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Old 02-04-2017, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default Minimalism and stamping don't mix well.

My desire to live a more minimalist life is in direct conflict to own all the stamps. And inks. And cardstock.

I've purged a lot of supplies, but I still have too much and I keep wanting more.


Has anyone reconciled these two concepts? Part of my interest in minimalism is to have more time to do the things I enjoy. I'm not giving up stamping because it's something I'd like to spend more time doing. But there is just so much stuff associated with it.
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:54 PM   #2
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I agree - minimalism and stamping are an odd couple. The best you can do (in my opinion) is pare down to what feels to you like "bare bones" and consists of things you truly love and know you will use, then cease to worry about it!

I considered minimalism myself a few years ago, but realized that I have moved far enough over to that end of the spectrum that I'm not buried under "stuff" - what I have is what I love and use - and that was good enough...
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:44 PM   #3
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agree. They are an odd couple. But the idea behind minimalism is the joy and peace that comes from being free of all the clutter, right? I'm with Sue, being thoughtful about what you have vs getting extreme is where you'll find that balance. For me, my stamp space sure doesn't look spartan, but I do stop and think: does this (item) give me joy? do I need this (item) to create/bring joy? I think the hard part is unplugging from the pull to get the next great thing, the newest toy and to really consider the joy factor.

another aspect of minimalism, that I wasn't so tuned into before, but am becoming more aware of now, is the sustainability factor and thinking about the whole of it (upstream and downstream, so to speak, from this lovely thing in my hand ... what all went into it getting here, where will things go when I'm finished playing with it?) It's an area I'm just starting to explore, and for now, those things I've already purchased are 'water over the dam', but future purchases, this is very much on my mind.
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Old 02-04-2017, 08:58 PM   #4
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I agree with you all. I moved toward minimalism about 5+ years ago after reading and giving a lot of thought to the subject. Minimalism is not about owning only 100 items or having starkly bare house. It's about only having what you truly love, use and enjoy - stamping supplies included. (removing the clutter and things you may feel obligated to keep even when you don't want it). I still have a lot of crafting supplies that I am weeding/purging, but I think occasional purging is necessary to maintain the balance and our likes, desires and styles change thus necessitating a purge. Minimalism is about the balance of things that you feel comfortable with. Most of the minimalist blogs tell you that it is your comfort level that matters and they, too, continue to declutter to maintain their personal standard.
I "inherited" a lot of "stuff" a few years ago when my mother was put into a home due to Alzheimer's and soon after that my grandmother passed. After offering it to my children and other family members, I was still left with a lot! It was driving me crazy, so I jumped into minimalism and haven't looked back (did I tell you, my mother was a pack-rat - she could almost qualify for "Hoarders."- truly sad.)
I have not yet gotten to the point of saying - I have achieved my minimalist status! lol But I'm still moving in that direction.
I must admit that my craft supplies is the most difficult area to minimalize, but it can happen.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:15 AM   #5
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Hello, my name is Beth Anne and I consider myself a "sorta minimalist" and a rubber stamper It is possible! But it does take a good amount of patience and contentment! First off, I think I have always been a minimalist...by that I mean someone who has a hard time with clutter & excess stuff. Perhaps it is the claustrophobia I have that perpetuates it!

There are several key things I found for me:
~only purchase what I truly love! Know or develop your likes/tastes (includes stamps, colors of ink, cardstock, accessories)
~WAIT at least a week before purchasing it (sometimes months) to determine if I just got caught up in "the hype" or if I truly love it (no impulse buying!)
~if I see something new I like, check my existing products to see if I can use what I already own
~set a yearly budget (start small and increase a little each year). This helps you to be able to spend money elsewhere in your life...such as giving to charities, helping a friend in need, traveling,etc.
~purge your supplies regularly (once a year at least)
~ NEVER get on the "full set" bandwagon! Start small. If you like it (new product, technique, etc) then add slowly to it.

I hope this helps and gives you some encouragement! It is possible!
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:38 AM   #6
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I dont see husbands practicing minimalism in the garage with their tools or their man caves with technology-the newest speaker or whatever. I just had this experience yesterday in the kitchen as DH justified why he wanted 5 hand graters on top of the box one. Just sayin'

And btw....who came up with the dumb expression "She Shack"? Seriously? With the exception of Amber's lucky lucky sister, I dont know anyone with a separate crafting building or whatever personal use. Because if you call the garden tool shed that...I will use a dibber on you in an unpleasant way since he should be helping you at least with mowing or shoveling snow/clearing leaves/gutters.

