Well, yarn is different. I like to know what I have, and I don't necessarily want to have to pull out my entire closet to check in the bottom bin for that last skein of Malabrigo I thought I maybe remembered buying four years ago - chances are I never bought it in the first place! So back in 2013 I decided to become a little more organized with my yarn stash. Yarn has ball bands for a reason, right? It's so we can reference the pertinent information without making guesses as to yardage, thickness, dye lot, etc. So I took all of that information and I plopped it into a handy little spreadsheet for myself.
Every New Year I sit down with my spreadsheet and go through my entire stash, making sure everything is accurate. (Note: Tossing your stash at least once a year is also a great way to reacquaint yourself with any yarn you had forgotten, and also air it out a bit while checking for signs of moths.) Any time I buy new yarn, it goes in the spreadsheet. Any time I finish a project, I mark it down. If I give yarn away, it gets noted. That way, as the year moves through the seasons, my progress gets calculated. I like to see movement in my stash - it makes me feel like I'm actually using it, even if I know that 80% of it is still waiting its turn. But either way, come December 31 I can scroll down to the bottom of my spreadsheet and see my totals.
You see that on the right? That's the satisfaction I'm looking for. At the end of the year, I get to see the work that I have done that year. This screenshot is from December 2016, which means that over the course of the year, 23,000 yards of yarn passed through my hands. It wasn't all knitted, mind you - some of it was given away, some of it sold, (some thrown out), but it came in and it went out and therefore I noted it on my spreadsheet. Some years are more rewarding than others because I get to see a quantifiable decline in my stash inventory. Other years look a little different. For instance, in 2014 I began the year with 75,000 yards of yarn. Over the course of that year, I knitted (or gave away) 50,000 yards of yarn, yet somehow I still managed to end 2014 with MORE yarn than I started with! 5,000 yards more! I never said this was a stash management project, it is merely about stash organization. I am, however, proud to say that in 2016 I managed to reduce my stash total by a whopping 8,000 yards! (Yes, I realize that means I still purchased 15,000 yards of yarn this year, but still!) If I keep going at this rate, my stash will be completely gone in 11 years!
I better go shopping.