Thursday, 9 July 2015

5 Ways to Declutter!

If you're like me you will have too much crafting stash! After years of teaching classes and designing for magazines, I had accumulated so many stamps, ink pads, ribbons and embellishments that I arrived at a point where the stash was stifling the creativity. It was all neatly stored and labelled but that's all I was doing with it, storing it.
So, those 5 ways to declutter in no special order....
  1. Be honest, if you really loved that stamp/fabric/paper you would have already used it.
  2. If the stamps have never been used, put them in the "out" pile.
  3. Be ruthless, if you haven't used it in over a year, you're just storing it.
  4. Do you know someone who might appreciate it more than you?  A friend or youth group?  
  5. Clearing your clutter will clear your mind and free you up to be more creative.
It was my freestyle quilting machine which prompted this soul searching. It had been in storage since I moved into our little cottage and I was missing it and wanted it to complete two projects started 3 years ago and not finished. But it's big.
We managed to get the 7 foot wooden rollers and frame in the car but even though I'd measured and worked out where it was going to go in its new home, it just didn't work. It dominated each room I tried to use it in to the point where I couldn't get in the room with it. Time for a re-think. I needed a way to finish quilting my raggedy edged union jack...
The rethink became a major reassessment of which interests to keep or drop. Gone was quilling, soap making, friendly plastic, deep embossing, silk painting, lace making, the die cutter long since replaced, those spritzer paints which either clogged up or sprayed you in the face and other obscure crafts picked up in those moments when you tell yourself I can make that myself then spend ten times as much to buy the stuff. I decided to cut back dramatically and focus on fabric and paper arts. I found a buyer for my quilting machine, sold half my library of crafting and cooking books back to Amazon and packed up the stamps and crafting goodies I hadn't touched since moving house and gave them to our local Cub scouts. 
My cramped little crafting attic suddenly felt far more spacey. I could see the floor! But back to my original dilemma, how was I going to quilt? After some serious research and tough negotiation I traded in my wonderful 6.5 inch throated Janome 4900 sewing machine for a wonderfuller Janome 8900 with a massive 11 inch throat which enables you to quilt things the size of Belgium. (Yes I know there are clever people who can quilt treble king size quilts using standard domestic machines but fighting that much fabric always made me a bit sweary and put me off, hence the quilting frame.)  And here is the result of the reorganisation.  I'm verrrrry pleased with this little beauty.  
Because I had a Janome before, this step up didn't feel too strange, plus the shop I bought it from delivered it, unboxed it, set it up and gave me a tutorial on the basics. Once I've really got to know it I'll do a review because other reviews online I read prior to purchase were so helpful in making the decision.  But for now, the clutter has gone and more crafting is being done  and will be shared when I have some pictures ready to upload.

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