Decluttering and organising craft materials.

Welcome to Week 24 of Tidy 2020. I’m dropping the blog in a day early this week because I need to rest. My husband and I were always intending on taking next week off as a holiday but I thought that I’d be around a bit chatting. However, if you follow me regularly, you will know that we’ve had a bit of a run of it recently and so I have decided to take a complete break until Monday the 22nd to recharge and reenergise.

If you get tired, learn to rest not to quit.

This week we are doing indoor crafts and hobbies and I am going to give you two weeks to do this category as it can be a big one for some people (I’m dropping it in this week as I know I won’t be here next week!). Indoor hobbies and crafts is basically anything that you do indoors that requires various small equipment. So, paper cutting, crochet, sewing, quilting, knitting, origami, drawing, painting – I am sure that there are many that I’ve missed off!

Much like the book category, Craft Komono is one that I often get a lot of push back on. People can get very invested in their yarn collections, or their material collections. There is generally a lot of, “Oh no, I can’t possibly let go of any of it, it all Sparks Joy!”.

I. Get. This.

I used to do a heap of craft stuff myself. I sewed, I quilted, I crocheted, I did Cross Stitch, I did paper cutting, I drew. I loved to make things and I had the typical stash of many crafters. However, as time went on and I became busier with children and animals, my crafting fell by the wayside. But my stash still sat there. Making faces at me. Sticking it’s tongue out at me as I walked past it. My rainbow of yarns, my beautiful fabrics. It just all made me feel a bit useless and guilty to be honest. So I decided to do an audit. Initially very few things went, I hung on to a lot because I was afraid to let it go.

After following The Marie Kondo Method on my other things, I went through it again and this time only kept the stuff that Sparked Joy – proper, full on, heart lifting, Joy. My stash is now a fraction of the size that it was. I do still have a few pieces. The cross stitch sampler is now something that I am aiming to finish for my first grandchild because I loved it so much. My owl fabric got made into bags (I had been saving it for something “Special” so it had never been used). I still have my sewing machine and sewing kit. I still have my lovely wooden crochet hooks (because one day I will use them again!), but I don’t have stacks and stacks of stuff that weighs me down. If I have a project that I want to do, I go and buy the materials for it and I do it.

However, I am aware that there are two types of crafter out there. There is the type that I have become – the “I want to make this, I shall go and buy the things to make it with” and there is the type that Lovely Granny is which is the, “I shall buy this because I love it and then when I want to make something, I will look in my stash and see what I fancy doing” and both ways of doing it are totally valid!

Lovely Granny came into her own in October last year when I rocked up at her house weeping that I was a failure as a Mummy because I had not got Halloween costumes for the children, had left it too late to order any, didn’t have the energy to make them myself and couldn’t face the plastic tat in the shops. Lovely Granny rootled through her stash and her dressing up box and delivered 4 outfits to me the next day, just in time for the Home Ed Halloween Party.

So I am NOT saying that you have to do it the way I am doing it, but I will say that even LG has been through her material stash and has rationalised it so that she is better able to work with it. Even if you can’t bear to part with any of it, doing an audit of it will be helpful for you so that you can see what you have. If you start to do this audit, and feel overwhelmed that you can’t because there is too much of it, then I am going to gently suggest that you focus on the bits that you love and discard the rest.

Often, as is the case with books when having fewer frequently leads to MORE reading, having fewer items in your craft stash actually leads to more creativity.

So go on, have a go and then tell me how it goes.

Once you come to organising it, there is a myriad of ways as usual! Making sure that you can see it all at a glance when you open your storage is important, so file folding material can be useful, and vertically storing is super helpful.