Have Projects in Time Out? They Count as Clutter

Why it's important to finish lingering craft projects

Unfinished projects, especially those that have been hanging around for a long time, count as clutter. Let’s finish some of them!

I’m been in a bit of a finishing frenzy this week.

On Sunday I finished knitting the last panel for and sewed together a blanket. And I sewed a sleeve on and finished the neckline for a sweater.

Monday I finished sewing some sleeves on another sweater (I wonder why that’s always where I stall out, so close to the end!) and knit a few rounds on the neckline. I also picked up a sock that I finished on Tuesday.

I was looking for an almost-done shawl that I can’t find right now (insert eye-roll emoji), but I have another sweater that’s almost done (it will surprise no one to learn I stopped in the middle of a sleeve) so I may try to finish that one up instead.

And while it feels amazing to finally have some of these projects done, I know that I have a lot more and will need to keep my finishing streak going for quite some time to make real progress on my works in progress.

Do you do this, too? Get almost done, or not even almost done, with a project only to abandon it for months, or years?

Why We Need to Finish Things

It occurs to me now and then that unfinished projects are clutter, just like unused craft supplies.

And they’re maybe even harder to deal with because you’ve already put a lot of time and energy into them.

Maybe you put projects in time out temporarily and always come back to them.

But I tend to leave them there for years. Some I never get back to.

It’s embarrassing to admit but I know I’m not alone.

Just about every crafter I know has UFOs, or unfinished objects, lingering in the back of a closet or the bottom of a basket.

I have way more than my fair share.

But I am working on cutting down the pile because I know it’s important to either finish things or let them go.

If we subscribe to the idea that things have energy, and not using our supplies blocks that energy, then using the supplies but not finishing the project is an even bigger block.

The materials — and our creative energy — get trapped in a creative limbo. They can’t be used for something else, and they can’t be used as the finished thing you intended them to become because the thing isn’t done.

What an awful fate.

How to Finish Projects

I don’t think there’s a single approach that works for everyone or for every project when you’re trying to focus on finishing things. I like to take a day or a week and finish as many things as I can (two so far this week; I’m hoping for two more at least).

Or I will bribe myself. I’ll find a project I really want to start and tell myself I can make it after I finish one old project. Or several. Or I alternate working on something new and something old.

Whatever it is that gets you going, it’s a great idea every now and then to focus on finishing — or deciding to fully abandon and get rid of — lingering projects. Especially if you have some things you can use for fall and winter that won’t take a lot of doing to finish.

What can you finish this week? I’d love to hear what you’re working on.

Why it's important to finish lingering craft projects

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