The Gatorade Effect

So back when I was still skating, our club decided to do a fundraiser where we worked to sell drinks at a major sporting event. We were outdoors in 110 degree heat, selling soft drinks and other beverages to the parched sports fans entering the arena, and we worked for a good 14 hours that day. I can’t tell you how many Gatorades and sodas I sold, but it was a lot.

In hindsight, it wasn’t that great of a fundraiser; once the money was split we all made much below minimum wage for our efforts and I ended up with the most horrendous sunburn. But more importantly to this discussion, it also completely killed my ability to view Gatorade as a consumable beverage. Before that day, while Gatorade wasn’t really a favorite drink of mine, I had definitely consumed with some level of regularity, at least when compared to other sugary drinks, which I had given up completely around the age of 13 or so. But after this day of treating the bottles not as a consumable item but just as a commodity, I couldn’t ever bring myself to look at them quite the same way again. I expect this happens to anyone involved in retail services – at a certain point you just have to deal with so much inventory of a thing that it loses all meaning as to what it is and becomes just another thing that you need to push through the sales line. At a certain level, the quantity overwhelms any other ideas attached to the item and it becomes somewhat meaningless.

So, why am I telling this story? Well, I think this mental shift is sort of happening towards my stash. My stash for so long has been serving a dual purpose – it’s nearly half fabrics that I had bought for my own garments and personal sewing projects, and half fabrics that I had bought for skating costume projects, both for me and for others. This has resulted in my having a lot of fabrics. SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy) doesn’t even begin to cover it. I’ve recently been sorting through my fabric stash and the more I go through it, the more I’m realizing that I’m experiencing something akin to The Gatorade Effect.

It’s challenging because it really feels like it is both a creative block and a weight on the back of my mind. I mean, looking back I can understand how I acquired such a stash, and there are certainly fabrics that I do want to keep (and projects I still want to make!), but there is so much that I just feel overwhelmed and stuck in a way I hadn’t anticipated. Truly, the amount of fabric that I have is beyond ridiculous. I know Marie Kondo would tell me to thank it and dump it, but it feels incredibly wasteful (and not at all environmentally friendly) to just toss it all.

Regardless, I’m definitely at a point in my life where I need to downsize, (not just in fabric but in everything, really) but I’m really struggling to figure out the best way to go about it. I don’t currently have the time to put it all on Etsy and sell it off piecemeal, nor have I been able to find a good destash option in my local area. I’ll keep looking for somewhere that will be a good option for giving it a new home, but there is entirely too much of it to just dump it all at a charity shop (nor would they probably want the large amount of specialty stretch lycra fabrics I’m looking to offload). I’ve listened to several podcasts, and Instagram-stalked several de-stash accounts for ideas, but nothing quite seems like the right option at this point.

I guess I’m just tired of being surrounded by things that, as Marie Kondo would say, no longer spark joy. I’m going through so many fabrics in my stash and I’m realizing that, in a sense, I’ve outgrown many of them. I listened to an interesting YouTube video that talked about The Taste Gap, which I’m sort of starting to realize may explain much of the state of my stash. My tastes have changed over time, and I really need to figure out which projects are still worth my time and effort, and which would really just leave me disappointed having spent time and effort on a garment that would have better fit my taste levels (and budget and lifestyle) from 5-10 years ago. While sparking joy is all well and good, and while I can definitely use my experience to help me figure out which fabrics would be worth saving for future endeavors, it’s a bit difficult when there is so much that it all just starts to feel like bottles of Gatorade.

I’d be curious to hear your ideas in the comments. Have you ever experienced something akin to The Gatorade Effect? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your stash? Does it also affect your creativity or ability to move forward? How did you deal with it? Do you have a reliable place for destashing? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!


70 thoughts on “The Gatorade Effect

  1. I don’t know if this falls under the same category but I’m an avid reader and I randomly buy books all the time. The rationale being: books don’t rot, and one day I might end up needing it, so why not?
    So now I have a small mountain of books that I have little to no interest in, but can’t quite throw away because what if I suddenly need to know about Japanese wood crafting techniques one day? 😂

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      1. I know exactly what you mean. I’m currently reading Marie Kondo and going through my sewing stuff … Ouf! It’s quite humbling to realize the quantity of patterns, fabrics & notions that we accumulate without realizing it. A lot that we forget about. We live in a fast paced consumer oriented world where we just buy & buy and in my case always over estimate the time that I’ll be able to allot to sewing. I also have a tendency to keep the left over awkward pieces of fabric from a finished garment. There’s really not enough to make something with it but I have a tendency to think I’ll do patchwork style clothing with them … I never do. However, I recently discovered a place near where I live that recycle fabric and employ special needs people. So I bring them my leftovers and feel better than dumping it in the garbage. As for my fabric stash, I’m going about it without thinking too much and giving away what I know I won’t use to local charity shops. I hope there are sewists who could us them.

