Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Twenty Five

So we all love containers, right?  Containers and bags and baskets and tins.  Problem is, the very thing we hope will organize our lives becomes just more clutter.  That's because, as the Flylady says, "you can't organize clutter!"   Nope, you can't, so no matter how many of those containers you have, you will still have clutter. 

Let's start with your scrapbooking bags, the ones you don't use much because you never go to a crop, or you use it but it's in bad shape and you really need to replace it.  The rules for this are very simple, if you don't use it, out it goes.  If you use it on a fairly regular basis, make sure it's in good shape or get a new one.  If you are taking MANY bags to a crop, you need to rethink what you are taking.  ONLY TAKE WHAT YOU WILL WORK ON AT THE CROP.  I can hear what you are yelling back at the screen, "but Barbra, I never know what I'll be working on."  Well, that's because you aren't planning.  We will do another post another day on how to do that.  In the meantime, go through your bags, more than three is really too many.

Now for the rest, the baskets, the wire organizers, the containers galore!  If it's not being used, let it go.  If you have something that will go in it (now that you have less clutter), fill it. When you declutter, whole drawers and cupboards will start to magically appear because you simply have less junk.  This is where you can put your good containers to use.  Don't spend a lot of time on making these spaces look "just right", put the container in, fill it with your "keepable" products and be done.  What does not fit, must go!

Lastly, let's talk tote bags, these tend to collect, especially with companies like 31 out there tempting you with your name on a bag.  In my company, we get a new bag given to us at every event we attend and, I will admit, I have some sentimental value attached to each one.  However, this year I have been slowly getting rid of them unless they are my very favorites.  Tote bags are just like the rest of your containers.  If they only thing that they do for you is look good on a shelf or a hook, then it's time to send them packing. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Twenty Four (the actual post)

Even though I have written a post on getting rid of old idea books and magazines, I'm going to go over it again since I've had many requests.  Let's say you're doing okay on the magazines and idea books but have torn out many pages from those, along with templates and other "instructions" for crafting items.  Before I tell you what to get rid of, let me tell you a story.

I once worked with a lady during a time I was starting a decluttering business way back in the 80's.  She was a substitute teacher and when she went to a school she would use the "ditto" machine (remember that's what we called it back then) to make one copy of each page in the teacher's "ditto" books, so that she had a great supply of quick worksheets to take with her from school to school.  She told me about this and said that she had too many now and needed help organizing them.  So, I went to her small apartment and there they were, everywhere, literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of these worksheets, in every spot of her apartment, her bedroom, her living room, everywhere, there was hardly room for her furniture, just piles, at least waist high, everywhere.

Now, yes, this lady had some serious issues and I'm going to assume that your home does not contain tens of thousands of ideas that you've pulled from books and magazines BUT, the principle is the same.  In her lifetime, she could have never ever used all of those worksheets.  It's the same with that big stack of ideas that you've gathered, you aren't using MOST of them, right?  So why are you letting them clutter up your life and have such a stranglehold on you?  If it's been sitting in a notebook or a pile for a year, time to let it go. Crafting is like fashion, each thing has a season and those ideas you thought were so great are probably already out of style.  Now I don't want you to take more than 15 minutes to go through these, WHIP though them!!!  Fifteen minutes, set your time, go!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Twenty Four

So I am running out of items to help you declutter so I need your input.  Is there anything I've missed?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Twenty Three

Today is going to be difficult for you because I'm going to ask you to declutter something that I have an idea, is very precious to you. 

We've all gone to crops and bought kits to make up completed layouts hoping that we'll have just the right photos to go in them.  But....and you know this has happened.....many of those layouts are still sitting in a folder or a box or in a stack still waiting for those right photographs, right?  Those magical pictures that would just be PERFECT for that layout never materialized.  

I know it will be hard to give those pages up but you need to take a serious look at them and REALISTICALLY ask yourself if you are EVER going to have the right photos for that pretty layout.  If the answer isn't a definitive YES, it's time to give them up.  Since these will not go over well at Goodwill, you may give them to friends.  Now go through your layouts.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

We have a winner!

Cindeeblogger is the winner in yesterday's drawing for our secret group of items that need to be decluttered.  Cindee, email me at to claim your prize.

