Day 223 Clutter weakness

Everyone seems to have at least one clutter weakness. Mine was paper crafting supplies and magazines. Even when I was at the height of my paper crafting days I think I was more addicted to shopping for supplies than I was to using them. I did do quite a bit of the craft but I bought a whole lot more than I was ever going to need even if I had continued at the crafting pace I was at.

I am not sure what really turned me off my addiction but I think it may have been photo clutter. The beauty of digital photography is also its downfall. You can take as many photos as you can fit on you DS card, Compact Flash or your computer hard drive for that matter. Add in an external hard drive and all of a sudden you are drowning in photos. I think I just got tired of sorting through them to find the “best ones” for the a album I wanted to make. Photo burnout was inevitable.

For some people their addiction is books. I always used to think this was where they would read a book and not want to part with it but I have read recently on more than one blog that people buy books and don’t even get around to reading them. Much the same as my craft supply clutter I suppose.

I would like to challenge my readers to admit to what their clutter addiction is today, google for some advice as to how to overcome it and do something to start working on the problem this week. Meanwhile I will make the effort to get some of my craft supplies up for sale in eBay.

I feel like I should be saying…”my name is Colleen and I am a paper craft supplies addict” but I am not any more. I am just Colleen who needs to do something about ridding myself of the substance of my old addiction. There is no better time like the present so I am going jump over to eBay now and start listing.


This batch of scrapbook magazines are today’s offering and I have listed 3 other paper crafting items on eBay. Wish me luck!

More Scrapbook Mags

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Oh boy! I also had a bunch of craft paper supplies too from years ago when I was really into scrapbooking. A couple weeks ago I condensed it all into a single container and I’m trying to “use” it up now. I have been using the fancier stuff as stationary (I almost went out to buy a stationary set, then this idea hit me lol) because my boyfriend is currently working at a summer camp and really our only way of contact is through snail mail. So that worked out and I got the satisfaction of actually using it.

    I am also very guilty of hoarding fabric… FINALLY I got it down to one very heavy bin. Oh, and patterns… oh boy. ._.

    • Hi Ginger,
      sounds like you are a bit of a craftaholic like me. My vice is beading these days but that is pretty well contained although I am not going to buy any more beading supplies either until I get an outlet for my creations.
      I just snuck over to have a look at your web site Miss Ginger and I would say you had better add toys to that list you just sent me. lol Cute doll by the way and I love the dress you made.

      • LOL!! I SHOULD add toys to the list!! I have about ¼ of what was shown now though and sadly, can’t even remember some that I decided to keep. ._. Probably time to sort through them again lol!

        • Hi Ginger,
          maybe one day I should really confess about the craft supplies with a photo of the area it takes up. Hopefully everyone will be so astounded as to how organised it is that they won’t notice the shear size of it. lol!!!

  2. I must confess, my biggest clutter addiction had to be magazines. I had loads of them, and many, many scrapbook magazines. I was able to sell some of them, so I’m sure you will too Colleen. I donated the rest.

    My next clutter addiction was paper; clipped recipes, decor ideas, receipts, old bills, appliance/product manuals long after I no longer had the product, etc. I’m slowly working my way through that maze though and hope to be more organized in the future.

    Although I have lots of digital photos I do have them fairly organized and easy to find on my pc. After a photo shoot, there are always many I don’t care for and they are deleted immediately. I shoot in RAW and convert to DNG. As soon as the ones I want are converted all RAW files are deleted as they take up a lot of computer space. I also keep my camera clear of photos once they are downloaded so I’m not downloading the same photos over and over. It saves a lot of time and space.

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      sounds like paper is the root of all evils. Papercraft, magazines, books, greeting cards and paperwork there seems to be a common element here. Time to start saving a few trees I think and get digital. I don’t mean you specifically I mean everyone we all seem to have a paper addiction of one kind or another.
      It seems you have the digital photo thing under control though. My husband has even got face recognition in the program her uses to sort photos. We still have way too many but.

  3. I’m a recovered book-aholic. I was one who bought books by the 100’s but I also read them. then I kept them and read them again. First I stopped buying them and decided to get them from the library. Then I started giving away the ones I had. My other addiction is scrapbooking supplies. I scrapbook and make greeting cards. My way of dealing with that is to stop buying. I won’t buy more until I have used up most of what I have. If I still want to continue in this hobby by then I will be very careful to only buy what I have to get supplies for. If I don’t have a specific layout/card/album in mind for it I won’t buy it. It will take several years to run out of the supplies I have.

