2 questions to ask if you are stuck on decluttering.

Hi freinds! In today’s video I want to help you tackle those tricky items in your crafty stash that don’t really bring you joy but they are still perfectly good and you might need them someday….


…those “someday” items are the worst! 🙂 Watch the video to see how I handle these things!

If you are stuck trying to decide wether or not to get rid of a craft item ask yourself these two questions:

1. Is there something else I can use in place of this item if I discard it? (Do you have another dual purpose item that will make do?)

2. What is the worst thing that can happen if I get rid of this?

Those two questions helped me decide on some of the more tricky items in my craft room and I hope it will help you. I listened to the audio book “The Life Changing Magic of Tiding Up” by Marie Kondo and it changed the way I look at my possessions and helped me clean out the excess. I have more time to spend on things I enjoy because I spend less time managing my stuff and less time cleaning. I also enjoyed her book Spark Joy, it is a more in depth book on the Konmari method. For me, focusing on what I was keeping, not getting rid of make the whole decluttering process feel positive and less scary because when we focus on discarding things we can feel an overwhelming sense of scarcity and it makes us want to hold tighter to our possessions for comfort I think.

These 2 questions might not solve it for you though. I read through your YouTube comments after the video went live last night and I heard a common refrain (a refrain that echoed in my own head) “I have these supplies because they were part of my craft business that I no longer do, why can’t I let them go? I no longer want to pursue this, why is it so hard?” I am paraphrasing of course but there were several folks in the same predicament. Honey, I hear you! In this case it is not only the things we are giving up, we are giving up on that person we wanted to become at one time. Maybe you have supplies to make crafts that did not sell or maybe the crafts sold fine but you decided that crafting for profit wasn’t for you. You might look at these items with regret, you made a mistake and might even feel ashamed to have them. Well, keeping something that brings out such negative feelings should definitely go! Maybe you have supplies from a past livelihood (this would be me with teaching and framing supplies) and you are afraid to let them go because they are your “fall back” occupations and if your current business fails you know that old trade will sustain you. We put so much weight on our things, we can see them as a reflection of us, like a negative status symbol, reminding us of that time we totally blew it or made a big mistake. Well you know what, you already paid for that mistake once and that is enough. I plan on doing a future video on this topic and I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below. Please be kind to yourself. It’s OK if you still can’t decide to keep or get rid of something. There is nobody judging you except yourself. Try to be as kind to yourself as you would to a friend in the same situation, you deserve that. Take care and happy crafting:)





21 Responses

  1. This is off topic, but the link to your book is broken. I would love to see it!


    • I will check on that, it might be sold out! There is a new book coming out this summer I illustrated by the same author:)


  2. My first problem is getting everything out of the craft closet and sorting it out. Seems like I cleaned out the unnecessary items a year ago when we moved….but still too much stuff. I liked what you said about looking at items with regret.


  3. I do okay decluttering some things but I have a hard time with my stamps. I love them and always hope to use them …… soon…..lol


  4. My problem is what if I need it someday for a project. If I get rid of it, I may be kicking myself later. I try to think about whether I’ve used it in the last year. I get emotionally involved with “stuff.”


    • That is the perfect situation for the 2 question method: 1. Do you have something already that could work in it’s place? What is the worse that would happen if you got rid of it? If you don’t have a replacement item and you aren’t willing to rebuy it or do without in in the future then keep it:)


  5. Quote:
    “There is nobody judging you except yourself. Try to be as kind to yourself as you would to a friend in the same situation, you deserve that. ”
    No truer words have ever been spoken. Thank you, Lindsay, for being a constant source of inspiration and knowledge. You are a person I look up to as you have accomplished so much and seem to be so nice and just an all around down to earth person. Just wanted to say thanks again for you doing this series. It’s very helpful.
    Big Hugs!!


  6. I think what you have said is good advice. My sister decluttered by passing along some craft books to me, but they really aren’t my taste. I held on to them because she gave them to me. Today I loaded them up and donated them to the library for their annual sale. Why should somebody else’s stuff become mine? I have many rooms and attics to go but I am getting to the point where I feel strangled by possessions. Now the letters my mom wrote me forty years ago I’m keeping! I DO have my priorities! Thanks for bringing these ideas to the forefront.


  7. Thanks for sharing this, Lyndsay! My big thing I’m having difficulty giving up is Cross Stitch… I have over 30 years of material, all the DMC floss, beads galore…. I can no longer hold small items (i.e…..needles/beads)…. but the thought of throwing everything away is just too horrific to me. None of my family or friends are interested in anything…. it’s so painful! Like abandoning my child!


    • maybe you have a grandchild interested in making friendship bracelets with the floss or a local summer camp or vacation bible school might be able to use the supplies for summer camp crafts.


  8. We moved to a smaller home last year and I was determined to get rid of a lot of stuff then. Much to my surprise, when I read this post, I realized I wasn’t quite honest with myself about my “success” at downsizing. Your questions made me think about stuff I kept and why. Now, I’ll go through boxed bits and pieces in closets and make a thoughtful decision to “keep” or “let go”. Thanks for the inspiration!


    • I am sure you did a great job and at the time it was a lot to get rid of, now that the dust has settled you can take another look:)


  9. I like what you have to say about the clutter – must try it.
    Did you have a class on the peony picture you had in the background ?
    If not would you do aclass on doing the peony ?


  10. Great advice all around. I had a business for a few years making and selling pillow covers. After a while, I just didn’t really want to sew any more and stopped. But, I held onto my huge stash of fabric for years! Every 6 months or so, I would go through it and get rid of a little, but I finally cleared it all out. I felt so much better when it was gone. Made room for watercolor supplies!! 😉


  11. Excellent advice! I have a similar set of questions that I ask before I buy anything (so I don’t keep adding to the clutter). Is it going to replace 2 or more things I use? It’s important to specify, “use,” because if I’m not using one of the items, it should be de-stashed and it doesn’t count. Is it going to enable me to do more with less?


  12. I emptied two kitchen drawers this week and made a bin for the thrift shop. In the craft department it is a mess. I look at my cropodile I seldom use unless I am making a mini album and the same with the corner chomper. My favorite corner chomper ( Creative Memories ) won’t work on heavy cardstock but the two darn instruments just sit there most of the time. I had a bunch of Stampin Up old sets and I had to ask are you going to use these? Probably wouldn’t live long enough so I put them in my little booth in a shop here and they are flying out the door at a low price but someone else is enjoying them I hope. I’m working on it big question I ask is Are you goin g to use this? You haven’t in 10 years.


  13. Great timing! We are doing some major downsizing as we are moving from a large rental to our first home. I am losing my large scrapbooking area, so decluttering is on my mind a lot! I feel like I need to re-read Kondo’s book as I embark on this task. I had to laugh at the mention of the food processor and blender- I have been debating this question lately. Thanks for your great advice!


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