I had a great question from Lorie, a long time regular here at the cafe. Here's what she had to say:
"Beautiful card. After a "leave of absence" from my stamping I am
considering getting back into it. Step one is cleaning & clearing
out my supplies. As a long time reader of your blog, I know you did
something similar and scaled down your supplies. I am having a hard time
deciding what to keep & what to sell. I know I am going to work
toward more clean & simple cards. How did you decide what to part
with? I would hate to sell a stamp set and regret it later. My floor is
covered with stuff! I wonder if I was a collector or stamper! Any tips
for me? I would appreciate any advice you may have. Thank you!"
In 2011, I had an event that I called "The Great Purge", where I sold off over 300 wood mounted stamp sets and a few tons of paper and accessories. The craft had become too cluttered and messy, my cards were becoming cluttered and messy, and I lost all creativity. Like Lorie mentions, I felt more like a collector than a true crafter.
I went through my stash with a critical eye, looking at everything that I wasn't using and didn't even like anymore. I made piles, lots and lots of piles. And then I sorted those piles, priced those piles, and sold off items here, at garage sales, to family and friends, and of course, at Splitcoast Stampers.
Do I regret selling any items? Nope! Not a single one. And here's why.
My wood mounted sets took up so much space! I still own a few sets, as you can see here.
Selling off my old SU sets allowed me the freedom (and the money) to purchase from other companies that I'd been admiring for their fresh style. Papertrey Ink, WPlus9 Design, Paper Smooches, Lawn Fawn, Waltzingmouse Stamps. I was able to find many of these stamps on buy/sell forums at a fraction of the price. That's where I found this:
I sold off my big old clumsy sewing machine and purchased a new Janome Sew Mini!
My sweet hubby bought me a Big Kick and I branched out into the wonderful world of diecutting.
I'm learning that purging isn't just a one time event. You have to stay on top of your stuff or it will take over!
There are papers that I need to pass on to new homes...
Stamps that served me well at one time, but haven't been used in ages...
Impulse purchases that were never really my style...
I have to check my hidey holes for things I've squirreled away...the ribbons, the punches, the accessories...
As you can probably see, I'll be having a sale soon!
I must admit, I am much more careful about the purchases I make now. I think long and hard about what stamps I "need" to fill a whole in my collection, and what stamps I just "want" because they're the trendy new shiny object.
Here's a trick that works for me. When I browse through online companies, I love it if they have a shopping cart or wishlist. I can put items in that cart and leave them for a while. I usually go back a week or two later and pare down the "wants" from the "needs". It saves me from the stupid impulse buys when I'm putting more thought into it.
If you are worried about regretting the sale of a certain item, here's a great suggestion. Put the items in a box and put a date on that box. Give yourself a time frame...six months, a year. If you haven't used those items and you haven't missed them, then you won't regret selling them.
I have incorporated this philosophy into so many areas of my life...my wardrobe, my kitchen accessories, cosmetics, CDs and DVDs, books. I am careful about what I purchase and bring into my home, and I am conscious about getting things out of my home that I no longer want or need. I'm not saying that I'm living a disposable life, but I'm living a more fluid life where "stuff" doesn't accumulate and form a "dam" in my day to day living.
Good luck, Lorie! I hope the purge frees up your creativity and allows you to enjoy the craft again!