Can you declutter craft supplies the KonMari way? Let’s find out.
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I had a bone to pick with Marie Kondo.
Everyone was reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the instant classic that made KonMari a household word.
Her advice about getting rid of things that don’t bring you joy is helpful in a lot of situations, but it was pretty clear this book was written by a person without hobbies (other than tidying).
So I was excited to hear about her second book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.
The book covers a lot of the same ground as the first one, but in more details, and includes cute little illustrations and diagrams that walk you through how to fold things.
It also expands on how to deal with specific items, such as kitchen goods, which get pretty quickly glossed over in the first book.
How do you declutter craft supplies the KonMari way?
Spark Joy has exactly one paragraph on the subject:
To pursue an interest such as flower arranging, calligraphy, or hula dancing, people often take lessons, and many of these pastimes require special equipment. If you pursue only a single interest, such as calligraphy, assign one storage place for everything related to it. Even if you have many interests, you can designate a single storage space for hobby-related komono [miscellaneous items]. If you have equipment from activities you no longer pursue and that no longer spark joy for you, now is the time to part with it. You will be surprised at how much lighter you feel.
The main idea, then, is the same as with any other items, just ensuring that you put like things together.
How to KonMari Your Craft Supplies
Using her instructions, then, you would attempt to KonMari your craft supplies in this way:
- Put everything in one place.
- Hold each thing and decide if it sparks joy.
- Discard the things that don’t spark joy.
- Contain the rest in such a way that all the materials for the same craft are together.
More specifically, she lists the steps as follows:
- Commit yourself to tidying up.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle (so you know why you are clearing stuff out).
- Finish discarding first (don’t store things you’re planning to get rid of).
- Follow the right order (clothes, books, komono, sentimental items).
- Ask if it sparks joy.
It’d be great if it were that easy, right?
She also advises approaching clearing as a way of choosing what to keep, not what to discard.
In this system, then, you would go through clothes and books first, then tackle supplies. She starts with clothes because it’s easier to feel what sparks joy in the things that are worn on the body.
More Advice to Declutter Craft Supplies the KonMari Way
“It might come in handy.” Believe me, it never will. You can always manage without it. For those embarked on a tidying marathon, this phrase is taboo.
I think that’s actually great advice when you are decluttering craft supplies. So often we hang onto things with the idea that we’re going to make something but we never do. If you haven’t done it for all these years, it’s probably time to let it go.
On keeping tools, which definitely applies to some crafty items, she says:
A simple design that puts you at ease, a high degree of functionality that makes life simpler, a sense of rightness, or the recognition that a possession is useful in our daily lives – these, too, indicate joy.
So you don’t have to love every pair of knitting needles you own (though it would be great if you did) as long as you actually use them. That’s a relief.
When you wear and surround yourself with the things you love, your house becomes your own personal paradise.
Sounds pretty good, right?
Limitations to KonMari for Crafters
While I like the idea of joy as a criteria for keeping things in our homes, it doesn’t feel completely practical when it comes to craft supplies.
For one thing, they fall into so many different categories. There are often books involved, and they are komono, but sometimes they are sentimental, too.
Sometimes there is joy, but there’s a lot of other stuff, too.
We like what our craft supplies can tools can do for us, what they represent, the creative potential of things, but we might not actually love the thing itself.
I feel like the process for craft supplies needs to be more mindful and thoughtful, and probably is more difficult, too.
And it can be difficult to get rid of things even if we’re not using them because they feel useful or we were once inspired by them or we might be able to use them (even though KonMari says that’s not reason enough to keep something, I know you’ve tried to justify it that way because I have).
But it’s certainly worth a try to KonMari your craft supplies. It might help you get rid of some things you’ve been hanging onto from crafts you abandoned or never started, which in itself is helpful even if it doesn’t get you the whole way to decluttered craft supplies.
Have you read either of Marie Kondo’s books? Did you find them useful? I’d love to hear your thoughts.