I belong to a crochet-related Facebook group that has been full of posts over the last few days about a certain big box craft store putting yarn on clearance in some parts of the country and the results from people who shop the sale.
There have been so many posts with people sharing their yarn hauls, boasting about getting cartfuls of yarn and how many hundreds of dollars they saved.
There has also been posts of people complaining their store isn’t doing a clearance right now, or they don’t live near that store, or just that they’re sick of hearing about it.
One person even asked what everyone did with their hauls from last’s year’s clearance. The predominant reaction was the laugh emoji.
Why Do You Want to Buy So Much Yarn?
This post isn’t about judging people’s choices. I know some people have a limited budget for craft supplies and may shop the sale or use clearance time as a time to stock up for the year.
People who crochet to sell items or for charity can stock up and get good deals, which boost their profit margins or make their giving less expensive so they can afford to do more.
And honestly even if you’re stocking up just to add to your stash, that’s fine, too.
So what’s the point of this post?
I really just want people to be thoughtful about what they are buying and why to ensure they aren’t adding to their clutter problems.
My worry is that all this consumption is based more on FOMO than need. And that people who are doing all that buying don’t realize what’s behind it.
So here are some questions you might consider when faced with a super sale, clearance, store closing, etc.
- Do you really need more supplies?
- Will you use what you buy in the next year?
- Do you have a place to store them?
- What are you really feeling when you see other people’s hauls? FOMO? Jealousy? Anxiety? Name the feeling and the why behind the feeling if you can.
- Go look at your stash. Does it feel like you have enough?
How to Shop the Sale Smartly
Maybe on reflection you find that you still want to go check the sale out for yourself, make a list of things you actually need and will use and stick to that when you shop.
Perhaps you want to crochet a sweater but you don’t have enough of a single kind of yarn. Maybe you want to learn to knit socks but don’t have any sock yarn.
You could actually be out of canvases of a particular size, or need a tube of paint of a specific color for a project.
In those sorts of cases, by all means go get a deal.
But do everything you can not to get swept up in buying things you don’t need just because they are on super sale.
Believe me, I’ve been there.
The Lure of Cheap Stuff
Once, many years ago by now, I was gifted a pretty large Michael’s gift card to buy supplies for a project and write about it on my blog.
Now, the closest Michael’s to wear I live is about an hour away, so going there is kind of a big deal (I actually haven’t been back since). So I walked the whole store, happily going on a little shopping spree, because it was “free” and even if I ended up spending a little it wasn’t like I bought the whole cart of stuff myself, right?
I ended up buying around $100 more stuff than the gift card would cover, because I allowed myself to feel like I’d gotten a great deal because I only paid $100 for all the stuff I bought.
There was so much stuff. Tons of paper crafting things, which is a craft I don’t do often. I couldn’t even tell you, actually, what all I bought.
And I’m sure I don’t own most of it anymore. Not because I used it, but because I realized I wasn’t ever going to.
So when I worry that all that yarn, or whatever supplies people buy too much of on sale, is going to just turn into clutter, I know what I’m talking about.
Bargain hunting is a temporary high. But then you have to live with the stuff you bought. If you don’t have immediate plans to use it, you’ll have to store it. And if you don’t have a good place to put it, it becomes clutter.
A weight. An obligation. A drain on your energy, creative and otherwise.
Maybe it would be better to just not buy the stuff in the first place.