If the very idea of eliminating something that is still useful induces nausea or gives you hives, rest assured you’re not alone. There are many reasons we have trouble getting rid of “stuff”:
- We’ve attached to that stuff/thing “emotionally”.
- We don’t want to be wasteful – financially, ecologically, or just generally.
- We have a huge fear that at some point this particular item might be “PERFECT” and if we throw it away now we could be jeopardizing some major crafting success in the future.
Before you can address these concerns, you have to first identify your goals in getting organized. Identifying your goals will result in a huge increase in your “Want” Power.
Keep your goal simple – one or two sentences at the most, i.e.; “I want to be more organized so I can spend more time crafting – less time digging and searching for supplies.” “I want to be able to get 10 pages done in a weekend; that will feel great, I’ll be the envy of all my friends, my husband will be so proud of me…” Commit your simple goal to memory and/or write it down and post it where you can see it regularly.
The simple truth is; the more you have, the longer it takes to find what you need. Many times, this translates to: using what’s closest/easiest. This isn’t only true in your craft supplies, it’s true all over your home/life. If you have 6 sets of sheets, you probably take the set off the top of the pile, when you remake your bed. If you have a pile of 20 T-Shirts, you probably wear one of the first 3-4. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the male world. My sons would prefer to; go down to the laundry room, pull the top shirt off their laundry pile, put it on and head to school rather than carrying the pile upstairs and putting their laundry away – “they’re just going to end up on top of the dryer again in a day or two mom, why do we need to do the extra steps?” (Let me apologize to their future wives now – I’m doing the best I can.)
Now that we’ve got the backstory, let’s move on…
If your goals are driving you to become more organized, there’s a significant chance that you need to rid yourself of some “stuff.” If you don’t think there is anything in your craft supply collection that you can live without, stop reading here and start crafting!
For the rest of you – follow these easy steps.
- Create a purge box. (I use a Paper Storage Box because it is tall and narrow)
- Identify a final resting place for your “purge.” (I give to the local Children’s Hospital)
- Put the box somewhere that is EASILY ACCESSIBLE. (Mine is under my desk next to the trash can – always within arm’s reach.)
Let’s go back and revisit the reasons we have trouble getting rid of stuff…
- Emotionally attached
You’ll be able to remedy this “attachment” by using emotional transference. Choose a person, group, charity that will appreciate the items as much as you do. This makes it far easier to let them go. In my case the Children’s Hospital where my youngest son spent the first 2 weeks of his life.
The money has already been spent, if I may be so bold as to say, the money has already been “wasted.” Keeping products around that you won’t use, is now creating additional waste; Your Space, Your Time, and Your Energy…are just a couple of examples. In the right hands or in the right can, these products will no longer be “wasting” stuff. If money is your biggest concern, bag these items up and sell them by the pound on ebay, or simply take the tax deduction for donating them to your favorite charity.
- Future Crafting Success
What about your crafting success in the present? If you’re not getting things done because you’re too busy “searching” through things you don’t need, to find the things you want to use – you’re sacrificing sure success today, for possible success in the future – does that make any sense? No.
Let the Purging begin!
Whether you’re doing a major “Organization Project” like the Get Organized Challenge, or you’re just hoping to implement better systems as you move forward, the Purge box will aid your success. As you come across products in your supply collection you’ll have a variety of different reactions:
“Wow, this is outdated.” – Easy to put into your purge box.
“Gee this is ugly – I wonder what motivated me to buy it?” – Into the Purge Box.
“What would I ever use this for?” – If you’ve got an answer put it into the correct section of your 4 Section System, if there’s no answer, you guessed it – Purge Box.
As you work in your craft area, every time you put your hands on something, ask yourself – “What would I use this for?” Then put it away or Purge it away. If you get really stuck you can enlist your “Want Power” by asking yourself – “How will keeping this item move me closer to my goal?, Move me closer to what I WANT?”
Good Luck and Please let me know how your Purging Progresses!
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