Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lesson Learned #4 - Stress and Stuff

  I've spent many precious life hours over the last 10 years moving stuff out of my house.  
In the last year, the highway of departing clutter has become an absolute speedway.  
Here is a lesson I have learned in the process.

Lesson Learned #4

Less stuff equals less stress ... at least for me.

For myself, I truly believe less stuff equals less stress.

But this may not be true for everyone.   I know folks who take comfort in being surrounded by all their many belongings.  In fact it is said that very creative people are usually surrounded by lots of disorganization, and they seem to function just fine.  I worked for a woman who hired me specifically because I was an organization greek.  She wanted me to organize her.  I discovered that although her office was crazy with clutter, she could easily put her hand on any item I could name.  Once she realized that her methods worked fine for her ... and my methods worked fine for me ... we got along famously!! Accepting each others differences made us a great team.

But an over abundance of stuff can have a very different outcome.

At the far end of the "stuff" spectrum is a popular show called The Hoarders.  It always made me a little sad to see these folks who allowed things to overtake their lives so completely.  Their stuff did not make them happy.  They were miserable.  I stopped watching when the show spilled into examples of animal hoarding layered on top of stuff hoarding.  Animals who had died in the house and the owners did not know because the stuff was so mountainous.  Cats who had litters of sick or dead kittens and the owners had no clue.  Sad was one thing.  Disturbing was something else.   I stopped watching.

I have never been near the level of clutter as the TV Hoarders.  But this week I was face-to-face with my own personally created clutter monster who was hiding in my yarn room.

For newer readers, a little bulleted background on me can demonstrate the problem.
  • I am a knitter.
  • I am a rigid heddle weaver.
  • I am a sometimes fiber spinner.
  • Crafters like me usually have stashes of craft related stuff.  
  • I have a massive large medium small-ish to medium (???)  hoard stash collection selection of knitting yarns, weaving yarns, fiber for making yarns, books, knitting needles, binders of individual patterns, kits (knitting and weaving), many looms, many spinning spindles, and a full size spinning wheel.  (OK, "massive hoard" fits - just don't tell my husband.)
  • My hobby once was housed in a small basement closet.  Then it was moved to a small room with closet (we call the den.)  Now it is contained in a moderate size bedroom (we now call "the yarn room") with 2 closets that once belonged to my mom.  I sort of maybe have my eye on largest room - our master bedroom.  I wonder if my husband would notice ... oh forget I said anything.
  • I consider my yarn room to be a luxury and a joy.
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE my hobby.  
I think that sets the stage for you.

In preparation for painting the yarn room I had to MOVE . ALL . THE . LOVED . STUFF out of the closets and into the center of the floor so the closets could be painted. It took me a whole day.  It filled the center of the room and was stack about 4-5 feet high.  After I finished, I stood back and surveyed the stash.  It did not fill me with joy.  I was agitated.  I was discourage.  How could I allowed something I cherished to fall into the "too much stuff" category.

I have already started the process of thinning the stash.  There are no ugly items in the room.  But the stash does fall into two categories:  like and love.  The likes are finding their way to new homes where they will be loved.  And I am happy to make space for my loved items.

And what is true for my yarn room has been true for the rest of my house.  Space is good.  Less is good.

Less stuff is less stress - even if it is yarn.


  1. Interesting post. When I returned to knitting a few years ago, I promised myself that I wouldn't become a hoarder. But I can't resist a bargain and probably have enough yarn to keep me busy for the next 2 years. I'm being very good about not buying anymore. I often get criticised for being stubborn, but that trait is an advantage when I make a promise and keep to it.

    1. This yarn thing I have is one of my major passions. I love the hobby - and everything associated with it. But the desire to expand my stash needs to be reigned in for sure. I am not good about limiting myself in this regard.

  2. I started out watching the show Hoarders as well. Then it became just EWWW! What a sad state so many of those homes and those lives were in. I really need to get started on my own clutter...soon!

    1. It is a wonderful feeling to reduce - especially when you are getting rid of stuff you really don't care about and don't know why you are keeping it. Once I get going, I find it hard to stop! :-)

  3. I'm impressed that you painted the closets! I have painted quite a few rooms in my life, but never the closets....However, you've made me feel better about my yarn stash, which feels overwhelming but is smaller than yours. I was determined not to buy more yarn until I'd used the stash, but last week found myself in my favorite LYS and added four kinds of yarn to my collection. Then again, this week I fell in love with a new pattern on Ravelry and had to begin making it at once. I found the perfect yarn in my stash :)

  4. I have a love hate relationship with my stash! :-) But the love is greater than the hate. So I will just ignore my conflicted feelings. :-)


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