Sorry-took a bird walk there.

I rewrote this three times now because it kept coming out way long b/c talking philosphy as it relates to real world application is not a quck topic.

Nutshell: Creativity and Minimalism in practical terms (ie stuff level) are diametrically opposed imho.

Creativity is an expansive path-always growing, going in new directions, and often needing new stuff to do that. Part of the process is the exploration of new techniques and tools in itself.

Minimalism is a contractive path-reducing stuff ownership in order to free up and thereby expand thought procees imho.

Do people think it would be much easier to be Minimalist if you embraced the CAS style and therefore need less stuff? I am leaning that way but I would want more time to consider it.

(I dont believe all Minimalist painters had minimal stuff in their studios although Monks and other serious minimalists do create but often in a very singular, focused way)

Still not short but not the long big paragraphs.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:48 AM   #7
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Great advice. I'm already implementing the first and second, and have been for a while.


Checking existing products: I normally know what holes I have and try to stick to filling them. I'm a bit disorganized at the moment because I haven't finished converting my catalog over to Evernote, and I just purged so many stamps that my original paper one is out of date. I'm not buying until I have a better handle on what I have left.


Budget: I don't budget at all. Something in me rebels at a budget, but it's a good idea. I have a lot of discretionary income, but I would like to start donating more and buying less. Everything I purchased recently came from the proceeds of my purge.


Purge: I've been stamping since about 2000, and I just finished my first major purge. I like the idea of doing it every year. I've just about finished purging all of my stamps that don't immediately make me want to sit down and create, but I'll need to start purging sets I've used and won't use again (like for Christmas cards)


Full set: I'm a sucker for this. I have a full set of SU cardstock and ink pads, plus a full set of Amuse Studio cardstock and ink pads, plus a full set of Memento dewdrop pads. I'm just getting into MFT cardstock, but I'm starting very slowly with them by replacing favorite colors I'm using up in other brands. Amuse was discontinued and SU colors feel stale to me (I like bright, pure colors and pale neutrals and SU has a lot of greyed or browned colors and terrible neutrals). I need to set a goal to use up my SU cardstock, then sell the pads and reinkers, before going for another brand. I've thought about just selling all my SU stock off, but I've spent so much on it I hate to let it go. My Amuse Studio cardstock will diminish rapidly (I prefer it over SU, and I can't buy it any more).


Quote:

Originally Posted by BAView Post
Hello, my name is Beth Anne and I consider myself a "sorta minimalist" and a rubber stamper It is possible! But it does take a good amount of patience and contentment! First off, I think I have always been a minimalist...by that I mean someone who has a hard time with clutter & excess stuff. Perhaps it is the claustrophobia I have that perpetuates it!

There are several key things I found for me:
~only purchase what I truly love! Know or develop your likes/tastes (includes stamps, colors of ink, cardstock, accessories)
~WAIT at least a week before purchasing it (sometimes months) to determine if I just got caught up in "the hype" or if I truly love it (no impulse buying!)
~if I see something new I like, check my existing products to see if I can use what I already own
~set a yearly budget (start small and increase a little each year). This helps you to be able to spend money elsewhere in your life...such as giving to charities, helping a friend in need, traveling,etc.
~purge your supplies regularly (once a year at least)
~ NEVER get on the "full set" bandwagon! Start small. If you like it (new product, technique, etc) then add slowly to it.

I hope this helps and gives you some encouragement! It is possible!
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:10 AM   #8
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It may not be practical to apply the same standards of minimalism across the board to every area of your life. Your creative pursuits may be one of them. You have to be flexible in how you define it, or minimalism can become a tyrant instead of a source of freedom.

Of course the idea of resisting impulse buys, not jumping on every bandwagon, and setting a budget to force you to consider each purchase carefully is always good advice for all of us. We talk about these things on the forum frequently.

