Use it up, Throw it out, Make it Work or Do Without? {A Konmari Question}

Hi friends! I got a very similar question from several viewers after posting my current craft room tour last week, it went something like this:

“Lindsay, are there things you kept to use up that you won’t rebuy once they are gone?”

Good question! The thing that kept me from purging supplies in the past was that it felt wasteful. Don’t get me wrong, I did not throw away any “good supplies” I purged. They were given to friends, schools or donated to people who could use them. I did keep some things because I know I’ll use them up but not buy again. Are you wondering what these items are? Watch the video and find out!

Video!

The thing that decluttering using the Konmari method from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up taught me is that things come into out lives to fulfill a purpose, when they are done fulfilling the purpose you can let them go. My cheap white cardstock is currently fulfilling a purpose and I am using it up, when I run out I will only replenish a couple of brands: My Neenah Classic Crest (for alcohol marker coloring), My Heavyweight Recollections (for card bases) and my cheap utilitarian Georgia Pacific from Sam’s Club for inky backgrounds, gel printing, party printables and other projects where I do not need the premium qualities of the others. I am also buying in appropriate amounts. I come from a teaching background where I bought in bulk to get the per project cost low and that habit of looking for the cheapest price kept me buying massive amounts that I could not realistically use up. I also had a fear of wasting supplies unless I had a lot of back stock. This is called the “fear of running out” and I think that is what causes most of us to hoard stuff especially craft supplies because companies only produce a limited run of paper/embellishments and when it’s gone it’s gone. Brilliant marketing on their part but I don’t have to fall for it LOL! There will always be newer, cuter and more trendy things to buy in the future if we use up our current stash up and we bought it to use it right?

I want to thank you for the thought provoking questions you ask after every Konmari craft room video and if you want to see the other videos in this series you can find the playlist here! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Current Craft Room Tour (After KonMari)

Hi friends! I have been asked to do a craft room tour of my space after decluttering. It has been quite a process because after the first konmari clean out I thought I was done but things evolved. I got rid of more ruthlessly (although the video will show that I still have plenty) and I corralled the sprawl of art supplies thought the rest of the house and basement and integrated what I kept back into my art space. It opened up the possibility of using the rest of our basement in a more practical way. We were wasting the space on storing when we could be using it for living! Funny how decluttering can change your whole perspective on things and open up new possibilities huh? I filmed this video before I took down my binder storage shelves and uprooted the jewelry storage wall to move it in about a foot because I wasn’t sure what it would look like after.

Video tour!

After the video I tore this corner apart. I rebuilt the shelves to fit in 12″ less space so there is some strange geography on my “map binders” now LOL! because my art “room” has no real walls, aside from the two walls that make up the cellar foundation, I can rearrange as needed:)

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I applied a fresh roll of contact paper to the stamp binder bench and my main workspace and it really brightens up the place! I took these photos this morning because I’m not sure if or when I might do something permanent or drastic to my studio space.

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Next to the stamp bench is my dresser with brushes, printmaking and pastel supplies, Above on the shelves are canvasses. Under the mannequin are my yarn totes. I moved my easel to the corner to give the room a more open feel and because I needed to shift the stamp bench down to bring the jewelry wall in a foot. Next to the easel is my die cutting bench. I moved my Scan n’ Cut machine to this area with my other die cutting things, it just made sense.

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You can see the end of my die-cutting bench. I moved my pen racks over my cardstock storage cabinet because I really want my main workspace to be clear and open. I didn’t mention it on the video but the birdcages hold lace trims, it works great, i just pull out what I need but sometimes I need to shake the dust off LOL!

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Behind my workspace I have paper, colored pencils, ribbon, washi tape and lots of often used goodies in drawers. I moved the filing cabinet back in here and it was the same height as my two plastic drawers of paint supplies. I have a large white sheet of paper clipped behind there and lights on the paper so I can get photos or my artwork daily. This used to be in the middle of the basement (the aforementioned sprawl) and it hold magazines I have been published in and office/business stuff. You can still see my wood stamp storage shelve that I am going to go through again because it can’t stay there. I considered unmounting them and putting them in binders but some stamps I think are just like art to me and I just like how they look on the blocks. Many I have forgotten I have so I really need to have a look at them again. There is not point keeping things I won’t use. It is a hard collection to downsize though (those joy-sparking stamps!)

