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Old 08-30-2014, 09:43 AM   #1  
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I'm at a point where I simply have too much for my space. No amount of organizing will make it all fit.

I can't expand my space, so my only other option is to purge.

I'm really good at purging my wardrobe. Once I'm done with something (I'm tired of it, it's damaged beyond hope, the style is out), it goes into a bin. When that bin gets full, everything in it gets donated.

I'm really bad at purging my card supplies. I have a hard time getting rid of anything, even items that don't fit my style or aren't getting any use. I have the classic excuses: "I might find a use for it someday" and "I paid good money for that". I can throw away things that have gone bad (hardened stamps, dried up liquids, etc.), but if it's still usable I can't bring myself to part with it.

Part of the problem is I don't want to just throw things out. I need to either sell the items to someone else (time consuming), or donate them (not really sure where to donate).

The other part of the problem is the fear that I might find the perfect use for the item some day. This is especially the case with stamp sets that don't fit my style. I'm always trying to match the card to the recipient, so I keep things I don't like because I might want to make a card for someone who will like it.

I'm looking for tips and advice from people who are good at purging. I need to get over this and reclaim my space with items I will love and use, rather than everything I have ever purchased.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:08 AM   #2  
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Wow! I could have written this myself. I am so there with you. No room to expand and not enough room for all my treasures. Even the excuses sound familiar. LOL!
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:20 PM   #3  
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lol I think this is funny, because last weekend, I purged my wardrobe to make room for my creative supplies. lol

I would rather have more craft stuff than I would clothes, (it helped that I dropped 4 sizes). I just managed to use 2 deep drawers and 1/2 my upstairs bedroom closet, as well as, a closet in the down stairs for craft storage.

I took those shoe bags, (the type that you can hang, stick shoe boxes in and zips up) for storing Photo boxes (the types that go on sale all the time at Michaels). I stuff them full of supplies.

It's hard to help someone else purge,.... only you know what you really don't need or don't use. My advice, treat it like your wardrobe. Start with what you have not even looked at in 6 months....or longer. Start there, then move to what you really don't need or what isn't your style any longer.

All of us, our problem is even if we purchased something on clearance or got on a really good sale, we don't want to get rid of it because we MIGHT need it someday.

Pretend your card making has just lost 4 sizes...(which in away, it has).

I'm sorry if I'm not much use, but we are here for venting, being supportive and encouraging your purge.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:29 PM   #4  
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Great minds have similiar problems!

I've tried to purge the things outside of my general 'themes' My current themes are Food, flowers, owls, and other animals (not too cartoony, not too artisy-lawn fawn is just perfect). I generally dont do antique/vintage so that sort of helps a bit. So even if somebody I know likes antiques...im not gonna keep stamps just for them. Everybody I know likes food

I keep general tools that can be used for lots of different things. I'm not into 'techniques' so I purged almost all of that 'stuff'.

It is hard to let go sometimes Sometimes I just have to tell myself that styles change and that I bought what was the best that was available at the time but now there are things that I like better (can you say Lawn Fawn) so I don't need to hold on to the older things, even though I paid good money for them!
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:42 PM   #5  
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One more thing that helps is to limit the items by the size of the container. So, if all your stamps sets have to be on one shelf, then purge until they fit!

And, it doesnt help when every once in a blue moon you 'need' something that you were debating purging but something kept you from getting rid of it...doesn't happen often, but when it does, I am so happy!
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:09 PM   #6  
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Card drives like Hope You Can Cling To are wonderful for destashing older product and embellishments. I usually use up older cardstock and work through a portion of my stash of half-colored images or half-finished cards... last year I made a bunch of cards using preprinted 'toppers' and some other extras I had gotten through design teams and wasn't using.