I am pretty averse to owning anything I don't love and use. But I'm not a true minimalist. (And my partner is one of those people who keeps anything he thinks he might possibly use someday. It will start to annoy me that he's like this, and then inevitably I'll need some weird thing that I can't think how I'll find, and he'll fish it out of a closet or a storage trunk and hand it to me. !)
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:39 AM   #9
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Quote:

Originally Posted by RachelroseView Post
I am pretty averse to owning anything I don't love and use. But I'm not a true minimalist. (And my partner is one of those people who keeps anything he thinks he might possibly use someday. It will start to annoy me that he's like this, and then inevitably I'll need some weird thing that I can't think how I'll find, and he'll fish it out of a closet or a storage trunk and hand it to me. !)
You just summed up my mother's garage "back in the day"... It didn't seem to matter how obscure the thing I needed might be, she had it and knew where it was. I used to be the same way, but I got over it! It still really irks me to put something in a landfill that could possibly be useful, but unless I have an idea for RIGHT NOW, I can't allow it to clutter my space...
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:43 AM   #10
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Speaking of garages, I took charge of ours. Despite my husband's dozens of "It's a garage!" and my "and your point is?" as I was designing/decorating/labeling, he later admitted it was great being able to find anything, and it's pleasant to drive into after his long day and awful commmute. (And why shouldn't the phone in there be labeled "phone?") ; )

People want their entryway to feel welcoming, and if the garage is an entry point, why not make it appealing yet functional? (I once helped someone turn a garage wall into a gallery wall with framed art posters she already had.)

I've read articles and part of books about minimalism and talked to a couple of people who were a bit miserable that they weren't doing it right or weren't getting rid of enough. It's a big trend now, and I think when people dip into trends lightly, they can 1) miss valuable points, or 2) not realize the fit is not a good one.

I suspect deep inside many of us know what is too much versus what makes us happy. It bugged me that I had two large, somewhat similar cooking pots, and until I donated one, it continued to bug me. We talk to ourselves, constantly. So we kind of know, don't we?

I know if I don't have a place on a shelf to put something, it's time to take a hard look at stuff on it. My shelves and I need to breathe. But I like silly stuff and art scattered about.

What lets me breath in my craft room/office, is neat organization and a lot in drawers/containers/closet, but some fun colorful stuff out, along with items that are constantly used. The drawers and containers mostly need to be somewhat visually appealing too. : ) Like a CAS card. Or bunch of CAS cards.

With craft supplies/tools, purging is a constant small "p," not a great big "P." Anything I notice when getting something may be pulled for the donate or LSS garage sale boxes. But I'm doing a large P purge of my office stuff, since I'm mostly retired. That's a big job.

You know how before a house move, there can be a massive amount of purging? My version of minimalism is that if we moved again, everything we had would be worthy of going with us, unless it was furniture that didn't fit. So I'm very slowly going through every room, drawer, to be "moving minimalist" ready. Even though we're not moving.
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:55 AM   #11
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When we were cleaning out my mother's house, my brother recalled something rather profound that my grandmother used to say - You need to move every 5 years and have a fire ever 7 years - in other words - Start Over! LOL
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:35 AM   #12
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Wavejumper, I love your gloss on the Expansive vs Contractive path. Really thought-provoking.

Minimalist painting, though, has nothing to do with supplies, only with what ends up on the canvas. Some great minimalist art no doubt came out of some pretty messy and cluttered studios. And I'm going to go out on a limb here because I am not and will never be a CAS card maker (although I admire those who are good at it) and say that it's probably untrue to say that CAS card makers have fewer supplies. I think you can have a bulging craft room no matter what style you work in. And I think you could purge down your supplies to a bare minimum and do any sort of card, even vintage or mixed media. A talented crafter knows how to use the same supplies in a multitude of ways.

Which makes me think about whether I'm doing enough of that myself. The mutiple ways thing. Hmmm...
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:59 AM   #13
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RachelRose, I can confirm that supplies for my CAS projects take up as much room, probably, as supplies for mixed media and other projects. After all, even if you're only using three enamel dots, you still buy full sheets of many colors, right?

Now I do have a separate Raskog that sits outside the kitchen for acrylic paints, Gelli plates, large stencils, the "real" messy stuff, since I do that on the stainless steel kitchen table on the tile floor, rather than on my table in my craft room. So that's lots more stuff.

But CAS may also stand for Collosal Astounding Stash.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:20 PM   #14
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Quote:

Originally Posted by bjeansView Post
You know how before a house move, there can be a massive amount of purging? My version of minimalism is that if we moved again, everything we had would be worthy of going with us, unless it was furniture that didn't fit. So I'm very slowly going through every room, drawer, to be "moving minimalist" ready. Even though we're not moving.
This is exactly what we did 2 1/2 years ago, but we actually did move - across the country. I shipped a couple of flat rate boxes of punches and books and heavy things like that, but everything else had to fit in or on the car, or it didn't move with us. My husband brought his foot pedal (he's a drummer) and a few tools that were small but expensive (he's in construction), I brought stamps and dies and ink refills and my Big Shot. The rest was clothes and some kitchen things that were either heirloom or massively expensive.

