First of all hey my name is Esjay. I just joined today because of a crafting emercency, but I've been a lurker for a while. Already though I'm starting to think I shouldn't have joined-- because craftser is a BAD influence. (okay kind of a joke, but what follows is not. None of what I say is an exagerration. )
Why.? CONFESSION TIME! Well you see, my craft area/closet has gotten out of control. I. like many crafters, am a borderline hoarder (though I might be worse then some). Which is a problem I rent an apartment, 3 bedroom, with my hubby, 2 toddlers, plus myself. In the last year months my crafting area has gone through many evolutions-
#1-Several suitcases, plus a little 3 drawer dresser, stashed away until necessary- became to hard to get to, plus my crafting supplies-
#2-a 7*5 gated off area with a little computer desk+ entry way closet- hubby started randomly throwing everything there, so time to move again.
#3-took over the dining room, gated it off, now had a nice 12*10 area with two desks, a filing cabinet, a 9' wide closet, a display. Some of my craft stuff stayed in the previous closet. Soon this too became a problem as my 2 years learned how to get over the saftety gates. Plus there was no area to dry project, they went into the future play room (along with many partially constructed projects. It was around this time I started getting intrested in repurposing, so miscellanious dissasembled furniture, was also in here. It was a 10* 11 bedroom, and it became primarily craft storage, and I could barely walk in there. ) My sewing machine was easily reachable and my children upset they couldn't visit with me so...
#4-2 of those 9 cube storage cabinets, with a bar stool, a 2'*8' long plywood board screwed into them, my 3 desk drawer, the filing cabinet, 9 fabric drawers to desk top organizers, 3 suitacases under the table, plus 2 comforter storage bags, one xxl ziploc bag, and one of those 6 ft long storage totes filled with old toddler clothes that I'd kept for miscellanious fabric projects, stored into random closets. However hubby (once again) started cluttering my table with stuff he didn't know where to put (as if we crafters don't make enough clutter without help) Plus I'd have to unlock the door I installed to the wall, move the stole, and than crawl underneath to reach any craft supplies... not fun. I realized I need my craft supplies to be more reachable so
#5- By now my children needed their playroom, as there toy collection was alos getting out of hand. So the cluttered room got stuffed into the playroom and master bedroom closets. Some choice random craft stuff- a dissambled ab circle (which did nothing for my abs, but the circle could be turned into something (right?), plus the frame worked well for attaching dowels to as support when I needed to cut them) drawers from an old dresser I turned into tv console, 2 sets of sideboard, headboards, and foot bords from 2 old 1950's art decos beds that I could turn into a chest- maybe? metal legs from a dining table i turned into a heaterless kotatsu, chair legs from the matching dining chairs i turned into floor chair, a dresser full of random thrift store curtains, 2 complete desassambled cribs, two old 70s spider lamps that stopped working and were supposed to be thrown out until i realized- wow these arms are metal and flexible, I could use this for something, and this stand- what if i need a 6 foot long hollow metal tube. I know I'm going to need it the minute I throw it out!)- a moster pile of double corrugated cardboard (from when I made my daughters a playhouse, it was left over, but free double corrugated cardboard in good condition is easy to come by in large pieces (ie 3 washer boxes+1 dryer box) And thats just the big stuff So I installed some wall shelves in my dining room, dissasembled the big desk, put up 3 8' long linen shelves and got a bunch of boxes together. Put my main materials, and tools in there. Still had about 172'^2 of craft stuff taking up space. And no play room.
By now it had been months since I'd had time to craft, what with all the finding places for the craft supplies. Sitting down one night, watching old montel reruns, there was an episode on hoarders. There was this one woman how literally could not walk through her house because of all the useless stuff she had running around. They went to her closet and found years and years worth of drink holders from McDonald's. They asked her- "why don't you throw any of this away." and the woman answered with a sob- "Because I might need it someday." When they asked her for what, she couldn't answer. I looked in horror over at my highboy turned craft desk and saw- you guessed it- a growing pile of drink holders (however- paper mache turtles with kids, and molds). Still it struck a cord in me. I realized with horror, that
"I WAS NO LONGER A CRAFTER, BUT A BORDERLINE HOARDER!" zWhat was worse, the rooms these things were stored in were death traps if my toddlers happened to defeat the child locks on the doors.
So I got to work. Went through some of the kids clothes, and kept only the really REALLY pretty/special ones. Tossed the cribs (accept for the support beams) and all those cool shaped baby snack containers. Managed to clear out the old room, and reduce my craft supplies to my room, the shelves, and 2 of the 9' long closets. Kept going, threw away beyond salvation kids books, threw out all but 2 pieces of cardboard, tossed piles of paper towel tubes, broken crayons, old kids toys that were so cute I had a hard time seperating with them. Got rid of random failed craft projects that were beyond salvation. Started giving myself time limits- you have 3 days to figure possibilities to make out of this, otherwise your trashing it. Anything easily replacable and not immediately needed (boards from old furniture, half ripped pillows) went into the black bags.
2 months later and my craft supplies has been reduced to 2 3 shelf pantries from target, one 3 shelf bookshelf- both neatly organized- one highboy, those wire shelves- almost vacant), one top shelf in one closet, a large carpet bag for yarn, two hanging plant baskets, 3 suitcases (one dedicated to scrapbooking, one of old party decorations, and one of still yet to organize stuff), and under my bed. Its still quite a bit for a small apartment, but its much better than it was, and its still a work in progress. Each time I'd throw out something was filled with unease and uncertainty (BUT WHAT IF I NEED IT!) and any second guessing by hubby and my OCD self would grab that stuff out of the trash and store it quickly before reason could take over. But still, I'm proud of how far I've come. a week ago I was finally able to start some crafts (simple things like book origami, and fixing some old picture frames, but still).
I finally felt confident enough to join a crafting community because I was once again a crafter instead of a hoarder. Not 15 minutes after I join I see this at the top of my screen-
"DON'T THROW ANYTHING AWAY- you might need it!"
While this might be good advice for wasteful, or a cute joke for most minor hoarder/crafters, for someone like me, who lost their ability to function for nearly half a year because of Craft-Related hoarding, and still has moments of panic everynow and again when throwing things out, it was DEVESTATING. I actually started crying as I remembered each and everything I've struggled to throw out. The fact is craft hoarding is not cute, or funny. It can seriously control your life. Hoarding is actually a form of OCD, a real mental disorder, and should not be taken lightly. And that one line at the top of the screen is what drives 75% of severe hoarders, it makes light of a serious problem. People laugh at hoarding as completely insane, its not as well understood as alcoholics, compulsive gamblers, those with eating disorders, or self harming tendencies- but the fact is it can be just devestatiing.
I'm sorry, I've probably pissed alot of you of you off, and you'll be avoiding my posts in the future and I'm pretty sure I've ostrasized my self from the craftser communtiy.