Decluttering Tip: What if This Stuff Was Not Your Stuff?

Here’s a decluttering tip that literally came to me in a dream. I know that sounds silly, but hear me out.

I was at a conference or something in the dream, and while we were attending an event someone came in and mixed everyone’s stuff together. Not just putting it all in the same place, they took everyone’s things and arranged them together, by color.

This is the weird part because it was all, like, a rainbow of little glass vases and stuff you wouldn’t actually take to a conference.

But the idea was, with everyone’s things all mixed together, how would you find your stuff?

Everyone Else’s Stuff is Just Stuff

It occurred to me that this is a key concept for decluttering, because we all tend to value our own things more than someone else’s stuff. Even in our own households, we place more importance on the things we think of as “ours” rather than someone else in the family’s.

This is really important as a decluttering tip, because that shift to seeing your own things as stuff makes it easier to declutter your craft supplies or anything else.

But I do think it’s particularly important, and maybe even easier than some other categories of things, to extend this idea of “just stuff” to decluttering craft supplies.

Craft supplies are literally just stuff, the raw materials that we turn into our creations. As yarn, or fabric, or paper, they don’t really hold a lot of value other than their creative potential.

Craft Supplies Are Stuff Waiting to Happen

Of course that’s part of the problem: knowing there’s creative potential in those things makes us want to hold onto them. It makes us want to hold onto things because we know what we could do with them, maybe even what we wanted to do with them when we bought them but never actually did.

It feels to me like the creative version of the economic idea of sunk costs. We’ve sunk creative energy into this stuff, which gives it more power than it holds on the store shelf, for example.

It feels like the thing we could make with it.

We imagine the joy we might feel making the thing, using the thing or giving it to a friend or a loved one.

But the thing is, until we make the thing, the materials are just stuff.

If your stuff was mixed in with other people’s stuff, would you even recognize it?

Decluttering Tip: See it as Someone Else’s Stuff

Next time you are trying to declutter and you’re having trouble, whether it’s craft supplies or something else, imagine that it’s someone else’s stuff you’re dealing with.

Of course there will always be things that are important to you, that you would recognize as “yours” no matter how much it was mixed in with other people’s things.

But a lot of things don’t hold that kind of sentimental value.

They aren’t yours.

They don’t need to be.

You can let them go to someone else who will use them and enjoy them much more than you have been.

Because in the end it’s all just stuff.

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