Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Good Advice

Dear Catherine,
Here is your horoscope
for Tuesday, April 17:

Life doesn't have to be difficult. Sometimes things can seem convoluted, but they don't have to stay that way. Take a step back. Figure out the simplest and most feasible solution. Then do it.

I would be happy to follow this advice, but unfortunately, arson is a crime. The simplest, most feasible path to a fresh start in the near future would be to burn this place down. Instead, I have started a notebook of things that must be done to get the house ready to sell. I do not allow myself to handle matches after reviewing this notebook.

Boy is coming down today, to spend a few days helping his Dear Decrepit Mother clean out the garage and attic. We have a plan of attack - he will haul old chemicals and other bad things to the county disposal site in his ancient bomber Honda, which would never even notice a new spill, while I will use my pretty Baby to take loads of clean non-garage sale items to Goodwill. The things that fall in between these two categories will be tagged for a garage sale if sale-worthy, or go into the trash.

Much of the yarn stash is going to a garage sale. I have spent the past couple of days contemplating the stash, and realized that I have little affection for so much of it, it has become Stuff. I'm keeping the good stuff, what there is of it. Ditto the magazines - they are just Stuff. After I thumbed through them I realized that there is practically zero chance that I will make anything out of 99% of the magazine patterns in my collection. I'm keeping a lot of other patterns and almost all of the books, but the magazines, eh. I haven't bought a magazine in quite a while, I look through them and don't see anything I'll make. And don't get me started on the new Interweave Crochet, which I thumbed through and put back on the rack. I'm a lot more realistic now about what I'll actually MAKE, vs. "virtual knitting" - buying yarn and pattern and thinking really hard about doing it, but never getting around to it. I have a backlog of things I really do want to make, and many, many more things I now realize I don't really want to do.

I went through a phase of mad stashing from 2001-2003, it was a form of self medication while my husband was sick. Some days the sight of a package on the front step was the best mood lifter ever. I bought from several online vendors and of course Elann and eBay, and when I look at my stash I see that I bought a lot of stuff on impulse and with good intentions, but never used it. The moment passed. And the need to stash yarn has passed, and now it's time to pass the yarn on too.


twirly-girl said...

Hi Catherine. I'm so glad to hear how well you're recovering. The body's capacity to heal is amazing, isn't it?
I know that you have a lot of work ahead of you in getting everything set to sell the house, but I thought you might want to consider listing your things on the DeStash blog http://destash.blogspot.com/index.html. I realize that might be more involved than you want to get with it, but you might recover more of your investment if you go that route, or perhaps someone would be willing to trade for something you would like to keep. Just a thought.

Catherine said...

Thanks, I thought of trying to sell it online but it's really more work than it's worth. If the garage sale doesn't find buyers, the next stop is Goodwill.

knitti-me said...

Catherine, I too am in a "de-clutter my life" phase and decided to liquidate my embarrassingly large yarn stash.

I've been listing for just over two weeks and already I've made over $500! I had no idea!

Anyway, you are right, that it is a lot of work to list items on ebay, but I need cash now - so it works for me.

Catherine said...

I thought about eBay, but I have so many other things to do the thought of standing in line at the P.O. (and there is always a line at my PO) sounded even worse than the garage sale, and God knows, I hate garage sales.

Sue Woo said...

You are SO not decrepit!

Catherine said...

Shhhh, I'm Decrepit when I want someone else to clean the attic!

mehitabel said...

Oh my. Did I ever recognize myself in that post. The boxes from Elann and Webs and all the rest were such good "therapy" when my husband was sick, and while I still like a lot of my yarn, there is a LOT of it that's been going. I am not doing a yard sale, though, because that was my husband's pet thing and I'm just not ready to do one without him. Good luck with it!

Catherine said...

My husband and I both hated garage sales, though we did a couple (it's inevitable when moving, I think). I am hoping one or two knitters will come by and just take the whole stash. I have enough other Stuff to get rid of, the yarn is just a fraction of it.

It's funny how the urge to buy yarn online is basically gone. I get all the catalogs, thumb through them, and stick them in the recycling bin.