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      2. That sounds like a great plan! I’ll have to see if I can find any local recycling places for fabric scraps because I also keep fat too many pieces that are too small for me to use…

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  2. This is so interesting..and like many knitters and seamstresses I can relate. I have knitting projects dating back twenty years that are no longer to my tastes and must go. Something that I am planning this year is to take some materials to a school charity sale that I am told accepts crafting supplies. Fortunately what I have is of good quality so that should help in finding takers. Best of luck!

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  3. Do you know any person , maybe a younger person who would sell it for you online somewhere and take a percentage as commission for selling it for you? Maybe a young skater who needs funds for a skating need?

    I have 4 daughters that I can sew for so if I don’t like a piece anymore I have options or I use it for muslin if it not a special piece. I have the biggest stash ever in my life right now and I also am going thru it. I’ve been pretty selective in what I’ve bought in the past 4 years since picking up sewing seriously again. Online opportunities at fabrics I never dreamed of having access to is my kryptonite. Not much to pick from in my area. Will I ever sew it all? Maybe not the cashmere. 😳 I am at the point of going overboard though and I like you, are beginning to feel wasteful with my purchases. I think it’s a struggle we all need to face eventually.

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  4. You don’t necessarily have to sell things piecemeal – sell them maybe in bundles of either like fabrics with just the amounts listed and a pic of the grouping or maybe if you have several coordinating fabrics/trims that could be used to create a look. That way it’d save you a ton of work.

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  5. Ugh, I experienced this when I was into quilting. I had a crazy stash and it felt like such a burden, since my lifestyle had changed and I didn’t enjoy it anymore. How I got rid of most of my stash (keeping in mind selling some quilting fabric/supplies may be easier than clothing)… anything that was valuable/designer, I sold on ebay or FB. The stuff that I knew wasn’t worth posting was sold at a yard sale (people love buying craft/sewing supplies at yard sales), or given away (again, posted on my neighborhood Nextdoor site or FB and said “come and get it”). In CA, there was a chapter of the American Sewing Guild that would take donations and resell as a fundraiser, but I haven’t found the same here in AZ. Those are my best ideas!

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  6. Yes, absolutely. There’s a point where the stash feels like a burden–all these projects to sew so the fabric doesn’t go to waste, all the money spent on them, all of the resources that go into growing, harvesting, shipping, manufacturing, dyeing, advertising, and selling them. It gets to a point where I walk into the den and see the stash and it just feels like evidence that I haven’t made good choices here.

    I’m taking a three-month hiatus from fabric purchases to break the habit and will then re-evaluate, and I’m participating in Frivolous At Last’s Slow Fashion pledge this year (there’s a link on my blog if you want to look it up). In the meantime I’m looking at the stash as future garments, since most of what’s there is pretty classic and basic and I’m not tired of it, I just have no earthly need for more clothing right now.

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    1. My problem is I have no time to sew lately but I also really need new clothes but also sort of refuse to shop for them because my stash is so big? It’s this never ending cycle of having an abundance of one resource and not enough of the other that leads to issues on both ends… I haven’t really bought fabric for a while but making a dedicated effort to not buy more will surely help. Thanks!

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      1. In the same boat since I’m doing some major cleaning…except not with fabrics. You could sell in bulk like another commenter suggested. Or you could donate it by shipping it to a charity/nonprofit, schools(home economics?), or fabric exchange. Fabric stores might take it too for their fabric scrap section. Also saw this…although might have to sift out the ones for quilting fabrics only. https://www.allpeoplequilt.com/how-to-quilt/organization/where-to-donate-unwanted-fabric-scraps
        Hope this helps…totally understand that you don’t feel like spending time on getting rid of what you don’t need anymore.

