If you’re overwhelmed by too much STUFF in your craft room, here are some tips for how to deal with the problem!
Recently a subscriber wrote about her over-abundance of cardmaking supplies:
My biggest problem is that my craft room is too small for all my STUFF! In fact I have so much, I don’t have room to make cards! I’ve been a stamper for 15 years, and my collection has gotten huge! Do I need it ALL to make good cards?
I’m sure she’s not the ONLY stamper with this problem. Here’s a plan you can follow if it’s time to pare down the quantity of your papercraft supplies!
First, do an attitude adjustment.
If you go into the project feeling overwhelmed and unable to make decisions, guess what. You won’t be able to make decisions!
See if you can view the process as an adventure, with curiosity, a sense of humor and tenacity instead of overwhelm. Be gentle with yourself. And don’t try to do it all in one day.
Second, find a space you can use for sorting tools and supplies.
Consider using a different space for sorting than your craft room to help keep the overwhelm at bay. Plus the mess you’ll create on the kitchen table or on your bed may compel you to complete sorting that category!
Third, break down the sorting process into types of supplies.
For examples, you may choose to start with stamps. Or papers, ribbons, tools, etc. Whatever you feel most ready to examine, knowing that you’ll be letting go of some things in that category. For some people stamps will be the hardest to make decisions about. For others, it might be papers and cardstock. You get to choose where to start.
Fourth, move all the items in that category (let’s use stamp sets as an example) into the sorting area, and just notice how many stamps you have.
By the way, these are only a fraction of the stamp sets I need to sort. They’re out of my studio, in boxes, and will be there when I’m ready to put on my red cape and tackle the challenge! 😉
Fifth, pick up each stamp set and put it in one of three piles:
- I love this and use it often. I want to make room for it in my craft room.
- I love this, but I haven’t used it in a long time, but may want to use it again.
- I loved this when I bought it, but I haven’t used it in ages. In fact, I can’t imagine using it again because my style has changed (or some variation on why you haven’t used it in ages).
HINT: A friend of mine says that when she’s trying to make these decisions, she asks herself “does this make me happy?” You may find the right question to ask yourself as you handle each item, to help you decide what in your stash is most important/valuable/useful to you.
OK, you’ve got piles, now what do you do with them?
Pile #1: Put these items back in your craft room. If you don’t have the room for them yet, then put them in a box in your craft room until you clear out some more stuff.
Pile #2: Put these items in a box and put the box in a closet or other storage area. If you take something out of the box because you want to use it, then make room for it in your craft room again.
Pile #3: Time to say goodbye. Donate to charity.
Resist the urge to hold on to them until you have time to sell them. They could sit in your garage forever if you don’t act on your decision to let go of them right away!
This process may take a week, or it may take several months. It depends on how much time you have to devote to it, and how frequently you are able to do it!
HINT: Ask a friend to help. When you make a date with someone else, you’re more likely to work on it than letting yourself get distracted by dishes, TV, laundry, etc., etc.
There’s no doubt that paring down your stash takes discipline. Discipline is about willingness. Think of it as treating your crafting supplies as precious gems that you’re not able to use because of the overwhelm. And imagine what you’ll feel when you get even one category sorted and put/given away!
Here are your choices:
- Be willing to let go of some things so you can have the room (and sanity) to make cards again. OR
- Hang on to everything, buy more, and be a hoarder instead of a creator.
Keep the image of your craft room the way you want it to look and feel when you want to make a card! The vision can’t sort the tools, but it can inspire you to get working on it!
If you’ve already got a good system of organization if your craft room, then hooray! Cardmaking can now be the joyful experience it is meant to be. If not, then it’s time to create that system! If you need help with that, check out the online class:
I realize there’s a lot of information in this post, and if it’s pertinent to you, but not time to act on it, just bookmark this page so you can get back to it when you’re ready! We can all use some help on how to deal with too much stuff in our craft rooms!