When you use the product yourself (that stuff you kept because 'you might need it someday') and also use it to brighten someone else's day rather than clutter someone else's craft room... everybody wins.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:45 PM   #7  
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there is a sub forum of the RAK group here that is "Wish-Rak" and it is another option of playing fairy god-mother to people looking for just that thing you do decide to let go of.

if you absolutely have to purge. keep your classic's. you will use your favorite alphabet set or even your first dozen favorite alphabet sets... but the weird ones? maybe not.
or lets say your friends are in the having grandbabies age bracket now so you don't maybe need so many sets that make little kid stuff. that if you have one classic ( baby carriage or baby shoes that could get you by in a pinch and you don't need a dozen baby sets unless that is your most favorite thing to do kwim?

that is one way to purge. everything goes through cycles I find it easier to let go of the trendy stuff first when I do it. and I rarely buy trendy styles so... I have two closets stuffed now haha...

to get over the fear factor put this stuff in a box write the date on it. if you don't open that box to get something out of it in the next 6 months or so, it may just be the things you could let go of easy enough.
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Old 08-30-2014, 03:16 PM   #8  
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I'm moving across the country next month and purging like crazy! My guidelines are that it has to be something that cannot be easily replaced (goodbye, most of my ribbon) or that I truly love and use (hello, Stampotique stamps and retired punches). I've eliminated 50 ink pads, over 100 stamp sets, multitudes of individual stamps, most of my dp and all the cardstock except SU! and CTMH (and even the excess of those). Everything has to fit in the car or be able to be shipped in a relatively cost-effective manner. We're not taking a trailer or renting a U-Haul or anything, so we're selling pretty much everything we own. I'll put what I'm purging in the moving sale along with everything else. Whatever doesn't sell is going to Salvation Army, a couple of local schools, and perhaps a senior center. My philosophy on all of it is that it is going where it will be wanted, I enjoyed it in the time I had it, and I'm opening up space for new things. Dollars be damned - I'll never recoup the money I spent, so why worry about it? That mindset keeps me in the past, and I'm moving into a fresh new future! Maybe you could pretend that you're doing the same...?
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:15 PM   #9  
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So many good ideas so far.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:35 PM   #10  
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OMG, I am in the same exact boat. My husband gave up his half of the craft room(he had a train layout) and even though I only had half of the room before and everything fit, Now, I have the whole room and I'm bursting at the seams. Just the other day, I posted on my Facebook that I was looking for a professional organizer(that was cheap) as I already have all of the storage things I need or, if any of my crafty friends wanted to help me out and I could pay them in papercrafting/scrapbooking goodies. So, I have a friend coming over to asess the situation and help me out. I will post before and afters on my scs page! Hopefully ,together we can get some organization in this room! Hugs, Dannette831
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:31 AM   #11  
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I had a purge when I moved from one room to another, a couple of years ago. So many times I had 're-organised'- moved stuff from A to B and back again, in other words. This time I had determined I was removing stuff from my stash. It does require a level of ruthlessness not normally displayed, I admit.
As for the cost of the stuff I was getting rid of- I'd used that excuse before- I realised that the money was spent. Whether I kept it, or got rid of it, I was never getting that money back. And if I hadn't used it in the last 12 months, what was the real likelihood I ever would? Pretty low, I'm sure. There are bound to be schools/pre-schools/ senior centres/ charities near you you could pass the stuff on to. I gave a huge amount to my DIL for her and the grandkids to craft. At least someone is getting more use out of it than I was! The thing is, is stuff isn't visible,or easily accessible, I tend to forget I've got it, so it either never gets used, or I end up buying a duplicate. You don't know how many of those I found. Maybe best is three boxes- for absolutely indispensable, maybe, and good to go. Sort a section at a time, using the 3 boxes. Its getting the right mindset that will get you through it- you really do have to be totally honest! How many years since you used that stamp set? Yes, its cute, but so are lots of things, lol. Set yourself a 'time limit' for usage. Like I said, if you haven't used it in 12 months( apart from Seasonals, of course) then you probably never will. Dump all the ' I'm going to try that one day' stuff too- again, if you haven't done it by now, its unlikely you will.
It really is hard, but pays off brilliantly. I can actually pretty much put my hand on anything in minutes now, before I might spend the couple of hours I had to craft just trying to find a particular thing.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:26 AM   #12  
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I just wanted to throw out one little thought about the "if you haven't used it in X amount of time" thing. It's perfectly valid if you've been crafting right along, but if you've had "life events" that have sidetracked you from doing anything with any of your stuff, you might want to take that into consideration. I'm speaking from personal experience here - I haven't used much of ANYTHING in the past year, so I'd be tossing out almost everything, and THAT is not going to happen! Still - a somewhat ruthless mindset is, in fact, required for a true purge. I agree with shazsilverwolf, though - it "pays off brilliantly"
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:41 AM   #13  
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My problem with the "if you haven't used it in X amount of time" method with stamp supplies is that a lot of my supplies are purchased to fill holes in my collection and a perceived future need, and the use I had in mind may not have come up yet. One example is a set specific to cancer (breast cancer in particular, but has applications for all cancers). I'm happy to report that I haven't had a need for it yet, but that doesn't mean I should purge it.

