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A crafter’s stash consists of the materials required to engage in that craft. It may consist of yarn, fabric, paint, beads, bits of metal, or anything else required to engage in the craft. I would venture to guess that all crafters have some stash whether it is boxes and bag full of materials that would last a lifetime, or only enough for the next project. I would also guess that, given enough time, crafters will experience the inexplicable phenomenon of their stash growing of it’s own accord.

Given the number of crafts that I engage in, and the amount of time I have been crafting, my stash is pretty small; however, the amount of space allocated to my stash in my tiny house is even smaller. After cleaning up the working area of my little craft studio last week, and putting away all of the pieces of my stash that had been left out, I realized that the cabinet in which my stash is stored needed a good de-cluttering too.

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Here is the before and after! Wow, look at the difference! What is the secret to my success? Bags that can fit 3 blanket into the space of one, baskets whose interior dimensions are greater than their exterior dimensions, or hiding everything under the bed? No! I also didn’t spend any money on clever organizational gizmos, or new baskets, or magical vacuum bags. In fact, I didn’t spend any money at all. So how did I do it?

I got rid of stuff. A lot of stuff. 3 garbage bags full of stuff. I mercilessly purged all of those items I did not love, or could not think of a purpose for. The small bits of fabric, too small to even make a napkin, suffered the worse. I put them all in a pile, and told my kids to give me those that they would like doll clothes made from (the only thing I routinely use small pieces of fabric for). The rest went in the trash (sorry quilters).

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My left over bits of yarn went in a basket my kids can reach so they can access them. They will now be easily accessed for kids projects, wrapping and tying things, and knitting experiments.

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The left over bits of fabric, and squares large enough for napkins (but not much else) are now in a drawer of their own.

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And my interfacing, stuffing, and dye have their own space now too.

I have to admit that I was scared to get rid of my stash at first. After all, it could be used to make something. And I love to make things. But now that it is over I feel a huge sense of relief. I am now left with those things I actually WANT to make into something, and I no longer have an insurmountable mountain of stuff bearing down on me waiting to be worked on.

I encourage all of you to turn a critical eye on your stash, be it big or small, and cut out the chaff. I think you will be glad once you have done it.

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In keeping with the theme of un-cluttering my clean on the outside, awful on the inside kitchen, this past weekend I tackled my spice cabinet.

Thing 1 and I started by taking everything out, including the shelves. We washed everything, even the spice bottles themselves. Then we started sorting. We threw out old spices, and merged duplicates. They were grouped by their type and use. The result was far less clutter, and easy access to the most used bottles.

Time: About 2 hours.
Cost: $0

I have heard before that the clutter in your fridge is predictive of the clutter in your home. If that is the case, then my home was headed for a mess.

While I regularly throw out old leftovers or spoiled veggies, I deep clean my fridge only rarely. This time it was past due for a good scrubbing. It was gross!

In this de-cluttering, I removed everything that could be removed. Everything was scrubbed with soap and water. Then only what was still in date and regularly used was returned to the fridge. Hopefully I’ll get to the freezer soon too.

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Today’s post is a bit different than those earlier in the week, in which I simply removed things from a space. Today, I have repurposed a pre existing object to better fit the needs of my family.

This armoire started as a cheap, prefab computer hutch, about 10 years ago. I honestly never though it would last this long but it has. Two or three years ago I decided to make it beautiful again, and transformed it into the green and black beauty you see today. Then I promptly stuffed it full of linens and let is sit next to my front door.

Now the linens are gone, regulated to another closet, the trash, or a charity, and in their place, are the odds and ins that are necessary, and typically in the way.

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As a result of this little project, I was also able to clean out the junk drawer in my kitchen. It had previously held the flashlights, candles, batteries, and light bulbs and was stuffed to the gills. Now I can get to these items much more easily, and my Tupperware has a place to stay.

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I am continuing the theme of Monday’s post, on the impact that simply removing clutter can have on a space. Again, I added nothing, not even paint. Instead I took away the trash and clutter, disposing of it, or putting it in it’s proper place as necessary. Total cost; $0, less than 1 hour.

This weekend I cleaned and organized the entry to my house, not by buying lots of little boxes and bins to put all of my stuff, or a new expensive piece of furniture that housed everything perfectly, but by getting rid of things. This week I will show you how cleaning and removing “stuff” alone can transform a space. We will start today with the front door.

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The debris was thrown in the trash, the pots were emptied of their contents and stored with the rest of the pots. My father in law and daughter used a at home version of a pressure washer to clean the side of the house and side walk. Total cost, $0, 1 hour.

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