Decluttering your Paper Crafting Supplies - Day Twenty Two

Close to my Heart just came out with some new markers and I'm excited about them.  It made me think about the markers in your stash.  How many do you have?  How many do you need?   If the answer was "all of them," you may want to rethink.  First of all, do you have both water based and alcohol based markers?  You don't need them both, you know.  Choose a type and get rid of the others.  I like the alcohol based markers because they tend to streak less and blend more.  I have Copics, I have Shin Han (our new markers) and I have Close to my Heart  alcohol markers (our old and retired markers). 

Here's how I look at markers: 

Do I have more than one of the same color?
Do I have markers that I hardly ever use?
Do I have more than one of colors that are very close in color, so close that I don't even use them to blend with each other?
Are my markers in good shape?  If the nibs are wrecked and can't be replaced, dump them.  If the ink is not running freely and can't be reinked, dump it.   If the colors are muddy, no longer pure, dump them.

Do not buy every single color of a brand just because you are obsessive-compulsive about that!  Buy what you need, keep only what you need and let the rest go to someone else!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Twenty One

We've been doing this so long that I am afraid I might be repeating myself but this morning I woke up thinking I wanted to talk about buttons.  I notice that there aren't a lot of buttons being sold in craft stores and Close to my Heart doesn't sell them anymore which leads me to believe they are on their way out.  Having said that, I still love them and I have a lot.  Here's the thing about buttons though, you have to be very careful not to keep them all.  Here are the ones I recommend you let go:

1.  Buttons with backs on them.  These are not meant to be used in your scrapbooks, they are for clothes.  Let them go.

2.  Tiny buttons. I used to use these on the aforementioned paper dolls, they were the perfect size for those mini clothes.  Get rid of them.

3.  Wild colored buttons.  See the picture below, these are examples of buttons that are quite unusual and need a very specific page to go on.  It could take you years to find that page so these need to be in your giveaway box too.

4.  Button colors you have way too many of need to be pared down.  You do not need 200 red buttons.  Keep 100 or less of each basic color, red, blue, orange, purple, green, yellow, pink, brown, black, white, clear, peach and tan should be good enough!  

5.  Button storage needs to be trimmed down too.  You do not need to have more than one container per color, don't divide them into shapes and sizes too!  Sorting like that is for kindergartners, not you.  By color is enough. 

Go spend 15 minutes on your buttons.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Card Kits by Mail - July 2014


Every month I create FIVE cards just for you! They are truly exclusive cards and super special. 
You may buy the card workshop for $20.00 by the 15th of each month. 
You will not be able to see the cards until you receive the kits. Above is an example of one of the cards from last month!
If you've been following my facebook page, blog, and newsletters then you've seen examples of my cards which will give you a good idea of what you'll be getting and you can also look above for examples of some of the cards I've sent out the past four months.
By the end of each month I will sent out your card kits in the mail, the pieces will be cut and stamped for you.  The day I send out the kits I will send out instructions and photos of the card by email.  You will then be able to put the cards together.  For those of you who are consultants, I have no problem with you using my cards in your own workshops. 
So, this is the chance you've been waiting for!  Payments may be by credit card (you will call me with the number 989-906-6420), paypal to or you may mail a check to:
Barbra Otten
1247 W. John Beers Road
Stevensville, MI 49127
The next cards will go out before the end of the month and your order must be in by the 15th.  

Decluttering your Papercrafting Supplies - Day Twenty

Hello!  I"m back from my vacation so it's time to continue on with our decluttering!  Today let's talk about your deep dark secret.  Yes, I know about that.  It's the papercrafting supplies that noone knows you still have.  Let me tell you about mine.  Back when scrapbooking was at the highest heights, paper dolls were very popular and I loved a particular brand by Stamping Station called Stick Kids.  They looked like this:

They came in kits and I really made them a lot, so much so that I sold completed dolls at scrapbook stores and on ebay.  I love these kids, I used them on so many pages but, alas, paper dolls went out of style and noone wanted them anymore.  The company stopped making them and I just haven't been able to give up all of my kits because I know I can never get them again.

What I want to know is, what are your Stick Kids?  What product have you been holding onto tightly that you KNOW you NEED to give up because they are taking SO MUCH of your physical space, or, if not that, your mental space.  It's time to give it up and put that in your giveaway container or even the garbage. Before you do though, let me in on your little secret.  What is that product that you've been hiding away in hopes I wouldn't mention it on my posts?  Post here or on my facebook pages and one of you will win a little gift from me!  (All comments here do get screened so if you don't see your post come up immediately, just have patience).