    • Hi Deb J,
      I am not sure how you find enough hours in the day to do all that reading and crafting. I am intending to do a similar thing and use my supplies up. Like you it will take several years though. I am also going to bundle up some of the paper and sell it on ebay along with a few tools and things. I put three things up last night.

  4. Books. Knitting magazines. Those are my clutter attractions.

    I am working through my yarn, so in that area, I hope I’m a recovering addict.

    • Hi Willow,
      no surprised there then. If if wasn’t yarn and knitting magazines I would have been quite suprised. Keep on working through them and I will do the same with my papercraft. Just remember no more accumulation allowed.

      • No more accumulation? Ouch! I do subscribe to two mags, one that comes from the knitting guild. I’ve been contemplating what to do about them as I do refer to them regularly.

        • Hi Willow,
          if you are refering to them regularly then they aren’t clutter. I like to tag pages I like with post it notes and if I find a mag that doesn’t have any post it notes then there probably isn’t anything in it that took my fancy. So they are the first ones to get the chop.

  5. I used to be one of those book collectors who had many more books than I could read in a lifetime (even though I’m an avid reader). My husband challenged me to read 100 of the books I already owned before buying any more. It took me 2 years and after that I was no longer addicted to book buying! I still love books, but generally look for them at the library or in thrift stores. I quickly give them back/away after I’ve read them. Only one or two books a year are “keepers”.

    • Hi Hope,
      welcome to my blog and thank you for leaving a comment. It sounds like you have been cured although I see by your blog that you still have a real love of books. I love that you now borrow them form the library or buy at thrift stores and then give them away. One more score for “reducing supply and demand”.

  6. I went through all my craft stuff and decided to get rid of about half of it. I don’t scrapbook and yet people kept buying me scrapbook stuff as a means to get me to like it! I have had it on Craigslist and it seems hard to get rid of.
    I have a lot of beads and jewelry crafting stuff as well. I have to admit that it scares me to think how much money I have spent on that stuff and the return on investment is practically nothing. It feels like that money was just flushed right down the drain. I am thinking about just donating the scrapbooking stuff to a local elementary school.

    • Teachers do use the scrapbooking materials in making books and writing journals for the students (and the students make the books themselves, too).

    • Hi Stephanie,
      it is really sad when you think about the money but you will feel a lot better when the clutter is out of your life. I still love to do craft and wish I had more time for it. I have not given up on it though as I have made stuff all my life so I know I’ll come back to it. I do just need to get it down to a more reasonable quantity though.

      • I know I will eventually forget about the costs of all these craft supplies once it is out of my sight, but part of the hindsight is thinking that I wish I would have invested that money in a savings account! =)

        • Hi Stephanie,
          as the old saying goes “there’s no use crying over spilled milk”. It’s done, you’ve learned from it, be glad of the lesson, don’t forget it, don’t repeat the same mistake and move on to bigger and better things.

  7. Books! This year I vowed that more books would LEAVE the house than enter it. So far the tally is around 300 gone, 100 purchased (mostly 2nd hand, and mainly for the children). They are big re-readers, as I was at their age, so I am happy to indulge them in that (I don’t buy then toys, ever). We visit the library often too, as I’ve almost totally stopped buying fiction for myself, I mainly buy non-fiction.

    • Hi Loretta,
      I loved to read to my kids when they were young. We would go to the library every pay Thursday (once a fortnight) and borrow twenty books. I would read them two a night before bed and then re-read a couple until we went back to the library. I also bought 2nd hand books and I still have some that they wanted saved in a box in the garage. I did give a few away the other day with my son’t approval.

  8. Hi Colleen!! In the same boat as many here w/ regards to scrapbooking supplies. I think my true hobby was shopping for all that eye candy rather than using it. Most of it was “oh, that’s cute I can use it for XYZ project.” However those projects have never come to fruition. Have contemplated putting some stuff on eBay..but more recently have sold stuff on (scrapbooking website). They have a FSOT board – scrapbook virtual garage sale. It’s free and sometimes you can get better $$ for items. BTW, would you mind sharing your eBay I’d….I’m super curious to see what you are selling 🙂 I may NEED it 🙂 LOL Ha! Ha! Good luck!

