Giving it away

A big part of why I have accumulated Too Much Stuff is that I spent money on it, or someone else did, and I feel guilty throwing away something that I bought (or someone bought for me).  Many times I decide to start a new hobby, or home business, and then I get bored, or it’s too much work, or I otherwise stop.  I feel like a failure, and there’s all this Stuff everywhere that reminds me of my tired hobbies.  I promise myself I will pick up again, really make some earrings, really book some home parties to sell my products, really get back in the (metaphorical) studio to do some paintings, really buy a domain name to sell those paintings, really make that quilt, and so on and so forth.

This has to stop.

I am going to focus on one artistic hobby: Painting.

I will not buy any jewelry making kits. I will not buy a sewing machine. I will not buy tissue paper in every color of the rainbow. I will not buy any new painting supplies, until I legitimately need to replace something in my supplies.  When I buy new things, there will be a one in/one out rule — I will toss one item for every item that gets added to the collection.

Today, I am putting into the mail a box full of my in-home party demo items, to send to another consultant in the in-home party business I attempted and have thus far basically failed at.  All I ask is that she reimburse me for shipping.  She’s getting hundreds of dollars of product, product I bought… and I really don’t care! I just want it to be gone!  I don’t want to move it anymore!

Today, I gave away a box of craft items.  Tissue paper, glue sticks, markers, crayons, colored pencils, card stock, ribbon, pipe cleaners, cake decorating items, and more.  I gave the whole box (a very nice craft caddy box with compartments and lots of storage) to my boss’s sister with the caveat that I never wanted to see the stuff again.  She happily left with her new craft items to go home and organize them in her own craft area.

Awesome. Two huge areas of my room, gone, donated, just poof! And I don’t care.  I learned from my mistakes — no more impulse purchases, no more “I’ll get around to it” projects… I tossed all my old high school and college tee shirts because I hadn’t made a quilt out of them yet and I didn’t trust myself to actually, truly get around to it.  Bye bye, stuff!

12 thoughts on “Giving it away

  1. Nicola B says:

    Found your blog via Miss Minimalist🙂

    I love just giving stuff away to people who actually want it- SO much easier than selling it or carting it off to the charity shop.

    Trying to downsize my craft stuff- knitting my way through my stash. Sticking to knitting and attempting to sew as craft hobbies. Oh, and spinning, but that is almost knitting. Too many choices make my brain hurt.

    • Caitlin says:

      I actually have a blog coming up for August about how too many choices is a bad thing!! I totally understand. And it really is a great feeling to give it to people who want it. I’ll try to find my stuff a home with friends before I take it to Goodwill, but there’s an awful lot of it. I did just give a friend a couple pieces of jewelry from my collection though, and I’m glad she can give them a good home🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. ashrh01 says:

    Found your blog via Miss Minimalist as well. I have been trying to purge belongings over the past year or so. It seems to come in waves, and each time I am able to rid myself of a little more stuff. However, art supplies have always been extremely difficult for me. I spent so much money in the past, thinking like you, that not only did I want to paint, I wanted to teach myself to crochet, and I wanted to learn to make jewelry. I do like making jewelry, but I do not like crocheting. However, I kept the supplies because I almost feel guilty for throwing them out. I mean, I spent a bunch of money on yarn, some of the supplies are things my grandmother gave me, etc. Ahh! I’ve never even finished a single scarf that I started. It’s so hard! Anyway, I really enjoyed reading about your experience with this part. Maybe I’ll force myself to part with some supplies this weekend…

    • Caitlin says:

      It is really hard, but you’ve got to learn from it! Next time you consider a hobby, maybe take a class or something before you purchase all the new gear only to find you don’t like it or have time for it🙂 It was very hard to give up my crafting stuff but by focusing on only one artistic hobby — painting — I feel a lot less stressed out about crafting in general, and I’m more likely to paint than I was before! Good luck!

      • ashrh01 says:

        Thanks! I was able to go home and get rid of 2 big bags of arts and crafts supplies. I donated them to a charity that does kids’ art classes. It made me feel better to know they were going to a good cause. And now I’m still going to try to pare down some more.

  3. Tracey says:

    I found your blog via Miss Minimalist.

    I relate to this post whole heartily. I have always had a tendency to jump, from one craft to another. On top of that, run a home daycare where crafts are the norm.

    I finally decided to focus on two crafts. Digital scrapbooking ( because it requires no supplies) and quilting. I have been finding new homes for the rest of my craft supplies.

    One group of craft supplies (Ukrainian Egg Dying) I also offered to a friend a book she could borrow as a referrance but not keep because it had sentimental value to me. Well, it has been months since I lent it, and I have found that I don’t really miss it. It is no use to me now that I no longer do the craft. I will NOT ever ask for it back.

    I cut out craft from the daycare, and instead take the kids outside for a game or free play. They haven’t said anything about the crafts, nor have the parents.

    What Freedom!!!! Enjoy it!

    • Caitlin says:

      What great strides you’ve taken! It is SO easy to get wrapped up in crafts that look fun, and for creative people it can actually become a problem (hence my giant box of craft supplies, sigh). Good luck, and enjoy the freedom as well! Thank you for commenting🙂

  4. Daniela Silva de Estrada says:

    Hello! I just found your blog by making a google search, I live in Monterrey, Mexico and I would like to say that it is great to see that I’m not alone in this world, where we just fill our houses with stuff we don’t even know we have… here in my town I haven’t find anyone that shares with me this kind of lifestyle that I’m trying to achieve (I’ll keep looking, I will find them!).. maybe I’ll never be a full minimalist, but it’s good to find people that go through the same struggles… I also feel so guilty to admit that I spent money on projects I never finished and never will, I hate to admit this to my husband, because he might think this new “project” of becoming minimalist might be forgotten too in the future… but I think that something inside of me has really changed and I do think I feel different and I am seeing the world differently, I honestly hope I can continue in this path, I feel so much better knowing that I can live and be happy with less stuff. So I wanted to thank you for sharing your story with everyone, it gives me courage to go on and it is really an inspiration to continue…🙂

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