What is a minimalist crafter? Is it even possible to be one? Let’s explore.
My craft stuff is out of control.
It has been for a long time.
As a person who was a professional knitting designer and writer (well, I still am those things, but a lot less now than I used to be) I have a lot of yarn. Stuff I’ve bought, stuff yarn companies sent me, stuff I requested for books and have left over.
I also write about other crafts in other places, and just enjoy making things, so in addition to an abundance of yarn I have more fabric, thread, paint, craft books, felt, craft foam and other project supplies than any one person or one family could use.
Does your craft stash overfloweth, too?
What can we do about it?
I really like clean, clear and organized spaces. I know they are better for creativity and mental health.
It’s just so hard to contemplate getting rid of all that stuff.
Stuff we spent money on.
Stuff that holds the potential to be so much more than it is.
Stuff that we really could use some day.
But we won’t, will we?
Not all of it.
Maybe not even a lot of it.
Because here’s the thing about having a huge stash: you forget what’s in there.
Or you know you have the perfect purple yarn or that great floral fabric somewhere, but when you go looking you just can’t find it.
Please tell me you’ve been there.
I’ve been there, too.
And so you head to the craft store to buy supplies you know you already have, and hit up the sales and buy more stuff you don’t particularly need while you’re there, right?
This has to stop.
Not just because we’re wasting money buying things we’ll never use.
(Though that’s a pretty good reason.)
But I really feel like all that stuff weighs us down.
Not just in the literal sense, or the way that any kind of clutter is stressful.
I feel like craft supplies add an extra layer of stress and frustration because we buy them with such hope.
We imagine the amazing things we can make with them, and when we don’t do that, we fail them.
We fail ourselves.
And while we always imagine we’ll do better, the truth is, even if we never buy another craft supply, we won’t use all that we have.
So there has to be a better way, right?
That’s where the minimalist crafter idea comes in.
I believe there can be a balance between having way too many craft supplies and having nothing. A comfortable zone where we feel like we have what we need to make the kinds of projects we want, but not so much excess that we can’t store it, can’t find things when we need them or feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we have.
I like the label of minimalist crafter because to me it conveys working toward that ideal of having enough, of clear spaces with room to make whatever we want.
That’s the way I want my space to feel.
How about you?
Is the minimalist crafter a goal you’d like for your own life? Is it an oxymoron to you? Or is it what you already are? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This is an ongoing discussion we are going to be having, full of tips, inspiration and, of course, craft projects you can do to help use the stash you keep.
Let’s love what we have, use what we keep and happily get rid of the rest.
Who’s with me?
I love this so much!!!
Yes, things weigh down. Absolutely.
Yes, we feel guilty for NOT using the things we bought with so much enthusiasm and hope for the projects they’d be used for.
YES, it’s worth it to just GET RID OF IT. 🙂
I’m not much of a craft store shopper, but even buying most of my supplies at thrift stores and such, there is an investment, and a (personal) expectation that the stuff will be used. I have gotten to the point that it is worth MORE to me to be rid of it than it is to keep it because I spent money on it. My mental clarity is worth more.
Looking forward to more of your posts! <3
I’m a minimalist artist and crafter. (Though to me, there’s not a huge need to differentiate between those terms 😀 )
Through a 9+ month No Buy I learned many lessons, but particularly: When I have just enough stuff and love everything I have, I feel this full and content feeling that reminds me of having just eaten a balanced meal of the exact right portion size.
I ended my No Buy when I did because I was feeling particularly “hungry” as I was starting to run low on certain things and my needs were changing.
But I did a No Buy to begin with because I had felt “stuffed” even after practicing minimalism for a good few years prior in every other area of my life, it’s particularly hard to stay minimal when it comes to creativity supplies! While I was no longer a hoarder, I still had more stuff than I needed or wanted.
I’ve become a much “pickier eater” and have gotten so much better at saying no to myself. Better at avoiding “junk food”. I now let myself buy things and have things without focusing on the numbers or any rules, but I listen to my body and it just knows!
I feel a bit isolated as a tidy and minimal creative, as it seems the vast majority of creative people are incredibly messy and love to keep excess supplies. Oh well, I’ve seen the light and there’s no way I’m returning to my old ways!
Any ideas as to where excess craft materials could be donated so they would be used? I also am trying to get organized and downsized.
I will definitely be writing a post about this, but short answer: ask on Facebook (you might know teachers or people who can otherwise use some of it; I gave a whole Space Bag full of yarn to a preschool teacher), if you have a local school or children in school ask the art teacher if they can use it, some thrift stores will take things, too, especially whole cuts of cloth, unopened yarn, etc. There’s a thrift shop where I live that has a ton of random crafty stuff, and some bigger cities have thrift stores that are just for arts and craft supplies.