I tend to purchase for future use, so I don't get a new stamp set home and make a ton of stuff with it. I create for a particular reason, not just to create, so many of my stamps may not have been used yet. Doesn't mean I won't use them.

I think I can apply this method if I think of it as "does it fit MY style", not "have I used it recently". I've developed my own particular style over the years, and many items I purchased in the past may not fit with that style any more. Those might be the easiest to purge.

Paper is harder. I have a lot of paper, and it takes up a lot of room. But I'm worried that if I get rid of a certain color I'll be limiting myself. I may have the perfect need for that shade. And that's silly, because I have so many colors now. I have nearly a full set from two different companies (SU and A|S), including a bunch of retired SU colors. I am overflowing my space for paper, and this is one area where I need to purge but find myself unable to do so. Certain things may be easier: very old SU colors that I didn't buy the matching ink pad, a bunch of pinks (not a fan of pink). But the greens and blues - no way! My only hope is to use them up while not purchasing any new shades.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:54 AM   #14  
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Living the Military life has helped tremendously in not over crowding our life.

I purged every time we moved. Nine times in 23 years.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:21 AM   #15  
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I have found from experience; that stamps are seasonal, also. I put my fall and winter stamps in extra containers to be put away for most of the year; and bring out when needed. Why have that stuff sitting around taking up space? when it could be put in a closet for most of the year.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:05 AM   #16  
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I suppose my purging was easier, as I'm not an SU collector, lol. So I don't have masses of cardstock/paper etc in matching colours. One way to go here- if you have the inkpads, you can ink the edges of plain white in the matching inkpad to complete the matching look.I suppose I see the time period of use/ my style as being much the same thing- If I haven't used it this last year, its probably no longer my thing? As for stamps, I went to pretty much 95% unmounted. I had, over the last 5 or so years, only been buying unmounteds, and during my purge, I unmounted almost every wood stamp I have, except about 20 really large ones. I did get rid of loads that were no longer my thing, the rest are now in A4 ringbinders, so they take up far less space.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:35 PM   #17  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by lesliespringerForums at Splitcoaststampers
Living the Military life has helped tremendously in not over crowding our life.

I purged every time we moved. Nine times in 23 years.
That always helped me too. But then my husband retired from the military, we moved to TX for his new job and we bought a large house. Eleven years later he retired again, we moved to NV and downsized. I had to get rid of lots of things since our stuff would be in storage for 3-4 months. So all the paint, glue, and anything else that wouldn't stand up in the heat had to go along with hundreds of books, furniture that wouldn't fit in the house being built, etc. Fast forward another 11 years to now and I have more paper crafting items, less stitchery items, a much smaller house where I turned our dining room into a shared craft room with husband. The room is open, in the middle of the house and I have very little room to store anything else. I do small purges but I don't want to get rid of stuff only to find that I need it and have to buy it again.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:09 PM   #18  
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Good luck. I certainly struggle with this. Good suggestions so far
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:37 AM   #19  
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From my own experience I've learned that all the tips in the world won't help until you decide "enough is enough". In the past I would do my annual purge and I thought I was doing a good job, but then the next purge would find things I still hadn't used. I though I was applying my use it or loose it but there was just too much to use.

