Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring cleaning

Bear with me, this post meanders, but will end up being crafting related I promise.

When my dear husband and I were married in the 90s and first combined households, I gently suggested the following rule to help him weed through an extensive clothing collection: if it was bought in the 70s and hasn't been worn since the 80s, it is time to let it go.

When I had my first baby, a friend who had been there, done that told me to consign as much of my work wardrobe as I could and donate the rest. She wisely pointed out that, even if I did return to work, I would want to buy new things.

Oh, why didn't I listen to her?

Just after baby #2, we made a temporary moved to WA . Thinking it was just for a year, we left the majority of our goods, including my work clothes, in storage. I still couldn't let them go.

Eighteen months later we made the decision to stay in the US, bought a house and pulled everything out of storage. With my visa at that time I couldn't work, even if I wanted to, and my corporate wardrobe was now almost four years old.

I had a nostalgic trip down memory lane going through the boxes, but the reality is that very few of those clothes had a place in my life anymore and the window of opportunity to consign them was lost, so the boxes were dropped of at a local charity.

In the years since then I have become the queen of purging and simplifying our household goods. Twice a year I go through my closet and the kids and weed out the unused, outgrown or worn out clothes (I still try to gently nudge my dear husband to join us, but I think he currently uses 2/3 of our walk-in closet plus half of the guest room closet).

I love to cook, but even my kitchen has been purged of appliances like pasta and bread machines that just didn't get used often enough.

So why do I have a hard time purging any of my craft supplies? As long as I had somewhere to put it, I just keep adding to my stash - new supplies come in and, unless it is used in a project, rarely does anything leave.

I can even pinpoint when my hoarding problem started. I blame 7Gypsies and one of their first French themed paper lines that had a "Grenoble" paper. I went to the University of Grenoble for a year and thought to myself "fantastic, I'll pick that up when I get around to making a scrapbook of my year in Europe."

A couple of months later the paper was no where to be found - limited availablity of product has been a huge contributing factor to the build up of paper & product that I own. I bought so much based on what I might do and the fear the product would not be available in a couple of months when I might want it.

I really am rambling, but my local scrapbook store is having a garage sale this weekend and I have really, really, REALLY made a huge effort to purge the forgotten product. I seriously have enough beach themed paper to last 5 lifetimes, even for someone living in southern California!

In the end, the pressure was on, time was short & I didn't get any photos as I pushed to make kits and package product, but my dining room did look something like this for a couple of weeks (only with a lot more paper stacked up):

It is amazing how good it feels to cleanse and purge.

The scary thing is, when I went to drop off the last box of items to sell, I had to stop myself from buying new paper {grin}.

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Oh Jacquie...I so identify with your post and am working on purging right now in my is a never ending cycle isn't it? I am trying really hard to make more cards/pages and buy is really the creating that I love the most - I just have to keep reminding myself! :) LOL!


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