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  7. Well.. I don’t feel overwhelmed by my stash or wardrobe, but I don’t keep it all where I can see it or use it so that might be why. Twice a year I sort my closet into piles: 1. Wardrobe, 2. Wrong season, 3. Tired of right now 4. Mend or dry-clean, 5. Sell or donate. In the Kondo way of heaping it all on the bed and then into piles, but I keep more things, just not where I see it every day.

    My fabric and yarn is treated somewhat in the same way, but I keep even less where I can see it. During sorting I pick a few fabrics that I would like to work with and then they are the extent of my mental stash and then I might switch from the box that correspond to the “wardrobe” pile of my clothes. My problem is that I have to remind myself that there always will be more interesting fabric for me to try instead of labeling it all as precious. Yarn is kept separate in sweater amount and less then sweater and when I finish a sweater I choose a new one, sock yarn is kept visible at all times and other than that I first pick what I want to knit, look in the stash and if I don’t have a suitable alternative I will buy yarn for that project (I have less yarn then fabrica).

    My own soul search related to my hobbies led to this conclusion: it’s often women that I see have issues with the size of their stash and feel the need to apologize and explain and fix it to the perfect curated piece. I do not have a single male friend who would be doing the same thing. I am interested in sewing, knitting, gardening and cross country skiing. In order to improve my skills and be happy I need fabric, notions, yarn, seeds and other equipment. I am lucky enough to have interest in affordable things and therefore I might be able to buy fabric and yarn (and seeds) on a whim. Skiing equipment is more expensive so I only have two pairs, but carefully tested out. My husband is interested in cars and can not buy every car that he would like to own, but if he were to buy one vintage jaguar (the favorite at the moment) it would cost more than my total combined stash of seed, yarn, fabric and skies. And probably impact the environment more.

    Sorry for the essey 😳

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  8. Oh, very interesting observation. I’ve been lucky that I could take fabric to a sewing group and see if any of the other members could use it, and also at sewing meet-ups there are often swap tables. Is any of that an option for you?

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  9. I have definitely gone through the same thing. A part you didn’t mention that upset me was the thought of how much of my family’s money was sitting on the shelf. It is good to have some fabrics in the cupboard, but I buy more thoughtfully now and my fabric fits into one cupboard less than a metre square for dressmaking and one for costuming. Sewing faculties at high schools were very grateful for my unloved fabric.

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  10. I too have a large supply of fabrics from different climates, jobs, taste, etc. I’ve decided to use it to sew muslins of the new things I want to sew. I’m trying to not buy new fabric unless I’ve made up a muslin in fabric I already own. Hopefully this will also cut down on waste from projects not turning out. I’m also using some pieces to work out fitting adjustments for slopers.

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  11. Sorry you’re having mixed feelings about your stash. I think this happens to lots of people, but they don’t want to admit it. I don’t do a stash myself for exactly the reasons you mentioned. If you really want to get rid of a lot of it, I imagine you could find a school or charity, or you could pay some one a little to put it for sale on eBay or Etsy.

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  12. I can absolutely relate to that overwhelming feeling regarding a fabric stash and should you hold onto a piece “just in case” you’ll use it. I keep delving into mine and getting rid of bits at a time, some to charity shops but if I’ve traded at car boot type events (yard sales) I’ve taken best fabric I no longer want and have been able to make some money back. You usually get someone who comes along who buys the whole lot!

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  13. Did I ever feel overwhelmend by my stash?!?! Ugh! I had this problem a couple years ago. It was completely blocking me both physically (could barely walk into the sewing room) and creatively. I had to purge in waves (that sounds disgusting) as I slowly got a grip on reality. I now have it winnowed down to 5 medium plastic storage bins.

    Sadly I don’t have the perfect suggestion to solve your problem. I ended up doing a little bit of everything: donated to teachers’ and artists’ charities, gave away to friends, sold yardage to members of a sewing group on Facebook, sold in lots on eBay. It was time consuming and sometimes aggravating, especially the selling part, but it did all eventually get done and I am very relieved to have a usable space as well as an appealing and manageable assortment of fabrics.

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  14. Great post! You are not alone. I started sewing again about 4 years ago, during a challenging time in my life and really took the shopping therapy too far. I also made many bad choices, primarily from buying online and trying to fill my cart to the “free shipping” level. I started tracking my monthly ins and outs, sold a bit, and donated many yards to the local textile museum (which holds sales fundraisers), my quilt guild (which has an annual garage sale to raise money for speakers), an arts program at a school board, and a woman who runs a woman’s sewing circle. Now I’m trying to only buy fabric in person and stay at a net negative intake. I think it is more inspiring when you have less in your stash that you really like, than a huge stash you feel “meh” about.

