Downsizing the Scrapbooking Supplies

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one simple step.  Well, I've been taking baby downsizing steps off and on for a few years now, but the amount of stuff I have seems to keep growing despite my efforts.  I've read lots of books on the subject, but the one that finally seemed to have the practical and psychological advice I needed was The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Lifeby Francine Jay.  I find her method of downsizing to fit my needs very well.

I downsized (or minimized as Ms. Jay calls it)  my bathrooms a few months ago and though I could do them again and probably simplify them still more, I decided to tackle a bigger problem.  Namely, that I have far too much craft and hobby stuff.  While I like having lots of activities, I simply do not have room for all the supplies that have accumulated.  In trying to decide what to simplify, I tried to prioritize my activities.  Though I enjoy scrap-booking, it's near the bottom of my list as far as hobbies go, so that made it a prime candidate for downsizing first, especially since it seems to take up an enormous amount of space!
The Goal
The goal is to have everything I keep fit within the above containers!  This would make it easy to store and keep it easy to transport to the local scrap-booking store for Midnight Madness scrap-booking gatherings, which is really my favorite time to scrapbook.  I rarely do any at home outside of Midnight Madness.  Part of Ms. Jay's method is to remove everything and then only put back what is absolutely necessary.  It's a great opportunity to really think about exactly what I like and use the most.
More Scrapbooking Stuff
Here is part of what I need to go through.  There is SO much stuff here!  Most of it is stuff that hasn't seen the light of day (or Midnight Madness) in ages!

Scrapbooking stuff
And here is still more!  I've gathered it all into one spot so I can see what I have.  From here, I'll put only those items in my preferred containers that I really use and like and the rest I'll be getting rid of!  I already have one person lined up to come peruse my left-overs and I'm sure there will be others!

Pencils, pens, etc.
I minimized my pens and pencils about a year ago to what you see here.  Do I really USE all of these?  Not really, so I think my goal will be to get down to two pencil pots instead of three.

Scrapbook shelves
I'd really like to make this bit of furniture obsolete!  It worked well, but I need to clear out some space in my study/studio space so I can devote more time and space to painting, which is rising back to the top of my priority list!


Julie said…
Lisa, I can so empathise with where you are. I have been trying to reduce the chaos in my studio too and seem to be fighting a rising tide. I like the idea of taking everything out and only putting back what you really need/want but I know I would still have a problem in paritng with papers I have painted etc. HAving cleared my mother's home and a friend's home this past year I am aware of how hard it would be for someone else to come in and sort my mess out and I do feel I am being stifled by so many 'things'. Good luck with your reorganising and de-cluttering and i will try and follow your example.
Val said…
Wow, Lisa, that's a lot of scrapbooking stuff. I can honestly say I haven't missed any of the papers, pens etc. I've given away the last few months. There are so many beautiful papers and such out there we do get carried away! I still have too much .. another cull coming up soon.
Susan Elliott said…
Oh man! Do I need Ms. Jay!!! I'm so proud of you. I"m feeling less burdened already just watching you...does that count??
Unknown said…
This is me, too! It is overwhelming me and I need to do something instead of just looking at it. I definitely needed to read your blog today. Thanks!
Donna said…
Good for you. And I'm hoping you'll continue to show your progress. I find it very inspiring as I have exactly the same problem. And am in need of inspiration!
Anonymous said…
WOW, you have made great progress! We downsized from a house to a condo 2 years ago- sooo much was given away. I still need to thin out some more. Now that you mention it, I too am gravitating toward different interests tha earlier in my life. Isn't it so hard to part with past supplies. Looking at your photos has started to motivate me again. Jane in MO

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