Stash Shrinker

Can you look me in the eye and tell me you don’t have too much fabric?

If you can, then I’d like to interview you on my blog so you can share your secrets with the rest of us.

If you are like most of us in the sewing community this question might make you uneasy.


We buy more than we make and despite our best efforts, our stash keeps growing. In my attempt to be responsible with my fabric buying last year, I tried to buy less, and it felt like I was doing well, but at the end of the year my stash was bigger. Unless you know how much fabric you are using, it is hard to calculate how much fabric is reasonable to purchase. With the turn of the new year I wanted to come up with a realistic plan for managing that stash. I’m not a resolutions person, but the new year is still a great time to set goals or start fresh. So I pulled out a clean bullet journal and started filling it in. I shared this page on my Insta Stories yesterday and got an overwhelming response of positive feedback, so today I got to work and made a free tool to share so that you can join with me in this challenge to shrink that stash. You can start this process at any time even if it is no longer the beginning of a new year. It doesn’t require you to count your stash, it just keeps you accountable going forward. And the best part – You still get to buy fabric!

IMG_20180102_124628_639 (1)

I created a spreadsheet for you to use to help you track your fabric purchased and fabric sewn. The goal of this challenge is to keep it as simple and realistic as possible to set us up for success. It is simply yards in / yards out (or meters – you decide!). I’m not even going to get technical with fractional yardage. We’re also not tracking the dollar value of the yard or the type of fabric.

Here’s an example of what it might look like after a few months of use:


This spreadsheet has a lot of geeky formulas to get it to tell you exactly where you stand with your permission to buy. I locked those formulas so they don’t break and left certain input cells so you can customize the sheet to your personal goals. If you are an Excel guru and want to change anything on your sheet after you download it, the password is “Admin”

Let’s Get Started!

Here is the file for you to download:

Stash Shrinker

It isn’t shared, so once downloaded, it is your private document, nobody is tracking your progress but you. I think if you click the link it might download automatically so if you don’t see anything pop up, check your downloads folder πŸ˜‰

*On 1/9/18 I updated the document to V2, with these listed changes. Please re-download if you would like the most updated version.Β Β (1) Changed the number formatting in the final column to allow fractional yardage (2) added more rows (3) unlocked the cells adjacent to the chart.Β 

How to use it:


My own personal goal is to sew twice as much fabric as I buy and my rule is that I can’t ever get below that metric. But you don’t have to have the same goal. If a 2 to 1 ratio is too extreme you can decrease your multiplier to a number like 1.5 and that would give you a little more buying power while still shrinking your stash. If you are happy with the size of your stash and just want to maintain it, then you would enter a 1 in the multiplier field and this would keep you to a goal of only buying as much as you make. If you need to rapidly diminish your stash then you can increase your multiplier to 3 or 4. All the formulas will update based on your multiplier.


If you use the metric system, just change the Units to Meters and your chart will speak your language (providing it’s still English πŸ˜‰

You can also change it to Skeins of yarn or Patterns, or whatever you might be hoarding over there.

Other Inputs:

To fill out your sheet you simply enter the date you purchased or used your fabric (optional), and the description of your action, like where you bought fabric from or what item you sewed. Then fill out the yardage in the corresponding bought or sewn column. Once you input a description, the formulas to the right will populate and let you know what your current standing is. It’s that simple! I love the feeling of earning the right to buy fabric, and this does just that.

If you want to print your chart to keep your tally in your sewing room to then input into Excel at a later time you can do that, It’s formatted for printing. Do whatever works for you!

Are you In?

So that is it! Do you want to participate in the challenge? If you want to make a formal commitment or show your support, or get clarification on anything, leave a comment and accept challenge. If you make your commitment on social media use the hashtag #STASHSHRINKER.






  1. Thank you for this spreadsheet. I’ve been wanting something like this. I do have a question, l’ve only put in a few makes but the β€œverdicts” columns show #err on both lines. Is there something more I need to do to correct these columns?

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I will definitely give it a try. I have committed to no RTW purchases this year and part of that goal is to shrink my stash. This is great motivation.

  3. This is so cool! Thank you, thank you! I need to shrink my stash and I think this will be a great motivator as it tells me when I am “allowed” to buy. Very excited to start sewing and using this.

  4. Yay! I love to sew, I love to track and I love Excel (and I definitely have errrrh… Enough fabric in my stash)! This is great, I have downloaded your file and will get on with it. Thanks!

  5. Yep, I’m in! I need that stash to shrink dramatically so I can buy more of the fabrics I love, not just feel like I need to sew with the ones I already bought.

    • Okay I’ve downloaded it, but now I want to do more! Let’s say I want to shrink my stash by 10x for a few months, and then when I’m feeling recovered/like I can crawl out from under the fabric/see the daylight, I change my percentage to 2x. Can you make the spread sheet do that for me? I suppose I could duplicate it, and then copy and paste into the original with the new multiplier, or something?

      • Oh that sounds like a good plan, yes you could start a new spreadsheet, but let me think on it and see if I can come up with an idea for the Stash Shrinker 2000 πŸ˜€

  6. I saw this on Instagram and had to come over to get it myself! I’m always losing track of just how much is in my stash (blame all the canvas I bought to make bags from :P) so hopefully this will help me keep track, and not buy more until I’ve made enough from what I already have!

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