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  15. Yes. Yes. Yes. You are not alone. It is overwhelming to the point that it sucks the joy out of the very stash that was so joyfully collected. But I agree with an earlier commentor, get rid of it. If it’s having a negative effect on you and your creativity, get rid of it. I went through my stash and gave away all the stuff I knew I would never sew. I’m sure I probably kept some things I shouldn’t, but I’m not adding to it until I use something. An incentive to spark my sew-jo 🙂 Hope you fund the solution that’s right for you too. Btw I really enjoy your pattern reviews on new releases. Thanks for being so on top of it!

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  16. I am in a similar place with my stash…. some options that I have been using are to donate to a local crafting thrift store (charity run in Sydney, called the Achieve Sewing Basket), doing some sewing for charities (such as our wildlife shelters), and offering fabric pieces to others I know who also sew. Other ideas I have had include donating to local performing arts groups (for costume making), and also an initiative we have here called Boomerang Bags where bags are made to be borrowed/returned in local shops as plastic bags are phased out. I do have hoarding tendencies, I hate waste and I also tend to approach sewing a bit like baking – when I want to make something, the last thing I want to do is waste time shopping, so I like to have a well stocked pantry, I mean stash. :o)

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    1. Yes I certainly don’t want to get rid of all of my stash, or even most of it… but I do want to get rid of a lot of it. Like maybe 1/3? I’m not set on a number, it’s more just that I got so much stuff for skating and I’m just not going to use it all… And I bought a lot of cheap fabrics in the early days because I was on a limited budget and now I know I don’t need or want to use that fabric… but I could get rid or a lot of things and still be most decidedly “well stocked.” 😉

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  17. I got rid of the fabric that I’d lost interest in partly through Freecycle, and forced myself to sew up a certain amount of the rest. Having no budget for new fabric for a while helped there, I’ll admit – it was sew the stash or nothing. I did spend a /lot/ of time looking at Burdanavigator and figuring out what I could make with it all, to ensure I was sewing something I’d enjoy.

    I also found a charity shop that takes craft supplies and they took a bit of it. But I still have a box of fabric that I wonder if I’ll ever sew.

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    1. Thanks for mentioning Freecycle, I’d forgotten about that. I did unload several large bins of different types of fabric to different people through Freecycle. Great way to keep fabric and anything else out of the landfill.

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  18. I stress bought fabrics when I had no time to sew. I previously only bought fabric as I needed it. I went to a swap meet and increased my stash by a third. That was in 2016. By 2018 I realised I had too many prints in colours that didn’t work on me. I rarely wear prints anyways!

    I spent a while sorting through the fabrics and took out the specialist fabrics (like swimwear) and put them to one side. I took out all the fibre types I didn’t like, then all the prints and colours that I didn’t like. They went to a swap meet along with a stack of patterns. That left some fabrics and patterns that I just wasn’t sure about. I hung onto them a while longer, some were used for wearable toiles, some stashed for a tad longer. The fabrics that I pick up and put down – repeatedly – were put to one side. I took them to the occasional social sewing days I go to and offered them to the other participants. Any leftovers went to an op shop.

    Accepting the sunk loss of money expended on fabrics that were not used by me was hard. But I realised my tastes and needs had changed. I have gone back to my practice of buying fabric for a specific purpose and using it within a month. When at swap days I only take that which I know I will use within 18 months. It has taken me almost two years to get to this point.

    I don’t have any suggestions for you, other than to not rush into de-stashing. It crept up on you slowly, consider carefully what you discard, don’t be in a rush to see empty shelving. Rushing to emptiness will likely see you filling them up again. Wishing you well!

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    1. That is great advice, thanks! I totally relate to stress buying – I totally bought way more fabric when I was depressed than I do now. My rate of intake has been slowing quite a bit, but it’s had 10 years to accumulate and my tastes and preferences have changed a lot since then.

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  19. I actually donated several bags of fabric recently to a thrift store in my area that has a robust arts & crafts section. I tried to keep only the fabrics that still resonated with me or ones that are slated to be included in projects-in-progress (namely, a baby quilt). It does start to feel like a burden as tastes shift…I’d kept fabrics that I bought when I first started sewing and was attracted to the bright patterns, but I had to have a talk with myself about how I actually prefer to wear dark colors, usually no patterns, in fabrics that flow. I felt much better when I gave the fabric away and now I actually feel like sewing again.

