Note from Dr. Dave:
In David Allen’s phenomenal book Getting Things Done, one of the first recommendations he makes is taking the time to go through your “things” – both professionally and personally – and removing anything that’s not important or essential.
Setting something aside to figure out what to do with it later is fine – he doesn’t recommend just dumping everything you haven’t used in a while into a big garbage can. But he does suggest that you assess the usefulness or aesthetic value of everything your eye surveys.
While reading his book, I corresponded with jewelry maker Kathy Reading, who had just “de-stashed,” and I invited her to post a guest blog about it. Here it is:
by Kathy Reading
One of the buzzwords I’ve heard a lot recently is “destash,” especially when it comes to uncluttering your home. I decided this summer that I needed to destash in a major way. As a jewelry maker for more than 15 years, I have accumulated a lot of supplies I use daily to create my artisan jewelry, including the purchase of bargains I didn’t need at the time I bought them, but were just too good to pass up.
I’ve lost count of the number of times this year where I searched for a something – like a copper bead cap — the ones that I just purchased at a bead show, but couldn’t find them because I haven’t gotten organized.
And why is that, you ask?
Because I have stuff stashed everywhere! And it is not just jewelry making supplies. Like a lot of other people, I have massive amounts of crafting items — for cross stitch, rubber stamping, painting wooden signs and pins, fabric, buttons, etc. — all crafts that I no longer do because I want to concentrate solely on making jewelry. But how do you let go of all of those treasures? They are all still good, some even unused and still in the packages, how can you possibly part with them?
How to Destash
One of the ways to destash is by selling your unwanted supplies on eBay, Etsy (or other numerous sites), but I decided to make an effort to pass these items along to someone who will actually use them. I met a gentleman at work who paints wooden items, so I gave him the wooden pins and the other wooden pieces. A friend who makes and sells greeting cards now has about 100 new rubber stamps and supplies, and the owner of a craft mall where I consign jewelry has received all of the fabric and buttons for her sewing projects.
All of these people were so excited that I was giving them items to feed their passion, which made it easier to let them go.
One immediate benefit that I noticed as soon as I removed all of the excess crafting items from my studio was how much space I had. I was then able to start sorting and organizing just my jewelry-making supplies. And once I saw that I was getting more and more organized, I found I no longer have to search and search, I can go right to the item I’m looking for, find it and am then ready to use it. What a timesaver!!
I feel like uncluttering my studio has led to uncluttering my mind, which has allowed me more concentrated thought on my jewelry making. Since I’ve have had my most successful year to date with selling my jewelry, I am very pleased with the results of the destash effort and hope to reap even more benefits.
Who knows? I might even get to the point where I can give away some of the unused jewelry-making supplies that I have been saving for a rainy day.
Then again, maybe not.
Kathy’s report contains a huge amount of insightful ideas on why it’s important to de-clutter. Personal finance expert Suze Orman gently suggests that when you move un-needed things out of your life, it makes room for new things to come in.
If you have a personal story to share, please post it as a comment!