Tuesday 20 August 2019

Letting Go of Stuff ~ in My Sewing Room

The more I declutter and get rid of unused things in my sewing room, the easier it gets to let go of even more items that I'll never in a million years get around to using.

Many moons ago I purchased a Brother ScanNCut machine. I'd seen one in use at a quilting retreat, and thought it looked like it would be very useful. Well, it has sat, neglected, in my sewing room for a few years now - and I've never used it - not even once. 

Seems like I'm a bit of an impulsive buyer - see it, like it, buy it. Whether I'll actually make use of it or not doesn't really seem to come into the equation - at least, not until now.

Buying that machine was a waste of my money, but more than that, it's a waste of resources. I claim to be environmentally responsible, but buying something that sits unused is anything but caring for our planet. Both resources and energy were consumed in the making of something that has - while it sits in my home - no purpose.

And so, I've given my Brother ScanNCut machine to a group that I know will use it a lot - Sewing for Charity Australia.

This point was brought home to me by Lindsay, from Treading My Own Path, in her post on Decluttering for the Planet. Lindsay talks about her environmental footprint, decluttering as de-owning and how letting go of things we no longer use is the opposite of waste.

Treading My Own Path is well worth reading. Lindsay is not all preach preachy. She gives good practical ideas for helping our planet, acknowledging we all have to start somewhere. 

When I passed over my ScanNCut to the girl who would be sending it to Sewing for Charity Australia, I half filled a shopping trolley. Wish I'd taken a photo. Together with the ScanNCut, I packed in other sewing bits and pieces - mainly fabric, but also paper patterns. 

And it felt good!!! Yes, maybe I would have eventually sewed up some of the fabric, but then again, maybe I wouldn't.

So, when I got home, I went through my stash once again. The photos you see on this page are all from the most recent culling - patterns cut out and ready to sew, projects half sewn, sewing books, paper patterns and sewing notions - all waiting ready for me to pass on.

Funny thing is, I've already forgotten most of the specific things I first passed over. Shows how unattached I was to them. 

Yes, there's the possibility I may hand over something I will later regret. However, I think the fact that all my unused stuff will now become useful again, outweighs any second thoughts I may have.

And, more importantly, I'm creating less of a drain on our planet's resources by making my stuff usable again, which in turn saves someone else from buying them.

To top it all off, I've had more enthusiasm to sew since giving away some of my sewing things. I can now see to the bottom of my unfinished projects tub, so much so that I pulled out the quilt blocks I made several years ago. I now have a quilt top finished and ready to sandwich.

I am on a roll. Sewing time may be limited and sporadic, but I am making good use of that time. Decluttering my sewing room seems to have decluttered my brain. 

I have given away every single piece of knit fabric I had. When my kids were little, I sewed a lot with stretch fabric, and there was this feeling that I really should be doing so now, either for charity, or the next generation. However, I really don't want to sew knits. I much prefer woven fabrics. Giving away the knit fabrics has freed up my time - even though in reality I wasn't actually sewing with the stretch fabric. But my mind is no longer planning and thinking I should.

Even though I now have more space in my sewing room and I've given away so much, there's no shortage of beautiful fabrics left for me to play with.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

... Pam


  1. Good for you Pam! I have a friend who also bought a Scan and Cut years ago. She took classes and cut out a couple things and showed me how it worked. It sat and sat and i don't think she has used it since as she probably forgot how. I went through books and patterns that I will never use several months ago and got rid of them at my quilt group on the free table. But I usually come home with free fabric! Well I do use the fabrics I get. I went through my closet of clothing too and got rid if a lot a year ago. I don't declutter often, but when I do it's good. Better someone else gets use out of stuff that I won't use than just sitting there.

  2. I have purged my crafts and fabric again and again and again! My main crafting area is still not rebuilt since last year's flooding and the storage shed is in terrible condition. It seems as if I will be forced to downsize some more. It feels great to get rid of things, though. I know I have entirely too much.

  3. Well done Pam! I go through stages of decluttering my sewing stuff... but I still have a lot. Most of it is useful, but I am sure I could get rid of some more! Thanks for the inspiration! xx

  4. Congrats on letting go and being generous with your supplies, Pam. (I think you will learn your lesson about impulsive buys!)

    On a similar note, I've heard that unwanted textiles are one of the leading categories of waste in our world right now. It used to be that our clothing donations would wind up in some third world country but even those places are finding fewer and fewer uses for them. I cringe at the $5 prices in "throw away" clothing shops because all they do is promote waste. Long story short, we all have old clothes that can be sourced for fabric or repurposing. Once the sewing room is decluttered, maybe we should go through our closets.

  5. It is very freeing to get rid of unused supplies isn't it Pam? I passed on supplies when we moved house 3 years ago but I could definitely lose more :)


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