To Purge or Not To Purge…

That is the question! My mess supplies have recently taken over my craft room. Not only do I need to clean and put things away but we’re considering relocating my craft room to an area that’s smaller than I have now. Eeek! I’m actually okay with this and even excited about it. I know if done right I can get a lot of my stuff in this space. Realistically I have too much stuff ( I will deny ever saying that!). That’s where this “P” word comes in…Purge.

So after watching my craft room get messier and messier and my actual work surface disappear, I knew not only do I need to clean but I should really look at purging some supplies along the way. Not sure if I was procrastinating (my middle name), or my long lost organizational gene had surfaced, but I decided to go about this in an orderly manner.

purge collage

Now that I have my trash out of the room, and my box ready to be filled with those purged items, how do I decide what to purge?

I wrote down some basic questions that if answered realistically can help you to decide To Purge or Not To Purge.

purge dilemma
I really debated on some of these questions. And ultimately there’s the “Do I Love it?” question that can save some supplies. Of course this isn’t foolproof and if you aren’t in a mental purging place, then no this won’t work. But instead of just guessing which supplies to keep and what to purge, this should help.

Once you purge, you can give the supplies to other crafty friends, sell them or donate them to a school. If they are good supplies, please don’t throw them away. Schools or Rec centers would love to have these supplies.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions or accomplishments. Happy purging!



Independence Week: Overwhelmed By Your Stash?


Independence Week

Happy Independence Week!  We are celebrating here at CSI by featuring a few posts about how you can gain “independence” from your crafting stash.  When I talk to fellow crafters about organizing their supplies, the thing I hear more than anything is that they are overwhelmed.  Either they can’t find something, or they have too many choices, or they just don’t know where to start when it comes to organizing their stash.


According to an article I read recently on, when you look around your space and start to feel anxious, your body releases cortisol, a stress hormone.  Yikes!  Here are some pointers to help combat a messy and/or disorganized space.

Keep your workspace clear.  Your workspace is the single-most necessary thing to help you actually create something.  And if it’s not clear, you are far less likely to sit down to start a project.  Even if the room around you is a mess or unorganized, make your number one priority to clear your workspace.

Storage shelves.  No stacking or double shelving allowed.  In other words, if you have small items behind larger items, etc., get them all in one single layer.  Those hidden items are hard to find and lead to frustration.

Paper storage.  I  know it’s hard to believe, but chances are if you are a scrapbooker, you have more paper than you’ll be able to use.  Go through it all, if it fits into one of the following three categories, keep it.  If it doesn’t, give it away.

  • Paper you love
  • Paper you use regularly
  • Paper you can’t find anywhere else

Don’t pile items on the floor.  It’s a vicious cycle.  I’ve done this many time.  I say “Oh, I’ll just put this here for now”.  And before you know it I’ve got multiple piles that I have to climb over on a regular basis.

Keep a donation bin.  This might be my number one piece of advice.  I’ve managed get myself into the habit of making decisions about supplies and even tools when I am cleaning up after I’ve completed a project.  Will use that scrap of patterned paper again?  What about that stamp?  Was it hard to use?  Do I have another project in mind for it?  Have I used all of those letter stickers to the point I won’t use them again.  You get the picture.  If the answer to any of those questions is yes, I either recycle or add to my donation bin.  It even makes cleaning up a little easier.

Remember the six month rule.  Have you used it in six months.  I’ll even say, you can make it the one year rule.  J  If you haven’t you should seriously consider donating it.  Tastes change.  Ideas morph.  Give yourself some freedom.

One In, Two Out.  When something new comes in, at least one thing, preferably two, must go.  I know, I know. 😉  What if we said, if one comes in, USE one within the next week, or donate.  Would that help?

Ultimately, and at the risk of sounding harsh (I swear I don’t mean it harshly), your craft room is not supposed to be a warehouse!  It should be a place where you find inspiration, comfort and your inner creative.  Now go out there and do it!  I’m rooting for you!