craft supplies {enough, day 9}

If you’re not a crafter, you can let out a huge sigh of relief (and get a head start on toys and kitchen gadgets).

(p.s. If you’re new here, we’re 9 days in to a little something called the Enough Experiment, and you can find all the previous posts here.)

I totally do NOT consider myself a crafter. Invitations to “crafternoons” give me hives. Yet, ironically, crazily, oddly enough, my girls and I do this thing called The Dancing Elephant where we–get this–make and sell crafts to support our favorite ministries in Cambodia.

I know. Absolute insanity.

But here’s why it doesn’t make me crazy. We’ve made a conscious decision to super-streamline what we do (right now that’s cards and magnets–and sometimes a few other things).

This: 1.) cuts down on the amount of supplies we need; 2.) keeps me from getting overwhelmed.

When you live in a small apartment and your bedroom doubles as your husband’s office and your kitchen table doubles as your office and your daughter’s bedroom doubles as your other daughters’ bedrooms and your Dancing Elephant Workshop doubles as your living room floor, well. You can’t be getting all complicated.

All that to say this: if you’re a crafter/scrapbooker and find yourself way too overwhelmed to work on your stuff and you can’t remember the last time you ACTUALLY FINISHED SOMETHING (maybe it was never), then it’s time to downsize, de-clutter, purge, whatever you want to call it.ย 

I’m going to use a friend of mine as an example. A few weeks ago, her husband hired The Dancing Elephant to purge her craft room. WHILE SHE WASN’T HOME. (This is a bad, bad idea, I told her husband. And it was.)

But then she made us a list of things in her craft room that she didn’t love, projects she started years ago and quite honestly will probably never want to finish. Supplies and kits she bought on sale (just because they were on sale) but now they’re out-of-date. Scraps that she might possibly use for something (but more likely will just buy new stuff she actually likes).

Then we went through her craft room again and could purge with confidence and joy. So much better.

I have another friend who’s a big crafter. Except mostly what she loves is COLLECTING (hoarding) craft supplies. Her supply closets/bookshelves/bins are huge and much and many. And, for the most part, they are organized quite nicely. Except when she wants to do a project, it takes about 40 minutes to look through the stash for the perfect items, 20 minutes to get them all to the table, and by that time, she’s too tired to craft. The fun is in the collecting.

But it’s never enough. And it’s lacking in purpose. And it’s very, very, very expensive. (and also takes a lot of time to shop for)

So. Friends:
1. I know you spent a lot (lot lot) of money on your supplies.
2. And I know you hate to see them go to waste.
3. But I also know you don’t have the time/freedom to do what you reeeeeally want to do because everything else is in the way.

But listen:
1. The money is already gone. (cut your losses)
2. Let’s use up what you’ve got (and if it’s something you can’t bring yourself to use, because ew, then GET RID OF IT).
3. Evaluate your stash and clear out EVERYTHING you don’t love. (donate it or toss it)
4. Refine your vision of what you want your crafting to be about. Whatever doesn’t fit the vision goes.

Here’s what we’ve got for The Dancing Elephant:

–paper cutter, corner rounder, 1″ circle punch.
–4×5 cards/envelopes (khaki/white).
–12×12 pad of patterned paper, a few other papers already cut to size and rounded, stickers.
–scissors, glue sticks.
–paint, brushes, canvasses.
–Scrabble tiles, Probe cards.
–2 sizes of round magnets, e600 glue, craft glue, flat marbles, buttons, bottle caps.

No more saving stuff up for maybe. We only buy stuff with coupons (or when it’s 50% off) and we only buy what we can use quickly. We’ve been given (sometimes because we asked for it and sometimes because we’re crap magnets) a lot of stuff, but we decided we just can’t stay on top of it and don’t have room for it. So away it goes!

Today’s Baby Step Challenge:
Tell me a little more about your craft life. What weaknesses/struggles you have and your dream for what could be.

Today’s Little-Bit-Bigger Challenge:
Share your vision. Then do some purging.

Today’s Big Daddy Challenge:
Share your vision, then do a buttload of purging.

You’ve got this, friends!! So proud of you!!

20 thoughts on “craft supplies {enough, day 9}

  1. jordan elizabeth

    I’m a little behind on commenting because I’ve been busy decluttering – mostly craft stuff ๐Ÿ™‚ Because I’m moving, I’m simplifying. Figuring out what I’ll actually use, what I’ll use at the new place, and what I’m willing to store for the more distant future. I’m purging a ton. Two file boxes packed neatly of for sure get rid of with more that my sisters are going to look through before those boxes leave the house. This is the biggest area of purging for me, so I’ll be mostly focusing on it this month.

  2. Kim

    Figured I’d come back and update my progress since I worked on craft stuff some more. Got rid of 30 different bags of metallic confetti for crafting. What was I thinking? Now it’s all in a ziplock bag for the yard sale. Also 8 stamp pads- 6 going on my mission trip, 2 in yard sale box. Also a bag gathered on stamping magazines and stamps for my girlfriend.

