The Kit Method Helped Me Keep My Hobbies Organized — and Actually Finish a New Project

published Feb 12, 2021
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Credit: Apartment Therapy

For every DIY project you begin, there’s at least one unfinished project gathering dust somewhere in your home. I should know: In the past year alone, I’ve left embroidery kits unfinished, abandoned an industrial-sized pack of lanyard string before I finished turning it into lanyards, and finally bid adieu to something that was once a sourdough starter (but had taken a weird turn in mid-May and eventually resembled pond scum). The average life cycle of each of my hobbies was woefully short. The arts and crafts bin under my bed became a graveyard of things I swore I would “get into,” but lost interest in soon after.

That is, until We Are Knitters sent me one of their knitting kits to try out. I’m not new to knitting, but it’s been a while since I’ve made scarves for friends and family members — for that reason, I was excited to try my hand at a “beginner-level” baby blanket, to see if I could turn the two skeins of yarn into a gift for a new family member. That in and of itself was pressure to actually finish the project, but it wasn’t until I got into the habit that I realized what was actually keeping me accountable for my progress.

The kit came in a durable brown paper bag, which meant that everything I needed was easy to carry from room to room. It also kept all of my knitting supplies both out in plain view, and separate from the rest of my arts and crafts bin. In short, it was a portable knitting kit, and this organizing hack is one I’m going to carry to all of my projects going forward.

How to Make Your Own Hobby Kit:

To make your own kit, you’ll need two things, both of which you likely have on hand already:

  • A tote bag or other durable bag large enough to store your project (a brown paper bag from your last grocery store will do if you don’t have a spare promotional tote lying around).
  • The tools you need to complete the exact project you’re working on right now.

That’s it! Really — pare your project down to the essentials you need at any given moment, for ease and clarity.

For example, while I might be inclined to keep all of my different knitting needles and yarn colors in my knitting bag because same goes with same, the assortment would prove to be more bulky and distracting than I need it to be. (No, you don’t need to sort through all of those extra skeins if you know you’re working with just one ball of yarn!) Or, if I’m working on an embroidery hoop, I’d keep the hoop, the pattern diagram, and the thread I need to finish the design in my kit. I would not keep every color of embroidery thread I own in the kit, because sorting through my options would be overwhelming, and I’d be more likely to quit.

By focusing on what you need in that moment, you’re effectively monotasking, or as one expert told the New York Times in 2016, “single-tasking.” This runs counter to the widespread habit of multitasking — ie, listening to music while you cook dinner and read a recipe on your phone and… — and instead gives you space to focus on exactly what you need to do in that minute.

Maybe that’s adding another row of knit-purl-knit-purl to your knitting project, or picking out which pressed flowers should go into your next DIY soap. The kit method allows you to focus on that task and that task alone until you’re ready to go onto the next piece of the metaphorical puzzle. And before you know it, your new project will be completed. Your peace of mind — and your storage space — will thank you.