Everything else - EVERYTHING ELSE - was sold at a week-long yard sale, donated to schools and/or Goodwill, given to friends or tossed. I had 25 bins of fabric and trims (I was an upholsterer and seamstress for a very long time) that went to the theater department at Syracuse University and the Shakespeare theater group in town. Most of my crafty stuff went to a school librarian to put in the resource center. It was amazing the variety of places I could find locally that wanted all of my stuff!

I never gave a thought to $$ and trying to recoup it - that would have been a false hope, at best. We were on a mission, and followed through. Every now and again I'll think of something that I used to have, but I don't actually miss any of it.

I've tried to be very careful about what I bring into our space now so that it can remain clutter-free. I did have some heirlooms in storage in California that I've been able to bring here, so it's not like we don't have things, but compared to what I used to have, we are pretty bare bones...
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:24 PM   #15
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Over past couple of years I've taken a somewhat minimalist approach to what I want to surround me. I've been diligent about removing things from the house that I really don't need or use and I like the feeling. The cupboards and closets aren't bare but they aren't clutter and what I have I actually use. I've used the same practice in my craft room, which is full but now it's full of things I really want an use.

I don't see minimalism as depriving myself but rather an approach to stop wanting to have it all just for the sake of having it all. I don't buy for the sake of buying and I really do look for substitutes instead of adding something new.

An important factor is giving yourself permission to get rid of extra cardstock, inks you never use because if you were really honest, you probably don't even like them. It's amazing what you can let go of if you ask a couple of simple questions: do you really like it...be honest and could you replace it if you just couldn't use anything else?

So yes, I believe you can take a minimalist approach and still have a lot of stuff so long as you use it. that's my story and I'm sticking to it...LOL
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Old 02-05-2017, 03:31 PM   #16
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Sue, that's an amazing move. Journey. What about furniture?!

I'm fine with needing a moving van. It's just that those pants I haven't worn in 11 years and that waffle iron that hasn't had batter poured onto it in ten, and and and... well, you know.

So for paper crafts, the goal is similar. Many multiples of X and Y are fine as long as I can see myself using them. But even one of something that feels meh? Gone. That one little item clutters my mind, like when I had two fairly similar large pots.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:49 PM   #17
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I'm definitely not a Spartan kind of minimalist. I'm more a Cozy Minimalist. I don't see the point of getting rid of everything, down to my bed frame, or counting the number of items I own.

But I've been in the same house for over 18 years and come from a hoarder mindset, so I've recently decided to purge the excess. Decluttering and organizing weren't working. I had to completely switch my thinking. I've cleaned out so much but have so much more to go before my home stops being a place to store stuff and starts being a place to live.


I'd like to spend less time trying to deal with the stuff, and more time doing what I enjoy. That includes card making, so I just need to find a balance between having enough to allow me to create freely, and not having so much that I can't create at all.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:41 PM   #18
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Sue, that's an amazing move. Journey. What about furniture?!

I'm fine with needing a moving van. It's just that those pants I haven't worn in 11 years and that waffle iron that hasn't had batter poured onto it in ten, and and and... well, you know.

So for paper crafts, the goal is similar. Many multiples of X and Y are fine as long as I can see myself using them. But even one of something that feels meh? Gone. That one little item clutters my mind, like when I had two fairly similar large pots.
Furniture got sold and/or given away, as well. The hardest thing I had to part with was a bowl that had my maiden name written on the bottom with a Sharpie. My mom used to take it to church dinners or sick friends or such-like. It matched the rest of the ironstone set (service for twelve plus serving pieces) and it didn't feel right to not let the person who bought the set have all of it...
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:48 PM   #19
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I'm definitely not a Spartan kind of minimalist. I'm more a Cozy Minimalist. I don't see the point of getting rid of everything, down to my bed frame, or counting the number of items I own.

But I've been in the same house for over 18 years and come from a hoarder mindset, so I've recently decided to purge the excess. Decluttering and organizing weren't working. I had to completely switch my thinking. I've cleaned out so much but have so much more to go before my home stops being a place to store stuff and starts being a place to live.

I'd like to spend less time trying to deal with the stuff, and more time doing what I enjoy. That includes card making, so I just need to find a balance between having enough to allow me to create freely, and not having so much that I can't create at all.
I really like the sound of that - Cozy Minimalist. I'm totally on board with that concept. Just enough "stuff" that it feels like home instead of just a house, but not so much that it's cluttered - perfect!