BTW - My use it or loose isn't applied evenly as there is no way I could use every stamp or every piece of paper. For me it means using things that I keep but never seem to use like quilling supplies, boxes of boxes (in case I need one that size), scraps of ribbon (that are never quite big enough), stamps (that are part of sets that I really do not like), etc. An example of keeping something I have to use is chalk. I was never a big chalk fan and yet I couldn't give it away. I've tried a few times in the past few months and nope, I still am not a chalk fan. It's time for me to move it finally to the give away bin.

Once I move the chalk to the goodwill box, I have to work on my resolve not to pull it back out. I will remind myself that there hasn't been a true "need" in several years and even if someone invents some amazing technique, I still won't feel bad for not having it because I won't want to buy chalk again. Plus, I'll gain another drawer...woo hoo!

This is an ongoing cycle for me, purge, a little tingle of regret, and then the pride that I can resist kicks in and all is well again. My biggest reward about getting honest with myself about what I will honestly use is that when I buy something new, I don't feel guilty because the only things in my stamp room are things I use and not a bunch of crap that is taking up space that maybe, sometime, way off in the future, I just might need that piece of butt-ugly paper.

Also, find ways to use up some of the useful things like ugly 12x12 paper is great for testing templates, thin 12x12 for envelopes, line drawer bottoms, etc.

Oh and you need to put away the thoughts about the money. The money is long spent and what little you may earn in a garage sale may not offset the hassle of the sale. Just load it all up for a charity or toss it. The cost of the peace of mind you get from an uncluttered stamp room is priceless. Really, it feels amazing to know you have gained a wee bit of control.

Last thought, DO NOT bring things into your room that you don't love or have a set a plan for it's use or you will be right back where you started.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:01 AM   #20  
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I agree with everything above!!! Just an added thing about the giving-away-the-stamps: since I'm selling them at rock-bottom prices in my moving sale and/or giving them away, I felt no qualms at all at keeping one or two stamps from a set. A prime example is Baroque Motifs. I kept the flourish - the rest is gone, baby, gone...
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:28 AM   #21  
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Great idea Gregzgurl! As I said, I'm not an SU stamper, so I rarely buy sets of stamps.Mainly because there are always 2 or 3 stamps in the set I know I will never use, plus usually some little 'filler' stamps that will never see the light of day. I only buy a set now if I know I will use them all, regularly. If it doesn't earn its keep, its not staying, lol.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:37 AM   #22  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzgurlForums at Splitcoaststampers
I agree with everything above!!! Just an added thing about the giving-away-the-stamps: since I'm selling them at rock-bottom prices in my moving sale and/or giving them away, I felt no qualms at all at keeping one or two stamps from a set. A prime example is Baroque Motifs. I kept the flourish - the rest is gone, baby, gone...
Same here...bye-bye ciao hasta la vista baby

A funny thing about reselling partial sets - For my garage sale last year I marked what stamps were missing in the set and most didn't sell. This year I repackaged the stamps with similar stamps and they all sold. Most buyers had no real idea about the individual stamps as part of a set but they just liked the stamp.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:01 PM   #23  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stamphappy1650Forums at Splitcoaststampers
Same here...bye-bye ciao hasta la vista baby

A funny thing about reselling partial sets - For my garage sale last year I marked what stamps were missing in the set and most didn't sell. This year I repackaged the stamps with similar stamps and they all sold. Most buyers had no real idea about the individual stamps as part of a set but they just liked the stamp.


Yeah - some stamps I'm just selling as individual stamps, others I'm grouping several similar in style and theme to make a new "set". The only ones that have names/manufacturers on them are the full sets. It's very freeing to pick and choose which stamps I'm keeping and not worry AT ALL about the others. I kept sets for years because I wanted one or two images, but not all of them. Mostly for resale purposes, which is ridiculous, because - like we keep saying - you don't get the $$ back at all! Now the stamps I have are the ones I love and will use...
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:16 PM   #24  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzgurlForums at Splitcoaststampers
Yeah - some stamps I'm just selling as individual stamps, others I'm grouping several similar in style and theme to make a new "set". The only ones that have names/manufacturers on them are the full sets. It's very freeing to pick and choose which stamps I'm keeping and not worry AT ALL about the others. I kept sets for years because I wanted one or two images, but not all of them. Mostly for resale purposes, which is ridiculous, because - like we keep saying - you don't get the $$ back at all! Now the stamps I have are the ones I love and will use...
This is one of the "lines" I was given by an SU demo way back in the day. Along with this line" Do you know how much money you can save from not buying store cards, just make them!"

