Cindy’s Weekly Words of Wisdom
Like last week, a comment by Ideealistin’s is the inspiration for this week’s blog. In reponse to Eliminate Clutter Without Even Trying, she spurred me to think of another category of clutter that should be eliminated – excess project purchases. I know this is a pitfall of a lot of 365 Less things readers.
Hobby and craft shops like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby would probably see their receipts decrease by half if it weren’t for Aspirational Clutter. That’s largely what hobby shops sell! The dream of how beautifully this yarn, that fabric, these beads, or those scrapbook papers will look when used by our talented and creative selves is the drive behind nearly all craft purchases. The trouble comes when we buy far more than we can possibly use – today or even this year. It’s easy to buy in an hour what will take a year to use. If you go to one of these stores even four times a year, you’re probably way overstocked.
The problem is further compounded when you have a big stash, because you don’t really know what’s in there. And the stores offer so many lovely things, that each trip you just have to buy more for fear it won’t be available next trip. In the meantime, the craft supplies you had to have last trip are sitting in the cabinet, still awaiting use.
Besides an excess of craft supplies, a busy crafter can end up with an excess of finished goods too. One of our readers confessed to having 40 photo albums (good for you for putting them together and not just letting the photos and supplies sit around!); another likes to work with wool but lives in a moderate climate. A busy knitter or quilter can easily produce far more scarves and baby blankets than she could possibly use. It breaks my heart when I go to the thrift store and I see a beautifully made, hand crafted item, but even the most lovingly made gift can end up with a $5.00 tag on it.
I recently made the decision to let Audra use a gift baby blanket, a handsome quilt. Frankly, she didn’t use it as a baby: too big and too stiff to wrap around her. It’s just the right size now. The first time I saw it on the ground about to be stepped on, I cringed, but decided that if it wasn’t used, it really wasn’t of any use to anyone. Truthfully, though, if I had been the one to lovingly craft that quilt, I don’t think I’d be quite so quick to let it be used in a day-to-day life and probably many crafters feel this way about their goods.
What’s a declutterer to do? Well, I try very hard to only buy for the project I am going to work on next and will start within the next few weeks. If I don’t get started on the project in what seems like a reasonable amount of time, I return the materials. Also, I try to use what I have. My friend Allison, a scrapbooker, lived for two years in Macedonia. Macedonia doesn’t have craft stores, and she had to make due with what she had. She told me that if she were still here in the US, she would have made numerous trips to the store, but since she didn’t have that option, she cleverly used up what she did have. If Allison can do it, so can we. Be a creator, not a collector.
Today’s Declutter Item
The baseball clutter just keeps coming. It may seem like it will never end but it is a good thing that slowly but surely we are letting go of more and more of this stuff and I am satisfied with that. Freecycle has been wonderful at finding new homes for these items.
My Gratitude List
- Something that made me laugh ~ In light of my craft supply sale I had to laugh when I say what Cindy was writing about today. Talk about hitting below the belt. Ow!
- Something Awesome ~ The beautiful weather we have been having this week. It has gotten suddenly colder but the sun is shining and warming up the house.
- Something to be grateful for ~ Finding time amidst my busy week to have a coffee with friends.
- Something that made me happy ~ All the great responses to yesterdays post ~ lots of food for thought.
- Something I found fascinating ~ The strange stuff that appears on television.