Organizing Craft Supplies

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Organizing Craft Supplies

My problem is that I have so much craft and sewing stuff that I don't know where to draw the line on keeping or saving. If I know of someone that is working on a project and I have any of their needed supplies, I gladly give them away. Fabric is also a big one for me. Obviously, I keep stuff of which I have meters, but I also have a large Rubbermaid tote full of scraps. Some of my scraps are quite a good size, so my logic is to keep it. You always seem to need that little piece.

I over-buy the materials that are needed and then just keep them for another project. Can you give me any direction about where to draw the line and let go?
Bonnie B.

Organizing Craft Supplies: Give Excess to a Local Elementary School

Like you, I am a passionate crafter. And yes, I hate to throw away anything that might still be useful. Contact your children's school or a local elementary school to see if the art program would be able to use your scraps and leftovers. Not just fabric but yarn and crochet thread can be used in art projects. My younger daughter's class will be doing a weaving project so I sent all my leftover balls of yarn off to school. That freed up a fair bit of drawer space.

Does your church or a local church have a quilt-making group? They can always use the leftover yardage for quilts as long as the fabric is suitable for quilting. Community or school theater groups might be able to use other fabric for costume or prop making.

I found it useful to limit my storage space. When my craft drawers are full, I sort through everything to see what can be passed on. Sometimes, I finally get around to finishing a long delayed project. Other times, I admit I am not ever going to use that fabric or yarn and it's time for it go to someplace where it will be used.

Organizing Craft Supplies: Share Your Crafting Experience

Finding a non-profit to donate some of your supplies to would be worthwhile. I am positive that nursing homes/assisted living facilities, for example, would welcome your gift. Also, you could consider sharing your crafting experience with others by teaching, using your excess supplies. This would be very rewarding for you and your students would be grateful for your expertise, time and excess supplies.

Organizing Craft Supplies: Use Current Supply First

Take an inventory of the supplies you have and plan future projects around your current supply. Don't buy any new supplies until the bulk of what you have is used up. If you have stuff you don't think you'll use, you can put it together in an auction lot and sell it on e-Bay. Crafters are always looking for good deals.

Organizing Craft Supplies: Donate Extras to Local Library

I am a library aide and we are always in need of craft supplies. Call your local library and see if they will take those scraps. I can't tell you how much of the library budget is spent on craft programs for the kids, but I know it's very small. Sometimes we work so hard to come up with the perfect craft, but we are unable to fund the expense of the materials (for thirty to forty children). So see if your library's children's program wants your extras (I know we always need yarn, buttons, lace, fabric scraps, and chenille stems). As for large amounts of fabric, call a 4H club and schools with a home economics program. They usually need it for sewing lessons. I would also try asking any girl scout leaders that you may know. Or post a sign at your local library and let them come to you.

Organizing Craft Supplies: Plan Gifts from Your Stash

For this year at least, do not buy any additional craft item unless it is absolutely needed to finish a project. Think of why you bought the supplies in the beginning. From the stash that you have, sit down and plan out gifts to be created for family and friends. See how much of the stash you are able to use up and determine a rough idea of the amount of money saved by using current supplies instead of buying new.

From the scraps of fabric, put together entirely at random a scrap quilt. Do not try to lay out the fabric in a particular design or color pattern. Just make it entirely scrappy. It will be warm and certainly you or someone else will appreciate it. You will be saving money and keeping yourself busy in the meantime.

Organizing Craft Supplies: Know What You Have

Organizing your craft supplies will allow you to check for items on hand and allow you to purchase only what you truly need. I recently went through my entire house and garage and was amazed at the items I had tucked away here and there that I had forgotten I had. Giving away unused items is a great idea, but how about getting something in return? A craft swap with family, friends, church and association members would allow you to keep your inventory down and pick up some needed items and ideas for free.

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