Any body that thinks there is and resale value in this craft is sadly mistaken
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:21 PM   #25  
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I couldn't toss anything out either. I have two real-life card-making friends, and I had one of them come over and take everything she wanted. She came, and also brought stuff that she herself didn't want anymore. After she was done, I took the rest to the 2nd friend and she took everything she wanted. Then I gave the rest to a co-worker, who has a son who supposedly was going to try to sell all that on Ebay. Dunno and don't care if he ever did; my craft room is soooooooooo much more spacious now. But really, the biggest room-saver was unmounting. All that wood and all those clamshells, gone. Condensed into such a tiny space, I still am amazed by it today, 3.5 years later.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:23 PM   #26  
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I'm not bursting at the seams yet, and I do tend to keep a good portion of my stamp sets. I have never felt I don't have room, but maybe I have lots less than most stompers.

I don't have duplicates of anything.......one Cuttlebug, one scoreboard, etc.

I do purge paper, ribbon, etc. from time to time. I love using up supplies (yes, actually get a thrill), so I don't hoard or save items for a rainy day.

I've sold paper, dsp, ribbon, stamp sets at a rummage sale.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:14 PM   #27  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Allistamps123Forums at Splitcoaststampers
I'm not bursting at the seams yet, and I do tend to keep a good portion of my stamp sets. I have never felt I don't have room, but maybe I have lots less than most stompers.

I don't have duplicates of anything.......one Cuttlebug, one scoreboard, etc.

I do purge paper, ribbon, etc. from time to time. I love using up supplies (yes, actually get a thrill), so I don't hoard or save items for a rainy day.

I've sold paper, dsp, ribbon, stamp sets at a rummage sale.
Ever since purging, I don't hoard or save items anymore either. Now I use something no matter how lovely or precious it is. I learned that for me, the "rainy day" is NOW, otherwise I'd be purging it a few years from now.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:11 AM   #28  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stampencamperForums at Splitcoaststampers
I put my fall and winter stamps in extra containers to be put away for most of the year; and bring out when needed. Why have that stuff sitting around taking up space? when it could be put in a closet for most of the year.
I did this recently and am so happy I did! I have all of my holiday stamps/paper/embelishments together in their own space or container. This freed up loads of space for my "every day" things. I also bid a fond farewell to my Cuttlebug that had been getting no love since I got a Big Kick and the lady that bought it had just started this fabulous hobby so I was happy to pass a few other things along to her. Things that I loved in the beginning but did not use really any more. For me, that's the easiest way to purge is to pass along to someone who will be just as excited to get it as I was back when I got it
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:21 AM   #29  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stampencamperForums at Splitcoaststampers
I have found from experience; that stamps are seasonal, also. I put my fall and winter stamps in extra containers to be put away for most of the year; and bring out when needed. Why have that stuff sitting around taking up space? when it could be put in a closet for most of the year.
I do something similar but I also include seasonal papers, ribbon, and embellishments. I use the 12x12 Iris project boxes for storage and my categories are:

Spring (Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, & St. Patrick's Day)
Easter
Summer (Father's Day, 4th July/Patriotic, & Pool related)
Thanksgiving (Fall & Turkey Day)
Halloween
Christmas (Winter related and all things Christmas)

I also have special sections for holiday dies, embossing folders, and stencils. It makes finding things much easier and clean-up is a snap.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:36 AM   #30  
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I am in the same boat, but I can't see me getting rid of anything much (although I do give my 16 year old granddaughter a lot), so I just make room for it the best way I can.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:03 AM   #31  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by OddesignsForums at Splitcoaststampers
I'm at a point where I simply have too much for my space. No amount of organizing will make it all fit.

