I feel like a big problem we have when we try to get rid of craft supplies we don’t want or need is that we feel like we’re supposed to fulfill the promise of those items, and to get rid of them makes it impossible for us to do so. Or so we think.
When you bring craft supplies home from the store it’s almost like a promise to the materials that you are going to use them.
And a promise to yourself, of course, because no one really buys supplies saying, “oh, that will be perfect to sit on my shelf unused for the next 10 years.”
But we do it all the time. We are forever buying — or otherwise obtaining — things we never use. Maybe even that we know at the time we have no intention of using.
And still we find it impossible to get rid of those things.
Craft Supplies Have Energy
My belief is that craft supplies hold energy. In particular, they hold creative energy and potential that we can feel.
That’s what draws us to certain items in the store and what keeps us from being able to get rid of craft supplies even when we know we probably won’t use them.
So to me, the approach to clearing craft supplies successfully has to acknowledge the loss of creative potential, a sort of mourning for the things you thought you’d make but never did.
I know that sounds a little silly, but hear me out.
You bought that thing — even if you didn’t really know what you would do with it at the time — with a vision that you would make something awesome with it. Getting rid of it is an acknowledgement that you’re never going to make that thing.
It feels like a waste, not only of money but of creativity, a loss of what might have been.
And that’s emotional, and can make getting rid of craft supplies harder than dealing with other kinds of clutter.
Release the Energy to Release the Stuff
To successfully get rid of craft supplies you have to release yourself from the responsibility of making that item into whatever it was supposed to be.
It sitting in your stash is a waste of creative potential for it, too.
Acknowledge that this does not belong to you, that you have to release it to its proper owner, who will turn it into what it is supposed to be.
Once you make the decision or have the mindset shift to understanding that your stash is blocked creative energy made manifest, it makes it so much easier to release things that don’t serve you or it.
There’s no better way to get your creative energy flowing than to clear space.
This approach to clearing by thinking about energy and acknowledging the loss involved in not being able to make everything makes a lot of sense to me.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I have 3 fantastic grandgirls..we have always crafted…have/had tons of supplies. My youngest gran is now a teacher..early elementary. ..I cleaned ..she has a well stocked class room.We both win…
Get me a hammer…and together we will hit the nail on the head! So well said. I have a lot of locked up potential around here and it is about time I set it free. Thank you 😊
Awesome! Thank you!
ABSOLUTELY NAILED IT! It’s an emotional connection from the store to the sewing room along with the patterns, Accessories, trims, etc that we “had to have”. Yes, the project would be beautiful/perfect/fabulous, but only if it gets made!
Always a struggle to get rid of those things -do it one shelf, drawer or tub at a time. Take the container to a different room, sort and ‘greive’ for projects undone. Give away as much as you can, have an adult beverage and seal that box!
You’ve got it!
I’m saving my craft room for last as I go through the process of decluttering, because it will be the hardest one for me. This rings true to me.
So very true I have new uncut patterns I’ve bought that are 2nd sizes too small now. But the fabric lace and embellishments are my stash.npw that I’m retiring I’ll get busy creating. But some of it will have to go. Ebay here I come….
But I want to make all the things!!
Well, yes. But wanting to and actually doing it are two different things. (And you are actually good at both the making and the getting rid of excess, which a lot of people aren’t.)
I go through my stuff from time to time. I allow myself to keep no more than 3 things from a particular box, collection, etc.
I get rid of the rest and honestly a week or two later I cannot even remember what I got rid of.
One upside to getting older!
LOL I guess that’s true. 😉
Your thoughtful and timely blog was recommended on the YahooGroup Stashbusters (for quiltmakers). I’m happy to have discovered it.
Wonderful! So glad you found it helpful.
Yes! I keep this mindset about everything, anything I donate or give away is meant to continue on and serve someone else. In proper KonMari fashion I try to always thank things for their service to me before I get rid of them.
At the start of this year I donated a giant $200 set of 320 alcohol markers (and I’m POOR okay) because I had such intense buyers remorse, and it felt amazing to stop feeling incredible guilt every time I looked at them. They went to a local family in need and those markers may very well have changed some kids’ lives!!
I don’t let the “sunk cost” fallacy run my life anymore. I love to give gifts and things I no longer need but will go to others for FREE is just like giving a gift. Anonymously too, which is even better! I get to feel like Santa 🙂
As a mixed media textile artist I find it hard to get rid of stuff because I need a large supply of random bits and pieces to either inspire or create my work. I am a total minimalist but when it comes to my supplies, I hoard. I have learned the hard way. When I purge stuff that I’m not currently using, I almost invariably find myself longing for that stuff a year later when I’m trying to finish a project and I need that one specific thing. When you work with upcycling or found objects, you need to collect and hoard…it’s part of the process. Throw stuff out at your peril lol.
I do agree, though, that supplies have creative energy. Very well written 🙂
I really love this article! I love creating and crafting, and in so many different mediums.
The Idea that it is the energy and promise of something that will never get made is a great insight.
I can easily not buy more, unless I really need it for a specific project. However, a real issue for me is that I hate waste. Items given to our local charity shop end up in the bin (where I have been known to rescue half used bottles of expensive paint, slightly used candles that can be remelted, glass that can be painted, perfectly good textiles, unused craft supplies, etc.) It literally pains me to see this stuff go to landfill.
The unfulfilled promise of what it could be lands up in my craft room or store room and could stay there for years.
What to do with it when not even the charity shop can sell it – there are very few crafters in this area, and those that exist spend hundreds buying new stuff from Hobbycraft.