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Thread: when does your stash become hoarding

  1. #1
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    While I was in wolly world yesterday shopping fabrics, a lady was telling me that she has so much fabric that her husband purchased 2 45' trailers (the ones that semi's pull an call vans) for her to put her stash in. One is already packed full an she is getting ready to start on the other. She was buying a bunch more for her stash.
    So my question is when is enough enough?
    Not that I wouldn't mind having a large stash close to that. But when do you say to yourself too stop buying?
    Please let me know your opinions on this topic.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ladygen's Avatar
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    When there's so much you CAN'T look through it, by all means! When you start filling a trailer like that... there's no way you're displaying them so you can easily access your fabrics. Maybe this is only because I have a small stash... but it's important to me to be able to go through and look at what I have, to match with other things, to find that perfect starter piece for the next quilt, etc.

    Currently most of my stash fits on a three shelf bookcase. Not even loose, but in bins assorted by type (asian, batik, Christmas, etc. and/or by project). The only things that don't fit are the scrap boxes (one for cotton, one for flannel) and my big bin of jean pockets for my back-pocket quilt.

    For me, personally, I would have to stop collecting when they no longer fit in my limited sewing storage space.

    Sounds like this lady really lives by 'She who dies with the most fabric wins'!

  3. #3
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    If you can't access it because it is packed in trailers then it is hording. And he is enabling.

  4. #4
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    If you don't have easy access or adequate storage, then it's too much.

  5. #5
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    Thank you ladygen. I wasn't sure if it was just me that thought this was a little extreme.
    I also have limited space in my home. I have 3 plastic tubs with drawers and 1 book shelf an a cabinet that I keep my sewing supplies in. There is a little more than what I listed. I am afraid if i ever overloaded on farbic my husband might leave.

  6. #6
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    There's a tv show about Hoarding. Sounds like she could be in an upcoming episode! :-D

    I have quite a bit of fabric IMO, two drawers which hold 120 yards each are mostly full and cabinets which have about another 100 yards right now. Yet, I'm sure my stash looks small compared to that of many of you. I wonder how many actually have tallied up the yardage in their collection? I would NEVER have guessed that I have that much yardage simply by looking at it. :shock:

  7. #7
    Super Member Katrine's Avatar
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    That's not a stash, it's a quilt store. Well it's about 10 times as much as the rare quilt fabric counters we are lucky to find here.
    And I thought my little hoard was bad - its nothing!

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    That would be hoarding. When you refuse to part with it, even to use it yourself, it's hoarding. When you collect beyond your capacity to store and access things, it's hoarding. When the things you treasure are destroyed because you have collected beyond your capacity to store and care for them, that's hoarding. I'll bet that lady's house is also full to near capacity and I'll bet that when she dies all that fabric goes straight to the dump because it'll be nasty with mold and mildew and maybe even mice.

    Watch Hoarders on A&E. It's a real eye opener.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ladygen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtHomeSewing
    There's a tv show about Hoarding. Sounds like she could be in an upcoming episode! :-D

    I have quite a bit of fabric IMO, two drawers which hold 120 yards each are mostly full and cabinets which have about another 100 yards right now. Yet, I'm sure my stash looks small compared to that of many of you. I wonder how many actually have tallied up the yardage in their collection? I would NEVER have guessed that I have that much yardage simply by looking at it. :shock:
    You also have a wonderful storage system, everything is beautifully organized, and you can access everything you have!

    On another note, are you going to Sew Expo? I'd love to meet you! :)

  10. #10
    Esqmommy's Avatar
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    All I can say is I can't wait to go to that garage sale when she passes on!!!

  11. #11
    Super Member Katrine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esqmommy
    All I can say is I can't wait to go to that garage sale when she passes on!!!
    I'll fly out and come too...

  12. #12
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    I think we should intervene. We should help help her with her problem and take it off of her hands.

  13. #13
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Ditto here. Especially she is a hoarder and her DH an enabler. She definitley has an illness and needs stopped. She would be great on the show except they throw so much away!! Goodwill anyone? She could sell it here even. Wonder how many projects she gets done. And to think there are ladies on here who have very little and give their all and scrimp and save to make something for others. So sad.

  14. #14
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    I'd get too overwhelmed by that much fabric. I like to be able to "run through" what I've got in my head when I'm out and see something I think would go with something I already have. My brain couldn't store that much.

  15. #15
    Marjpf's Avatar
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    Some people are compulsive buyers. Sounds like that lady is - she's really lucky to have such an understanding husband. Did she say if she ever uses any of it?

  16. #16
    Member cacarte's Avatar
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    I do try to limit my stash to my existing storage space. I have to admit that sometimes I sneak in a few extra yards.

