How to Fast from Buying Supplies and Use What You Have

How to fast from buying supplies and use what you have.

A fast from buying supplies is a great way to jump-start decluttering or to encourage the use of the craft items you’ve kept after a purge.

No matter where you are in your minimalist crafter journey, taking a fast from buying supplies is a great way to reinforce your intention to not consume more than what you already own. And it helps you slim your stash regardless of its size.

If you like taking your retail therapy at the craft store, the idea of a supply buying fast can be daunting, but it’s really not that bad. I’ve done it a few times specifically limiting my purchases of yarn, and right now I’m only buying supplies I actually need for right away projects (related to my daughter’s birthday).

How to Fast From Buying Supplies

Starting a supply fast can happen quite naturally, without any planning at all.

Simply decide you want to stop buying and do it.

When you want to start a new project, shop the supplies you already have.

If you don’t have exactly what the pattern calls for, improvise.

Or let your materials speak to you and tell you what they want to be. How could you use 3 yards of white denim or your old nail polish?

Remember why you bought these items in the first place, or why you kept them if you’ve already decluttered. What did you want to make? Go make it.

Exceptions to the Supply Fast Rule

I know it’s not always as simple as just not buying when you have things you need or want to make that you don’t have the supplies for.

As much as I want to encourage people to get creative and use the supplies they have, I know there’s not enough solid-colored fabric in my stash to make a dozen or so Ewok headscarves (not to mention faux fur for ears) so I bought those supplies without guilt.

If there are specific things you’ve been meaning to buy for a specific purpose, buy them before you start your fast. But don’t use that as an excuse to go crazy buying things you don’t really need.

Make a list and stick to it.

Wants Versus Needs in a Creative Life

And be honest with yourself about whether you really need those things or just want to have them.

The issue of wants versus needs is always tricky in the modern Western world, but maybe even more so when it comes to craft supplies.

We don’t really need any of them. (Though I would argue that creativity is a need that we have to explore in order to be fully human.)

We could craft with old newspapers, the kids’ outgrown clothes, whatever we have in the house. And that’s great if upcycling is your thing.

If it’s not, that’s fine. We want you to be happy and enjoy your crafting life, and that includes using supplies you love.

But there is a point where it all becomes too much, and going on a fast from buying supplies can help you reset your priorities, use what you have and enjoy the process.

Have you ever gone on a fast from buying supplies? I’d love to hear about it!How to fast from buying supplies and use what you have.

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  1. I would suggest instead of giving yourself the go ahead to buy supplies you “need” before starting your fast that you make a list of ‘approved to purchase’ items with the caveat that you can only buy it once you get to the point in the project that you need it. That way you don’t end up with a mountain of batting sitting around when you don’t even have the quilt top finished because you knew you were going to need it eventually…

    I just discovered your blog and am really enjoying reading through it as it is speaking to my crafty soul and my goals with my stash for next year. Thank you!

  2. Dear sarah
    Thanks abunch for your ideas. Earlier i used to buy what ever i see as i had money. Now i haev to be very carfeul as i have soem debt to pay which i took for my childrens studies.
    I buy the very very essentials and even if i crave something non essential i forget it but I have a list of things i need to really buy. Even the gift cards i get are used wisely as i am responsible for every penny. I try to use whatever possible but there are times you need stuff.
    On organisation i dont buy anything but upcycle the jars and stuff that i have and decorate them according to my taste.
    I am mobile between Sri Lanka and New Zealand and my daughter is getting a separate crafting space for me in the garage. I want to do it up after i go and enjoy every minute of planning and execution.
    As i am starting to pack iam planning to finish whatever i am not taking arrange everything and slowly get ready while working. Thanks a mln Stay blessed always

  3. I attempted a year long Art Supply No Buy, but ended it early for several reasons. I love the term “fast” for it better – it feels like something I can start and stop at any time! A lower-commitment version of a No Buy, but also kind of the same thing. Funny how wording can color our thoughts on something isn’t it?

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