One reason that I have to limit what I'm looking at at any given point in time - crafty or otherwise - is that I have this peculiarity where I cannot make a choice if there are too many options available. I want ALL of them and, since that's not possible, I refuse to eliminate any of them. I found a book that outlines the thinking and the reason behind it, so I know it's real. Even though it's totally subconscious, it's still my reality, so I have to find work-arounds...
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:05 PM   #20
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So many good thoughts here! Good thread question!

Rachelrose...That was my point-Minimalist painters very well could have tons of stuff in their studios. I am just saying dont assume that someone who works in a style is actually living a philosophy.

Beth-But CAS may also stand for Collosal Astounding Stash. LOLOL!!!! So true! I am also loving the idea of you paring down if you ever want to move. You are doing it at a comfortable pace, not the frenetic have to get it all done in X time. I have been steadily letting go of stuff just b/c as I get older I get more conscious of the fact someone may have to come in here and clear it out- farmore morbid than you. I should switch it to be your positive focus! As I am getting older what once felt cozy now feels cluttered and crowded. Plus I never had the knack some do about being able to line a wall with pictures butting up or arranging 15 photo frames on a table top, etc.

Sue- As said before I am hugely impressed with how you handled that move. One has to consider the cost of moving stuff. I moved from one coast to the other, and then back and took stuff with me in both directions, thinking that having my "stuff" with me would make the move less traumatic...not smart. Those moves tripled the expense of those things and in the end I actually got rid of a bunch of it anyway. So I hope people learn from my experience. (the same applies to storage lockers) You may lose money by donating, but you lose even more to pay to move it.

One way I know people use to control in the inflow of stuff is the "one in/one out" rule strictly. a) it forces you to decide if you really want something enough to keep it and b) if you really want to buy something enough you are willing to trade out for it.

Once I get through getting my own space together...I am very much thinking of a personal challenge. Like Julia & Julia (the girl who cooked her way daily through all of Julia Child's masterwork)...I am thinking I might try to start in one corner and use each thing. Which will mean using a lot of stencils in a row for example when I get to that, but so what? It will take a very long time, even if I comgine multiples on a single card.

A) I wont be concerned anymore with "I never even used this once" whch I am expecting will be very freeing/relaxing.
B) I may purge stuff as I realize it is too hard for me or I dont like it.

It's a daunting idea so I am not positive I will do it but I am thinking about it so I may at least start it. I dont design a card easily when i can use anything I have. Being forced into a particular thing could be either very freeing or really restrictive in a bad way if I cant figure out what do....but that in itself would be telling.
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:31 PM   #21
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This is a great thread. I too, like the cozy minimalist description. Sue, I am curious what book title that was?

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Old 02-05-2017, 11:19 PM   #22
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I am slowly purging to get to more minimal supplies because retirement is just a few years away. While I like lots of techniques, I really only enjoy a few so why do I hang on to those supplies? I've been stamping long enough that some of my original supplies are drying out or doing things like clumping embossing powder.

I'm trying to extend this to other stuff in the house as hubby doesn't want to stay here. I've begun getting rid of the wedding gifts we never use and my DDs don't want, the duplicate bowls, etc. But he keeps bringing more stuff into the house, a saw of some sort, pieces of wood, a safe?, and then he complains he can't find what he needs. 1 800 Got Junk is going to love us when we do move.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:25 AM   #23
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Wave, thinking about your possible challenge, I'm wondering how it could be framed to be positive and less daunting (your word). My sense is that goals rarely are reached when negative or not positive enough, or go on and on (or too general, though that doesn't apply).

For instance, might you want to do this four or five days a week instead of seven? Would you want to break usage into categories so you wouldn't have a gazillion stencils in a row? Like Monday - stamp, Tuesday - stencil, Wednesday - DSP, etc? Do you want to include a specific goal about donating items? How about a calendar or chart to mark off each day's accomplishment like our piano teachers gave us stickers?

I don't know what floats your boat and I'm just thinking/typing out loud, but if when initially contemplating something it's already daunting, I'm semi-doomed before getting out of the gate. That's why when I worked on our "wreck" room, 5 minutes a day using a fun-colored timer equaled success. But I get overwhelmed easily.

