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!

minicrafthaul.jpg

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!

 

And the purge continues…

Hi friends! I know I am in good company when it comes to an overflowing craft space. I know this because of the wonderful comments and stories you share with me each time I post a “Konmari craft room” video. Yesterday I decided to tackle one of my craft room overflow areas: The framing department. I was too overwhelmed by the contents of my craft room when I did my original Konmari craft room declutter to venture into much of the overflow. Also I was really stymied but my framing supplies. About 20 years ago my mom and I bought a ton of mat board from a frame shop that was going about of business. I had learned how to cut my own beveled mats to save money on framing my art for shows and then students asked me to frame their work too. Before long I had a nice custom picture framing side business. Occasionally I had to order in custom colors that I did not have but honestly I was really well stocked with mat board! This stash allowed me to make a nice living from home with low overhead. Everything was bought and paid for so it was all profit after just a couple of jobs. Over the years though I enjoyed framing less and less and I began to see new jobs as “chores” instead of blessings. It is a nice safety net though if times got tough I can always do framing.  I realized that it wasn’t the mat board I was attached to but the security that owning the framing supplies provided me and it occurred to me the reason I didn’t want to deal with that supply was because Even though I didn’t love framing I was not ready to let go of that potential. I was ready to clean out the area I had all of the boxes of mat board in though so I went through the large 32″x40″ sheets of mat board one by one to decide what I could reasonably use in my personal art and odd framing jobs I may with to take in the future. My Hubby actually would like to learn how to cut mats so he might take over that endevor for me! I limited myself to no more than 4 sheets of each color with the exception of white and black because those I have to order in frequently. I got rid of half! What I kept is stored by color families in their original shipping boxes (25 sheets fit in a box and it keeps them flat and clean) and they are under the purple cloth in the corner.

room1

Since I work in a basement I am aware of moisture so previously I had the boxes of mat boards standing in plastic under the bed boxes with the lids removes and I put a sheet of plexiglass between the boxes and the wall and it kept the mat boards perfect. The corner of my craft room I moved them too had a random mish-mash of junk from old frames to old portfolios of art and plywood panels I planned to paint. I had a heavy-duty wire riser (I think it was a  paneling sample display for a hardware store) and it was perfect for holding my boxes of mat boards up off the floor. I did put the risers in a plastic tub as an extra precaution against moisture too. You might remember for my first konmari post that I had a set of shelves in this area but I moved them because they were the reason of the junk corner because I could not reach anything with the shelves there. I took my yarn totes from another corner and swapped them out with the shelves and put my dress form on top and had a bit of fun making a knitting display lest I forget there are 2 honkin’ big totes of yarn there. I don’t often need yarn but I can take down the dress form and display in about 30 seconds if I need too. Also the yarn totes are light enough to pull out of there if I need to get to the mats. This set up is fine since these items are not accessed often. Here is the corner with my shelf where my yarn totes were. I had a couple of kitchen size trash bins holding wrapping paper and strecher bars behind the totes that I had not yet been through (whoops! Missed that on the first round 🙂 LOL) so I put the wrapping paper with my other wrapping supplies and nested the bins together and left the stretcher bar bin as is, you can see the bins next to my white shelf. Ordinarily there is a toaster oven for clay on the bottom shelf but it was in use when I took the photo.

room2

Well that was quite the long intro to today’s video huh? The reason I shared that declutter was because so many people commented on my Konmari One Month Later one of my konmari follow up videos that they had “past business supplies” that they did not want but could not part with and I realized that I had some too. I love how we are learning and growing together!

Video!

If you are agonizing over getting rid of something and the 2 question method didn’t work:  try asking yourself why over and over until you come to an answer.

Why am I keeping this? Will i REALLY need it some day? Am I keeping it because I regret buying it but feel ashamed to get rid of it? Was it a mistake purchase to begin with? Am I keeping this to remind myself I made a mistake and this is my punishment? Am I afraid to get rid of this because it is closing the door on the potential of who I once wanted to become? Keep asking yourself why you are holding on to this thing until you get to the bottom of its hold on you. You might be keeping it for a valid reason or because you are comforted knowing that you have it. But if you are keeping it out of shame and regret you can let it go to make room for more positive energy and be wiser in your next purchase. Face it, we all make mistakes but we don’t have to keep paying for the same one over and over again by holding on to possessions that don’t serve us.

Same goes for buying. Why do I want this so badly? Do I want it just because it is new and shiny? Will it fill a need I have that nothing I own does? And so on…dig deep!
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.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.

You can watch the rest of the videos in the Konmari craft room series here, I hope it helps you like it has me. Do you have stubborn posessions you can’t decide on or things you are only keeping “Just in case” let me know in the comments below. Til next time 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!

5craftythingsinolongerbuy

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!

 

%d bloggers like this: