tidy up!

January 04, 2018










I went on a magnificent cleaning, sorting and tossing-out rampage in my knitting room. This is something I usually do after the holidays; I get in this mood and nothing can stop me. But this time it was different. I had recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing  by Marie Kondo and Emily Woo Zeller. I thought I could use her tips on my knitting supplies. I wanted to LOVE my stash again instead of feeling queasy when I thought about it. She did that for me, and gave me the confidence and strength to go through every bag and basket, touch every skein and ask questions. How did this skein make me feel? If I loved it and it made me feel good, I kept it. If I felt anxious about it, I let it go. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. After reading it I even bought the audible version and listened to it twice while I was cleaning. It's so inspirational and made total sense. I am naturally a tidy and organized person, but this book takes all that to the next level. Using the book's philosophy, I was able to identify and let go of things I didn't love. I'll be donating some things, but I may put some for sale on Ravelry as some of it is new and lovely, just not right for me.

The above pictures are of my knitting room; I also have a sewing room and that will be next. But as for this knitting room, I love it so much. It was once my son's room and has been reimagined into a guest room that is decorated with yarn. It's where I knit and either watch TV or listen to an audible book or music. I organize my many knitting projects with baskets. Half of the baskets hold works-in-progress projects or yarn and pattern slated for a future project and half of the baskets are empty. I like that. I have organized my oddballs into a DK weight drawer, another drawer for worsted weight and one for fingering weight, and a separate one just for Kidsilk Haze--that is my favorite drawer. Below is the tiny closet that holds mostly empty baskets (I was ruthless) but some are filled with a few chunky weight yarn projects. The closet is a bit of a catch all, with old toys and games, wrapping paper, etc. In her book, Marie encourages you to throw out all that stuff, that the amount of space it takes is not worth it. I haven't been able to do that yet as I just really wanted to concentrate on my knitting supplies, but I can see myself going through the entire house using her mindset. I think you'd like the book. Many people are calling it life-changing, but I would say it's more...freeing. Tidying up and clearing out made me love my stash again. I'd be curious if any of you have read the book and what you think of it.

Empty baskets!

The art work on the closet walls hasn't changed in 30 years.


And this baby...this baby...loves loves loves to sit on his daddy's shoulders and walk around the garden. He loves to poke his head up into trees and smile down at people. He was fascinated with a walk through our local park, Redwood Grove, which was also his daddy's favorite hang-out when he was a tot. Mommy has started work today and the grandmas are doing the child care, so I imagine we will be going to Redwood Grove quite a lot. He comes to my house tomorrow. I can't wait to have him all to myself.



 by Marie Kondo and Emily Woo Zeller.

The furniture is from Ikea and no longer available.

The baskets were bought at a discount home improvement center a few years ago.

The sofabed was from Costco.

The baby is from my son and his wife :)

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12 comments

  1. Amazing! I have used this book with clothes, but yarn is a whole new level! It looks very peaceful in your tidy space! The picture of your grandson and son is adorable! Happy New Year! (Also, if I lived near you I'd be scoping out the charity shops for your discarded yarn!) :)

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    1. Haha! My donated yarn is going straight to the church ladies who do charily knitting. They love my high quality yarn!! Yes, it's peaceful in here. I'm sitting here now after a morning of gardening and just about ready to finish my book on tape and do a bit of knitting in my tidy and cozy spot.

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  2. I loved the book and have used that thinking but must try it on my yarn stash! Your yarn space looks so inviting!

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  3. Kristen, you've inspired me again. I've put a hold on the book at my library and I'm looking seriously at our smallest bedroom for my craft space. That little room is used once a year at the holidays and I've been holding it for that purpose for too long. Thanks for the pictures and the inspiration. I'm getting to work.

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    1. Great idea! My knitting room is perfect for the few times a year we have extra guests but now I get to use it every day! Make a blog post when you are done!

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  4. I loved this post! I have the book and may do what you did and get the Audible version. Your room is lovely! I would love to hear about what you do with the closet and your sewing room. I bags of yarn that no longer gives me joy, but I just need the time to post it for sale or donate it:)

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    1. I know what you mean, selling it takes time. The yarn I want to donate is going to the church ladies who do charity knitting and my mom is taking it to them next week so it's almost out of the house. I already took pictures of the for sale yarn and then put the yarn in a big basket and hopefully in the not too distant future I'll take the time to load them on Rav. I'm looking forward to the days when they will find a new home.

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  5. Oh Kristin you struck a nerve with this one. I think every knitter who has read her books has said: but what about the yarn when every skein and ball gives me joy?? Your post says oh not necessarily true. I think the secret is in holding that skein in your hands. As you have demonstrated, anxiety may appear perhaps because years have gone by with no appropriate project in sight, for example. Or other reasons. I love your yarn room. Cozy and elegant, yet spare. I am aiming for the same. BTW who assembled your IKEA furniture? After two pieces (bookcase and desk) I am DONE. Thank you for your tip on storing oddballs by weight. Very helpful. And I might buy Marie’s audio version. A little nagging from such a sweet person might be just what I need. BTW for those of us who hoard every greeting card ever sent our way I think Marie’s advice is very useful - once the card is received and read and you have absorbed its sentiment, it has done its job and its physical presence is no longer necessary. Throw, it. away. (Or at least store your favorites in a SLIM scrapbook - cheating, but works for me.) Love the pictures of your little grandson. Such a happy baby! Chloe

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    1. Agree. I think that the most important message was this--don't feel bad about not using it or not liking it or not wanting it, just know the message it gave you or the lesson you learned will never be taken away. SO TRUE! I might listen to it again while I tackle more closets and one day--my clothes closet. Argh. I did already go through my drawers and tossed out so many ratty gardening clothes, I only really need two changes for the garden, not a dozen! I now have empty drawers in my bedroom. Unbelieveable. I also went through my tote drawer and purse drawer and got it down to one corner of one drawer. Seriously have learned a lesson.

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  6. Whoops, did I write too much? Sorry I got carried away. Marie’s philosophy really spoke to me and i love how you applied it. Chloe

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    1. No, you did not write too much! Yes, her philosophy just struck a chord with me too.

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  7. Thank you Kristen. Chloe

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