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after 56 years of marriage,having to downsize

after 56 years of marriage,having to downsize

Old 02-27-2019, 09:55 AM
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Default after 56 years of marriage,having to downsize

We are in the process of moving into another home, (and downsizing) getting rid of 40 years of collecting fabrics and doing just about every craft that came along.I did not realize exactly how much I had collected in fabrics,til I started sorting large plastic containers. - it is hard to let some of it go, but in reality,I will not live long enough(I'm 74 now) to use all the fabrics I have collected.So how do you decide what to dispose and what to keep? I'm donating a lot of it to a local thrift shop.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:07 AM
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betty, congratulations on making that that far in life. Kudos to you for doing what is good for you! And kudos, too, for considering a donation. Personally, I'd try to find a guild that does charity quilts, but even a thrift store is better than tossing out.

My own rule: I keep what I Truly like. Let's say you like bright and cheery. Then don't keep much of your browns and tans, maybe. Or if you only like period quilts, get rid of your bright Easter-y colors. I know that might not be much of a help, but your question is so personal, I'm not sure how anyone but you will have the "right" answer.

Best of luck in your new place!

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 02-27-2019 at 10:43 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:09 AM
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I'm sorry you are having to go through a move at this time. We've lived in our house for 45 years & I can't even begin to think of how we would move. DH is a hoarder & never throws anything away....not even bad stuff that is no good. But if I were moving I would get rid of all my scraps/small pieces & only keep larger pieces of fabric...1/2 yard or more. Then, if I still had too much I would sort between what pieces really make me happy & which ones don't & get rid of those that don't. Now for me, if I downsized like that I would only have a handful of fabric because I generally don't buy in yardage but just what I need for a particular project. But if I had tons of stash that is how I would do it. I bet a local quilt guild would like some of your fabrics for charity projects. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:09 AM
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Another voice for keep what you like. If you still have to release some of your first choice fabrics to keep what you really want, it gives you a smaller base to go through. That it is a time motivated set of decisions, makes it harder in some ways and easier in others. I know it only sounds easy -- decide how much you think is reasonable to take and keep to it, consider where it is to go in the new house or the cost per box to ship/store, or whatever other considerations you have to take in account.

I've been quilting/collecting fabric since 1978. Moving around a lot as a young adult helped keep the stash down but I've been in this house for some 25 years and the collection has grown...

If it's any comfort, I went through a large purge a few years ago and there is only one piece I regret (I knew it was a challenge to me but decided to push myself). But that out of all I gave away that I only regret one is pretty darn good! So far it's been about 10 large black plastic garbage bags to many good groups, mostly through Craig's List wanted ads. Textile students at the local art college took all my non-quilting. A primary school art teacher took the crafty stuff. A church group took a bunch of orphan blocks, unquilted tops, and fabric. Bag went to the girl scouts. Another to a 4-H fund raiser along with a lot of books.

I'm building up to another purge in the next year or so. It's really nice to have the advantage of time. Wish you the best in your move. Remember to stop and take a deep breath every now and then
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:28 AM
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I feel for you. Been there. my hubby passed in December 2014. i cleaned out the house 2015 and half of 2016. The garage had two coffee cans of coins. yea!! that was a good find. Then downstairs I found tax returns back to 1957 when he first moved into the house in Colorado. whew. also old floppy disks and CD's with people's tax returns on them. (he used to do tax work for free). I had to destroy all those years of information. But i got it done and charities were happy. i also almost gave away my antique furniture pieces. I'd had them for 30 years (got $500.00) and figured others could enjoy them now. Sad but I made my decision so it wasn't too bad.
We can collect things over the years. just give away things you know others could use and toss some of it also. then work on the larger things, like furniture, dishes, and such. Good luck. Happy Move.

Last edited by nativetexan; 02-27-2019 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:32 AM
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DH and I moved after almost 25 years in our house. Lots of stuff to deal with. I started purging and to be honest I don't remember much of what I tossed. Nothing that couldn't be replaced if I needed it so why keep it waiting for that day. We are on our second move in less then a year and I am downsizing again. It's so nice to be free of stuff and have only the best and most loved items around me. Clutter is stored stress.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:34 PM
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Thrift shop?? That means somebody will sell your fabric and make money off of your fabric. I think when the time comes for me, I will donate my stuff first to family members. Sisters (I have 6), neices, any of the cousins. Then to a church sewing group. The one I used to go to has a group that sews for donations to various organizations. Or to other quilters, guilds and the like. Or you could have a quilting garage sale?? Advertise in the paper.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:41 PM
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If I were moving, I'd only have 2 piles: Love it and Don't Love it. Give away what you don't love. Or offer it here for sale for cheap. Are you hiring a moving company? They will give you an estimate on how much stuff you have, so get rid of as much as possible before calling them. They will also charge by the pound in many cases. Ask yourself "is this worth 50 cents a pound to move? Do I want this fabric where I'm going?" If you answer no to either question, out it goes.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:47 PM
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I would move like my Great Aunt did everytime she moved. Just take what you love and leave the rest. Donate it and let it go. As far as fabrics, I would probably start new. Keep two sewing machines (one for backup) and only buy what you need for a project. Of course that's easy for me to say. I still have scrapbooking supplies and I have no idea why. But if I moved, out they would go.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:28 PM
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I agree with the others about donating to guilds or church groups, not to thrift stores where fabrics are not understood or appreciated (and are sometimes thrown out). Definitely get rid of any fabrics of lower quality, or that you've lost interest in. Keep tools that you actually use, not the ones that have been in the original packaging for years. (I'm sure we all have some of those - I know I do!) And don't forget that you can have a sale and get back some of the money you've spent on your hobby.
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