Thursday, June 26, 2014

Time for a break from your Decluttering!

I hope you've been enjoying (or at least trying to enjoy) decluttering your supplies these past few weeks.  Now it's time for a break, one, because you probably need one and two, because I'm heading to the Close to my Heart convention with very little access to a computer to write more blog posts!  I will continue when I get back so take a much needed rest while I do the same! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Declutting your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Nineteen

At some point, when scrapbooking became a little less popular, the scrapbooking industry started to add home decor as another way to papercraft.  It's pretty cool and some of the products are totally worthwhile but many are sitting in bins in your house going unused, right? 

I used to be a cross-stitcher and I always had bigger dreams of what I wanted to cross-stitch than would ever be possible in a lifetime.  I bought patterns and floss and tools all to make hundreds of projects.  They were going to hand on my walls and on the walls of my friends and family too.  Well, I did a few but cross-stitching takes a long time and so it was very few.

Making your own home decor items isn't much different.  If your dreams of making all that stuff got away from you, it's time to go through those frames and shelves and boxes and who knows what else you have and be realistic.  If you have bought too much that you will never get to, do yourself a favor and pass it on to someone who will.  There's no shame in saying "enough"!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Eighteen

I'm not a fan of chipboard.  I don't use it but if you do, ask yourself these questions:

Is it outdated?
Is it in good shape?
Is it easily stored (tiny pieces usually are a pain and not worth it)?
Is it something I TRULY will use?
Do I look at it with excitement or is it just okay?
Do I have specific pages I want to use this with?
Could I get along without it?
Is it more than a year old?

If the answers aren't good, neither is keeping it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Seventeen

Embossing folders should be one of your easiest items to declutter but since I know many of you still have this need to have one of every type, maybe not.  This is an item where only a few WILL DO!  Yes, you can have less than 10 embossing folders and make it through life.  I know there are thousands of different backgrounds out there but you really only need the basics.  Just like yesterday's washi tape decluttering, you need to get rid of the folders that you will only use once or maybe not at all.

Here are a few examples of the ones you shouldn't keep:

One Christmas tree
Birthday candles
Baby clothes
Soccer balls
Spider webs

If you are not going to use it multiple times, don't buy it, don't keep it.

Better embossing folders to keep:


You get the idea.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Sixteen

I love shimmer trim (aka glitter trim) and washi tape!  It's so awesome to have something that is quick, easy to use, and comes with adhesive attached!  However, just like any other supply, you can become a collector and not a user. 

When looking at your shimmer trims, make sure you don't go crazy thinking you need one in every color and print, you don't!   Primary colors are the best choice, red, blue, green, orange, yellow and purple.  After that you can fill in with pink, tan, teal, but don't go wacky.  Even though we sell a fuschia, I don't think I've used it once, be reasonable!  Look through your shimmer trim and be willing to give up bad colors.

Washi tape is super dangerous because it's everywhere now and in every print and color.  You need to be hard on yourself with this stuff.  Because it lasts forever you need to really decide in a no nonsense way which you really HAVE to keep.  How much of that roll of Minnie Mouse washi are you really going to use?  How about the roll that's Happy Birthday over and over again?  Really?  You're going to use all of that?  Polka dots, yes....penguins, no.  Stripes yes, cupcakes, no.  Plaid yes, clouds no.  Go declutter.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Fifteen

Ribbons and twine and string, oh my!  I bet you have a lot of it!  Luckily, ribbons and the like are easy to organize, unluckily, they still can pile up into spools of unused, old product.  Go through your ribbon and be HONEST with yourself.  Pick up each spool and decide:

Do I use it?
When is the last time I used it?
Does it work for me?  For instance, wide ribbons look great on the spool but not on my pages or cards so I can get rid of those easily.
Is it in good shape?
Is there enough of it to make keeping it worthwhile (less than a foot, toss it!!)
Is it easy to store?  Some of those old fibery strings are messy and not worth having.
Is it a color or texture that I will use?

Remember that there is very little that you own, product-wise, that can't be replaced if you end up REALLY needing it down the line so you really can let it go.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Fourteen

Embellishments are a more of a problem to store than any other papercrafting supply in my opinion.  They come in all shapes and sizes and so many aren't in good storage bags making it difficult to organize into any one form of container.  We've talked about eyelets and brads already but I'm talking about everything else now, sparkles, embellishments specific to a paper set, glittery strips and swirls, twist ties, stickers, diecuts, and the list goes on and on. 

