If you're a creative soul like me, you may well find yourself slowly inundated with arts and craft supplies carefully packed away in every nook and cranny of your home. Creating is fun, buying supplies is fun and trying new things is also fun, so it's no wonder we arty types can soon get overrun with half completed projects and endless materials for our creations.
Decluttering our homes is a totally life changing event, but it's easy to overlook the good stuff like our art materials and crafting paraphernalia. We enjoy creating, so why would we want to get rid of anything that we may one day use in a project? Well the thing is, is that we just don't need everything. We don't need half finished things that we'll never finish, we don't need to store decaying or out of date supplies and we don't need endless number of the same things. Decluttering our hobby items is very daunting, but it can actually give you a good idea of what you have already, which means less buying, it can give you inspiration for new projects and it can give you back much needed work space and storage that you can put to good use with your current creative loves.
I thought I'd share some tips on how to go about decluttering these once loved items and for everything else, some storage solutions that may just help keep your work space in order for a much more enjoyable craft time.
1. Retrieve every single arts & crafts item from around the house to start with, every drawer, every bag, every cupboard and place it all out in one area such as a dining table top or floor space if you have a big old stash. This simple act alone can be really eye opening to see all the things you've accumulated and you may find straight away that there are items you no longer want, but don't worry about this just yet.
2. Organise your stash into groups of the same or similar products such as glues, paints, fabrics etc. Again, you may see straight away that you have a collection of items for a craft you didn't enjoy and won't use again, or that you have never used. If anything is a definite 'no', pop it in a box to donate to a local school or charity shop and if anything is broken or unusable make sure to dispose of that as best you can. Don't feel guilty about the cost of these, because whether you hold onto it or not, you can't change the fact that the money is spent, so the best thing now is that it's with someone that can enjoy it.
3. Look through everything you have left properly and ask yourself: will you finish this project? Will you do this craft again? Did you enjoy using this? And for any that answer no, and there will be some I'm sure. Ask yourself if it is something that's easy to come by if you wanted to do it in the future and if the answer is yes, then live for the now and get rid. Right now, you don't want to learn knitting for example as you're enjoying painting, so pass those knitting items on to someone that can appreciate them and use the space for the things that make you happy. Having things laying around that you didn't enjoy or didn't feel good at are doing nothing but bring negativity to your happy space, so get rid! Be brutal because if it's been sat there for years untouched, the chances are it will remain sat there untouched if you keep it.
4. Once sorted, everything you have left should be items that A) you want and B) you'll actually use. Even with things we enjoy, we may still find we have too much to realistically use, so even at this point you may want to scale down what you have if you're lacking on space, by keeping your favourite brand products, favourite patterns of fabric etc.
5. Finally you'll be left with all your favourite things to use, for arts and crafts you love to create. Now it's time to look to storage that suits your needs and makes everything easily accessible. Choose storage that you can label if you have multiple items such as buttons and papers. You could have jars on shelves, Tupperware style containers or drawers. Whatever your creative passion of choice, choose storage that you can open and immediately see what you need, tidy away easily if needed and doesn't impact your work space too much.
Once decluttered and organised efficiently, our minds can focus purely on the creative task at hand without the distractions of untidy drawers full of unwanted supplies and reminders of failed projects. I hope this helps!