Stuff and Nonsense: AKA “Craft Supplies”

Compliments of Sizzix.com (who has a line item in my craft budget... or should)

Compliments of Sizzix.com (who has a line item in my craft budget… or should), though I found it on Facebook.

I can’t be the only one.  Unlike Kaye, I don’t have a streamlined craft selection of only what I will use for a specific project.  I like to have what is generally known as “a stash.”  Let’s define that, shall we?

stash- noun. def: a collection of stuff lying in wait to take any crafter, quilter, knitter, seamstress, or any other hobbyist by surprise whenever the muse strikes.  note: many hobbyists use their stash as inspiration for shopping rather than creating. *Havig’s Unofficial Dictionary*

A few years ago, I went through my fabric totes–all 40 of them (that is not an exaggeration) and got rid of all but about 3 or 4 max.  Possibly only 2.  I think at the time it was 2 but I kept some pieces inside, so when those went into totes, it became 3.  Because that’s vastly important information for you to know.  Now, in my defense, I had a reason for having all that fabric.  I once ran a sewing business that required me to have a large stock of fabric on hand at all times.  But, after 6 or 7 years of not sewing that kind of volume anymore, it seemed a bit ridiculous to keep it all.  So I pawned it off generously donated it to my eldest daughter.  I think she sold most of it.  WOOT!  You say that this should mean that I don’t have much excess craft stuff now?  You think because I cut almost everything from my crafting life that I didn’t love, I now only have what I’d actually use?

You’re so cute.

So, as we head into spring and my instincts are to clean up and clean out, I’m on a craft/hobby de-cluttering mission.  The areas I intend to work through are:

  • Fabric and notions in the shed (I think I still have too much).
  • The crafts in the bench under my bedroom window.  Surely SOME of that can go, right?
  • The cabinet to the left of my desk area.  It’s just a mess and half of what is in there can either be chucked or organized somewhere more logical.
  • My office supplies.  *whimper*  Let’s just say that Kaye would not be amused.
  • My planner supplies *feels self curl into fetal position*.  But seriously.  I have FIVE large containers of washi.  I have a SHELF of stickers and a Thirty-one bag half full too!  We’re not even talking about the… oh… I don’t know… STAMPS I bought to use and never do?  ahem.
  • Blank books/journals.  I have about 5,000.  I need to cull it down to a maximum of 4,500… or maybe 4,750.  *innocent grin*
  • Correspondence.  Look.  I want to keep some of this stuff–sweet letters from readers, from my mom.  I need to put them in a scrapbook (blank book/journal??? OOOOH!) and maybe I can actually SEE them again.  *shocker*
  • Paper.  Yes, I have a TON of paper.  Most of it, will stay.  Seriously.  I make another ton of cards every year.  My readers need only send me their names, addresses, and birthdays and I send a birthday card (often late, but it will get there if putting a stamp on it and sticking it in the mailbox can do it!).  That’s a LOT of cards every year.  I like making cards.  So I’m going to stick to it.  Yes.  Yes I am.  🙂
  • Stamps.  Alas, I have WAY more stamps than I need.  WAY more.   And I don’t mind having more than I need.  Seriously, it’s no fun stamping the same thing over and over.  BUT…  I don’t need to keep them just because I bought them.  If I don’t like it, don’t see myself using it, it didn’t stamp nicely, whatever.  It needs to GO.  Bye bye.  I may be opening an Etsy shop just to sell off my excess stuff!  LOL.
  • Books.  Sigh.  Yes, I think I may even have a few books that can go.  Maybe.  Sorta.
  • Linens.  Because I don’t care if we have 8 beds in this house.  We have WAY too many sheets and pillowcases (and probably not enough towels or blankets, but I’ll live with that).  Note:  this counts because they are stored in our underbed storage system which, I could then use for storing craft stuff if I cleared out other stuff.  *whistles*

Just as I was planning this post, a blog post from THIS WEBSITE showed up in my Facebook feed.  I went there.  I read it.  And I read THIS POST that talks about her first year of 40 days/40 bags.  And I so resonated with it.  So I’m doing it!  I had a houseful yesterday (most went home, can that count as a de-cluttering?) and so I didn’t get a bag done then.  But I’ll do two today.  I’ve got my printouts ready (not sure I’ll use ’em) and I’m off!  Who’s with me–either in spirit or in the more “material” sense?  (and by that I mean who is going to get rid of their stuff –or come help me get rid of mine–or at least cheer me on?)

