I realize that I have a problem with hoarding fabric. It's not horrific enough to get me on some gross tv show... but it is a problem nonetheless ... I can admit to that. And that is always the first step...
Fabric Hoarders Anonymous 9 Step Program
Step 1: Come Clean
Go on, admit it girl. You've got a problem too. You can't go to Walmart without making a pit stop in the fabric department. When walking the aisles of Hancocks, JoAnns or your friendly local fabric shop your mind is racing with the plans of a million dresses, pillows and accessories you could make instead of getting a decent nights sleep or tackling the mountain of laundry. Don't fight it. You've got it bad and that ain't good.
Step 2: Find Support
The life of a fabric addiction can be lonely but it doesn't have to be! Sometimes talking with someone who understands your struggle can be comforting and the support invaluable. We can be here to hold each other up in our time of weakness. NOTE: I can't promise that I'll be able to help you back away from the computer if you come asking for help before buying 12 yards of Amy Butler fabric on eBay. In fact, my response will most likely be "If you don't buy it I will!!".
Step 3: Organize
It's time to go through this monstrous stash and see what you've actually got to work with. Start sorting however works best for you... material, color, pattern, use... etc. You might also make a place for your favorites and fabrics you are willing to donate or sell.
Step 4: Display
You'll never use your fabric if you can't see it. The first time you laid eyes on that amazing print from Ikea you were inspired to do something amazing with it. But now that it's shoved in a drawer or at the back of a shelf you've forgotten all about it and the love is no longer there. Bring it out of hiding and display it proudly where you can see it and be inspired once more!
Step 5: Lay the Ground Rules
You need to create some rules that will work for you while you are completing the program. Will you go cold turkey on new fabrics? Maybe that sounds terrifying or won't work for you if you've got orders to fill for your business? Maybe you'll only purchase new fabrics with a clear project in mind and a clear time line as to when you'll complete it. Whatever you decide, write them down and post it somewhere you can see it.
Step 6: Create a goal
Being completely honest with yourself and your abilities and time constraints, make a goal for how you will use this fabric. Maybe you can commit to one dress every week or one diaper bag every month. Maybe something like one yard every week or even 2 hours every weekend... whatever. But make a goal, write it down and post it next to your rules. Oh and then do it!
Step 7: Reduce Impulses
Consider where you buy most of your fabric and avoid it at all costs! If you buy your fabric at Walmart... go grocery shopping at Albertsons (are they still open?) If you buy it at at JoAnns stay the heck away from there! Seriously... go to the dollar store on the other side of town if you have to! If you buy online you might try limiting your time at the computer (more time for sewing right!) And for Pete's sake block fabric.com!!
Step 8: Never Go Alone
If you have to go to the fabric store... or to the dollar store right next to it... don't go alone. Bring someone with you who's capable of talking some sense into you. DO NOT, under any circumstances, bring a fellow addict or your husband (I think the reasons here are pretty self explanatory right?) If you can't find someone to go with you, round up as many toddlers as possible... this should cut your shopping time drastically.
Step 9: Rinse and Repeat
When you've finally gotten your fabric stash in order and you are happy with how far you've come in this addiction, you'll be tempted to reward yourself. And you should... with chocolate, a new seam ripper or a new pair of shoes... anything BUT a fabric shopping spree. Remember that there is no cure for addiction so don't let the completion of this program be an unwarranted confidence boost and run out and unblock fabric.com.
I racked my brain trying to come up 3 more steps without being totally redundant and I just couldn't. So as lame as it may sound this is only a 9 step program!
If you are a fabric hoarder and need an extra kick in the bum to diminish that stash, check out Extreme Makeover: Fabric Edition for a chance to win some great prizes!!