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  20. I found someone locally who passes fabric and scraps on to local groups and schools so I took her 4 laundry bags full and she sorted it out from there!
    There are groups on FB where people will buy fabric in bulk, this might work well for your dance/skating fabrics.

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  21. I am in a similar situation as you are. For several years I was buying fabric intended for work clothes (office work). I don’t do that kind of work anymore and it seems very unlikely that I ever will again. I plan on selling carefully selected pieces of fabric on Instagram, 1-3 pieces per week. My intention isn’t to make money but to recoup all or most of what I spent. This could work for you, you could do it at whatever speed that you can manage (taking photos, shipping etc).

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  22. Overwhelmed and stifled – ABSOLUTELY! Pre-retirement, I had far more grand plans than actual time and energy to sew up all those jackets and tops I bought fabric and patterns for. So many “ooh pretty!” purchases that resulted in fabrics that go with not much else in the closet. Now retired, I seem to be living in t-shirt, sweatpants and sweatshirt. And then there’s the quilting fabrics, although making quilt tops for Quilts of Valor uses a lot of red/white/blue, but the quantity makes the decisions on where to start take longer. And we’ll not discuss the 3 totes of yarn when I don’t really know how to knit or crochet. At least not yet, that was another retirement plan. Or beads and art supplies. Lots of grand plans and not much follow through got my stashes into this state.

    How did I deal with it? A few years ago, I did a clearing of fabrics and patterns that were no longer “me”. The fabrics were labeled with yardage and content and sent to thrift. The patterns were a bulk sale on Craigslist. I sent the cheap acrylic yarns to thrift as I found wool was so much easier to handle during my brief knitting experience. That time, moving things on was fairly easy. This week’s attempt I did not do not very well. I looked at the jacket fabrics, and found I still really like them. So I tried the woven shirt fabrics – no better luck. And then the knit top fabrics (at least what I could see of them) and strike out again. I’m not sure I want to tackle the patterns yet. I need a declutter success under my belt first, maybe I’ll tackle the the bathroom cabinet and pet supply box and get rid of outdated medicines. So much easier to toss when there’s an expiration date or the cans bulge/leak on the kitchen shelf!

    I’m not sure about sending fabric to thrift any more – it seems that many places send it right off to trash, not sell it. At least the places I get to don’t seem to have much for fabric or patterns. I’ll probably try CL first to sell fabric and patterns since I’m not on FB. Perhaps DS would list them for a commission though?

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    1. Great ideas, thank you! I’ll look at my options and see what I can find. I’m pretty sure my local thrift stores would not sell fabric or craft supplies; they seem to be mostly clothing and home goods.

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  23. I monitored since 2 years my inputs and outputs of the fabric stash (thanks to a french sewing forum online) An excel sheet where I put every month how many I cut and how many I bought, even if the challenge to reduce the stash didn’t require to count what we have at the beginning of the process, I did. I had enough to sew 30 maxi dress. I used to buy fabric because I liked it, without any pattern in mind other than “a top”, ” a skirt”, time goes by and some of those fabric are still here (10 years after…) Still do mistakes, but now I’m aware that i should be careful, I plan more and order samples even if it is not free. I have sewn more in 2018 than i bought, but I bought more in 2019 than I sewn. I put out form my stash a dozen of fabrics that i don’t like anymore just to see clearer, I may sell them (for half the price) or do muslins or use them as gift wrapper

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  24. “Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your stash? Does it also affect your creativity or ability to move forward?”

    Lawd, yes! There are so many bins filled to the top with fabric. Sometimes I am inspired by what I have; other times I am stalled by indecision and a wee bit of sadness. Much of the fabric was purchased during a time of intense stress. Fabric retail therapy brought calm, but the end result is the mini mountain that exists entirely in my basement. The stress is still here, but I’ve found healthier ways to deal with it.

    “How did you deal with it?”

    I am slowly culling fabrics that I don’t want and giving them to friends of donating to a local nonprofit. I gave away four boxes last year and intend to do another purge this year. The same is true with patterns.

    “Do you have a reliable place for destashing?”

    Yes, but there’s a catch. The local nonprofit has a fabric sale once or twice per year. So I donate…and then hit up the sale. *facepalm* I’ve been better at selecting quality pieces and using them pretty quickly.

