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BWB and I are moving at the end of the month.  We’re headed into a beautiful condo which we will share with a housemate.  We love the new place (especially the pool!), but there is a distinct lack of storage space.  As we prepare to move, we are trying to pare down.  Some things, mostly furniture and seasonal items, we will probably put in a small storage unit nearby.  Other things are going to Goodwill.  I’ve been working hard on decluttering for some time now, but I think if anyone were to look into my craft closet as it is right now, she would have a hard time believing the volume of stuff I have already removed.

There will not be a craft closet in the new house, as there is simply not a spare closet.  As I look at the bins, shelves, and bags full of fabric, stuffing, thread, and other assorted crafty items, I find myself wondering what to do with them.  In fact, I find myself thinking perhaps I should let them go.

For over a decade, I was involved with the Society for Creative Anachronism.  I spent a great deal of time and energy working on clothing and other items in a medieval fashion, and collected a large stash of beautiful fabric.  As my involvement dwindled, I kept thinking I would parlay some of my sewing experience into making clothes for myself, and collected a large stash of interesting patterns.  I knit, and have many unfinished projects with their associated yarns, and many more odd balls of yarn leftover from previous projects.  I keep trying to scrapbook, although my success at that endeavor seems mostly limited to assembling bins and bins of pretty stickers, fancy papers, and photographs forlornly waiting in a filing box.  I quilt, and with that comes boxes of colorful fabric scraps — insidious because even the smallest scraps can be held onto with the excuse that they might be useful someday.  And then there are the bags of stuffing, rolls of batting, polybead filling, bottles of glitter, extra zippers, tins of buttons handed down to me from my mother, and all of the assorted associated clutter of the craftaholic.

I love my craft closet.  I love being able to go in there and dig out all kinds of interesting things for projects, when I have the time.  The problem is, I am a tiny bit busy and “when I have the time” is a little rare these days.  In the meantime, the bins of patterns collect dust, the fabric sits unused, and the scrapbooks remain empty.

There is a part of me that thinks I should keep all of this stuff, because someday I will have a proper craft room where I can organize it better.  Someday I will have the time to make pretty dresses out of the beautiful silk, someday I will get the hang of scrapbooking, someday I will finish all of my knitted UFOs.  Someday.

Then there is the part of me that thinks when the time comes that I have a proper craft room, I can buy another bag of stuffing.  I can find another pretty silk, and there will be patterns I like just as much as the ones in the jam-packed filing box.  This radical part of me is suggesting that I might be happier in a house with less Stuff.  That, if I get rid of the craft stuff I am hauling around with me now, I can more easily justify the fun of picking out new patterns and fabric when I want to do a new project.  This part of me thinks that a clean slate would make it easier to focus on new projects, and that in the long run I would finish more of them if there were fewer of them to focus on.

My husband just read part of this post over my shoulder and IM’d me with the following*:

BWB:   I haven’t read your post, but it seems to be (at least in part) about the loss of crafting storage space. Well, it occurs to me that you will have your old craft storage space in the china cabinet. We will have two closets in our room, and three dressers.  You don’t like putting clothes in dressers anyways…

Me:  Yes, but the question is, do I need to keep all that stuff.

Well, no.

Well, no, indeed.

When I think about how it would feel to get rid of those things, I have to admit that I get a little anxious.  My inner pack-rat is screeching, “BUT I COULD USE THOSE THINGS!  THEY ARE PRETTY!  WASTE OF MONEY!”  And yet, when I think about how it would feel to not have the clutter anymore, I imagine that would feel pretty good.

Maybe it’s time to get a little radical on the craft closet.


* Yes, we are sitting next to each other and IM’ing rather than speaking aloud.  We’re in a coffee shop, but we do it at home so that’s not really an excuse.  What, doesn’t everybody do this?

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