    • Hi Shelley,
      I did consider adding a link to my auctions but I am trying to encourage people here to get rid of stuff not acquire it. Also I live in Australia and I only ship locally while most of my readers are in the USA. My selling ID is seattle-scrapdiva if you are keen to look. I have only put three things up right now. Thanks for the tip about twopeas though. I will check it out and work out shipping costs because it might be feasible since there are no selling fees.

  9. My addiction was collecting trivia for my assemblages, an art form I love but am too arthritic now to pursue, even if I had the time. They consisted of found things, odd little boxes, random bags of craft items found in resale shops, sheet music, old clocks, old keys, odd hardware, just all kinds of stuff. But it got to be too much and hanging around too long. I got rid of all but one box of stuff which might work well in multimedia paintings or collages, which are easier on my hands. But I admit I sometimes miss the fun of looking for assemblage stuff!

    • Hi Meg,
      sometimes it is hard to let go especially when it is something you would really still like to do but can’t. I also can still appreciate the product of my old crafts but I know they won’t get used if I bought them so I back away. Actually for the most part I don’t even put myself in a position to have to back away because I don’t go shopping.

  10. Ehm.. yarn, both commercial and handspun, and then spinning fiber after I learned to spin my own yarn 🙂 I had an etsy shop for a while but got tired of the mailing and also didn’t have the time to spin and it became a chore instead of something I looked forward to! Now I have pounds and pounds of fiber to re-locate! I’m thinking of keeping some, as well as my drum carder and spinning wheel, in case my daughter would enjoy it when she is a bit older! I do want to knit a cardigan out of my own handspun too hehe!
    Sooo… after that I started making toys, traditionally jointed collectible mohair toys. It was fun to draw the patterns and all… I started an Etsy shop for it too that is still going ( at, but it’s pretty much empty as I lost my wave of excitement over it. Thank goodness I only have a smallish pile of the (expensive!) mohair fabrics and other supplies. I’ll still make them, I have a custom order to fill right now… and again I think my daughter might enjoy this stuff with me a few years from now. She has several of my toys too and she plays with them.

    The thing is, both my Etsy shops were going super well. People ask me when I will make new toys.

    From now on if I ever start a new craft hobby I will be sure to only buy supplies as needed. It’s not like the world is suddenly going to run out of them!!
    Actually I AM interested in weaving a rug 😀 Just for myself, not planning on setting up shop! The money seems to always kill the fun.

    • I agree that the money kills the fun. I am a spinner and spun for someone for a year and then quit. Spinning had become just another job.

      I too am interested in weaving a rug. I have a loom ad most of the supplies onhand. Now I just need to find the time to learn to warp the loom.

      • Cat’s Meow and Willow – I agree! The money does spoil the fun. After I designed and made the jewelry for my sister’s wedding a few years ago, I got A LOT of pressure to design and sell jewelry for a living, but I resisted. I didn’t want to make something fun into another job. I’ve made stuff to sell and stuff for gifts or my own use, and it is by far less stressful and more enjoyable to create just for the pleasure of creating not as another means to chase the almighty dollar.

    • Hi Cat’s Meow,
      I would just like to actually make some money out of my craft on a regular basis for a while because it is so frustrating not to have an outlet for my creativity. Something keeps holding me back though. Maybe you are right the money side of it may kill the fun. Perhaps that is what I am afraid of.

  11. I knew this post was coming sooner or later and that I would be soooo busted. I have been doing some type of craft since I was a wee lass and first learned to hand stitch clothes for my Barbies out of scrap material. Since then I’ve sewn real clothes, bags, draperies, bedding, cross-stitched a ton of pictures, made jewelry (beading and chain maille), made cards out of all that highly addictive scrapbooking stuff, crocheted, knitted, latch-hooked rugs, and who knows what else. I’ve even made those little pot holders out of the colorful stretchy bands that you weave on a frame (my Mom recently gave me two that I made when I was 7 or 8). When I have free time, I tend to alternate, based on mood and season, between my four favorite hobbies – sewing, cross-stitch, jewelry-making, and papercrafts. (Right now I’m sewing clothes for my 20-month-old daughter.) I don’t have a ton of supplies for each hobby, but I do have more than I could use in a LONG time. It’s all neatly organized and stored in my basement workspace, but if your not using it regularly its still clutter. Sigh.