If you need help decluttering I recommend The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It was really helpful for me anyway. Are you decluttering? Let me know how it’s going for you and til next time happy crafting!

A Minimalist Craft Haul???

Hi friends! As you know I have been on a massive declutter of my home and craft room over the past 6 months. It has been life changing to say the least. I have accomplished so many things that I have not had time to do before (such as creating my first watercolor course ) because I am not overwhelmed with so much needless stuff stealing my attention. Up until now I have managed to resist shopping, I was never a big shopper before, and the only “new” stuff that had entered my craft room has been supplied from clients for freelance projects. So last week when my friend Kathy asked me if I was going to check out the big sale at Joann Fabrics (there was a 40% off your total regular price purchase coupon) I was conflicted. I didn’t want to go back to my old hoarding ways but I actually needed a pack of thin black cardstock as I had used up my stash and even all of my scraps so I decided to take her up on the offer. Did I fall off the wagon? Find out in today’s video!

Video!!!

Hooray, not only did I not fall off the wagon I was able to find the two things I actually needed! I valued the experience of shopping with my best friend and that was enough, I did not need to come home with a car full of bargains to justify the trip into town. I feel like decluttering has given me a whole change in mindset and I credit the Konmari method for this. If you want to learn more about how I used the Konmari method from the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to declutter my craft room you can see the blog post and video here. The reason it worked for me I think is because you gather up all of your possessions by category on the floor in a pile and pick each thing up and ask yourself “does this spark joy” if yes you keep it, if not you get rid of it. I used to think it was the “joy” that made the method work but now I think it is the fact that you confront the big pile of abundance. I think I used to hoard supplies because I felt a scarcity. “What if I use it up and can’t get any more?” “What if it becomes really expensive and I can’t afford to buy more?” “What if zombies take over and all the craft stores go out of business?” This exercise, while it may seem silly or unnecessary, showed me that I had an over abundance to share and after getting rid of what I did I still have plenty. I have plenty and I am content. This thinking about a future of scarcity also leads us to be anxious. You should totally plan for the future but don’t obsess about it, besides our future will be more secure if we have more money in the bank and less crap in our house to trip over.

Tips to avoid over buying (from a gal who used to love stocking up on bargains “just in case”)

  1. Don’t look at the price. Look at the item you are considering buying, determine how much value it will add to your life. Look at the “real cost” of the item (the real cost is the price of the item plus the maintenance and storage) and determine if it is worth adding to your life and then look at the price and see if it is worth the cost. *BTW if you did not know this item existed before you saw it in the store you probably don’t need it.
  2. Determine how much you can actually use. I will stock up on some items I know I will use, If I see a great buy on Arches watercolor paper and I have room in my under bed paper storage I will snag it but you need to make sure it is something you will use up. Also factor in the savings vs losing that storage space until you use it up. In many cases the storage space is more valuable than the item over time. *This was the hardest issue for me because I used to teach art full-time professionally so I was always looking to stretch a supply budget.
  3. Where everyone else is getting the hot new product and you are feeling caught up in the “gottahaveits!” ask yourself if this new thing just duplicates something I already have (do I need the Gelatos, Prima Oil pastels and Distress Crayons or can I make do with one?) Look at stamp and paper designs this way too, every year there are new cupcake, butterfly and botanical stamps coming out. Are you buying the same things over and over? Make sure your new purchases are really adding value to your stash and perhaps weed out the duplicates.
  4. Ask yourself “Why do I want this?” Think about the things that we didn’t even know existed and then Bam! we want them. If you have trouble with this you can unsubscribe from sales emails and place the catalogs right in the recycle bin as soon as they come to avoid temptation. Don’t worry, theses products will still exist in the future if you need them.
  5. The next time you are tempted to shop play with the supplies you already have. The real joy is in the creating, not the acquiring.

