Have Your Say

4th August 2023

Releasing our Resources

In All Stitched Up! issue #384, we shared the journey Phyl was about to embark on to pack up 60 years of collected embroidery memorabilia. Phyl was hoping someone might have some suggestions to make the difficult process of downsizing easier.

Our trusted Inspirations Community responded with some methods and places for donations to help ease Phyl’s downsizing dilemma. Not only will these ideas help point Phyl in the right direction, but as this is a process most of us will have to tackle at some point, will become a wealth of stored wisdom for us all.  

Linda and Elizabeth both suggested local libraries that do summer programs or perhaps book sales who would be able to make use of the publications. Elizabeth also suggested checking nursing homes, rehabilitation centres or senior centres that would make use of the craft supplies for rehabilitation aids.

Middle school teacher, Alessandra, has a maker’s space for students at her school where they are given opportunities to do specific projects together or learn a particular skill. She suggests Phyl contact her local schools to find one that might collaborate with her or accept some of her supplies. 

‘I think she would enjoy picking out supplies that students would like and coming up with a project they might enjoy making, with the help of teachers. She could even teach the teachers how to do the project! Phyl could ask to be sent photos of what the kids made with the supplies as she might enjoy seeing that.

I appreciate how difficult it is to let go of supplies and books that have brought joy and inspiration. Reframing it as an opportunity to allow others to experience the joy of this beautiful hobby may help.’

Another group that might appreciate a donation, Alessandra notes, is a refugee resettlement charity. One of her local resettlement charities holds a market once a year to allow their clients to sell the goods they make. Many of the supplies the clients use have been donated to the charity. 

‘Phyl’s supplies would make a tremendous difference in this case as not only would these people be able to earn much needed money, but also be able to do an activity that reconnects them with their past, pass those skills onto their children and bond with others.’

When facing her own such dilemma, Roxanne shared her solution – pick the items up and ask yourself if you would buy it today. ‘If yes, keep it! If not, pass it on. I returned to cross stitch back in 2020 and it’s been amazing how much things have changed since the ‘70s and ‘80s.’

Linda has a 6-step method for making downsizing decisions easier that she says, ‘will help you move on to the next of life’s journeys with a smile on your face and pride in your heart for a job well done.’

Step 1: Quickly, with little thought, sort your supplies into three piles: 

1 = Yes/Keep

2 = No/Toss

3 = Maybe/Can’t Decide

At this stage, pile 1 should always be tiny, pile 2, a bit larger, and pile 3 the biggest.

Step 2: Remove pile 2 – out of sight, out of mind!

Step 3: Tackle pile 3 using the same sorting method and once done, remove the No/Toss Pile immediately and add the Yes/Keep items to your original pile. Repeat Step 3 until your Maybe/Can’t Decide pile is empty.

Step 4: Now you must be ruthless. Take all your Yesses and repeat the process as many times as you need to, but this time ask yourself some hard questions about each item. For example: How many of this particular item do I really need to keep? Can I substitute something else for this? Will I actually do this project? How many books on this technique do I really need? Will I really take the time and effort to learn this new technique? Where will I put this in my new home? Again, repeat this process as many times as necessary until your Maybe pile is empty and your final Yes pile is a size that will comfortably fit in your new home.

Step 5: As quickly as you can, find people and places that will happily take your cast-offs and get them out of your house. 

Step 6: Take a little time to mourn your losses, delight in the fact that others will love your treasures and bask in the memories of your sixty or so years of stitching. 

As we were speaking of downsizing, it reminded us of Linda’s words in All Stitched Up! issue #331 when she told us she prefers not to refer to it as ‘downsizing’, rather she is ‘releasing her resources to the universe’.

Phyl, we hope some of these suggestions can help you lighten the physical and mental load of ‘releasing your resources’.

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