I can't expand my space, so my only other option is to purge.

I'm really good at purging my wardrobe. Once I'm done with something (I'm tired of it, it's damaged beyond hope, the style is out), it goes into a bin. When that bin gets full, everything in it gets donated.

I'm really bad at purging my card supplies. I have a hard time getting rid of anything, even items that don't fit my style or aren't getting any use. I have the classic excuses: "I might find a use for it someday" and "I paid good money for that". I can throw away things that have gone bad (hardened stamps, dried up liquids, etc.), but if it's still usable I can't bring myself to part with it.

Part of the problem is I don't want to just throw things out. I need to either sell the items to someone else (time consuming), or donate them (not really sure where to donate).

The other part of the problem is the fear that I might find the perfect use for the item some day. This is especially the case with stamp sets that don't fit my style. I'm always trying to match the card to the recipient, so I keep things I don't like because I might want to make a card for someone who will like it.

I'm looking for tips and advice from people who are good at purging. I need to get over this and reclaim my space with items I will love and use, rather than everything I have ever purchased.
I feel the same way. I recently relocated my craft space and I have a hard time giving away or selling a stamp. I love having the variety so when I do DTGD or HYCCT I have a wide base to pull from. So, even if it has been a while since I used a stamp, I always feel that it can be useful in the future.
Add to that, the images I have traded and collected over the years. I have a box of images that I have already set aside for HYCCT. My goal is to use up some of them so I can get a handle on the inventory. I try and trade images when I see a stamp I think I want, so I don't buy it. I wish you luck and will check back to see if I can use any suggestions our fellow stampers come up with. In the meantime, I have a forest's worth of paper to sort.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:35 PM   #32  
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I feel like maybe this is a thing for us crafters.

I pack away, specific holiday supplies, Christmas, weddings, Halloween, valentines, etc. away in boxes. Out of site to fit the rest of my stash.

Stampsets and ink are my thing, trying to get rid of them is like pulling teeth - NO THANKS! I now have a system, if I don't have four projects to make with it, I no longer keep them. Before I buy something I have the same rule. If i cant come up with four ideas, I don't keep it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:56 AM   #33  
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It's been very eye-opening, this preparing to move/purge/consolidation thing... I've tweaked and purged and rearranged and consolidated and, at this point, my entire craft room - tools, stamps, paper, embellishments, coloring mediums - literally EVERYTHING will fit in the back of my car, with room leftover for DH's stuff (and other non-essentials, like our clothes)!

In case you get the notion that I must not have all that much, I can assure you that there are well over 300 stamp sets (mostly complete, some partial), many individual stamps, a Big Shot, a Bind-It-All, dies, embossing folders, TONS of punches (I'm sort of an addict of border punches), three divided containers of ribbon - you get the idea...

When we decide where we're going to land, I think I'll just invest in a nice armoire and custom-tweak it into something like the ScrapBox. That way I can keep a handle on where everything is and keep myself in check as far as future purchases - win/win!
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:21 AM   #34  
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start a donate/yard sale bin, place items you want to purge in there. If you think of a use for an item in there you can go get it and retun it to stash. If you have not used an item in 6 months then sell/donate it. I teach kids classes for free at the library so I design a craft around a supply I do not want so it gets used with no guilt and i have room for more stuff!
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:44 AM   #35  
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Me too! All my card-making stuff can fit in my car! It's a huge car though. (Medium-size sedan).
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:15 AM   #36  
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The only times I have duplicates is if someone sent it to me. I am looking at my stamps and if I feel that some stamp is similar to a new thing I have, I have just decided to give it away to my niece in California who is beginning to like this hobby. She has a cricut already.
I also have my little girl who wants mommy to help her stamp. She is only 3 but I know years later, she will use my supplies.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:36 AM   #37  
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Another thing to consider for those of you who can't part with something they "paid good money for" is think of how much storing that stuff is costing you. Consider the cost of putting on an addition to your home or renting a bigger place or heaven forbid a storage unit. Getting rid of unused items will make your home more spacious and enjoyable. All of a sudden the "things we paid good money for" do not seem all that valuable.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:57 AM   #38  
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I hear some points you made Sue that resonate with me:

1) "Discontinued stuff that I wont be able to get again" and "I dont want to let go of something that would be JUST perfect for X"-whether stamps, paper, whatever....the truth is that there will ALWAYS be more coming through the pipe new. After all, isnt our other great "issue" not spending too much on new stuff? lol.

