After being on Ravelry (an on-line community for knitters, crocheters, spinners, and weavers) for over five years, I finally took advantage of the Stash feature in December of 2014. I took out my entire stash of yarn and photographed it, uploading the photos and information about the yarn (including where it was stored) to Ravelry. What an enormous help that has turned out to be. Now I know exactly what I have (and where it's hiding!). I also browse through my stash photos whenever I feel tempted by pretty, new yarns. Looking through what I already have reminds me to appreciate - and use - what I already own.
For the past thirteen months, I have made a concerted effort to knit up my stash. Not just the new skeins that I just had to have (way back when) and still haven't gotten to, but also all of the partial skeins, bits and bobs left over from other projects. I didn't get around to updating my entire stash library last December, but now as I go I post updated photos. It's so rewarding to see my stock of yarns dwindling down. I truly think I could knit only with the yarn I already have for at least five more years before I even got close to being "out of yarn".
I am so glad to have gotten out of the (very common) mindset of "have to have it". I felt that way about the yarn I already have, and I still haven't used most of that. Why would I want to keep adding more and more? I am trying to simplify and declutter the rest of my house, and my yarn stash definitely needs the same attention. I have knitted and crocheted up a fair amount of stash yarn in the last thirteen months. I have given some yarn away, and I have even (gasp!) thrown out some horribly scratchy yarn that was given to me years ago with the best of intentions by a lovely knitter. I am continuing in 2016 to happily put into service the beautiful yarn I already own. If I find I don't have something suitable for a specific project, I will buy more yarn. But mostly, I am thinking of projects to make that will use what I already have, and enjoying every moment.