Let's talk about the new in package items you have.  If you've never opened it and have had it for more than a year, you really need to evaluate why.  Does it go with a particular paper pack or did you just like the way it looked and so you bought it on a whim?   If it's the latter, you probably need to get rid of it.  If it goes with a certain paper pack then you need to figure out why you haven't used the paper pack in that amount of time.  Letting paper and embellishments pile up year after year is not good for you!   It adds guilt to your life.  Believe me, I know.  When I was not decluttering on a regular basis I would look at everything I had and feel badly that there was so much.  That's not fun!  It doesn't bring joy to your life, folks!  If it makes you feel awful that you're not using some product, get rid of it! 

If it's new in package and not over a year old, you may keep it if it goes with a particular paper pack and if you have a SPECIFIC item for which you'll will use it.   Be honest with yourself on this one and don't keep what you will "get around to using someday." 

Now we get to the very difficult embellishments, the ones that are not new and are in partial packages.  I have problems with these myself because they are not usually given to someone else, people don't like used items.  I also know that there are times when just one or two of an embellishment is just what I need, especially on cards.  So, if you don't have THOUSANDS* of these partial packages you may keep them IF you go through them and evaluate carefully the ones that are worth keeping and not ALL OF THEM is not an answer.  Go do 15 minutes.

*If you do have thousands then be ruthless, you will never use them all so get rid of a lot of them.  Start with your least favorite and work backwards from there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Thirteen

The problem with albums is that we get carried away buying them, because we see a sale or a brand new type and we can't resist.  The problem is that we really shouldn't buy an album until we are ready to use it.

Albums take up a lot of space when they are full, we don't need to use up that same space in storing one that we may not end up using.

If you're like me, you may own a lot of albums that could be filled but you just haven't taken the time to put your pages in them.  If that's the case today, see if you can use your 15 minutes to get some pages in the albums.

If not, and you just have too many, take a look at them and really evaluate if you ARE going to use them.  Make sure they are not outdated, that you have the accessories you need for them and then make your decision.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Twelve

Punches are another item that I find people hang onto tightly.  I don't quite get it in this day and age of Cricut machines and the like.  To me, punches are more trouble than they are worth, they are heavy, break easily, are difficult to maintain and hard to transport.  I also find that only a few of the punches I had when I owned many, were being used frequently enough to counteract the drawbacks.  So, if I can pry some of these from your hands, these are the questions you need to ask yourself.

How often, honestly, do I use this punch?  If the answer is rarely, off it goes.

Is storing or transporting this punch more difficult than the benefits I get from having it?

How many of one type of punch do I need?  For instance, you DON'T need to have a circle punch in every single size out there.

Can this shape be made faster and easier on my trimmer.  This includes all rectangles and squares, you really shouldn't need any punches in these shapes.

Just for your information, this is what I keep (I do own a Cricut).  I have circles in about three or four sizes plus one scalloped circle.  I own three hand punches (mentioned in the tools post) 1/4", 1/2" and 1/16".  That's it, anything else I can make on my trimmer and Cricut.  If my Cricut machine cut perfect circles I wouldn't even have the circle punches.  Go spend 15 minutes on your punches.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Eleven

Adhesives are difficult because you absolutely need them and never know how many you might need when you begin a project or go away for a crafting weekend so I'll be a little easy on you about them.  What I do recommend is that you go through them and see which adhesives you have NOT been using.  Also, check to see what shape they are in, liquid glass, any kind of glue can get gummed up and rendered useless so toss those.

Here's what I keep:

Liquid glass - it's strong and also acts as an embellishment too!
Tombow or something similar with refills
Glue dots, large and small
Pop dots or 3d tape
Double stick tape (in a pinch this works, especially for cards)
Mailing tape - for when a box falls apart etc.
Glue pen - I can't live without mine for small items to glue

That's it, keep them all in the box or container so you have easy access.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Ten

Let's talk about tools, baby.  This is another place where we tend to go overboard because, in most cases, you do not need more than one of each of these.  Here's the list of items where you only need one, if any:

