Organize & Clean

Clear It Out: The Worst Culprits Clogging Up Your Craft Stash

published Jan 21, 2016
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Every DIYer and crafter’s weakness is supplies. Newly acquired, they hold such promise of things to come, before project frustration or boredom kicks in, or before your free time slips away. Beautiful fabrics, soft yarn waiting to become a scarf, and enough sequins to make even Richard Simmons happy. You’ve got it all. Let’s just say that when the Craft-Apocalypse comes, your personal stock will rise and so will your spot in the evolutionary supply chain. But no one wants a Lord of the Flies situation, so it’s time to cull the collection — whether it’s a couple of baskets worth, or an entire dedicated closet. Either use what you have or get rid of it entirely.

(Image credit: June Bhongjan)

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Dried Up Stuff: This is anything from paint, ink, adhesives, epoxy, and sealers. You might have left the lid off by mistake, or they just shriveled up and died on their own. Go through each of your items and figure out what’s still usable and get rid of the rest.

(Image credit: Kathryn Bacalis)

Fabric Scraps: Small remnants from past projects that aren’t enough to do anything with — even little squares of fabric you even just love to look at and can’t bear to let go. Instead of hanging onto it, create a pinboard of your favorite fabric textiles and collect them there instead. Visual hoarding, unlike physical hoarding, won’t make you the star of a certain A&E reality show.

(Image credit: Rebecca Bond)

Unfinished Projects: Six years ago you started an afghan. You crocheted about 39 squares, but not nearly enough to make a placemat, let alone an entire blanket. Life happened, and you haven’t crocheted in year, and when you look at all that stuff you don’t feel excitement, only a vague sense of guilt. Let that bygone project go and make more space in your life for the things you’re excited about.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Old Interests: At some point you knew you were going to be a ceramicist. You took a class, bought a potters wheel, a bunch of clay, and maybe even some special doohickeys to make everything even more awesome. Then the next month, silver jewelry caught your eye and totally stole pottery’s thunder. So all that ceramics-making stuff is sitting in your closet, basement, or even in the corner.

Duplicates: Sometimes your supplies are so plentiful and disorganized you forget what you actually own, and wind up buying more than one of the same thing. If you find yourself with five glue sticks, keep the newest, or the highest quality one, and get rid of the rest.

If you can’t bear to let these things go to nameless, faceless people, organize a get-together with a bunch of fellow crafty friends and do a swap. But only take what you actually need or will use, or you’ll wind up in the same boat all over again!

5 Smart Tips for Hosting a Successful Craft Supplies Swap