Monday, April 4, 2011

What to Do When Your Stash Gets Too Big

My fabric stash, that is! I used to regularly search for vintage and recycled fabric to add to my stash for making plushies. Used to, because finally my stash got too big. My craft room was overflowing with felted sweaters, used clothing, and vintage linens. As you can see, my stash got WAY too big!

Another problem: I was storing a lot of fabric in boxes, because my craft closet didn't have enough shelves. With so much in the boxes, I couldn't keep track of what I had, which caused me to think I needed MORE! Aiya! It was a vicious circle. By the way, the legal size file cabinet in the photo just below was also cram-packed with fabric.

Finally, with my birthday looming, I asked my darling husband if he could add another shelf to my closet as a special "gift" for my birthday. What a sweetheart! He put the shelf in Friday night after work. He also removed the closet doors, at my request. Saturday morning bright and early the two of us re-organized my craft closet, and it looks great:

I can see most everything, and it's organized by type of fabric and color. :-)

Here's the only downside: I still couldn't fit everything in there! Man! But I finally found a good solution, suggested by my hubby: I moved anything that still needed processing by me (cleaning, felting, and so on) into the laundry area of my home (should have kept it there in the first place--just didn't, because I didn't want to alarm my hubby at the amount of stuff I had, so I "hid" it in my craft room!).

OK, now you know my secret: I had a huge "hidden" fabric stash! Yikes! But now things are back in order, it is under control, my secret is out, and I feel much better! Have any of you had this kind of trouble with your stashes of crafty or art supplies? If so, I'd love to hear about it! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer


  1. YES! Out of sight out of mind - was my problem too. I would store the fabric in nice plastic bins with lids.
    Your solution here is terrific. The only thing I might do would be to add more shelves so the stacks aren't so tall - (like when you want that one on the bottom). :)

  2. Thanks for commenting, Jeni! Glad to hear I'm not the only one whose stash has gotten too big! :-) Fortunately, these are all really lightweight pieces, so getting fabric from clear on the bottom hasn't been a problem. Getting to what's on the tippy top of the closet requires a step stool, though. :-(

  3. wooooooow you have a great amount of stuff!!!!!!!!!! I´m the same, actually a lot of people and friends give me old clothes to recycle and have them all in bags (3 huge bags) and have no idea of what´s there... have to see if I´m going to use it and the rest will donate to the salvation army! Oh my!

    Well.. the life of a crafter! :)

  4. Hi Cara Carmina! Yes, it feels good to gather up stuff, and it also feels good to clear it out! :-) Thanks for the visit!

  5. oh how wonderful!! I've literally just made a post about colour co-ordinating my bookshelf.

    Nothing better :) x

  6. You hit the nail on the head Plushy, darling! Your stash looks so lovely, and I am sure you will be more likely to use it now that you can see it. I learned that a couple of years ago, and when I use totes, I try to use clear plastic ones so I can see what's in 'em.

    The trick with that type of shelf is, after you pull out a bunch of stuff to see what you want to use, you have to restack and tidy all that fabric, a never ending process. Fortunately, I never get tired of looking at fabric & sweaters (felted or otherwise)! It's like food for my heart, eyes, and mind!

    It does get really overwhelming though at times, when I think of more and more projects I want to make! I have had to impose a ban on fabric shopping (in effect for almost two years now!) including going to the Goodwill bins!

    What a nice hubby you have, too! I am blessed with a very nice shelf-installing hubby as well! Yay!

  7. Maxy, thank you for visiting! I once visited a house where all of the books and DVDs were color coordinated. All the red ones were on this shelf, all the purple ones were on this table, etc. It was intriguing and beautiful! I've never tried it myself, but maybe I will one day! :-)

  8. Den Mother, thanks for the comment! You know, I recently had to ban MYSELF from looking at fabric at the bins! LOL! I still go to the bins, mind you, but I don't look at the fabrics! I never would have had that kind of self-control before, but after cleaning up my stash and seeing how much still needs to be processed, I can stop myself! Glad you mentioned that! You made my day! :-)

  9. It's funny, I use the term 'processing' for the stuff I get at the bins, too! It cracks me up because it's so sort of formal and factory-like and I'm just one monster-lovin' lady who can't bear to throw things away or see anyone else throw things away! Thus, I'm not allowed to go to the bins at all because I have so many projects, even excluding fabric! Maybe once I get a few more areas of the clubhouse sorted I'll be able to return!

  10. By the way, I can't seem to post on your Facebook page! Maybe you don't have it set up for people to post? Monsters want to come say hi, too! ps My secret identity is Lise Thompson Petrauskas!

  11. Den Mother, that "processing" bit is funny! Like minds!

    Sorry, but I don't have my Facebook page set up for others to post on my wall--too much spam going around these days. However, you could log in as your page, like my page, and then comment as your monster self. I do it all the time (as my plushy self)! ;-)

  12. What a great way to organize your fabrics!
    I know whtat you mean about not being able to see your stash (mine is wool) so you then buy more as you can't keep count of what you have!
    Great reorganizing

  13. Hi creative kate! Nice to hear from you! Thanks for commenting!

  14. Que bien te ha quedado Jennifer ( =
    Yo también tengo el problema de guardar mis materiales , cuando ya abarque todo el espacio S = Y aparte todo quiero verlo para que no se me olvide que tengo cuando lo necesito.Me sirven mucho cajones y cajas de plástico transparente, por que con ellos puede ver y los protege del polvo (=
    Pero definitivamente ¡Nunca hay espacio suficiente!!! / = jejeje
    Un beso

  15. Hi Flor, Great to hear from you! I love your point about needing to be able to see whether your stock is running low on something. That is true too. Thanks for commenting!


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