Welcome to The Craft Room. Today let’s talk about the thing that everyeone seems to be talking about … decluttering. it really does feel like everybody is talking about declulttering at the moment (minimalism would be a close second), so let’s go there today, specifically in relation to craft stuff.
Now if you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, she is a Japanese professional organiser. Her book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering & Organising’, is a New York Times best seller. She even has a series on Netflix! She has brought decluttering into mainstream conversation, but she is one of thousands of professional organisers world wide. The rise of organising as a profession can really only mean one thing … too many people have too much stuff, and need help to get it sorted.
In episode 6 I talked about tidying up / decluttering as a way to get your crafting mojo back. Regardless of whether prefer to work in a neat environment or one with all your supplies on display, a good tidy up to get your supplies organised has serious benefits.
- Time – We waste an enormous amount of time looking for things. Being able to find what you need straight away means more time crafting and less wasted time looking.
- Space – At some point we all hit capacity when it comes to craft supply storage. If we continue to accumulate supplies faster than we can use them, then we’re going to end up with a bit of craft chaos. Removing old, unwanted, unloved and damaged supplies creates space for new goodies we can’t wait to use.
- Treasure – I always say that organising your craft supplies is like a treasure hunt. You find things you thought were lost, that you forgot you had, or a stockpile of staples that will save you a trip to the store later. It can spark ideas for new projects, and unearth old projects you can’t wait to finish.
- Trash – The flip side to the ‘treasure’ coin is trash. Chances are that there are dried up paint tubes, brushes with solid bristles, empty packages, moth-eaten yarn or damaged supplies in your stash. Moving out the trash means more room for the treasure.
Identifying how craft supplies came into your house can be helpful in the decluttering decision making process. I can think of 8 ways that craft stuff comes into my home.
1. Consumables – I bought this because it’s something I always use.
2. Project – I bought this with a particular project in mind.
3. Stash building – I bought this because I like to work late at night and would like a variety of supplies to choose from.
4. You love it – I bought this because I loved it so much I couldn’t bear to leave it behind.
5. It was on sale – I bought this because it was marked way down in the bargain bin, and too good a price to pass up.
6. Gifts – I was given this as a gift.
7. Swaps – I received this when I partcipated in a swap.
8. Freebies – I got this for free (on the cover of a magazine, in a goodie bag at the craft show, when I was on a design team).
Identifying how an item came to be in your stash can help you make decisions about whether it needs to stay or go. The Kondo method has you hold each item and ask yourself if it sparks joy. Honestly, if I were to do that with my craft supplies it would take years. So … I have some other questions you can ask yourself that may help you decide if something stays or goes.
- Does it spark joy?
- Am I really going to use this?
- Can I think of a use for this?
- Is this still my style?
- Is this in good enough condition to use?
- Can I keep part and donate the rest?
- Did I put this in the ‘donate’ pile, then feel sad? (kind of the flip side question to #1).
- Is there a reason I haven’t used this already?
- If my house burned down, would I miss this? Would I replace it?
And while we’re at it, let’s dispel a couple of myths about decluttering and minimalism.
1. The point is not to get rid of everything … just the items that you no longer need, love or use.
2. A professional organiser will not force you to get rid of things that you love.
3. Everybody is different, therefore there is no one single solution or rule that will work for everyone.