    Every year I go through my stash and give away to those doing charity quilting.

    This makes room for me to buy more fabric.

    There is no way I could possibly sew all the fabric I purchase.

    I used to go into "fabric deprivation mode" whenever I sewed up some of my fabric. This caused me to purchase twice as much fabric as I used up. I am over that now but it took about 5 years.

    Cindy Carter

  17. #17
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    Sounds like she needs to open her own fabric store out of one of those trailers.

  18. #18
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    While I was in wolly world yesterday shopping fabrics, a lady was telling me that she has so much fabric that her husband purchased 2 45' trailers (the ones that semi's pull an call vans) for her to put her stash in.
    45 feet by 10 wide would be the equivalent to a 21'x22' sewing room. I think that is a nice size, myself. There are ladies here that enjoy areas larger than that. You do not know how long she has been collecting, or whether she has incorporated other stashes into her own. Maybe her mother died and left her lots of fabric.

    Those containers are watertight and can be temperature controlled if they want. I would not jump to the conclusion that a person I have never met has a mental illness simply because she has a larger stash than mine. It is no different than the public storage units which fill up as soon as you rent the space. Give the woman a break!

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    Those containers are watertight and can be temperature controlled if they want. I would not jump to the conclusion that a person I have never met has a mental illness simply because she has a larger stash than mine. It is no different than the public storage units which fill up as soon as you rent the space. Give the woman a break!
    It doesn't sound like she can't access what she has if the container is filled. So having for the sake of having and then continuing to buy more might fall in a variety of unhealthy behaviors category. (OCD of which hoarding is one form and Shopping addiction are two of the possibilities).

  20. #20
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marjpf
    Some people are compulsive buyers. Sounds like that lady is - she's really lucky to have such an understanding husband. Did she say if she ever uses any of it?
    Now that you mention it she didn't say anything about using it just storing it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ctmhjenn's Avatar
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    Wow, that is a LOT of fabric. I am in the process of sorting and grouping my fabric, and I have a LOT. Mostly in bins under my cutting table which is 4x8, but the space underneath is smaller...BUT..I have stopped doing compulsive buying just because I 'like it' and gotta have it....I don't sew as much as some of my friends, my neighbor makes a quilt top a week...can you believe it? She is that addicted and I know that I can pass on fabric to her and it will get used. I know a lot of you are fast sewers and make a lot of things. I am more of the lazy sewer. But, I love what I make, I am good at it, and I give everything away. Joanie

  22. #22
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    While I was in wolly world yesterday shopping fabrics, a lady was telling me that she has so much fabric that her husband purchased 2 45' trailers (the ones that semi's pull an call vans) for her to put her stash in.
    45 feet by 10 wide would be the equivalent to a 21'x22' sewing room. I think that is a nice size, myself. There are ladies here that enjoy areas larger than that. You do not know how long she has been collecting, or whether she has incorporated other stashes into her own. Maybe her mother died and left her lots of fabric.

    Those containers are watertight and can be temperature controlled if they want. I would not jump to the conclusion that a person I have never met has a mental illness simply because she has a larger stash than mine. It is no different than the public storage units which fill up as soon as you rent the space. Give the woman a break!
    This lady did state that there is no room for more fabric, that the trailer was completely filled and that she was starting on the other one. so that tells me that when she says filled she means filled.

  23. #23
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctmhjenn
    I know a lot of you are fast sewers and make a lot of things. I am more of the lazy sewer. But, I love what I make, I am good at it, and I give everything away. Joanie
    Ctmhjenn, I am the same way. My stash is not that large and I have also started thinking more about projects I have in mine. I have even walked in a LQS and walked out empty handed. Use to I would just buy. There are still occasions when I buy a piece just because I love it and have to have it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #24
    samroberts01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtHomeSewing
    There's a tv show about Hoarding. Sounds like she could be in an upcoming episode! :-D

    I have quite a bit of fabric IMO, two drawers which hold 120 yards each are mostly full and cabinets which have about another 100 yards right now. Yet, I'm sure my stash looks small compared to that of many of you. I wonder how many actually have tallied up the yardage in their collection? I would NEVER have guessed that I have that much yardage simply by looking at it. :shock:
    I watch this show all the time it is called Hoarders, right on after another show I always watch Intervention. It is quite interesting.

  25. #25
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have a small stash compared to many quilters. I abhor bins and boxes full of packed stuff even though I have a few in my sewing room closet. I do buy yards of fabric but I use up a lot in between good sales. If anyone is close to retiring buy all the fabric, batting, etc, you can before retirement if your income will not increase during your retirement years.

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