 

8 comments

  • I was just thinking the other day that if I didn’t have craft supplies I really would not have much stuff. It is sewing — fabric, buttons, ribbon, stamps and stamp pads, scrapbooking things, paper, markers. I thought I went through things before we moved but I still have quite a bit. I wonder if I can get rid of more. I doubt I can do 40 bags but my goal is to end the year with less stuff. I am tracking what I get rid of and what I bring into the house.

    • Kaye Harper

      I am counting ANY bag. Trash bag, grocery store bag, paper bag, gift bag, stuff I mailed to someone (so technically a box or mailer). If it holds STUFF and it leaves the house, it’s a bag. Like people they come in all sizes and shapes. Not EVERYONE is super-sized like me. ;0

  • Grace

    I am so with you in letting go of much of my crafting/sewing/scrapping treasures. At my age (69 next Tuesday), I will never live long enough to use even half of what I have!

    I was working on a scrapbook page a few years ago (it was gorgeous, by the way), when the thought came to me, “Who is going to want my beautiful scrapbooks when I am gone?” That was the end of my scrapbooking days. Did I immediately give my scrapbooking supplies away? Heavens, no! I know there have to be several young mothers at church who could use it, but I still haven’t listed it on our Facebook page. You have inspired me to gather it all together and put a post on group page, “Free scrapbooking supplies! Call 717-66*-**** and I will deliver it to church on Sunday.”

    I used to think that I had about 300 books until I checked my Excel document and saw that I really have over 650. I have contacted the librarian of a local retirement community who is willing to take them. I just have to sort through my boxes and pull out the ones I haven’t read yet. There are several people who borrow my books to read, so I also want to be sure that everyone has read them, too. If boxes count as bags, I can knock off at least 12 right away.

    DH has no idea how many books I have on my Kindle either. When we got married and moved into a second-floor apartment, he said, “No more books!” At that point I only had about a half-dozen boxes of books to be moved. 😎

    I have already given away much of my fabric to our local Project Linus chapter. If anyone else has too big a stash of cotton, kid-friendly fabric, look up your local chapter at projectlinus.org. A lot of churches and other charities could also probably help you lighten up your fabric stash and use it to bless others. I know some churches even make children’s clothes for low-income families and bless them in that way. That could also free up some of your pattern boxes, if you have clothing patterns.

    I look forward to reading future posts with tips for de-cluttering our homes. I need ideas for donating office supplies, DVDs/CDs that I bought for backing up my computer files before I signed up with Carbonite, and family treasures. All ideas will be appreciated. I have already scanned many of my late mother’s recipes and papers/cards from my children when they were kiddos. They are now up in the “Cloud” and not cluttering up my filing cabinet. PTL for scanners!

    Thanks for putting up with my ramblings.

    • Kaye Harper

      YAY! You are a blessing and an inspiration. I feel your pain! The last thing I want to do is have so much stuff that it’s a burden to my family if Jesus takes me home. That just doesn’t seem so wonderful to me.

      • Grace

        DH’s family went through a hard time when sister #1 passed away. She was a widow who lived 25 years by herself and became a hoarder without the rest of the family realizing it. The eight remaining siblings and in-laws worked for months clearing out her townhouse before we could sell it. It was a wake-up call to the rest of us to put our houses in order. I wouldn’t want to leave a mess like that for anyone else. When my name is called, I want to be free to go Home without any regrets.

  • Joyce

    Okay, I’m in. But this is so not me. I’m going to need a lot of encouragement! I’ve printed out the 40 bags poster [though “that word” is not a word we generally use around our house, it does have some shock value (LOL! I typoed “our house” as “out house” – yes we might use that word there!)] My printer spit out three extra pages after printing the progress pages! I don’t know whether it was suggesting I needed to list that much more stuff or it just wanted to show me it could do a better job than I. Okay, enough procrastination. See you at the dump! 😉

    • Kaye Harper

      I would probably have covered it with “Craft” on a sticker because I can’t stand the word myself. I’m a wuss in the euphemism department. I don’t even like the “S” word that is the present and past tense of a derivative of the word lollipop. How’s that for evasive! LOL You can DO this!!!

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