You know what? I am really excited for Christmas this year!

Hi friends! I have a confession to make, I usually approach Christmas with a bit of dread and anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting together and spending time with friends and family, watching Christmas specials with my hubby and kids and attending the kids Christmas concerts at school. But then I have the shopping/gift anxiety, the clutter of too many decorations added on top of an over cluttered house and cooking anxiety. I actually declined an invitation EVERY YEAR from a sweet friend to a fun cookie swap because I was embarrassed about my cooking ability, instead I would just lurk on Facebook the day of the event and feel sorry for myself as they shared pics of all the fun they were having. I was so lame. I would live in a state of overwhelm from November 1-December 25th. But this year I am looking forward to the holiday, why you might ask? Because of the decluttering process I started in February. I have room for decorations. I spend less time cleaning on a daily basis and if we are having people over I can have the house presentable in 1 hour (vs the 8 hour cleaning marathon two days before Christmas last year!) I finally feel like I can relax and enjoy the season.

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I am also looking at my gift giving with new eyes, this is something I have been leaning towards for the past few years but now I am not going to feel badly about it. I have received gifts that I couldn’t use before but the guilt of getting rid of something I did not need make me keep the item. I don’t want others to feel that guilt either so I am changing some of my gift giving tactics. The following are my gift giving guidlines:

  • Give a gift that is consumable: A bottle of wine, coffee, fine vanilla etc.
  • Give a gift card to a restaurant, grocery store of the recipients favorite store
  • Make it reusable: Craft cute handmade gift card packaging that can have a label removed and it can be reused.
  • Make it handmade AND useful: Hand knit hats, mittens, cowls, socks, cutting boards etc.

I used to feel bad picking up a gift card and then I’d go into panic shopping mode. I didn’t want someone to think I didn’t care about them enough to select a perfect gift. Ironically that meant I would buy completely random stuff that did not hit the mark. How did a holiday of love and togetherness come to this? I say “no more!” We will have joy and abundance this Christmas, the question is will you be too stressed out to enjoy it?

I know some people gripe about my random konmari posts but I have to say for me The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo was life changing. I can’t guarantee results for everyone but I am looking forward to all aspects of the holidays and that makes me happy.  One thing I love is sending handmade cards, I will attack that with gusto and enjoy every minute of making them, addressing them and sending them off. And I will go to that cookie swap this year. If my cookies are a disaster I know of a few good bakeries. 🙂 I hope that regardless of what you celebrate that you enjoy the season without stress and anxiety. Happy crafting!

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Konmari Vlog: The Value of our STUFF!

Hi friends!  Everything I think about “stuff” I am reminded of the George Carlin bit about stuff: “My stuff is good STUFF, everyone else’s stuff is CRAP!” There is some truth to this. Studies show we value things we own much higher than things we don’t. The mere act of ownership makes us think differently about our stuff. This is why it is hard to have a yard sale and price our things (things we don’t even want mind you) for less than we think they are worth. If you are trying to declutter but getting stuck on what to do with your stuff watch this video, I think it will help.

Video! (If reading in email click over to watch the video)

So many people have asked me why I didn’t just sell the stuff I gave away after decluttering my craft room. There were many reasons, mostly I wanted it out efficiently but another reason was I’d rather give it away to someone who would appreciate it rather tan sell it for a tiny fraction of what it was worth. It’s silly really because the end result is the same whether I threw it away, gave it away or sold it but I wanted to feel good about discarding and giving stuff to friends and organizations who could use it felt best.

It is almost like I was worried about my “things” have a good home and I am not alone. Also, who wants to throw money away and when we place a value on our things (we do, even the things we no longer want) it feels like throwing money away to toss it, or like we are getting ripped off to sell it for next to nothing. In ANY of these scenarios the goal is to get rid of the excess items we don’t want so why do we get so hung up on the “stuff”?

Here is the TED-ed video that I mentioned. The Konmari method is from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I hope you enjoyed this little vlog. Remember, It’s not about the “STUFF”…OK, maybe it is a bit. 🙂 Happy crafting!

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!

STUFF: What to Keep, Buy or Declutter from Your Life {My 4 “H” Method}

Hi friends!  I have been decluttering my home for 6 months and it’s no surprise my craft area was (and still is) the most thing-dense area. I must say that I have a more reasonable amount of things and it really feels good to pass on some of my hoard to schools, friends and the thrift shops. Today I want to talk about the things we keep. The things that add value to our lives. The things that make us happier, smarter and more secure (and I’m not talking about the false sense of security of all of the “just in case” back up stuff (I think that actually causes us more anxiety.) I believe in investing our time and money in what I call the 4 “H”s: Head, Heart, Health and Home. Fore more on that please watch (or listen to while you do something else like craft, declutter or paint) today’s video.

Video!

It can be painful to part with things especially if we think about what they cost but by focusing on investing in the things that matter most it can make letting go of things that are not serving us easier.

My 4 “H”s of Investment

All of your possessions require an investment. You have to pay for them, maintain them, clean them, store them, put batteries in them, feed them and think about them. Paying for the things we own does not end when we get them home so we need to make wise choices about how they might affect us long-term. Before buying ask yourself if it benefits your…

  • Head: Education, learning something new, taking a class, reading a book (you can then pass the book on because the knowledge is in your head!) Learning a new hobby or perfecting it also helps your brain so if you are using those hobby supplies then keep them! They are likely to put you in a good mood as well.
  • Heart: Friendships & family.  A board game that you get joy from playing with your family is a keeper! So is a table with plenty of chairs for your friends. Does this object nurture your relationships? If so it is a good investment to buy or keep.
  • Health: Does this make you more healthy, a yoga mat you use everyday is worth a place in your home but the dumbbells gathering dust iare not.
  • Home: Keeping tools or other items that you use to maintain your home is a great investment, a house appreciates in value if taken care of so invest time there. Discard things that do not add value to your life and clutter up your home. A house full of clutter can make you sick as well because it can be so hard to clean and dust everything, you could even get mice or bugs which can make you sick.

My husband got me the book “Goodbye Things” by Fumio Sasaki and I loved it. It is a bit herky-jerky to read in the beginning but smooths out. I’ve also listened to some of the audiobook while I was working on a project. I love how the advice is practical and the 50 tips/chapters were punchy and short so I could read one, get inspired and tackle another project and at the end of the book is a recap of the chapters in list form to jog your memory. As much as I LOVED “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo I think Goodbye Things is a bit more practical. The author was a hoarder who changed his ways whereas Marie Kondo was always a minimalist. It’s good to see different points of view. For me the “does it spark joy” was a great place to start (I’m referencing the“Life Changing” book) but now I am realizing that I like a lot of things and it is not enough of a reason to keep or buy something. Imagine going to the craft store and buying everything that “sparked joy” LOL! I’d need a bigger house and fatter wallet and in the end I’m sure I wouldn’t be a lick happier. Now I can like things but store them at the store OR like something I have but give it to someone who can use it more than I will. I’m not perfect, I still have more than I need but I am finally feeling the sense of peace and balance I have been craving. I hope you got some value out of this vlog today. I will have fun batch of cards tutorial for you tomorrow, til then happy crafting!

 

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!

 

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….

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…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:)

 

 

 

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!

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