on becoming minimalist (when you are a craft supplies hoarder)
A month ago, we packed our bags, and spent four weeks living in a camper trailer. Not a caravan, but a tent on wheels. Storage was a delicately negotiated compromise. We had one bag each. A bag for towels. A reusable shopping bag for the kids toys. The same for my craft gear. As far as personal possessions go, you could add in my camera and that would be the extent of it. Coming home to a four-bedroom-plus-craft-room house, I felt like I was drowning – too much stuff, too much space, too many activities. Too much everything and not enough at the same time. Too much “extra” and not enough of the things that make our hearts and lives full and worthwhile. Three days after getting home, I embarked on a decluttering challenge I found via The Minimalists – a 30 Day Minimalism Game. I shared a bit about some of my thoughts when it comes to decluttering craft items over at And Sew We Craft earlier in the month – in the end I decided to keep the hooks, but frog the project. My craft room I have slowling been tackling, and now I am at day 25, I need to go harder. I have gotten rid of a large box of scrapbooking stuff I haven’t used for year. Next up is the multiple boxes on bookshelves storing goodness-knows-what.
It’s been a constant battle, keeping this room tidy, storing stuff, moving it around. It’s sapping my energy & creative mojo – who wants to work in a room you have to trip over three piles of papers to get to the worktable? So I’m going hard on the supplies cull. Paint tube more binding agent than pigment? It’s too old, turf it. Stickers I haven’t looked at in 8 years? Yeah, there’s not going to a project that those would be the perfect “just in case” for, bye bye now. Semi-hard paint brushes, broken pastels, bits & pieces for “repurposing”, ugly yarn, gone gone gone. Packs of paper I used three sheets for for invitations, sold. Notepads with an old phone number, out the door. It’s time to leave my “you never know, maybe I’ll use it, better keep it” mind-set behind. I’m not saying I will never get sucked into “ohhh shiny new craft yes please and thank you here is my wallet take what you need”, because I know it will happen, and I love the playfulness that my creative restlessness brings. I would not want to put a moratorium on experimenting, but on clutter. On hanging onto those experiments for longer than they bring joy to my craft room.
Along with joining Car for No Spend August, I feel like I have managed the reset I yearned for. I am considering more if things are something that I need, or could I make something else with what I have on hand. I am focusing on finishing the 7839 projects in my studio. I’m finding the declutter is bringing my mojo back to life – clearer headspace means I have a better handle on what I have and what I need to do. I am also instituting a “shop my stash first” policy, and one-in-one-out – the only exception is paper stock & packaging for my shop. And hopefully less stuff will equal less mess will equal more craft time. I will happily dump a box of rub-ons for a pay-off like that.