BTW, I use moving to remind me of unneeded stuff that piles up. I'd still be going through the one-too-many-pots process if I was 100% certain this was my last house. And it may be. BTW, it's amazing how attached I can feel toward nothing special, simply because it's been around since dirt. I mean there must be a good reason I had it for so long, right? lol I have a list of questions to ask myself when I get stuck.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:08 AM   #24
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I am really enjoying this thread! Not that I'm a very positive example, LOL, but perhaps y'all will inspire me.

I've pretty much taken a "craft stuff doesn't count" approach to my minimalism. I've done a really good job of weeding out clothes, and dishes, books, misc. stuff... but I have a REALLY hard time getting rid of anything crafty. So my rule is that anything crafty I buy has to fit in our den - my crafty place. Of course, it's getting to the point where I can't open the door all the way, and the storage goes up so high that I need a stepladder to get to some of my stuff, LOL.

Part of my problem is that a lot of what I have doesn't match - patterned papers that I'm having trouble matching to cardstock, etc. I am seriously considering becoming a Stampin' Up demo, which is going to mean a whole lot more stuff, but I'm hoping that maybe committing to mostly one brand will help with the "nothing matches" dilemma.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:41 AM   #25
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Kitty, when you say nothing matches, do you mean matchy-matchy exact matches of identical colors? Or that nothing harmonizes? If it's the first, maybe aim for the second?

I have a sneaking suspicion that you have a bunch colors that could harmonize in lovely ways. Or sometimes a couple more colors (of CS) can transform possibilities. That is, unless you only have a few colors. Then more are needed. I have an idea; will PM you so not to OT this thread too too much.

And I agree that in a way craft stuff doesn't fully count. Other than if I know I don't like something or won't use it, it's gone.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:02 AM   #26
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Kitty, when you say nothing matches, do you mean matchy-matchy exact matches of identical colors? Or that nothing harmonizes? If it's the first, maybe aim for the second?

I have a sneaking suspicion that you have a bunch colors that could harmonize in lovely ways. Or sometimes a couple more colors (of CS) can transform possibilities. That is, unless you only have a few colors. Then more are needed. I have an idea; will PM you so not to OT this thread too too much...
It's probably more the "nothing harmonizes" issue... but honestly, I just think I'm color-challenged, LOL. It's definitely NOT that I don't have enough colors of cardstock, LOL.

I love card-making, and if I take my time and keep fiddling, I am usually happy with the end result. It's just that it takes me forever and a day to find the right color combinations. But maybe that's something I can practice.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:23 AM   #27
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This is a great thread. I too, like the cozy minimalist description. Sue, I am curious what book title that was?

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It's The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine. Incredibly life-changing for me...
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:57 AM   #28
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I am also enjoying this thread. When I remodeled our kitchen twelve years ago, I move everything to the basement. After the remodel was completed, I brought things up as I used them. After six months I looked at everything that remained in the basement, picked out a few items, then took the rest to Goodwill. There was only one item that I had to replace.

One year before we put our house on the market, I went through the entire house and did the same thing with items that were not used on a regular basis, attaching a colored tag with tape. When I used the item, I removed the tag. It was scary to see how many items still had tags attached after a year. All we were doing was storing things, just in case we might need it. Goodwill received a lot of items before we started packing for our move.

We moved 3 months ago and I am so happy that I did not bring a lot of unnecessary items. I have again attached tags to everything that we have stored in the basement. If we do not use it in the next year, it will also be donated.

I have done the same thing with my craft supplies. Over the last several years I have purged many things. The only difference is I will put the items in a box and wait 6 months before I donate the box.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:03 AM   #29
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No, they sure don't but I contain myself by limiting my supplies to what I can neatly store (that means no piles, nothing shoved in somewhere, no boxes on the floor, etc.) and by what my minimums as a SU! demo are. I purchase only my minimums and if a friend orders I reduce my share accordingly. I like buying from just one store because it keeps me in check (and I really so love SU!).

I think I am a minimalist at heart, though, because I never have trouble parting with things that are worn out, outgrown, already read, etc. My husband is the same way, fortunately. We do not buy very much and, if we do, we have to REALLY need it! A small house with three teenagers is a great motivator to stay minimalist! Speaking of which.....you know what also does not mix with minimalism?......CHILDREN
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:04 PM   #30
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This is a great thread. I too, like the cozy minimalist description. Sue, I am curious what book title that was?

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No idea. I'm sure I found it on a blog.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:12 AM   #31
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In order to keep the chaos down in my craft room, I follow the same principle I used in my gift basket business- if a product can't be used for 3 themes then don't buy it. In other words, if I find a stamp or die I like, I have to be able to use it for more than the original intended idea or be able to combine it with another set to get more use out of it.

