They always say it gets worse before it gets better. In my last post I talked about moving my office/craft room and clearing up the clutter. I wasn’t sure how to tackle the big space swap but I started by borrowing a friend’s extra storage tubs. I packed up all my things that were laying around and made a pile in each corner. And the hall. And the storage room. Then I pulled out the furniture for my office and began moving the toys. Once the toys were moved, (admittedly there is still a great deal of paring down of their stuff but I needed to tackle one issue at a time) I painted with the neutral color that we used in the rest of the basement and then moved in my furniture.
This is the point where the rubber meets the road. Surprisingly, moving the furniture was the easy part. This is where things got tough. You know what I’m talking about. For any crafter, collecting supplies can become a hobby all on its own. It can also require a separate bank account depending on your shopper sensibilities. We love to look at and feel these beautiful and useful items that inspire us until they don’t anymore. Then what?
I prefer to use the Clean House method (remember those organizing shows? Loved them!) where I pulled everything out and then went through those tubs, bags and boxes and found a home for what I would keep. There was so much stuff! I felt like I should be on an episode of Hoarders.
I went through several emotional stages in this process. I felt a lot of guilt at spending so much money over the years on supplies and tools that were never used. Then I felt guilt about getting rid of perfectly good things and all of the waste. Not just in money but in time and energy. Because I would never get that time and energy (if only) back, I opted to do what I could to make a better situation for others.
First, I called my friends over to take items that they were interested in. this might be enabling others but they had fun “shopping” and got some new things. Next stop, I took an SUV full of paper and other goodies to my son’s Montessori preschool. Knowing how much paper they go through, I was sure they would enjoy the supply for a long time to come. The teachers in my son’s room were also able to bargain with the other teachers for supplies using the stash that I had given them. A win for everyone.
Next stop was to take more of the general craft supplies, along with stamps and consumable card making and sticker supplies to our Ronald McDonald House Charities here in Kansas City. One of the houses here has a neat little craft area that families use to the pass the time while their kids spend time at Children’s Mercy. They make crafts with their other kiddos and make a lot of thank you cards. I know the supplies will be used and appreciated there.
Finally, I took any remaining items to one of our local charitable thrift shops. I was careful not to give them a lot of little odds and ends that would be cumbersome to deal with or just be trashed for not knowing the best use of an item.
When all of these things were gone, I felt a huge sense of relief. Everything seemed lighter and I was pleased that others could benefit from the things that had become a burden to me. This alone was worth going through the process.
Next week I’ll show you the results of the move and purging supplies. Can’t wait!
P.S. Sorry about some of the not so great photos. They were taken from my phone before I was even thinking about a blog. 🙂