    I’d like to host a re-stash day similar to what Miss Celie’s Pants did in Baltimore a couple of years ago.

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  25. A sewing store near me has a connection with a Native American community that takes remnants and de stash fabrics and uses them for I-don’t-know-what. So asking around at fabric stores or quilt guilds might yield an avenue towards destashing for you. As for skate costuming materials, surely there is some eager maker that would take them off your hands whether it is for skate costumes, dance costumes or H.S. theatre groups.

    My sister swears by freecycle for getting rid of pretty much anything, but she lives in a large city.

    How about a fabric yard sale advertised on Craigslist? Sewers will go far for materials!

    Good luck with it all. De stashing is hard but the lightness of being in the end is worth it.

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  26. I wonder if you could donate some of it to athriftynotion on Instagram. They sell secondhand fabric. I don’t know what that would involve, but you could ask if it sounds like a good option to you. I’m sure there are other fabric resellers that would take donations as well. Maybe you could just ship them a box of fabric. It doesn’t really help you recoup money, but sometimes it’s faster and easier to cut your losses and clean out. I can see how this would be overwhelming.

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    1. Yeah, some part of me would like to sell, and some part of me just wants to be rid of it and move on with my life. I’ll have to see what makes the most sense because I don’t really want to spend a *lot* of money shipping things if I can avoid it.

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  27. I went through my stash fairly ruthlessly not long ago, with the intent to fit it all in a certain amount of storage space. It worked! Having that tangible outcome made me really think about what I was actually going to sew. Lesson learnt, don’t buy fabric to sew “one day” because your tastes will change and you won’t be interested in it anymore.

    I donated most of it to op shops as it was fairly conventional fabric. However, I’ve had great luck shifting other stuff on local buy sell swap Facebook groups (the equivalent might be FreeCycle or a Buy Nothing page). Putting it up for free pretty much guarantees it will go – I still can’t believe the stuff I’ve had claimed! (No rubbish or anything, just a wide variety of oddities.)

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  28. Oh gosh yes… My stash is not massive, but is plenty big for the space it’s allowed in. I’ve no money at the moment to buy any more fabric, so it is really helping me look at what I have and think about it. The are some fabrics I know I’ll never sew with now as my tastes and desires have changed in the past couple of years. (I have a few pieces from over 20 years ago… yikes…) The same with a few patterns, though surprisingly not as many as I’d’ve thought.

    Last year I did a major purge of sentimental stuff/clothes/items/photographs. I expected it to be really hard and painful to do, and it was at first. For about 5 minutes. Then it got frighteningly easy to do, lol… The sense of release and freedom at the end was a reward, and now I have room for thoughtful, useful stuff. I might apply the same method to my stash – a lot of the fabric I bought in the past was with the idea “well, it’s not great quality nor my favorite color, but it’ll be good to learn from”, and I now understand that is not a great way to go. Lesson learned.

    Good luck with the stash! Looking forward to know how you deal with it.

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  29. I go through this periodically and it’s so hard! I’m not a Kondo’er so I don’t check for joy sparking 😉 I’ve purged a few times and it’s almost always due to “I love the print…but will I *wear* it?” And, I’m not anti-poly but there is some stuff that I just don’t bother with anymore (e.g., I just say no to poly/lycra pontes. There has to be some rayon or nylon in it!).

    I am on a fabric shopping diet. I’m not fasting but I am really planning to limit stash additions. If I buy fabric it needs to be because I “need” it for a project. I have SO MUCH and really, whenever I go looking for something, I find myself WANTING to sew the fabric! I want to have this fabric as a garment!!

    There was a PR thread where someone was looking to discern s/m/l stash size and what it means. Someone mentioned the number of pieces they have. Some knew their approximate yardage. And someone mentioned having xx number of pieces that amounted to xx yards. THAT sat with me.

    Based on the pic I posted last spring when I organized my stash, there were about 80 cuts of fabric on my IKEA Expedit. I’ve used a few and I’d estimate it’s 75 cuts. And, while I know there ARE some 1 yard pieces, I’d have to imagine that it’s more like 2-3 yards per cut and therefore easily 150 yards on that shelf. And it isn’t full/running over. I have another 25 cuts in my sewing room so I’d estimate another 60 yards.

    There’s a few small piles of cuts with ~5 pieces of fabric. I know there are more 3 yd cuts here so I’ll assume another 40 yards. So now I’m up to ~250 yds. There’s a basket and a bag that could house another 50 yds. 300 yds.

