Digging Deeper into the Sorting Process
What holds us back from letting go?
When you think about doing a big edit, sort, or purge of an area in your home, does your first reaction look like this? Mine typically does. First there's the work, then the deciding, and then the dealing with all the stuff after the deciding is done. Sometimes the deciding, and more specifically the letting go that can be the most difficult. A recent article in February 2022 issue of Creative Scrapbooker Magazine addressed this subject exactly. I found that it really resonated with me! I'll mention the main reasons they cite, then give you my take on them. If you want to read the whole article, I encourage you to visit their website at www.creativescrapboooker.ca
1. Emotional attachment. Let's face it - crafting is highly emotional! We are preserving the memories of our families and friends, making gifts to give to people we care about, and putting our energy and time into the creative process. Some things, like all the art projects from the kids, might not stand the test of time, so the best was to preserve them is by taking a photo of them. Or maybe there are family treasures that you can keep photos of, but other members of your family would truly cherish the originals. When I have a hard time letting go, I prefer to focus on my future emotions. I focus on how good it will feel to have a functional, efficient, organized space, and how good I will feel that items that no longer serve my needs will be with someone else who could really use or enjoy them.
2. We're saving certain things for a "special project". Oh goodness...if I could count the times that I have said this. I used to think "this line is so cute...I just have to keep all of this for a future <insert theme> project." And then a few years into working in this industry I realized something. There's ALWAYS going to be another cute <insert theme> line coming out. Manufacturers are in the business of making amazing products and lines...it's literally their job! Once I let go of the idea that I HAD TO keep certain things because I wouldn't see them again, I felt so much more free.
3. We don't want to be wasteful. I once read a recommendation for clearing items out of a closet when you aren't sure about letting go. The suggestion was to turn all hangers backward, then only after you have worn something, turn the hanger back the correct direction. After a year, whatever hangers are still backward probably should go. I'm not sure what the crafting equivalent is, so I'll let you each decide a timeline that makes sense to you. I am also choosing to consider overall "waste" and to focus on the fact that if I am not using it, there is a cost associated with it taking up space and keeping me from being truly organized. Additionally, for supplies that may dry up, or become unusable after a certain amount of time, the sooner I let them go, the more likely it is that someone else will still be able to use them. If I choose to keep things I am not using, they may go bad before anyone has a chance to use them. Nothing is more sad that crafting supplies that didn't get their time to shine!
4. Future Crafting Success. Many of us worry that if we let things go, we might let go of something that will be absolutely necessary for a future project and we will regret it. Let's as ourselves, how many times does that really happen? Instead I am choosing to focus on ways that my future crafting success will be improved with a clean, organized, and functional space!
So what do we do with the things we edit out?
Sometimes knowing that our items have a good new home to go to helps us stay motivated to sort! While this list is not exhaustive by any means, here are a few suggestions:
- Consignment or second hand stores. If you would like to try to recoup some of the cost of items you are ready to part with, this may be a great option. In my area we actually had a store that did this specifically for crafting items. You may have the same in your area.
- Crafting Garage Sales. Many local scrapbook stores host customer garage sales. If you don't have a local scrapbook store that does, grab a few of your crafty friends and organize one yourself!
- Schools or Teachers. We all know teachers and schools are on very limited budgets. Most all of my teacher friends LOVE crafting supplies!
- Hospitals. Children's Hospital and pediatric units of many hospitals love to have crafting supplies for patients. Over the past couple of years, there have been some limitations on accepting supplies, but my friends in the medical community tell me this is starting to ease up. Be sure to check with your local hospitals and clinics.
- Senior Living Centers. Many assisted living and long term care facilities love donations. Residents have very limited space and very few personal belongings. Making birthday and holiday cards for family members brings such joy! When calling, ask for the Activities Director at the location you choose.
- Transitional Housing. There are a variety of shelters, outreach groups, and more that help families struggling with and transitioning out of homelessness, domestic abuse, and more. Often these families had to leave with very little, which means children don't have any crafting supplies or supplies for school. Additionally, crafting can be such an outlet for stress and anxiety, particularly for children who are displaced.
I am sure you all can think of more that I didn't list! I hope these suggestions help you in your sorting process! I know you can do it!
Go watch some more Home Organization shows and get inspired! I can't wait to see your progress!