As a declutter coach and professional organizer that works primarily with quilters, I am fully aware that letting go of fabric can be a challenging process. It’s natural to feel a sense of attachment or emotional connection to the fabrics we own, especially if we’ve invested time, money, and effort in acquiring them. That’s why, when I work with a quilter on decluttering their space, I like to spend time with them talking about the fear of letting go. For each person, the reasons might be different. But underneath it all, the uncomfortable emotions feel the same.
Holding on to fabric — or any other items that we no longer need or use — can have negative consequences. Clutter can take up physical space in our homes and create mental clutter causing stress, anxiety, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Yet despite knowing this, the struggle to let go is real.
Focus on What You’ll Gain
One strategy to overcome the fear of letting go of fabric is to focus on the benefits of decluttering. For example, having a more organized and streamlined space can lead to greater peace of mind, reduced stress, and more time and energy for other activities that bring joy and fulfillment. I like to ask, “Is it more important to have this fabric? Or the space that it takes up?”.
Attitude of Gratitude
Another helpful technique is to approach decluttering with a mindset of gratitude and abundance. Instead of feeling like you’re giving up something, try to think about the opportunities that will arise when you let go of excess fabric. For example, you might be able to donate it to a charity, sell it for some extra cash, or have space in your sewing room to create something new and beautiful.
Have a Plan
It can also be helpful to have a plan in place for how to dispose of the fabric you’re letting go of. This can help alleviate the fear that you’re being wasteful or making a mistake. For example, you might set aside a specific amount of fabric to donate, destash, or give to a friend who will appreciate it.
Give Yourself Permission
Finally, it’s important to give yourself permission to let go of things that no longer serve you. Remember that your possessions don’t define who you are, and it’s okay to change your mind about what you want or need in your life. By embracing a mindset of growth and abundance, you can overcome the fear of letting go and create a more joyful and fulfilling life.