I hope I don’t sound like a buzz kill. I totally know the “high” of finding fun new art supplies and getting a screaming deal but you can replace that high with the high of creating awesome stuff with the supplies you have and the thrill of using something up. I used to be afraid of using something up (what if I can’t get it again) but there are always more and newer things we desire and if you do use something up you can get something else and enjoy a cleaner home in the meantime! We worry about “wasting” our supplies but the real waste is letting them sit on a shelf unused gathering dust, we buy these things to use them, not to have them so go and make a beautiful mess already! That’s what I am going to do today:) Happy crafting!

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5 Crafty Things I No Longer Buy {Konmari Craft Room Series}

Mistakes? I’ve made a few, especially in the crafting department.  Today I am talking about the craft supplies that I will no longer be buying because they do not add value to my life or I have other items that fulfill the same purpose. Let me know if you have items you no longer buying the comments below!

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I am dropping some truth in today’s video. Please note that this is my list and some of the things I am no longer buying may add value to your life so don’t discard based on my list, you do you. We are all different and that’s why we should never just go buy what someone else likes without determining if it will meet our needs. I’d love to know if there are any items you will no longer by in the comments below!

Video!

Below are the items on my no-buy list.

1. Bulk card and envelope sets and bulk cardstock packs.
Why? Because the cards that come with envelopes are flimsy and I prefer to make my own card based with Recollections 110# cardstock and make my envelopes from the massive hoard of pretty paper I already have using my envelope punch board.  As for the multi color cardstock packs I have a good stash of colors already so I am just going to buy a few sheets of the colors I need open stock when I run out. *Note to self I need to keep a list on my cardstock cupboard!

2. Dies that match stamp sets. These are just to specific and can only cut the stamp sets they coordinate with and at $25 a pop it can get really expensive to buy dies to go with your stamp sets. Instead I invested in a Scan n Cut2 machine so I can cut out anything I have stamped. I paid $250 for my machine (on black Friday) and I can cut out all of my stamp sets (for the same cost as 10 die sets!) *this machine can hook to your computer and do a lot more but I only use mine for scanning and cutting stamped images:)

3. Ribbon: I have enough ribbon to choke a horse as it is and I felt so much relief when I gave most of it away and I do not want to reburden myself with more. Also I can use washi tape or a strip of paper to give me a similar design element if I run out.

4. Craft storage. I have enough and if I need to buy more it is time to get rid of my excess. More craft storage=more craft supplies.

5. Duplicates of non consumables. I will no longer buy 15 of an identical tool “just in case” I need it for a class or I loose, break, can’t find my original one.

What items will you no longer buy?

I set out to declutter my craftroom (home and life) after listening to the audio book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying 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.You can find the book or audiobook here. I also enjoyed her book Spark Joy, it is a more in-depth book on the Konmari method. I wrote a blog post and filmed an in-depth video about the Konmari decluttering process if you missed it. I only wished I did it sooner! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Epic Craft Room De-Clutter using the Konmari Method!

Hi friends! A little over a month ago I read (listened to) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and it was the kick in the but I needed to get my home and my craft studio in order. I was feeling suffocated by all of the “stuff” that surrounded me. Up til now I’d shrug off the excess as “tools of the trade” and “this is my job so I need to keep it all” reasons excuses to keep so much. It wasn’t a problem until it started making me feel tired, overwhelmed and un-creative. It was time to clean up my act!

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Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of stuff, I think everyone has a different amount of items that feels “right” to them and your amount might be more or less than mine and that is OK. I also spend about 40+ hours a week working in my studio because it is my full-time career so I will typically have more than the hobby crafter because I am using it for videos or classes I teach. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel badly about how much they have, this isn’t a contest, I just want to share my journey and hopefully encourage anyone else who is in the same boat. With that, here is the in-depth video on how I cleaned up my act in the craft room!