    • Hi Donna,
      your story is much the same a mine. Been there done that tried a lot of things. I sometimes think I just like a challenge and once I have concered it (which seems to happen far too quickly) I get bored and want to move on to something else. It seems like you keep rotating through your favourites though and if you are using the supplies and there aren’t too many of them is there any harm in keeping them until you use them up?

      • As long as I don’t buy any more supplies, I’m okay. 🙂 I’ve put myself on buying restriction, and am only allowed to buy something to finish an in progress project – elastic, buttons, etc.

  12. Mine is books also! We got rid of a lot of books when we moved recently, but we still have too much. Colleen, I was wondering what the other blogs were that you saw mentioning this problem with books? Thanks for your post!!!

    • Hi Angela,
      I don’t believe you have commented here at 365lessthings before so I would just like to say welcome and please join us more often.
      Tomorrow is favorite five day and I am going to add a link to one of the post relating to books there so stay tuned. I can’t remember where I read the others though I am sorry but if I stumble across them I will let you know. I read so many blogs it is hard to keep track where I saw things.

  13. Oh dear. My clutter weaknesses: books, art postcards, jewelry.
    Books: I have given shelves and shelves of books away and now try to limit myself to the two Ikea Billy bookcases in my office. I am a huge supporter of the public library. I also am fortunate to live in a city with a lovely university library that I can also draw from.
    Art postcards: I adore snail mail. Maybe these aren’t really clutter as I use them, but I do have a ton along with other stationery.
    Jewelry: I have boxes and bags filled with not only my own jewelry but my mom’s as well. I have tried to separate the valuable from the not so valuable, but cannot bear to get rid of any of it. I wouldn’t even know how. I have a few pieces that I wear most often, but sometimes it is fun to pull out a bracelet or pair of earrings I haven’t worn in a while. I guess I will just have to accept that this is how it is…for now.

    • Hi Lucy,
      it is like any addiction, admitting you have it is half the!! Now you just need to start working on overcoming it. Decluttering doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the things you love if you still use them just work on other areas of your life you need to declutter first. Maybe later on as you start to get a real feel for the freedom of a clearer living space you may decide to expand your limits. One thing I would say is don’t add to the clutter you have already decided to keep (for now). Go with the natural progression decluttering method on these and they may start to deminish over time.
      I am glad you make good use of your local libraries. That will certainly help with the book clutter situation.
      Oh! By the way Lucy welcome to my blog. I nearly forgot to say that because I got so absorbed in your comment. Thank you for dropping in and I hope we hear more from you on a regular basis.

      • Colleen,
        Thanks for the encouragement. I do try to limit books, postcards, and jewelry coming into the house. I recently started taking private watercolor instruction so I can make my own postcards! That way any money spent is bolstering my own creativity.
        No matter how much I let go of, there always seems to be more…and I live alone. No one to blame (smile).
        I enjoy your blog. I will keep trying to streamline and simplify my life.

        • Hi Lucy,
          don’t worry you will get there in the end with what you are doing the clutter in your home must be getting less. So long as you aren’t bringing anything into your home and you are constantly taking stuff out then it has to be. Just go with the flow and dedicate a little bit of time to it everyday and you will get there. Good Luck!

  14. I’m really enjoying your blog. 🙂

    I do mixed media collage, and feel like I’m drowning in supplies, but that’s only because my brother moved in with us, so my “studio space” is no more.

    Now I have a small space in the computer room, with a tiny table to work on. I don’t want to give up my art, but I am whittling down and condensing things so I don’t feel claustrophobic.

    I’m starting to do mostly digital art, so I might be getting rid of most of my scissors-and-glue supplies sooner than I thought.

    • Hi Becky,
      nice to hear from you. I believe this is your first comment here so welcome. I am glad my blog is of some help to you.
      Decluttering and simplifying is your mission by the sounds of things. You obviously love your craft and do it regularly so there is no need to reduce too far, just enough to make your work area comfortable. That is what I plan on doing as well, condense down so I don’t take up such a large area by removing all the things that I won’t likely use.


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