This week I’ve been making tshirt yarn. It’s pretty simple, you can find a million tutorials online, and you get an astounding amount of yarn from a single tshirt.

I had obtained four large bags full of old tshirts from Freecycle a couple of years ago, fully intending to do this with them, but they have sat in the basement. I just broke into them recently, looking for a shirt if could make a halter top out of to wear to a roller disco themed Derby Lite session. I saved the scraps from that project, and now am turning them into yarn.

Once I did one shirt, I didn’t really want to quit, so I started cutting up a few more. I went through my dresser to sort out tshirts I no longer wore, and tackled them first. Not all of them became yarn. Some will mostly be turned into reusable shopping bags. Others, such as band shirts purchased at concerts, or travel shirts purchased on trips, will become patches on a memory quilt (which, I assure you, will not be a fancy quilt, I’m not a quilter). But all of the scraps leftover after cutting the shirts for that purpose were it into yarn.

The eventual goal is to crochet all this tshirt yarn into rugs. I have for some time wanted a rug in the basement where my kids play, a rug by the front door, a rug by our kitchen sink, and rugs by our two back doors. These were niceties I thought of from time to time, but never seemed crucial enough to buy. At the same time, I’ve been wasting space storing all these old tshirts, and keeping clothes in my closet and dresser that I don’t even wear. Maybe rugs are frivolities when it means buying something new, but here they are a solution to a problem.

Often I think about minimalism, and what that might look like applied to my life. I don’t know if minimalism is necessarily right for me. While I do want to work hard at consuming less in general, I don’t know if getting rid of all but the most crucial stuff is worth it for me. Most of what I have is fairly crucial, I’m not rich enough to have a lot of frivolities. The few I do have are still fairly practical. I know we are all constantly being programmed to want more, to buy more, to consume more, and I do want off that treadmill, but there are a few times where I just want nice things. I have not always had access to them, and it’s hard for me to turn around now and say that I don’t need access to any of them. For me, I think I’m better off focusing on living an efficient life. One in which I can do things like get some rugs I don’t really need, but do want, without spending any money on them. While at the same time, getting some reusable shopping bags, a way to better cherish some memories of the past, more space in my closet, and a way to use idle time and express myself creatively. I may not be minimizing the amount of stuff I have, but I’m using it more efficiently to make my life happier and more comfortable.