunny during the day which will help warm the ground. The good thing is that during this below freezing weather there should be no rain. We won't get that until warmer air moves back in and butts heads with the cold. At that point there should be no danger of ice.
 

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It might help if you put some desk lamps under your sinks with incandescent bulbs in them. That would add some heat to that area. Be sure nothing is close enough to the bulbs to catch fire. The worst risk is where water lines come into the house, if they're not deep enough and it's cold enough for long enough to freeze the ground down to the pipes, or if pipes are not well protected between the house and the ground or are exposed to air. Our water comes in through the concrete slab and up through and unheated, uninsulated crawl space, through the floor, and into a pressure tank in a hallway. But that pipe is heavily insulated and heat taped and it's never frozen. But I know you don't really have a need there to go through all that.

I was just talking about this with a friend on the camping forum about how the water lines were freezing when they camped in Alabama last week. It must be terrible down there for you all right now. I hope it warms up for you soon.

I have lots of level 2 sorting to do, too. It doesn't bother me very much. Having stuff sorted according to type works pretty well for the most part. I might get to fine-tuning it someday, or not. Considering the chaotic mess I had before, it's fantastic now.

I've been looking for low sodium baking powder and baking soda without any luck. :sigh:
 

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It dipped below 0 last night again. Single digits today, but clear and sunny. Supposed to be like this all week, but warming to 40 on Sat, with a large chance of snow or rain by Sun.

DH helped clear off the last of the cabinet top last night. Stuff is just piled in a storage bin for now. I'll figure it out. I'm glad we are using the cabinet because the base unit is heavy. It weighs at least as much as a sewing machine.

I decided on the Road to Oklahoma block. It uses 2 dies, and 3 colors of fabric. I like the effect of stars and chains. https://i.pinimg.com/236x/92/c8/c8/92c8c8d2081a19231f84d77bf3e6b394--oklahoma-roads.jpg
It has 20 pieces, but only 4 are triangles, which I hate. Hoping that having them die cut will make sewing them easier. After some thought, I decided to begin with some of the fabric I got at Joann's $1 fat quarter sales last year. I can make a lap sized quilt to donate, getting the box of fabric off the floor. It's not a large project (lap sized) so I shouldn't get tired of it.

Going to start today and try not to make an even bigger mess.
 
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