I received several requests to talk about what to do with craft clutter around the house. I am a fellow crafter so I understand the desire to have all kinds of crafts supplies just waiting for my creativity to strike. The difficult balance seems to be maintaining a minimal mess while encouraging maximum creativity.
If you are a crafty person, a wide range of crafts often appeals to you. I have painted pictures, poured my own candles, enjoyed making hand-stamped metal jewelry, and many other random crafts throughout the years. Each new craft or hobby brings with it an entirely new set of supplies. Left unchecked, the clutter can spiral out of control.
How to Deal with Craft and Hobby Clutter:
- Narrow it down. You simply can’t focus on so many different things at once. Pick one or two hobbies that you really enjoy. I still keep a few basic candle making supplies on hand because I think it’s nice to be self-sufficient and refill your own candles. I also like metal jewelry stamping so I have kept that hobby for making gifts.
- Stick with the basic supplies. Don’t try to keep absolutely everything on hand you might possibly ever need in the future. The “just in case” disease is hard to cure. Don’t buy that scrapbooking paper that says “Happy Graduation” on it just because it’s on sale if your children aren’t graduating for seven more years. For making candles, I have some supplies on hand but I no longer stock dozens of different fragrances, colors, and containers. If you need a supply, you can find it then. Don’t overstock now.
- Define and organize your workspaces. It is a proven fact that clutter will grow to the space you give to it. If you have decided you only have room for one basket and two small plastic bins, then purge your supplies until that is the space they take up. Your clutter will control you if you let it. Take control! Organize in a way that makes sense to you so that things can be found easily.
- Evaluate unfinished projects. We all have those items we never quite got back to finishing. Before you keep hanging onto it, take a minute to ask yourself why it was left undone. Were you truly too busy to finish it or are you really not interested anymore? If it’s truly a priority to you, make the time to complete the project. If it’s not something you care about anymore, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just get rid of it and move on.
- Keep a basic supply inventory. There have been so many times when I’ve repurchased something I liked only to realize later that I already owned it. Avoiding impulse buying helps with over buying, but it also helps to keep a basic list of things you already own so you don’t duplicate them.
- Follow your gut. My last suggestion is fairly basic. If you feel like you have too much craft clutter, then you probably do. If you hear yourself rationalizing it all to yourself and your family, then you probably need to examine it again.
Crafts and hobbies can be nice to have, but not if they take priority over our relationships and what really matters.
What crafts or hobbies are taking over your house? Have you found any great solutions you’d like to share?
This is a section from my book Family-Sized Minimalism.
Article originally published on 03/11/2011