  3. Beth

    Another good place to get rid of stuff is on freecycle.org. You find your local page, list your stuff, and someone who wants it shows up to pick it up.

  4. allison

    I started out with the craft things in our homeschool area but instead of purging ended up reorganizing the room, hanging a plant (might sound like nothing but this project had been on my mental to do list for about a year), rearranging some furniture, and moving out a small bookshelf. I’m struggling with purging this one on the curb because I’ve had it since I was a kid. I might Just put it in the basement for now.

    My craft supplies downstairs aren’t too bad as I purged from them recently a but I know there is more there that I don’t love. I will try to tackle those tomorrow.

  5. Tiffany

    I hoard craft supplies and LOVE them…but I can see where it can be overwhelming and prohibit creativity when you have too much junk. I just began doing Swap-bot which is a website where you can exchange crafting supplies/letters/etc. I also make Artist Trading Cards. I know the girls would LOVE it. Basically anything the size of a trading card…you create and trade all around the world. Maybe this would help get some extra supplies out of your way and build relationships with others from around the world? Also, on an unrelated note I do Postcrossing where you send a postcard and receive one from a stranger- fun!

  6. cyndee

    My daughters and I got together every Thursday night for a couple of years to scrapbook. It was fun. I somehow only managed to actually complete 2 scrapbooks and start another. Then my husband and I did one together that was therapeutic after and in the midst of a hard period in our lives. For the past 4 years, the scrapbook supplies have just sat there cluttering up or lives. I have a couple I want to do and complete as part of our great photo project but when I’m done, ALL the scrapbook supplies are GONE!

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      That sounds like fun Mom/daughter time. And you are the first person I’ve ever heard of who has made a scrapbook with her husband (very cool). Woohoo for finishing up and moving on!

  7. Kim

    Funny this is the area where I have made a bit of progress this month! I’m leading a sewing project, with some women friends of mine, to make 1 of a kind dresses to take on my mission trip to Nicaragua. Last year I took 75 and my goal this year is to take 150. I was recently given some fabric that wouldn’t work for the dresses so I promptly found it a new home on Freecycle. I have been going through my fabric stash to see what I can use for the dresses and it is so fun to see it turned into a much needed dress instead of a fold of fabric stuck in my cabinet!
    I also have had the opportunity to go through remnants from a very high end drapery workshop (like $100 a yard fabric!). I have just pulled 2 stuffed grocery bags to take to my son’s AP Art teacher for her 3D students. I gave her a big bag last month and she was thrilled! They are sitting to go in my car since I’m picking him up in 45 minutes so they will be in a new home within the hour!
    I have also been purging rubber stamps that I know I will never use any more. At least 50 and they are bagged up to sell at my yard sale since the proceeds are going to send my son to Young Life camp!

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      This is fabulous! I love all the purging and repurposing and helping! Wooohoooo!! (and oooh, that reminds me–we have rubber stamps we don’t use. time to purge!)

  8. Jill Foley

    I’m not really a crafter, but my 2 daughters enjoy crafts. We keep limited supplies on hand and I regularly go through and purge what’s not being used. I like to donate our excess to the children’s ministry at our church.

    I went through my “gift wrapping” box the other day and got rid of many miscellaneous items that I know I’ll never use. Most of what I got rid of would be considered crafty.

    The area I struggle with is stationary…I always stock up on birthday cards and pretty paper I can use to write to my Compassion kids. I’m resolved not to buy anymore until I use up what I have (which will easily last more than a year). And stickers…no more stickers.

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      I think gift-wrapping stuff might be its own day. I know lots of people (I used to be one of them) that HOARD gift bags like a banshee. Not necessary IMO.

      And I have a solution for your Compassion kiddo. Order a custom set of cards (or 3) from The Dancing Elephant. They’ll all be different, perfect for your kiddos, and the $ goes to Cambodia and getting us back. xoxoxo

  9. brooke

    since my crafting consists of ordering from the dancing elephant, I suppose Friday is my rest day from “enough”! ๐Ÿ™‚ happy weekend.

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      I wrote this post JUST for you! (not really) Actually, I LOVE the way you do it. Buy from cute kids, help Cambodia, NO CLUTTER (or time, energy, etc). xoxoxo

  10. valerie

    Sooo….I haven’t jumped on board the decluttering bandwagon with y’all yet because this month in our house is CR.A.ZY. and I can hardly see straight as it is. I’m jealous, actually. ๐Ÿ™‚ Would love to – and seriously need to – be decluttering with all of you, but I just can’t think about it right now (maybe you would think about doing another declutter month?? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Anyway, I came across this blog post over at Miss Minimalist that has 101 places you can donate your clutter (including craft supplies!!). If you’re like me, and having a meaningful place to share your awesome stuff makes it easier to get rid of, this post if full of great ideas. All 101 places to donate are U.S.-based charities. Hope it’s helpful!
    monthhttp://www.missminimalist.com/2011/04/where-to-donate-your-stuff-101-places-your-clutter-can-do-good/

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