An example is the TH Crazy Birds accessory set of stamps and dies. I recently used the birthday hat with the Hey Chick set as well as the balloons.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:51 AM   #32
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No idea. I'm sure I found it on a blog.
The Nesting Place blog! She uses the term Cozy Minimalist all the time.


Great thread! I, too, struggle with the balance. We are that family that does seem to move every two or three years (at least that's been the way for the past dozen or so!). And we are planning on moving again this spring. Each move, we have to decide what to keep and what to let go. Two years ago, we decided to give up all the Graco baby stuff we'd been holding onto for more than twelve years. Grandchildren don't seem to be in our near future, so we blessed that stuff on to a women's shelter.


This year, I've decided to get bare bones with clothing, books(donated over two hundred to the local library Friends group), toys, holiday decor, and inherited china. I want the things in storage to be at a minimum, and only what we really need or love.


Here's what I don't want to become, though. I don't want to become a "disposablist" that's pretending to be a minimalist. A lot of these bloggers claim to be minimalist, but they never seem content with the stuff they do have, and keep swapping it out for the newest trend. That's a gerbil wheel I really want to get off of. So I'm really careful not to hop on a trend. I do have to think like a home stager, though, which requires me to keep my decor fresh and uncluttered and current.


I feel like I'm currently in a good place with my craft stash. I, too, have been doing this since 2000, and was a SU demo for a while. I have done several big purges (wood mounted stamps had to go, if for no other reason than they visually cluttered up my space!), and I continue to let go of the old and unused when I bring something new in. I also like to buy and sell from the BST forums, and I am slow and patient and methodical when acquiring new things.


I guess I feel like I need to have good storage, nothing crammed and cluttered, with a balance and room to breathe in my home. If I can maintain that, then I'm content.


The move this spring will be our choice, not a corporate relocation (leaving the expensive Chicago burbs for simpler living in another state). That means that for the first time in over a dozen years, we will be packing and loading and moving our stuff on our own. I'm in overdrive with the sorting and cleaning and purging, and I'm waiting for the first warm day to have a massive garage sale. I have the motivation now, and I really want to downsize and simplify our living. I know that whatever we get rid of, we will not miss...we never do!
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:09 AM   #33
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I am pretty sure I read some where that A Muse was not going to close? ( I have not read the whole thread yet, got side tracked by that stray thought.)
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:06 AM   #34
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Thanks for all the helpful ideas. I have always struggled in this area and as a thrift store shopper I find a lot of "bargains" that add to the volume of things. I also have a large family and I homeschool and that brings with it a lot of extra stuff. I am down to 2 kids at home and only 4years (including this one) of homeschoolong left so I've been paring down those supplies as we complete each year. My biggest hurdle is time. The paring down process is time consuming and creates more mess while I'm in process which is discouraging and can be overwhelming to me. I know I feel better and more creative when things are more orderly but sometimes just don't know where or how to start.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:58 AM   #35
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Thanks for all the helpful ideas. I have always struggled in this area and as a thrift store shopper I find a lot of "bargains" that add to the volume of things. I also have a large family and I homeschool and that brings with it a lot of extra stuff. I am down to 2 kids at home and only 4years (including this one) of homeschoolong left so I've been paring down those supplies as we complete each year. My biggest hurdle is time. The paring down process is time consuming and creates more mess while I'm in process which is discouraging and can be overwhelming to me. I know I feel better and more creative when things are more orderly but sometimes just don't know where or how to start.
Well, at a radical level (and this isn't my idea, and while I can't think of the woman who's idea it is, I bet there are those here who can name her): put all your things in a big pile in the center of your space and then begin to sort into three piles: Yes, this definitely brings me joy; No, this definitely does not bring me joy; Undecided, not clear yet. The yes pile you know what to do with. The no pile can go to your favorite charity. The undecided pile you can come back to and it will sort itself out.

On a less radical level, do the same, but in small batches and use a timer (10 min a crack?)

