A lot of people who have problems managing their craft supplies, or anything else in their household, have the idea that they need to hold onto things because “I might need it someday.”
This is probably particularly true of crafters because everything could potentially be of use some day, so we should just keep everything, right?
There are a few problems with that approach.
What if You Need it But Can’t Find it?
This is a common issue for me when it comes to tools or very specific supplies. I knew, for instance, that I had Shrinky Dink substrate, but I had to do a deep dive in the craft closet to find it when I wanted it.
Or maybe I know there’s a specific shade of some kind of yarn or a particular fabric print in my stash, but finding it means tearing up all the rest of my stash to find it.
We’ve probably all had the experience of knowing we have a particular supply but not knowing where it is when we need it, so we have to buy another one anyway. It’s why I have two rotary cutters, and probably more seam rippers than I should.
“But I might need it someday” is negated when you can’t find the thing you know you have because you’re holding on to too much other stuff.
What if It’s Damaged or Broken?
Sometimes when we hold onto things for too long they aren’t as usable — or usable at all — when we finally get around to wanting to use them.
The markers dried out. The wax all melted together in the heat of the storage closet. The fabric is musty or has a permanent crease from being folded away for too long.
We have a vision that all the things we are holding onto are staying in stasis and will be as good as new when we’re finally ready to use them, but that often isn’t the case.
What if It’s Not as Great as You Remember?
Maybe you have an idea of something in your stash you want to use for a project, but when you find it you realize you just aren’t remembering it right? Maybe you thought that floral print was a knit fabric when it’s a woven, or that rubber stamp showed a cherry blossom when really it’s a literal cherry.
Do you use the thing out of guilt because you’ve kept it all this time, even though it’s not really what you wanted? Or do you go buy the thing you thought you had anyway?
Either way is kind of a waste because you’re either using what you had but kind of resentful that it’s not really what you wanted, or you’re wasting what you had because it wasn’t ideal for the project you had in mind.
What if You Still Have Too Much?
This goes into the idea of how much of something is “enough” to keep, but when it comes to the I might need it someday question, the truth is you probably “need” a lot less of your stuff than you think you do.
Maybe you will want to make soap for all of your kids’ teachers some day. But that doesn’t mean you need 10 pounds of glycerin. Yes you want to knit socks but that doesn’t mean you’ll ever knit the 20 pairs you have yarn for.
This takes a little foresight and honesty, and maybe tough love, to realize that you probably don’t really need all the things you’ve been holding onto.
Moving on From I Might Need it Someday
Like anything else on your decluttering journey, getting beyond the idea that you might need an item someday is a process. You need to think seriously about how much you use certain supplies, how much space you have to store things, whether you will honestly use the things you have or buy something new when you’re ready to make that project.
You’re not always going to be able to find the perfect thing in your stash (even if it is in there!). Letting go of the things you aren’t super excited about and properly storing the rest so you know what you have and where it is is a great way to honor the things you keep. And hopefully it will inspire you to use some of those things you have as well!
I can so relate to all you said. I couldn’t, currently, find anything I was looking for.
Oh my, just the entire process of to keep, to toss … leaves me puddle of nothing in the
floor but still keeping all my “stuff”.
I’m a sad mess .. yep, sad mess