Quilling tool
Bone folder
Edge distresser
Large scissors
Small pointy scissors (I love ours because they are non-stick)
Stamp scrubber
Spray cleaner
Spray refill
Piercing Tool
Sanding kit
Cricut tool kit
Dry embossing tool
Glue Eraser
X-acto knife
White eraser
1 box staples
Hole punch 1/4"
Hole punch 1/8"
Hole punch 1/16"
Corner rounder

There are more tools but that gives you the idea.  Here are tools where it's okay to have two or more:

Blending pens
Sponges (no more than two or three)
Daubers (one for each color is okay)
Spray pens (three is good)
Trimmers (1 large and 1 small for travel)
Cricut mats (but no more than three)
Journaling pen (one set)
Trimmer blades

Bag these up and give them to goodwill, go put in your 15 minutes.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Nine

Inks are today's topic and it's another easy one.  Unless you teach classes like I do, you only need one of each color.  Get rid of:

Duplicate colors
Colors that are so similiar they are virtually the same
Any inks that are dry (and you don't have a matching reinker)
Any inks with broken cases
Any inks that are ragged (inks are cheap enough to replace)
Inks that leak
Inks you never use (yes there are some, do you CTMH girls remember taffy)
Inks you just don't need

This is going to be hard for some of you but it has to be said.  You do not need every ink in a set, whether it be every Close to my Heart ink or whatever brand.  A complete set does not make you a complete person!!!!  Keeping what you don't need or like is a BURDEN to you not a blessing.  Remember that and go take a 15 minute date with your inks.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Eight

This is another easy day.  Yesterday we sent those eyelets packing in deference to the much better brads.  I, unfortunately, see the decline of brads too though I don't know why, they are awesome!  So I do recommend keeping what you have just because availability is declining.  However, you still must go through your brads and do TWO things.  Check for defective brads, if they are chipped, broken or downright ugly, get rid of the, and by that I mean in the garbage.  Secondly, if you have time, take the rest and divide them by color (not type, not shape, by color) into easy to use and see containers. When you start dividing by anything but color you get into unnecessary sorting.  You will be able to get your crafting done just fine if they are divided by color only. If you don't have anytime left in your fifteen minutes of decluttering make sure you do that down the line.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Seven

This is a fast one.  I'm so sorry to tell you but, eyelets are out!   They rarely work right, it's noisy to put them in, they get mangled, they ruin pages when they do get mangled and brads are soooooo much easier and better. Time to get rid of the eyelets.  Keep only a few neutral colors, white, black and brown IF, and only IF you use them for tags or mini books.  That's it.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Six

Paper is important.  I absolutely am a paperaholic but even though I am, I have decluttered my paper way down.  How did I do it?  It comes down to use, folks.  If you're not using it, it's not worth keeping.

I keep paper that matches, matching is very important to me and IF there isn't enough matching paper to make a full two page layout, out it goes!  

I keep paper that is current.  If it's a couple of years old it's really out of style.  Let it go...let it go.....

I keep paper that is being used.  If it's been in your stash for a long time, time to send it to better use.

I keep paper that is in full sheets, if you are keeping scraps from a paper pack that you don't have full sheets for. get a grip!!!   Dump it!

I am a BIG believer, as I've said before, if something new comes in, something old has to go.  When I buy the paper packs next month when my new Close to my Heart catalog is previewing for consultants, I will go through my old paper to send it onto a good home.  I ALWAYS DO THIS WITH MY STAMP TOO!!

What I don't buy is paper for a project I have not yet planned.  You need to buy paper for photos you already have!  For a project you know you are doing, for cards you are going to get started on right away. Do not buy paper just because you like it and "will" use it "down the road."  Paper isn't going anywhere and this is the number one reason you have TOO MUCH!  Stop buying just because you like it, buy it because you need it!  (And yes, I realize I am a person who makes a living by selling you paper and I'm still telling you not to buy so much!)

So, go through your paper, if it has no matches, put it in the box, if it's old, put it in the box, if you don't have enough for a complete layout, put it in the box, if it's outdated and you've had it forever, out it goes.  Fifteen minutes!   Be fast and be strong!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Five

Today is all about those Cricut cartridges.  No matter how many you have you need to ask yourself one question to decide which to keep and which to give away and it's this:


The ones you haven't used EVER go first (of course I mean ones that you haven't just purchased.  If you spent all that money on a cartridge (or even got it for free) and haven't used it ever, it's not worth keeping!  


Now go through the ones you haven't used in years.  