I'm sure there are other folk with great ideas, too, but this is one that's helped me.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:34 AM   #36
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I admit that when purging, decluttering, downsizing or whatever you call it, it is easier when you have all like items together to sort thru them. When cleaning a closet I usually go thru clothes; however, if I find a box of books or box of kitchen items then I pull that out and put in the kitchen or near a bookcase to be dealt with when I come to those areas.
When I have a "might need that" moment I will put the item aside and come back to it the next day or box it up and re-visit it in a few weeks. Most the time those items are not keepers.
Sometimes DH is helpful, but most the time I have to question him - "is this really something you want to keep?"
I have not regretted getting rid of anything. In fact, I don't even remember half the stuff and only sometimes when someone mentions a thing and then I think "Oh, yeah" without any guilt or desire to have it back!
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Old 02-08-2017, 12:39 PM   #37
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My biggest hurdle is time. The paring down process is time consuming and creates more mess while I'm in process which is discouraging and can be overwhelming to me. I know I feel better and more creative when things are more orderly but sometimes just don't know where or how to start.
At the time I was getting our house ready to sell I was working full time, so Monday thru Friday I would go through one drawer, cabinet or box each night after work. I was surprised how much I was able to throw away or set aside for donating each week. By taking a very small bite of the whole house every day I never created a mess or felt overwhelmed.
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Old 02-08-2017, 12:54 PM   #38
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One snag for me - in and out of the craft room - is looking at two items that are in one category and deciding I will get rid of one - even if both really could go. (If there are three items I might get rid of two.) It's as one needs to remain and I've done enough by getting rid of the one (or two). But if I went back a week or month later, I could probably let go of other one.

I've told my husband that no matter how much we - or I - get rid of, if I go back I could get rid of 10% more.

And there's always 10% more. So I need to address that one head on. Maybe go back to it 5 minutes later and pretend it's the next week. Really!
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:00 PM   #39
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I used to have sentimental attachments to things that made it hard to let them go, but the thing that helped me get over it is kind of...bittersweet? When my mom was ill (leukemia), she went through her hope chest with all three of her daughters (me and my two sisters) and let us choose things that we wanted to keep - the gloves she wore to her wedding, beautiful tablecloths, embroidered pieces and delicate crocheted doilies and such that her mother had made, handkerchiefs and scarves and childhood keepsakes. We took turns choosing and exchanged stories and memories and it was a really neat experience, even though the reason behind it was sad. Those beautiful things had been hiding in that hope chest for most of my life. Some of them were brought out periodically for special occasions or something, but mostly they were just "there".

My sister is sort of the family historian, and she went through all kinds of papers and cards and memorabilia after my mom passed, and let us divvy up those items, as well. Quite a bit of it was not claimed by anyone, but just went to the recycle bin.

I started looking at my own "treasures" with a completely different eye. I've asked my children (they're all adults now) if there's anything I have that they'd like to have when I'm gone, and there really isn't. If I'm not using it now, and they don't want it later, what is the point of any of it taking up real estate? At first it's hard to let things go, but it gets easier and easier if you're able to identify whether you're keeping it because of some sentimental reason, or if you really love it (it's possible that both are true)...
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:29 PM   #40
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I have been following this thread with inter st, wondering if I should jump in. If I do, I it may be all jumbled and incoherent trains of thought. But I will hope for the best.

Most of our parents came through the depression or shortly after and have the packrat mentality. Save everything, never know when you will need it. That is why when my MIL was needing to move from the farm house to a small suite, we had to deal with stacks of useless (to us) newspapers, jars, cereal boxes, empty envelopes, junk mail... her onset of dementia which hastened her move didn't help. She was paranoid about losing certain things.

My own mom sent me out boxes of keepsakes she couldn't part with it but knew had to go. She kept every napkin ever received at a wedding or anniversary. Even when we would take her out for a meal, she kept the napkin and wrote the date and place on it. She kept empty flower food packages from flowers given to her, along with the store tag that came on it. With tiny writing, she wrote every single flower that had been in the arrangement. There was a (thankfully unused!!) airline sickness bag...

Those sorts of packratting gave me a horror of meaningless junk. But I came to understand the reason behind mom's collections was a love for the person/giver of said flowers or meal out. That made me a bit more understanding. I told her that throwing away the package or napkin in no way made her love any less.

I married a collector. We love antiquing together and have a large collection of a lot of antiques. What will we do with it all? The Picker shows on tv are compelling but we aren't yet ready to downsize. I have a few family heirlooms that mean a lot to me. The sentimental value factor. I do have 2 girls who are showing interest now as adults so no doubt some of the special things will eventually go to them.

So I don't know what I am. I don't like clutter. I don't hang on to waste paper, broken items, things that don't fit. I do like this things that speak to my spirit and make me happy.
And we have a house full of those things. I do also appreciate empty space and am not compelled to fill it. I won't get into hubby's shop... that is another thread!
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