Thursday, 2 September 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

I'm working on a destash right now. As per usual, really: I tend to go through my bead stash once or twice a year for several reasons. I do it to make room for new beads, to get a bit of cash to finance those beads, to see what beads I have but are unlikely to use. And so forth. But the best thing about cleaning out the bead stash like this is that it's such a cleansing experience for me as a person too.

Destashing is one of the ways I work through a periode of low creativity. By sorting and "culling" my beads I find old beads I've almost forgot about and sometimes I end up putting different beads together in a way I hadn't thought about before. It gives me new ideas and that's a great side effect. My aim is most likely not to be inspired as much as it's just about "getting rid off" beads that lay there in the storage, year after year. Some of them haven't seen daylight since the day I bought them. So why keep them when I can sell them and buy things I want more instead? Not least since I know how good I feel when I sort out the old beads and make room for the new.

Of cause, it's a fine balance between sorting out beads I'm unlikely to use and keeping beads that might inspire or attract me in the future. I'm sure all beaders that have been in the game for a couple of years know what I'm talkning about. We evolve, our preferences change and we learn new things. Suddenly one day we find an old bead or finding we bought as newbies, but never used -- and this one day it's exactly what we need. Some things are best to keep. But others just add to the clutter, physical and mental. Knowing what things to keep and what things to sell isn't easy.

I tend not to sell newer beads unless I have many of them or there's a special reason I believe I won't use them in the near future. It's not like the beads I prepare to sell this time wasn't in my stash the last time I went through it. They're just beads that had to wait six or twelve months more for me to see them as expendable -- or for me to go through that specific bead box, I don't always go through my whole stash at once. Now I feel more secure about my decision to sell them.

It's also a question of how brave I am: how much do I dare destash? Destashing is not for the faint of heart -- it can be a bit of an ordeal for a horder. But I know I have to do it sometimes. I know I feel relieved when I have sorted through my beads and have just the ones I actually want left. The beads that was just there, like meaningless fillers, are gone and I can see the rest of the beads more clearly. It's like I've had all the weight of those beads on my shoulders and now it's lifted. I also feel good knowing I can buy new and inspirational supplies without guilt when I've recouped some of the expenses by selling my "leftovers".

So even though it can be difficult to choose what beads to keep and what beads to sell, even though it's time-consuming at times, I keep doing it because it feels good. I need my spring and autumn cleanings to not drown in beads and a never-chaning, stale bead stash. I don't sell my jewellery so a destash is really also my only way of "making" money from my beads to finance my hobby. One of a few ways the beads I buy can leave me and my home.

To conclude, all I can say is: cleaning out the old and making room for the new is a freeing and inspirational experience. You should try it too if you haven't already.

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