If you want to jump to a specific part in the video here are the time codes when each subject is discussed.
2:45 BEFORE pan of room and overview of the mess
11:28 Punches & Deco Scissors
18:59 Dies
25:47 Mini paper pads and origami papers
29:46 Stamp & Die Sets
32:50 Embossing Folders
33:36 Background Stamps & Letterpress items
38:10 Ribbon (holy crap, there is a lot!)
44:10 Fabric & Sewing Supplies
57:09 12″x12″ patterned scrapbook paper
58:26 Cardstock
1:01:47 Embellishments (the hardest category!)
1:14:23 Glitter & Embossing Powder & Flock
1:21:26 String/twine/cord/chain
1:28:09 Watercolors (no discarding LOL)
1:30:59 Drawing/Inks/Random update
1:35:15 Stamps
1:42:35 Pens & Markers
1:46:06 Dr PH Martin Watercolors & Inks
1:48:40 Random Stuff, Packaging & Framing (under die cut bench stuff)
1:50:18 Large paper sheets and watercolor pads (too long:)
2:02:13 Jewelry stuff
2:05:15 Packaging detail
2:12:27 ALL DONE! Have a look at the clean and Tidy space!
12:17:43 Scary Discard area (not for the faint of heart!) *I have tidied that up nice and neat and it is ready for my friends to come take what they want:)

BTW, the glasses I am wearing at the end of the video are Ottoto frames from Glasses USA. I have wanted dark plastic frames since I saw Jennifer Aniston wear some in an Aveeno ad and I finally found some that look good on a pale face:) They are very lightweight too!

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I am so happy with my craft space now, it is not perfect nor is it minimalist but it is just right for me right now:) Here are some after shots of the room. Honestly I was so disgusted with my stuff before the declutter that I only took video, it was cool to look at the before video to see the improvement because when you are working it can feel like you are not making progress so if you tackle and area in your home make sure to snap a before pic so you can see the results in full!

Details!

My desk is a hollow core wooden door (we took all of the sliding doors off the closets in your home years ago and replaced them with curtains and we saved the doors, they make lightweight but strong benches. The other 2 benches in my studio are also old doors 🙂 ) sitting on two 9 cube organizers.This gives me great shelf storage (I even have some inexpensive fabric bins to hold lightweight unruly stuff) on each end of the table and room underneath for rolling carts,shelves or drawers.

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The one above is the one you see as you enter my space so I try to keep it colorful and pretty with often needed items in there. The other end of the table has stuff I use for teaching and cleaning and items I do not need to access as frequently.

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I covered my table with white shelf liner. I really brightens up the place and I can put down paper when I am getting messy to keep it looking good.

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The markers are in a pen display rack a bought from a scrapbook store that was going out of business. I have the spinner rack for supplies I use daily. I have decided to organize my work table so it is easy to clean, instead of having everything at hand like I used too.

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My unmounted stamp storage worked great. I keep all of my UM and cling stamps in binders (I recommend 3″ heavy-duty 3-ring binders.) Since I had a mish-mash of binders I cut up a map I loved and adhered it to the spines and I made unobtrusive labels with blue card-stock because text can seem like clutter.

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Next to my stamp bench is where I keep jewelry supplies, my Brother Scan ‘n Cut2 and other stuff. I keep my Scan n Cut next to my stamps because I use it simply for scanning and cutting my stamped and colored images. This machine is why I have been able to resist most of the matching dies that are available for stamp sets now:) It has saved me tons of cash!

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I started putting paper vertically to take up less space and make it easier to access! Also putting my wooden paintboxes and table easels vertically on a shelf made them take up less space and I can grab one without having to unstack a bunch of things. If it is easy to get at I will use it! Also in the picture below you can see my wood stamp shelf and my large sheet paper rack. I keep a sarong on it to keep dust away. I was able to get this rack (a poster board rack) from Rite Aid when they were going out of business but the closest thing I have seen for sale is a school art drying rack if you are looking for something similar.

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I make use of clear plastic drawers under benches and stacked up (with wheels removed LOL) and you can’t beat it for cheap & useful storage! You can find them in different colors and with different depths, I like shallow drawers for embellishments and deep drawers for bottles of paints and mediums. A mix of depths is great to have! I might put paper in the front of the drawers to make them prettier but honestly it doesn’t bother me seeing what’s inside.

