Crafting Clutter: Giving Up Supplies

Many of my Millennial friends have jumped wholeheartedly aboard the DIY train, and seem to pump out projects like it’s their full time job (which, hopefully for them, it will be someday). I like to think I’m that kind of person, too. But I’m not.

In reality, I have a queen-sized white afghan that still needs a lacy border (winter is coming), an incomplete weird pillowcase-thing (what was I thinking?), a chevron baby blanket that’s 1/4 of the way complete, and another blanket that I ran out of yarn while crocheting (only to find out that the color & style of yarn I was using has been discontinued). Not to mention the countless other small projects that I told myself I’d do or redo, and the Etsy shop that I had for a couple of months but then got rid of because I couldn’t find a niche.

What I’m trying to say is that many of us have so many “someday” projects, and that I’ve finally decided to let go. Without further ado, I give you a glimpse into my crafting supply madness:

craft clutter 2

Mostly linens, but seriously?

craft clutter

After taking a look at everything in one place, I decided enough was enough. Here’s just a small fraction of what I had.

My craft supplies took up two underbed storage units, one GIANT plastic tub, and the entirety of a wicker chest in my bedroom. For someone who’s all about simplifying her life, this was sobering. I told myself, when I first started on this journey, that I was going to disregard all crafting supplies – after all, they promote creativity, right? Wrong. They’re a pain, and I’ve had enough.

So what does a crafting hoarder do with yarn she’s had since she first started crocheting 13 years ago? She bundles it up and gives it away. Here are some tips:

  • If it’s completely useless, don’t bother donating it. That being said, if it’s also small enough and can be useful for scraps later on, tuck it away into a bag of scraps. If it’s entirely pointless? Toss it.
  • Know what you’ll use, and be honest about what you won’t. I have a sewing machine, so that means I’m a quilter and a seamstress right? Nope. The last dress I sewed for myself fell apart while I was wearing it. I said goodbye to most of my fabric (kept anything pink or green that would be useful for my wedding), and organized it into nice “scrap bags” before putting it in the Goodwill pile. I kept my sewing machine, but I have a feeling that might not make it through the next year or two.
  • ORGANIZE. Seriously. Have well-defined trash, keep, and donate piles and make sure that nothing goes back in to storage or gets donated without being grouped and bagged up – it will save you, and the people who have to sort through your donation.

After an afternoon of fighting myself for which supplies to keep, I organized 4 storage units into one:

wicker chest

All of my craft supplies (and some linens) are now in this ONE chest

What a relief! It’s been bothering me for months, and now I have 3 new storage units available for my most epic craft project yet: making all my wedding flowers. It’s going well! I have nine made already. Only like a thousand to go. But they look great!

For all my DIY-ers: keep it up. You inspire me to create every day, so don’t change. But you may consider making your life a bit easier by decluttering and donating some of your craft supplies. It will free up your mind and your home to do more of what you really love to do.

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7 thoughts on “Crafting Clutter: Giving Up Supplies

  1. Amazing, I just found your blog and I love it! I’ve been going through something similar with crafting supplies: i gave away all the yarn in colors I know I’d never use, and gave away a big set of sewing supplies. Oh gosh it relieved me so to get rid of. The fun thing is, the more you ‘minimize’ the easier it gets to just give things away. It made me feel so much more relaxed. Thanks so much for sharing and I will definitely follow your blog.

    Oh, and loving the munching rabbit picture haha!

    Blessings from The Netherlands

    • Hi Nienke! I am glad you like it šŸ™‚ I agree – I save my crafting supplies for so long because I wasn’t comfortable getting rid of them, but after a few months of downsizing, I was ready!

      Thank you for your kind words, and I’m glad to have you as a reader!

  2. Wow! I just went through my craft supplies yesterday and made similar decisions you did. However I still have all this cloth from cloth napkins I was going to make for my wedding but ended up not using. Think I’m going to donate them thanks to your post. With a baby on the way and no sewing machine…let’s be real. Thank you!

    • Thanks for reading Jasmine! It feels so nice to have that extra space, and I’m sure that you’ll really appreciate less clutter once the baby gets here! Funny you mention cloth napkins, because I’m about to find a bunch of cloth and make my own for my wedding as well – 55 cents to rent each napkin? No thank you.

      Have a great day!

  3. Oh I just loved and related to this post so much! And some people may think that weird, coming to my blog, where I (every now and then) feature a tutorial but actually, I’ve donated and sold most of my crafting supplies. I love to create but I do tend to move on quickly to something else and I’m not much for, niches, at least not purposely trying to seek one.

    I do struggle with one thing. I write a simple living blog but I also create. I struggle with, am I sending mixed messages by sharing some of my creations but also talking about living with less? My husband and I have had this talk and he keeps telling me, “Aubrey, everyone creates. That’s the result of being creative.” Though I realize that we can’t stop being creative and that by creating is not automatically consuming, I sometimes struggle, in the midst of my talk on simple living, that I’m sending mixed messages. What are your thoughts on being creative (and thus, well, creating) and living simply? Also, I’m brand spankin’ new to your place and already enjoying it here. Thanks very much for this article! Cheers to you!

    • Hi Aubrey! Thanks for the kind words šŸ™‚

      As to my thoughts in being creative – I have had that very same issue. When I first began simplifying, I refused to get rid of any of my craft supplies. My reasoning was that it was a productive and inexpensive (eh, sometimes) hobby. I finally realized that there was just not enough time in the day, and also that there were certain things that I just would never get back into. It took a lot of reflection and honesty with myself, but I got rid of a LOT of stuff.

      Ultimately, I think it’s a highly personal choice. For me, I’ll always keep a decent amount of supplies handy. In fact, I think creativity is an essential part of living simply – I’ve been focusing a lot on making my own cleaning products (so, still creative, but definitely in a different way). I still crochet, and I’ll always have a few random skeins of yarn lying around the apartment šŸ™‚ I don’t think there’s any conflict between creativity and simplicity.

      Thanks so much for reading!

  4. Pingback: Adjusting the Tension | Minimal Millennial

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