No matter how careful you might be, you’ll find your stash piles up. If you are like me, this happens until you could be on an episode of Hoarders. Then you need to take emergency measures. You need Craft Triage.
This process lets you get through any stash, even if its just a drawer, quickly and efficiently. You’ll find yourself freed of extra stash, and with a clear path to the items you want to keep or value most.
The principle is simple, you have three piles. Triage, properly, is the process of quickly evaluating the wounded so that those most in need of help who can be saved get medical attention. It sounds a bit brutal but if you take this approach to dividing your stash, spoon you will conquer it.
The first step is simple, put everything on the floor you’ll be sorting in this session. Before you start get a bag for recycling, a trash bag, and bags or boxes for thrift store items. Look at each piece then put it into one of three piles described below.
If it is getting thrown out, because it’s trash or no one wants it, put it immediately into the trash bag or recycling bag. This is not a pile.
Everything you know you don’t want put in a pile called “thrift shop.’ This is not trash, but items that can reasonably go to your local charity. It may not be a thrift shop, it may be a local school, club or after-school program. If you have bags or boxes for these, put the items into them right away. When a box is full put it in another room.
Everything that already has a place put into a pile called “put away.” These are things you know you want to keep and that have a place. For example, my threads always go into this pile (see picture). You will not be doing anything with these items yet.
The final pile is the tricky one. I call it the ”I don’t know” pile. If I do not know instantly that an item goes in one of the other two piles, it goes here. This pile will get all the attention.
Once you have completed the first round, go through the I don’t know pile again, slowly if needed. This time you need to make a decision about each item. If it is going to the thrift shop or has a place to go, put it in those piles. If you are keeping it but it does not yet have a place, put it in a new pile.
At this point you should have lots of stuff to go to the thrift shop awaiting inventory in another room (for tax purposes), a reasonable pile to be put away, and a small pile that needs new storage.
Go through the put away pile and sort like with like. Put everything away. As you do you might find new storage space, I usually do. These can now store the stuff needing new stuff.
Even if you do this a bit of your space or even one drawer at a time, you’ll be better organized, newly inspired, and reveling in your extra space. If you can do this every six months or so, you’ll will be astonished at how much better your control of your stash can be.
Janet Perry is the Internet’s leading needlepoint expert, specializing in innovative techniques that can be taught to stitchers at any level. Her free email beginners course has been taken by over 2200 people. She writes books, teaches email classes and creates exciting project packs. She and her family live on an island in San Francisco Bat with their two “helper” cats.