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I also recommend these scrapbook cube organizers. I keep scrapbook paper flat here because the devided cubes make it easy to sort by topic and see what I have. You can get ones with drawers which are great for supplies you don’t want to get dusty. I put my ribbons in those drawers and I like it much better compared to on a shelf. I also like that they are pretty standard and modular so you can add to the configuration or change it as your needs change and budget allows. Since my basement is unfinished these cubes actually divide the space between my craft area and my husbands wood shop and they are sturdy so I don’t fear them tipping over, each cube can connect to the one under it with pegs. I still liked storing my lace in birdcages so they stayed, probably not the best solution in a dusty area but I love them!

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My solid colored loose cardstock is in an old record (as in LPs) cabinet. I used Jennifer McGuire’s tip on using job ticket holders to store cardstock by color. It it easier to remove a color family and it keeps the edges and corners from getting dented. I have my neutrals I use for coloring and card bases on top in a letter sorter (actually, you won’t believe this but this is actually a sandpaper display that my parents no longer needed in their hardware store, talk about upcycling!) Also speaking about letter sorters, I used and upright one to help me sort and organize pattern paper during the purge and ended up keeping in and I put it on the shelf behind my manikin to hold 9″x12″ pads of art paper vertically, it works like a dream!

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I keep my Big Shot, Dies, laminator and old Cricut machine in “die cut central”. I also have plastic candy jars with silk flowers in them. I scored them for 25 cents each at a party store going out of business, you sure can get some deals on shelving and storage when places go out of business, not that I would wish that on a store but they are keen to get rid of it. I have extra space here, I might make a “new product” or “Project in progress basket on this shelf but I am in no hurry to fill it up. Truth be told I have a couple empty cubes in here too!

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You can see more of the room in the video but I realize it is long and my mess might give some people anxiety and that is NOT what this post is about. If you liked this post I would love it if you pined it on Pinterest or shared it on social media using one of the handy sharing links below, sharing is caring! I also wanted to let you know that I am now an amazon associate (they just let Mainer’s join yay!) so I looked up the storage products I used and linked to them. If you make a purchase after clicking one of my links I earn a small commission but it doesn’t cost you anything extra and I thank you for your support! I also want to thank Audible for sponsoring today’s video on YouTube and invite you to check them out if you like audio books, you can listen to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo free with a 30 day trial subscription. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How I store markers and pencils!

Hi friends! I am on the mend. My voice is not back yet but I am feeling a lot better today. I have gone back and forth with different ways to store my pencils and markers and this way has worked for me the last 2 years. I used to have all of my pencils out in the clear racks my markers are in but I found that they were not as useful that way because I could not just grab a set and work with it elsewhere. My markers however worked perfectly in the rack because I would tend to pull the colors I needed from a project and it helped to see everything I had right there. You stuff is probably not the same as my stuff but hopefully this video can give you some ideas.

I hope some of these ideas helped you. You can also combine different brands of pencils into cups or jars if you don’t have complete sets of colors. Do what works for you. My storage videos are just that, how I store stuff. You do what works for you and your stash. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How to store it: Die Cutting/Embossing Stuff!

Hi Friends! I am still shooting and uploading the organization videos, who would have thought there was so many ways to store your craft supplies? Today I am going to show you how I store my die cutting stuff. I will show you where I keep my cricut (I have it on another record cabinet so the mat can more freely around and not collide with other things on my die cutting bench), big shot, wafer thin and thick steel rule dies, embossing folders, sizzlits, letterpress plates, cutting pads and other accessories that pertain to using out die cutting machines. I will even show you my laminator that for some funny reason I like to keep here, I think it is because it takes electricity and it is handy here. Some things just work, don’t question it. If I used my comb binding machine more often it would be here too but I only have that out on rare occasion so it sits on a high shelf with other supplies I don’t need often. If you have any questions about my die cutting area you can leave them in the comments. I hope you find this video helpful:)

Oh! I have say a HUGE thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Craftsy Blogger Awards! You guys are so awesome!!! Voting is open until January 30th, wish me luck! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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