I recently watched a YouTube on decluttering and organizing your studio work space. It made me think about me and women who I hang out with who have similar interests as I do, my creative tribe. People who craft, DIY and work in mixed media have a tendency to keep things on the idea that just maybe, some day we will need that thing. It is a hoarding of sorts. We take everything home that our fellow creative types are giving up. We scrounge the clearance corners in every craft, art and hardware store taking home things that we are sure we will have place for, but it hasn’t occurred to us yet. Once we get those things home we tend not to use them because they are one of kind and what if I use it up and then discover later a better use for the item and it is no longer available. We have tons of stuff and most of it did not scream at our soul to be in our studio space. I am one of those.
In my creative tribe I am known as the chucker, because I am the person who if something does not seriously work for me, I don’t enjoy it , or is truly un-fun after giving it a couple project try, it is gone. I have given things away to friends, family and Goodwill. All that said I am also a person who still that has an amazing amount of stuff that I have brought home thinking that one day, some day that will fit in with what I do enjoy doing. I only bring home those things that I feel someday I will know what I supposed to do with it. Having said that I have more “good shit” than I will ever use.
This brings me back to the video I watched. One of the things she said is “If it is duplicates i.e. you have four sets of color pencils, do you really need them all?” Of course I might because there might be a shade in one but not in another. If a set was gone would I miss it? Probably not. Would I buy that same set again today full retail or even with a half off coupon knowing I had a similar product at home that I considered a better match for my use and talents? Probably not. Now think about the person out there who wants to try something with the supplies you have that you are not using. A person who may not be able to afford to get into the medium, but you set could allow them that joy? Can you let it go knowing that you are allowing someone else to enjoy something more fully that you ever will? When I ask that question it seems almost selfish to keep everything on the idea that maybe I will use this some day, when I know it really isn’t likely.
I am a person of organized chaos. I want things of like nature together, but once they are together I want them mixed up because my brain works best that way. I want all my markers together, but I don’t want they in ROYGBIV order. It makes me nuts. I want all my adhesives in the same drawer, but they are not organized by size, function or brand. I generally know what I have, and can lay my hands on most of what I have. I also have some drawers that I open when I start creating and when I am done I have used three or four items out of that drawer. There are drawers and tools that if my house burned down I’d buy first an replace for sure. There are other things I use, that I enjoy, because I have them but if I didn’t have that I’d use something else.
That said there are drawers I never open in my studio. They are full of tons of items that I never use. Most not all of these were freebees. Things I picked up because they were free from other creative types or if not free next to free. Some were things that I saw someplace and bought one or two of them because I wanted to try them and when I did, it wasn’t as cool or did not float my boat in the way I imagined it would. Other things are partially used alphabet stickers, today I have graduated to making my own stickers for what I want and not related to making store bought stickers work with my project. After you use the vowels and common letters why am I holding on to these? One of my best creative friends was a glitter lover and could make it work. When she passed away in the boxes of creative stuff she gave me there was her glitter collection. Five years later it is still in my drawer waiting for me to find a way to use it. I have projects she made using this glitter. I don’t need the bottles of glitter in my drawer, it is not my medium and after trying it in several projects since her death and never liking working with it better, it is time to let it go.
It is time to declutter and give supplies I don’t properly appreciate to someone who will.