So I try to keep it in perspective. Maybe I wont ever get that [I]exact same [I]shade of green paper again..but so what? Really. In the grand scheme of things in the world...how important is that really? Since we often use the DP we have to decide overall color...another green will do just fine.

There will always be the next "totally ADORABLE" baby stamp or whatever. There are so many hundreds of companies out there. Another one will come along. Including in your style.

2) [B]"I hate the idea of wasted money I paid for it"[B] Well, hang on now. Like a pair of shoes...if you never used it in the first place....it's just dead weight.

I avoid that feeling b/c I RARELY pay full price for stuff. I grew up with little money and was WELL trained not to buy anything full price generally speaking, and I apply that to stamping. I build wishlists and wait. If I cant get it on a big sale (plus free shipping often) I dont get it. So my "investment" to begin with is far lower. Another benefit is that over time...that stamp may not be as cute/necessary as I initially thought it was-or I find a better choice in the meantime. Instead of getting one just to have 'in case" I find one that really sings to me.

So what to do now?
You said yourself, you have a particular style developed that makes you happy. So use that as your judgement ruler.

There might be a couple of specialty items outside that range-like the cancer one. Ok. Can you bend it to your style? Because if you cant and you are making cards that dont make you happy just to give...you might as well just go to the store and buy one. Sentiments are bendable. Images are harder.

If the "lost" money is really bothering you-you can use the stamp and then give the cards to a good charity. Then you wont feel like it is "wasted". You said you dont know where to donate to around you. Ok...think about the local schools, some hospitals have craft rooms for both patients and families...do you know a bunch of stampers locally? Maybe for a small fee you guys can rent a space for a day-like the gym at a school...and have a big craft garage sale...invite the LSSs to come too. If you get something for them, it wont be as sharp a loss. Schools are a nice choice b/c kids like to craft and you have a built in audience/customer base. Whatever you guys dont sell, have a plan for. A charity it will go to.

Some charities are everywhere...find your local Salvation army or Goodwill...and think that the money they raise with it will help people in need.

Try this: use a stamp you have never used. Challenge yourself. If you cant make cards with it-cute as it may be-time to go. Make general cards you can donate or maybe sell at a craft fair like above. Try to be neat about it-keep the stamp as clean as possible. If it flunks...it will more sellable.

I know you said you only make cards for specific people. For this exercise you need to step out of that for the moment. Think of it this way: when you got it, you felt it was good "in case of X" So imagine X has happened and make the card you would have.

Sometimes we imagine things will look one way but when we go to actually DO it-it does not. And then you were holding that stamp all that time for nothing.

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Old 09-03-2014, 06:00 AM   #39  
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Re Sets-
I often wont buy sets b/c I only like 1-2 of them. Unless I get it for a sale price that I would have been willing to pay for the one stamp alone. Then I would break the set, and offer the others to friends or sell off an annual flea here.

One reason I like Penny Black...she often offers a bunch of stuff in sets as individual stamps. The set is cheaper overall but not if I wont use the other stuff.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:57 AM   #40  
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Regarding sets - the first thing I do is break them up. Radical, I know. The sentiments are stored with my sentiments and the rest go into their appropriate categories. I get much more use out of them that way and my creativity is not limited to what the stamp manufacturer thinks should go together.

Storage - Purging is great, and you probably wouldn't miss what is gone. Here's another tactic - if you have room, store a box or two in the attic (we don't have basements in Texas). If it's too much of a pain to get something out of the box, and/or you haven't needed the contents in a year, then you know it's time to get rid of it.
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