KonMari-ing My Yarn Stash

My husband is awesome and has so much patience for me and my obsessions. For Christmas, even though I already have lots of books about decorating and organizing, he humored me and got me The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This book has been getting alot of attention, but in case you haven’t heard of it, the quick summary is that it introduces the KonMari method, invented by the writer, which says you sort your belongings according to whether or not they give you joy. Even if something is useful, it doesn’t belong in your space if you don’t love it anymore.

However, with this in mind, I don’t blame you all if you laughed at me when you read the title of this post. As soon as I started trying to apply the principles in this book to my yarn stash, I realized how ludicrous it was to think I’d be able to sort yarn based on this method.

According to the author, the first thing you’re supposed to do is gather everything in the category you’re sorting in one place. In the case of clothing, everything comes out of all the closets. In the case of the yarn closet, same thing. (There are no photos for this because the contents of my yarn closet are between me and the closet.) However, have you ever put ALL your yarn in one big pile and prepared to go through it one ball or skein at a time? It is a daunting task, at least in my case.

Second, you’re supposed to pick up each item in the pile, decide whether it gives you joy or not, and then discard it if it doesn’t. The book indicates that alot of discarding is supposed to happen at this point. If you’re hoping to reduce your stash, this is the part where the book stops being helpful unless you hate what’s in your stash. I realized my problems began long before I emptied out the yarn closet because I buy yarn for the joy it gives me the minute I find it at the store. If I don’t feel attached to a yarn, it doesn’t come home to begin with. So really, this step is already done before the yarn entered the house. (We crafty sorts have to be efficient so we have more time to craft! The author doesn’t give you credit for efficiency though – she says not to skip steps!) As you can imagine, by the time I got done keeping all the yarn that gives me joy, the only discarding that happened was a few balls of Fun Fur I bought about a week after I started knitting because I was too ignorant to know any better.

The other issue I ran into with this portion of the process was that you’re supposed to do items individually, and so much of my stash is quantities of yarn that will be garments…aka, enough balls in one color to do a sweater. By the time you’re up to the tenth ball of yarn on a project, chances are that project isn’t giving you much joy anymore because you’re so sick of it. But of course, you need to deal with the lack of joy at the end and just get the thing done if you want to enjoy the early parts of it that did give you joy.

IF you make it past Step Two, the final step is to put everything back in its proper place. I didn’t make it past Step Two, so the truth is that my yarn closet is pretty much the same as it was before, minus the Fun Fur. My conclusion to this exercise is that I just need to KonMari the rest of the house so that I have more room to give my yarn extra “proper places” to do its job of bringing me joy.

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