I signed on to take part in the 40 bags in 40 days challenge. You can read about what it is here, White House Black Shutters. As anyone that reads this blog knows, I am forever organizing my stuff. It’s a never ending process for me and I spend a lot of time on it, a lot. I have also for a long time been downsizing my stuff, getting rid of stuff that I don’t use or haven’t ever used. This process is harder, money has been invested and so there is guilt attached to just donating the stuff, not a lot, but enough that slows me down.
So I’ve been working on the 40 bags, cleaning out various rooms, drawers and closets in my house. I spent a little time in the craft room and felt pretty good, until I started looking around. I couldn’t really tell that I had done anything.
(The picture below was taking in the still sorting process)
Now what I had was stuff in nicely labeled boxes, it wasn’t any more likely to be used now than it was before because it wasn’t like it was hard to find or access. That’s when I had an epiphany about organizing, it was reinforced when I read this article, Don’t Just De-Clutter, De-Own. All this organizing that I’ve been doing has just been a waste of time, it’s been moving my stuff from one place to another. Instead of getting rid of everything that I don’t use, I’ve been spending more money to find new and bigger and better ways to store it. Not anymore!
My first step was to take all the boxes off the shelves and take the shelves down. The change in the room was huge! It felt lighter and brighter and as odd as this sounds, it felt like I didn’t have anything hanging over my head anymore, because I didn’t, the stuff was gone. I know this seems extreme to some and trust me, it isn’t that long ago that it would have been unthinkable to me.
So with my boxes on the floor I moved into the next step of my plan going through the boxes and really, really looking at what I had. What did I really need to keep, I mean really. This is hard, because as a crafter you don’t ever know what you might need for your next project. On the other hand though, I know certain things about myself and my style. I know that I don’t use a lot of abstract stuff, I don’t use a lot of stamps that aren’t flowers, leaves or animals. I know that I really only make cards for a reason, not just randomness. I know what my favorite inks are and I know the ones I’ve had forever but haven’t used. I also know the stuff that I got because I got caught up on the ‘bandwagon’.
So here’s round one;
I went through all my wood stamps and got rid of everything that doesn’t fit my style. I’ll need to go through them again and part with the ones that I don’t and have never used, but that will be harder still. I still have a mess of boxes to go through and that will be harder still. My ultimate goal is to get my stuff down to only the stuff that I use on a regular basis and to get the Craft Box that is down in the sunroom up into the craft room. It too will be downsized, as will my massive amount of unmounted stamps. There are things that I just don’t use and really it makes no sense to keep them.
I don’t know that I’ll ever reach a minimalist life style in the purest sense of the word. I’d like to get close though, so that my life consists of things that I use daily and that bring me real joy. I got into stamping because I enjoyed creating years later, I still do! For a while now I’ve felt like my mojo was lacking and now I’m wondering if it was just being weighed down….