Saturday, February 20, 2016

How to Declutter Your Craft Supplies

Next to makeup, this is one of the things that I have the tendency to hoard the most. It always starts out innocently enough- a quick trip to Hobby Lobby for a few sheets of scrapbook paper or a roll of ribbon. But then I see the paper crafting embellishments are 50% off, and I find myself walking out the door with half a dozen sheets of stickers, several new rolls of washi tape, and a large scrapbook paper pad. Or I use half a pack of paper up, but don't get rid of the rest of it, because even though I really don't care for the colors and patterns that are left, I might still use them in a "future project". And before I knew it, I had boxes and boxes, overflowing with crafty bits. *sigh*

So how did I reign in the creative chaos? With a good decluttering session, of course! Here's what I did, and how you can do the same:

1. Designate a space for your supplies to live. It could be a small closet, or a rolling cart, or a collection of photo boxes, or a cabinet in the kitchen. Whatever you
choose is fine, but your goal is to have a dedicated amount of space to keep things in check. For me, it was a rolling scrapbooking tote and the bottom drawers of my desk.

2. Assess what crafts you actually do. I found myself keeping supplies for particular crafts that I hadn't done in years! So make a list of what your most done crafting hobbies are, and only keep the supplies for those things. If you haven't touched those knitting needles or polymer clay tools in over a year, chances are, you won't be using them again.

3. Go through leftovers from past projects. If you sew, go through your fabric scraps. If you scrapbook, go through your paper scraps. If you make jewelry, go through your leftover beads. I know it's hard to throw out something with potential for another project, but again, if you haven't used it in a year's time, you probably won't reach for it in the future either.

4. Toss out old tools and supplies. This part is easy. Broken pliers, dried up glue or paint, pens and markers that no longer write, stickers that have lost their adhesive...those can all go straight to the trash can.

5. Get rid of duplicate supplies. How many glue guns or pliers do you need? The answer is certainly not 6 or more! Get rid of duplicates and keep only one- maybe two- of each.

6. Donate what's still usable. This is probably the best part. All of the things you've decided to let go of that are still usable? Bag like items together, and donate them, either to a local thrift shop, or to a school or art program. Let those supplies get a new life with burgeoning young artists! 

Happy decluttering, y'all!

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