by Susan McCarthy
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Everyday practice: Too many craft supplies? Think of creative ways to use what you have instead of buying more stuff.
I’ll be addressing ways to organize art and craft supplies in a few posts over the next couple of weeks. (I’ll fit in some non-craft specific articles in between for those folks not interested in this topic.
I can’t remember what book, blog, or article I was reading a short time ago that suggested that if you wanted to minimize your stuff – and you were a crafter or artist, you should switch from a less stuff-intensive craft, such as quilting to something with fewer supplies – like calligraphy.
I was appalled.
I’m gathering that the author would not consider themselves a maker.
If you make art as a hobbyist or business owner or teacher, you wouldn’t switch from cake decorating to quilling for the sake of less stuff.
When people minimalize their stuff and their schedule, they do so intentionally to have more time to do what they enjoy. What if you wanted to simplify your life so you had more time to knit for charity or paint watercolor landscapes?
It is true that making art involves stuff. So, what do you do about your art and craft supplies when you are decluttering and organizing other areas of your home?
I’ve recently finished writing a 50-page eBook on How to Organize Art and Craft Supplies. I’ve taught art and craft classes for weeklong creative art summer camps as well as homeschool and afterschool programs for fourteen of the past twenty years. I’ve also drawn, painted, done origami, made handcrafted journals and books, done rubber stamp and sticker art, knit, crocheted, made cards, and tried calligraphy, basket weaving, cake decorating, spinning and weaving.
When it comes to organizing art and craft supplies, you still follow the basic principles of decluttering and organizing. However, you may end up with more stuff remaining in this category that you’d have after cleaning your closet.
How to Declutter Art and Craft Supplies
Remember, you can declutter your supplies, but not someone else’s stuff. If you have kids, ask them to help you sort through what they have. Ask them if there is stuff they don’t like.
Also, do you have duplicate supplies? Maybe you forgot that you had a brand-new skein of black yarn at home when you added another one to your shopping cart while at the craft store. Maybe you couldn’t find your tube white acrylic paint and bought more. Gathering your supplies showed that you have four new or nearly new tubes of white paint.
If you have an excess of white paint, pink cardstock, or black yarn, either give away the excess or make a point of using it in your next few products so to bring your stock down to a more manageable inventory.
In the next article, I’ll talk about organizing your supplies. In the meantime, look at the supplies you are keeping. Do you like the bins, shelves, cubbies, and other organizers you use to store your supplies? Do you like the space where you make art? Do you like the space where you store your supplies? Do you have other options?
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Other helpful articles:
The Organized Squirrel, Susan, shows you how acorns (small habits) can grow into oak trees (a better life).