Friday, June 21, 2013

Scrapbooking organization Declutter series #1: Decluttering

what's in the box?
In an exclusive that should be ONLY for a home organization blog (AKA my blog Simply Organized Crafts), I want to bring to those of you, who want to organize their craft rooms NOW, and not in the wintertime.   I do have something for you at the end of the series, so if you stick with me, I hope I do not disappoint you in any way.
Today’s Lesson:  The introduction and declutter the paper stack…


So, you want a craft room (scrapbook room, sewing room)?  I can tell and you know why?   Do you have the following problems?
1)      Do you have supplies so old, Methuselah could come and say they are older than he is?
2)       Supplies older than your first born child, and he is 23 years old?
3)      When you craft, do you have to run upstairs for the paper, downstairs for the glue, and in the basement for the album?
4)      When you go into your “space” to do your nightly crafting, do you cry for lack of room to place the sewing machine (die cut machine, paper trimmer…etc.)?
If this is you, stop wondering if you have enough room in the backyard to erect a store (In some cases, I do not think the apartment manager will not allow it).   You do have the room, and you will make it work.  All you need is to do a little purging of the supplies, and maintain what you have left.  This is a baby step process, so if you want to read through what needs to be done first, and then do it, that is perfectly alright.  I am going to refer to my scrapbooking supplies, but this applies to anything crafting medium (i.e. needlework, sewing, wood working)

Step 1:  Declutter

Decluttering the paper (or any supplies) is the hardest thing that a person has to do.   When you first start your craft or hobby, you are so excited, you buy not only the basics, but everything else that is out there in the market for your particular craft.  I like to can this the baby stage.   You do not know what you are doing.   There is nothing wrong with it.  You will get overwhelmed with the new craft, but you learn and you buy (a lot).     Over the months and years, if you do not use it all because you bought a paper here, an embellishment there, a new pair of scissors 15 months down the road, the supplies will build up, and take over your space.   The very first rule to declutter is realizing that you need to declutter.    First of all, say with it with me, “these supplies did not come here overnight, so they will not leave here overnight.”  
Once you realize that, you are only half way there.   Did you know that part of decluttering your supplies is a mental and emotional process?   You may realize it, but are you really ready to get down and toss some stuff that has been sitting there for all eternity?  I have heard some people say that their supplies are put in a will for their children to enjoy long after they are gone.  My question is to that statement is, “will it be the stuff you are currently using, or the supplies you got when scrapbooking became popular?”   If you are not using the paper you bought for a project in 1994, why do you still have it in 2013?   Scrapbooking has evolved between the years, and it is about time you play catch-up.  
As you start to declutter anything, from scrapbook paper to China your grandmother gave you before she passed away, ask yourself these questions:
1)      Am I using it now?
2)      What project would this best fit if the original project ceased or took a different turn for the better?
3)      Do I love it so much that I cannot bear to part with it?
4)      Can it be replaced?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, or if you have not used it in a year or more, get rid of it.   If not, try to use it with 6 months to a year, and if you have not used it, give it away.   If it is damaged, and it cannot be repaired, why hold on to it?   If it is good, and you do not like it, give it away or sell it.  For craft supplies, that means give it to a school or nursing home that could use the supplies, or sell it on a website like Ebay or Etsy.

Next time, we will start the decluttering and storage process with our first item, paper.   I will show you why you want to declutter, how to declutter, and where to store the paper you kept in hopes you will use it in a project in about 6 months to a year.   Until then, be blessed, and have fun as you create your new craft or hobby room. 

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