    And THEN, I have a 2 totes with woven bottom weights. A tote with woven dressweights. A tote with lightweight knits, 2 totes with heavier knits. A tote of “specialty fabrics” (swimwear, activewear, lace, etc). And a tote of coating. Maybe that’s 75 cuts or maybe it’s 100…I don’t know 😦 I do know that this means I *easily* have 500 yards of fabric and THAT is mind boggling.

    So even thought I purged less than a year ago, I’ll be doing so AGAIN this February/March. Selling fabric is too much work for me. I would try with any specialty or designer cuts if I were purging them…but I will be trying to take advantage of a textile donation and garage sale that happens every year. EVERY year I end up being out of town or sick or SOMETHING. They ask (don’t require) you to label it with yardage and fiber content if you know it. Since so much of fabric was online purchases, I’m thinking that won’t be too bad…I’m also not expecting to donate a TON because of the recent purge, but I hope to make a small dent.

    2019 I sewed just over 100 yards and really do need to replace quite a few tops and dresses. So I’m hoping that with donating some stash, a similar output, and limiting purchases I can start to get control over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will have to look for local garage sales or donation places – I haven’t been counting but I’m pretty sure I easily have several hundreds of yards of fabric. I’ve been buying for 10 years and my output of personal projects really dropped off… And now that I’m not planning to sew for others I also have a lot of swim/dance/skate fabrics I really don’t need to hold on to…

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      1. About those swim/skate/dance fabrics, maybe ask the fairy bra mother, if any of her grads live near you. Just thinking, de-stashing is easier when you know it has found a good home.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. A very interesting topic and I don’t feel that bad now with my stash. 🙂 I’ve donated to very grateful schools in the past and they will take anything. Also charities like fabric and I gave a friend a huge bin liner of yarn then to my surprise received a great little cardigan for my 3yr old GS.

    I threw out lots of offcuts before Christmas only to find my Art class now wants us to use lots of old T-shirts and cotton pieces for oil painting (instead of brushes, it’s abstract or so they say!) I will have to use old cotton socks instead!! I’m sure Art groups would love any offcuts that all of us throw out.

    As the late Sir James Goldsmith once said,When you marry your mistress, you create a job vacancy. I think it’s like that with fabric, when you cull the stash there is space to be filled so beware 🙂

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  31. Well, it doesn’t exactly happen to me with a stash, but I certainly tend to keep around a lot of stuff, whether physical or just information. In a way, it’s how I make sure I’ll “catch up with it later”, but later I find up I’m not interested anymore or it’s not even relevant, and sometimes, I don’t even care why I put it there anymore.

    Either way, I think a deep cleaning would help you a lot. Even if you don’t know where to put it for now, classifying what you’ll keep and what you won’t based on realistic expectatives would probably help. Maybe box everything else and move it aside to sell later? Who knows.

    I think the problem with this struggle (that I’m currently suffering of) is more mental than physical. Yes, we run out of space to put out things… but it’s mostly the ‘not letting go’ thing. Marie Kondo is a bit extremist, in my opinion, but she has a point.

    Either way, good luck with getting rid of all that. I hope you manage to put it down to a decent size.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Could donate it to “Days For Girls”. They are sewing groups scattered all over the world. They sew up reusable menstruation pads for girls in third world countries, so they can stay in school instead of sitting on a pile of leaves at home for a week, or dropping out of school altogether. The organiser of my group knows so may ways donated fabric can be used… they not only make the pads; but drawstring bags and waterproof bags (some countries don’t allow plastic). She also organises for the fabric to be used for koala and joey pouches (because of the Australian fires), scraps and fabric for dolls for third world countries, and scraps and fabric for making of quilts and rugs to be sold to raise money.

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  33. You said something about outgrowing certain pieces… maybe you have a niece, or a friends child who would love to wear some of what you loved? Sewing something colourful for a child, seeing it be appreciated, is just so much better than having it sit accusingly in stash. (just my thought)

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  34. New to this blog but it’s now bookmarked. Fabric stash issues have a solution in my neck of the woods, though I don’t know how widespread this is : https://www.ragfinery.com/story/ Ragfinery is part of a reuse/recycle coop; they take in fabric, clothing, sewing tools etc, and both sell/teach on sewing and upcycling- my passion right now. Look in your region for a similar option.

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