20 June 2011

Buy Nothing Summer: Day Two

The Before Shot
Just to give you (and myself!) a sense of scale for how much crafty stuff we're talking about here in my major summer-long destash and shopping moratorium, I decided to use my fancy new camera to take a panorama shot of the pure chaos that is my art space. I took the shot by standing in the kitchen. The door on the left in the picture is the front door to our apartment. The sheer magnitude is staggering, right? It's a little embarrassing to put this out there in cyberspace for the whole world to see, but in order for anyone to understand why I'm being so crazy as to pledge not to buy any new supplies for eleven weeks, I need to share.

To be fair, we've only been living in our new place for three weeks now. It's not that I've been living with this mess for months and months. (That would drive me completely insane, I'm sure. I'm already a little insane.) The boxes aren't unpacked because I haven't figured out quite where to put everything. In addition, I am combining what was three separate areas in my old apartment into one: school supplies, art sale supplies, and my own personal stash. Keep in mind, too, that we recently went from living in a three bedroom apartment, where we each had our own studio and a gigantic living room to a combined living area / dual studio. [If you are wondering why we made such a drastic switch, let's just say the price is right, the location is stellar, and the place is beautiful.]

School supplies are supplies that are kept separate from my own stuff (at least in theory) and are used exclusively with my tween students. The supplies are currently being stored under my large craft table and have not been well organized since classes ended on June 2nd. [Supplies get crazy during classes, so I reorganize everything in between sessions. I'm behind because of the move!] I definitely need to destash some of the school supplies, because what has happened in the past is that stuff gets destashed from personal to school, but that's lower on my list right now since I have until September before I need most of this stuff. Oh, and I'm deciding right now that if I add from my personal stash to school, I need to get rid of something from the school stuff in order to accommodate it!

Art Sale supplies includes both display items that I use in my booth and finished inventory. This stuff was previously stored in its own closet, but will now all be stored under my desk. Since I am taking items into two different consignment shops this week, I haven't put it away yet. I'm hoping to have this stuff stored by the weekend. I won't need most of it again until September 10, unless I sell a lot of items on etsy between now and then.

Personal Stash is a little bit of everything and seriously out of hand. This is the bulk of what I'll be tackling this summer during my Buy Nothing Summer challenge. I want to have it both culled in size and better organized by the end of the summer. Wish me luck, because I sure need it!!!

If that wasn't bad enough, I do have crafty stuff in two other locations in our apartment. (Please bear in mind we have a one-bedroom apartment... yikes!)

I currently have all of my fabric, yarn, and sewing supplies stored on top of the cabinets in the kitchen. There's four feet of space up there, and I want to make use of it. Eventually, I'll like to have well organized school supplies up there instead of boxes of sewing stuff. I put the sewing stuff up there because even though it's still in boxes, it is actually somewhat organized, and I figured I don't have a place to sew yet anyway so why have it in the way. I destashed a lot of sewing stuff before the move so this is the creme de la creme. Haha!

In addition, and I don't have a picture of this, I have 14 plastic tubs full of zippers, organized by color family, currently stored in the bedroom closet. Like the kitchen, there's a lot of space on the top shelf so I'm trying to use it wisely (or, perhaps, unwisely). I did recently develop a cool technique for those zippers, so expect to see more about that here in the coming weeks! (Sorry to keep you in suspense, but I want to be able to show you pictures when I reveal my cool idea!)

Now that I've shown you the complete chaos that is my crafty life at the moment... have any tips for me? If this was your stuff, how would you start addressing it? I've tried starting in one corner and working my way around, but I keep getting overwhelmed and/or inspired to start creating. I've made art every day since I've moved in (which is amazing!), but I haven't made much progress in getting organized. Help!

See all of the Buy Nothing Summer posts here.

Make your own Buy Nothing Summer pledge! Feel free to grab this button for your blog:

Make up your own rules for yourself, addressing whatever your problem area is, and comment here with a link to your blog. I'll be posting a list of participants in a few days. We need the support!


  1. Whew, Moira! You have your work cut out for you! Even though the school supplies aren't the priority, you might want to get started with them because once they are "out of the way" (so to speak) you will have another chunk of space to work with for your personal stash. If you keep the school stuff in the way, you might never be able to get your personal stuff just the way you want it. I think it's great how you are using the space above the kitchen cabinets; be careful getting that stuff up and down! :-) If you can spring for some coordated boxes or baskets, they might just fade into the room decor. I can't believe the huge supply of zippers you own; I will be interested to see your zipper project. They have such a great, funky look to them.

  2. Hi Moira........I just had to comment...cause I laugh when I saw your art journal and the little ditty about "no more partners dirty looks". They just don't realize that we need ALLLL that stuff. I have been stuggling to organize my stuff since I lost my craft room last summer...I'm going to seriously follow your blog and see what you come up with...and as far as using what's on hand, it seems that we are in those times..."use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"! Hang in there!

  3. Andria - I know! It's gonna take me til September to make a dent in it all! I might try working on the school stuff first because you are right having that space would be great. Also, great idea about coordinated boxes!

    Melodie - To be fair, my partner, Nick, has never given me dirty looks about the stash, but I sure wouldn't blame him if he did! And I love that little ditty! You might see that on a future art journal page!

  4. I was surfing through some crafty blogs thinking about all the cute stuff they have that I want. But no, I kept reciting to myself- no shopping til September then came over here to see how you are doing. I feel your pain. I agree with Andria- get your school stuff organized and out. I've been working on deciding what are the supplies I can put in "cold" storage, and which ones I need constant access to. Good luck.

  5. Hey Moira, great idea!!! I have a room so full of crafting,quilting, beading, painting etc stuff... Now I am taking metalsmithing. I love the idea of going thru my stash and also trying to use what I have I will be updating progress on my blog http://greenfreckle99.blogspot.com/

    I am also completing a 30 day challenge to get my finances in order. .. lol... fits right in with buying no new supplies.


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