It's spring here and prime time for spring-cleaning, including in the craft room. For our northern readers, early autumn is also a great time to refresh and reorganise after the chaos of summer and school break and before the busy holidays ahead. Here are some tips to help sort it out, pare it down, and keep it under control for the future:
Plan and Prep - Save yourself tons of frustration and do a a little planning before you start your destash. It will deflate your enthusiasm and drive you crazy if you empty things out for sorting and don't have a plan to corral everything until you reorganise. This may be as simple as having a few big boxes available to hold things for the interim, or for bigger tasks (like those of you lucky enough to have a full craft room!) planning s sequence for a staged destash.
Sort Through What You Have - Take inventory of your craft supplies and equipment. Prepare for destashing what you don't use/need and then reorganise only the things you want to keep and plan to use. Set aside a separate areas or boxes for keep, sell, and donate as well as a small location for repair. Have a rubbish bag and recycling container(s) on hand for trash. Ready? Go for it!
Planning Future Projects - During your clean-up and sorting, consider opportunities to plan projects using what you already have instead of buying more supplies or, even worse, more of something you already have in your stash. Remember not to make this your hording excuse for things you aren't likely to use. I know...it's hard... Be ruthless. Enlist some trusted help if you need it.
Purging the Broken and Useless - If it's totally broken, worn-out, dried-up, empty, or otherwise useless, rubbish/recycle it. Think of all the extra space you'll have and how much easier it will be to organise "the good stuff" once you clear out the junk. Callaloo Soup has a great post with encouraging tips for purging excess from your crafting stash.
Get Rid of the "Good Stuff" You'll Probably Never Use
- Cashing In - If you have equipment that is in good condition, unopened supplies, or a large volume of quality materials, it may be worth your time and effort to sell them online or in a garage sale. You can use the spoils for upgrades or more (useful!) craft materials when next needed.
- Plan a Destash Swap - Have lots of leftover or part-used supplies that are too good for the bin, not suitable for sale, but you're unlikely to use? Plan a destash swap with your crafty friends and trade your clutter for more useful supplies.
- Give it to a Friend - Can't be bothered with a swap but have something you think a friend might enjoy? Craft it forward and offer it to them as a little random act of crafty kindness.
- Support Local Groups and Charities - Children's groups, seniors' activity groups, church/community centres, schools, charities, etc. are often interested in good tools and craft materials. Check and see if anyone in your area is collecting donations for use (or donations for sale in fundraising sales/swaps).
- Children's Craft Day - Plan a craft day with your kids or a group of friends/family and use up some of your stash creating fun crafts together.
Reorganise Your Keeper Craft Supplies - Organise your tools, equipment, and materials in a way that works for the way you like to craft and the room you have available for crafting and storage. With the exception of materials that you might like to kit into specific projects, a handy way to do this is to group like supplies, where feasible, so that you can easily find what you need when you need it, and take rapid inventory when planning future projects. While you're putting everything away, give it a re-evaluation and reassign if it should be destashed.
Establish Scrap Ground Rules - It's tempting (soooo very tempting) to keep all of your potentially useful leftovers and off-cuts, but that stash quickly builds up and becomes clutter. Set yourself some boundaries that work for your favourite crafts. Example ground rules could include a minimum scrap size, a capped volume on a by-type scrap box before your have to destash, or committing to a minimum monthly scrap-buster project.
Resist the Urge to Buy Buy Buy - Know your weaknesses. If you can't resist a craft sale or are always picking up interesting materials for a myriad of someday projects (like me!), it may be helpful put yourself on a craft supply diet. This might involve limiting your pending project pile to a certain number, capping your craft budget, an in-for-out approach, or whatever rule(s) that you feel will help control your craft supply addiction. Need accountability? Share your rule(s) with a friend or family member who will help to keep you accountable.
Keeping the Clutter from Returning - Stick with your stash busting rules, maintain your organisation system, and commit to putting things back into place each time you use them so that future clean-ups are not as daunting a task. Need a hand staying tidy? Check out the handy reminders at Simple as That for keeping (or at least trying to keep!) a clutter free craft space. Good luck!
Looking for more ideas? Check out our organsing archives or visit our Get Organised board on Pinterest. What's your favourite stash busting tip? Clutter control method? Destash/scrap project? Share it in the comments and help us all craft a little more clutter-free. Goodness knows I could use a hand with my stash. Sigh. Time for a clean-up... Good luck with your own crafty de-clutter!