Updated: Nov 5, 2019
The Make and Do volume of Childcraft was my favorite as a kid. I'm old!
As an overly confident maker and doer, it has be easy to over-accumulate all the tools of all the trades though inheriting and purchasing. Do you have this issue too? Sometimes if we aren't careful, starting a hobby can be more about collecting supplies, than the activity itself. It's fun to get. All. The. Stuff!!
The point of hobbies is to make us happy. Tidy tools and supplies make the hobbying process more joyful! It can be tempting to buy numerous storage solutions to store it all, but it is important to choose what will stay before storing it. Your craft time will be much happier if you do.
Let's start with sorting and keeping.
One Category at a Time
Gather and sort through each hobby by category. Keep items that bring you joy and use them with gratitude. Some things might not make you as happy. Some examples of them are:
Someday Might Mean Never
We might realize a hobby is not really our thing right now or really ever was in the first place. It can be easy to set the hobby aside to collect dust with the intentions of returning to it...someday. This is not great for our homes or hearts. Procrastination is a bummer. Make room in your life for the person you are right now. Thank the items for their use, or the lesson in their lack of use, and let them go. Choose to see the investment as the discovery that you really aren't into basket weaving after all.
Retire The Old and Weary
Toss the broken, empty, and dried up. If it helps, thank the dried glue for helping you hold it together in times of brokenness and sticking it out with you. Let go of the "I meant to fix it"supplies you aren't going to fix. "Thanks for your service, broken _____."
I inherited lots of sewing supplies including more needles than I could ever need! I kept some of the old packagings as storage because they make me happy.
Let Go of Multiples Generously
When you gather your supplies by category, you might be amazed at your collection! Think about how many you actually need and choose the one(s) that make you happy. Let go of what doesn't serve you or bring you joy. Consider sharing some joy by donating tools and building supplies to Habitat For Humanity or spare crayons to thecrayonintiative.org.
While on the topic of parting with excess...
Don't be Scrap Happy
Let go of scraps. It is easy to accumulate too many scraps of fabric, paper, wood, random leftover bits of projects that you think you might use again...and never do. In the future, you will be more likely to plan ahead to have less surplus. Creative souls are sometimes also impulsive souls. I want to make it...now! Pausing to slow down and plan takes discipline. The benefits are better results, less waste, and saving time and money.
It's time to store!
Contain Your Joy Joyfully
Storing your supplies in containers that you already own and make you happy is a win-win! If you have empty containers that you like (perhaps emptied out after decluttering other hobby supplies or other categories in your home), this is a great chance to use them. Organizing on the cheap is easy. Just find a few cuties who like to eat cuties and jelly and you are in business! Up-cycled clementine boxes and jelly jars work great!
Small boxes work as dividers to store smaller items.
Divide and Conquer
Use small boxes as dividers to hold small items. Smaller
items like glue sticks and tiny super glue tubes are best corralled in smaller containers to act as dividers in the larger box of glue. They won't get lost in the shuffle.
Treat your glue bottles and tubes like the upstanding citizens that they are, even if you always seem to be stuck in sticky situations with them.
Keep your supplies tidy like a library by storing items vertically like books on a shelf. Avoid stacking. Store supplies upright for ease of access and storage.
How happy do these colored pencils and markers look in ROYGBIV order?! I keep them in ceramic containers I made in college. Cardboard tubes secured with a rubber band or an X fashioned from foam core helps to keep drawing supplies tidy in their containers.
Rainbow colors are happy! Did you organize your crayons ROYGBIV in school? You know I did! Thin cardboard crayon boxes never last long. You could just dump them into a box and call it a day, but if you want to add a little ROYGBIV happiness to your kid's crayons consider giving them a place to stand upright and shine. Cardboard dividers or cans work well. You could be extra fancy and paint each can a different ROYGBIV color to match the crayons they will store and placing them together in a caddy.
Labeling and grouping similar items together make them easy to find and put away. Create crafty labels with chalkboard paint (Comes in more than just black!) and chalk markers.
Think of organize your supplies like you are throwing an amazing dinner party. You've already invited the items that bring you joy. Next, design a seating arrangement that creates close proximity for items that have something in common. Whether in a deluxe craft room or humble basement stairs shelves, art and craft supplies can have a fabulous time! Of course, the kids' supplies have lots of stories to share. The tape and glue can bond and the sewing supplies always wind up in stitches.
Simple craft supplies lead to major creativity!
Craft Library for Kids
To inspire more creativity and make producing less of a production, create a Craft Library for your kids much like a Toy Library. When kids have access to too much, it can actually hinder creativity. Too many options often lead to the fun becoming making a huge mess rather than thoughtful creating. Choosing to give free reign of only the most simple supplies (pencils and paper, for instance) and keeping the rest to be "checked out" with the librarian's permission leads to easy cleanup and more imaginative creations. A happier experience for everyone!
Grandma watercolor lessons make my girls happy!
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