What are you holding onto these for?  

Is that word "someday" coming out of your mouth right now?  "Someday I will need it."

Again, seriously?  

Who do you think you're fooling, certainly not yourself.  Put it in the box.  Be strict with yourself and keep just the ones you need.

I own three, yet, just three have met all my needs.  See them here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Four

This is the last day we'll work on stamps.  Yes, I know that your stamps are not all decluttered.  There is no way you are going to declutter everything in these 30 days if you have a big stash, especially in 15 minutes a day.  The purpose is to teach you how to do it so you can do it on your own.

Today might be a little bit easier for you.  For your 15 minutes of decluttering today, go through your stamps and choose the ones that you ABSOLUTELY MUST KEEP.  Now you still need to be pretty ruthless when you do this.  Look at each stamp that you THINK you must have and ask yourself WHY?

Why is this stamp worthy of the keep pile?  
Do you use it constantly?  
Is it your go-to stamp?  
Is it one that never ever goes out of style (sentiment stamps involving holiday saying for instance)?   
Does this stamp have special meaning to you for some reason?  My stamp sets from the trips I've earned and Close to my Heart conventions fall into this category.  They are unique to that event, will never be made again and can be used both on cards and on my scrapbook layouts for those events.  
Is this stamp super useful (alphabet stamps fall into this category)?   

That's about it, yes THOSE ARE THE ONLY good reasons to keep a stamp as a need.  All the other stamps are WANTS!!!

Once you have finished with your absolute must keeps, put all the rest in a box, no NOT to give away, just to sort later, after the 30 days are over.  Take your must have's and put them in a nice pretty container and we'll move on tomorrow.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Three

Yesterday I had you spend your 15 minutes on going through your stamps and getting rid of the ones that you could let go of, I bet even that was hard for most of you.  Today we will get a little more difficult but if you really start feeling stressed go watch an episode of Hoarders and see if that helps! 

Step 2 is to get rid of the stamps that don't fit you anymore.  For instance, I am 53 years old and even though I have the occasional niece or nephew come along, I don't really have a ton of use for baby themed stamp sets.  ONE, which offers congratulations to a new arrival is about all I need.  Perhaps you no longer have a need for teenager themed stamp sets or you still have that greek alphabet stamp set that you thought you'd use to make a card for your grown son when he was in college but he's been out about 10 years now.  You don't need it anymore.  You also don't need the picnic set if you don't take picnics, the prom set if it's been way too long since you went to prom, the Valentine's set if you really don't give your husband a Valentine's card (I don't), the 4th of July stamps when you never send a Fourth of July card or even do a layout with it. 

Look at the stamps that don't FIT you anymore and set them in a box.  Try to set a goal of getting rid of 10% of your stamps today but do it fast, you only have 15 minutes.  I am absolutely serious about the 15 minutes!  Set a timer and stop when it goes off.  Seal up the box and write Goodwill on the top.  You can do it!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Two

Today we're going to tackle a difficult supply, stamps.  I know SOOOOO many crafters who are attached at the hip to their stamps.  They are sure that if they have their stamps organized just the right way, that they should be able to have as many stamp sets as they want.  But the truth is, even if you are super organized, you have stamps that you WILL NEVER EVER USE.  So tell me, what is the worth of an unused stamp?

I can tell you it's not worth the space it takes up.  It's not worth missing out on the pleasure it could give to someone else who will actually USE IT.  It's not worth the guilt you feel when you buy another stamp set and know that you already truly do have too many.  It's not worth the niggling feeling you have when you see it and know that you still, after all of these years, haven't even taken it out of the package.  Do you see the emotional negativity that can be attached to that unused stamp?

And I know what you're saying in your head....but Barbra, "I am going to use it someday."  Well, someday hasn't come for a very long time, has it?  Do you really want to hold onto it in hopes that one day, you may end up using it once?  Was it truly worth the price for all of that baggage?  I don't think so.

