Grab a box for donations and a dark trash bag for garbage.
Ready? I must warn you. . . I'm going to be ruthless. Are you sure you're ready? Here we go:
1. Fabric: Go through your fabric stash. Are you saving scraps that are really too small to do anything with? Trash. Do you have fabric you bought on a whim and you've never used? Donate. Do you have fabric for small children and your kids are 15 and 19? Donate. Don't save it for your grandchildren - you'll have fun shopping for new stuff when they come along. Choose a few container or shelves to hold your remaining fabric. Only save what will fit in that area.
2. Trim/ribbon: Check out your trim and ribbon hoard. Follow the same rules for the fabric. Sort the remaining ribbon into color or type (rickrack, metallic, wide, elastic etc.). Store in clear jars or ziploc bags by category. The time spent sorting now will save you a lot of time later when you need a particular trim for a project.
3. Paint: I'm not an artist but I do have craft paint in my stash. Every once in a while I have to go through and check to make sure my paints haven't dried out. Also, certain colors are not popular anymore, like dusty blue and hunter green. Donate those to a school or toss them.
4. Rubber stamps/stamp pads: Did you go to a friend's party and now you're stuck with a stamp set you have never used? Well, it's not doing anyone any good just sitting in your craft room. Donate it to someone or sell it. Same with stamp pads. After a while they will dry out and not be good for anything. Use it or lose it.
5. Paper: Scrapbook paper, handmade paper, wrapping paper, or cardstock. This happens to be one of my weak areas. The problem is, paper wrinkles, stains, and fades if not stored properly. Sort your papers by types and colors and keep them in a designated container that will protect them. Only keep what will safely fit into those containers. Take the remaining stuff to a school or recycle it.
6. Stickers: Several years ago, stickers were addictive. It was hard for me to step inside a scrapbook store and not come out with a whole bag of the little buggers. If you have lots of stickers and you hate to part with them because you paid so much money for them, then donate them to a local school. Teachers spend tons of their hard earned money on stickers for their students. They would love the donation.
7. Thread: If you sew, cross stitch, embroider, or do other needlework, you know that thread is hard to keep track of. You always feel like you have to start with "fresh" stuff so you won't run out in the middle of a project. Then, the leftovers just sit in a pile in a basket. Take those threads and pitch them. I know, I know, I sound ruthless. Trust me, you're better off tossing the short leftover lengths.
8. Yarn: Here again, starting with "fresh" yarn for each project means you have a pile of leftover yarn at the end that you don't know what to do with. If you make small items like dish cloths, baby hats, or booties you might be able to use up the scraps. If you only make blankets you may choose to make a "crazy quilt" kind of blanket with scraps of yarn. If not, please donate your scraps to a preschool or toss them in the garbage bag.
9. Sewing gadgets: Every once in a while you come across the latest fun toy to make your sewing easier, quicker, better, more convenient, etc.. Sometimes those toys are keepers. Sometimes they aren't. If they aren't, then don't feel bad when you give it away. Let someone else try it out and decide for themselves if it's a keeper or not.
10. Finally, look at your beads, baubles, and buttons. Uh oh, now I'm meddlin' in my own business. That's why I saved this one for last. I've never met a bead/bauble/button that I didn't like. In fact, I found a button today and I saved it in my jean's pocket to take home and drop into my button box. Yes. I. Did. If you do find these kinds of things are taking over your crafting space then you know it's time to weed through them. Toss out items that are broken, that don't make you smile, and that have lost their appeal. Take the remaining items and sort them by type and store them so you can use them when needed. A great idea for sorting is the small hardware drawers you'll find at Lowe's or Home Depot. Also, you could use tackle boxes which have movable dividers.
So now, are you exhausted? I am. Of course, you wouldn't want to take on all of these in one day. One a week would be perfect.
Let me know how it works out. I'd love to see how you've organized your crafts (Heck, we'd all like to see so please share!)
If you live locally, I'm planning on having a crafter's swap in November. So, save the crafting items you no longer use and plan on swapping with other crafters. I have collected 2 boxes of items including stamp sets, fabric, and patterns. I'll give details after the wedding.
**Only a few more hours left to enter the Baby Button Nest Give away. The contest ends tomorrow at 12:15 pm