It is a well-known phenomenon that buying and having craft supplies is not the same as actually using those craft supplies. 😊 We understand the gravitational pull of those fun craft stores, with supplies neatly organized and calling our name with the possibility of all the fun and beautiful items we could create, if only we had the right supplies. It’s fun to buy these items because what we are really purchasing is the possibility of future joy. We imagine the memories we’ll make with children or grandchildren while we make these crafts, of the connections we’ll make with our quilting group while working on these projects, or the way our loved ones will squeal in delight at the beautiful gift we make for them.
But all too often we see those craft supplies overwhelming a person’s home, sitting in bags or boxes in an overflowing craft room. The room is so full that there’s no room to spread your supplies out and actually create anything. Your craft room ceases to be a creative space, and instead becomes a storage space.
So here are some tips to getting control of your sewing/craft rooms, so that you can get back to the joy of creating crafts, not just shopping for them.
- Put like items together so you can see what you have. All thread should be in one area of your craft room. All scissors should be together in one spot. Put all your markers/pens in one container so you can see what you have. Knitting needles in one place, all yarn in another.
- If you have large quantities of a certain item, categorize them for easy use. If you have a large quantity of fabric, for example, separate it by fabric (wool/cotton/polyester). Or, divide it by color (blues/greens/yellows). If you have skeins and skeins of yarn, separate it by fabric, weight or color. This allows you to see what you actually have and be less overwhelmed by the sheer quantity.
- Critically evaluate what you need and what you do not. Ask yourself how long these supplies have been sitting, unused, in your craft room. If the answer to that is 2+ years, spend some time thinking long and hard about how these craft items could best be used – perhaps its time to donate these supplies to someone else who would actually put them to use? Identify why these supplies have gone unused to see if you are still interesting in doing that particular kind of craft. Just because quilting was a passion of yours for years, it’s okay to let go of those supplies now if you haven’t quilted in 2+ years.
- Set limits for your space. To prevent future over-buying, giving all supplies a “home” where they “live” will help you to see if and when you have space for more. For instance, if you decide to keep all your fabric in bundles on two bookshelves in your craft room, you can easily see that once those bookshelves are filled, you needn’t purchase any new fabric until you have used up your current supply. If you have two plastic tubs of markers and craft scissors, your cue to stop purchasing new will be when those two tubs are full.
- Reward yourself by actually using your craft room once it’s been organized! Once you’ve gotten your craft supplies under control, put on some music and carve out time to enjoy actually using your craft room once again! Remember what it is like to create in that space and reclaim the joy you felt when you first set up that room. Get creating, use up those supplies, and then you can go buy more new supplies! 😊