Since I know this is really hard for you, we'll take this in steps.  Remember, you are only going to work on this for 15 minutes. So for today:

1.  Go through as many stamps as you can in 15 minutes and pull out every one that you absolutely KNOW you are okay getting rid of and set it in a box.  As soon as you finish close up the box, tape it with very strong packing tape and mark it Goodwill.  DO NOT leave it in the house.  Take it to your car and if you can drive to Goodwill right now, do it, if not, make a plan to go ASAP.  You are NOT ALLOWED to open that box up again.  Be STRONG and I'll see you tomorrow for step 2.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day One (part b)

Okay, so hopefully you are in the right mindset to get started decluttering.  This will NOT be a set of organizational posts, we're not organizing, because, as I said, you can't organize clutter.  Instead you are going to be getting rid of scrapbooking, stamping, and papercrafting items that you are NOT USING.  I am not asking you to dump stuff that you are using, that's not clutter.  Clutter is those huge tablets of pattern paper that you thought were such a bargain and you ended up not liking the weight, or the texture, or only found two papers in the stack were pretty, you got it home.  That's clutter.

Papercrafting supplies are just like a closet stuffed with clothes.  There are some that don't fit, some that are ripped and torn, some that aren't the right color, some that just aren't "you", and some that are completely out of style.  Are you nodding your head?  I thought so.

Let's start with idea books.  Oh, we do love those, don't we?  I mean, if you are a crafter, you need ideas, right?  The problem is, when was the last time you looked at one of those books?  And if you say, "yesterday" then pick up the book you looked at and put it in your keep pile.  Now take another look at all the rest.  Whether you have five or fifty, I guarantee there are some in there that you do not use.

Look again at those questions discussed above about clothes and apply them to your idea books.  Which ones don't "fit" your style of scrapbooking anymore?  Which are ripped, worn, mildew-y?  Which are outdated and which have a style that you don't even use anymore?  Be strong, take out the ones that meet those criteria and any that you haven't used for years FOR SURE!    

Your keep pile should be smaller than your giveaway pile!!

Now you have two choices on what to do with these.  Throw them away (yes you can) or give them to Goodwill.  Now you'll notice I didn't say to save them for a trash and treasure table at your next crop, I also didn't say save them for your friends to look through.  You know why?  Because you are too good of a person to put the burden of clutter onto your friends.  If they are not working for you, they are not going to be good for them either.  Send them to Goodwill where people who can't normally afford them can CHOOSE, not take them because they are your friend, but actually CHOOSE to buy them.  So that's it, trash or Goodwill.  Go sort your idea books right now.


Decluttering your Paper Supplies - Day One

One of the smartest things I ever read was this statement:

You can't organize clutter.

Think about that for a minute.  All of those great organizing tools you got from The Container Store and Target and even The Dollar Store aren't the solution to your crafting product overload!  They are simply a bandaid that you apply in hopes they will solve the problem of having TOO MUCH STUFF!!

So, here's what you're going to have to do in the next 30 days, get a grip!!  These are just pieces of paper, plastic, and rubber, they are not important!   Yes, you can get rid of some of them and, don't panic, even THROW some of them away!

The first thing you need to do is to stop attaching such importance to them.  What's important about scrapbooking are the memories you are recording,  The thing that makes cardmaking wonderful is the feeling they give to the receiver.  The rest is just means to a end and -----  here's the rub, if you are NOT USING the papercrafting supplies you bought then THEY DO NOT HAVE A PURPOSE!

Okay, roll that around in your head for a little while then come back here in an hour and we'll get started with the first task.

Card Kits by Mail

Last day to get six cards instead of five in my Card Kits by Mail.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Getting Ready

I saw a calendar on Facebook yesterday which showed 30 days of decluttering your house and I liked the idea so much that I thought it would be fun to do 30 days of decluttering your papercrafting supplies. 

For years I had a problem with clutter although I didn't realize that's what it was.  Then I discovered the Flylady.  She is an advisor on how to declutter the home so that you aren't constantly finding more and more storage for your belongings.  Her strategies were wonderful and really helped me with both decluttering and cleaning.  In fact, for awhile, I went into people's homes to help them declutter as a side business!

I'm a big believer that when you bring something new into the house, something old has to go.  You have to be a bit ruthless as a declutterer and so for the next 30 days, I know that some of you will have a hard time letting go of things.  There will be such excuses as:

It has sentimental value.
But it cost me so much!
I am going to use it someday.
But my friend bought it for me.

I know it might be difficult, but just like the old saying, "nothing tastes as good as thin feels", I promise you that no piece of paper or stamp set will make you feel as happy as when your papercrafting supplies are decluttered.  So, shore yourself up, set aside 15 minutes each day and we'll start tomorrow!