This is a guest post from Simple Scrapper team member Ronnie Crowley about letting go of her unused and no longer loved scrapbook supplies.
I started to scrapbook about 13 years ago. Like many people I started by attending a Creative Memories party. At the time I was actually living in Germany and Creative Memories was just starting over there. I remember saying I wasn’t going to get into this and just bought the cutting system to continue making the collage frames I had been putting together.
After the second party I attended I knew I was hooked. My obsession didn’t become an obsession until I arrived in the USA and walked into my first ever scrapbook store. I thought I had arrived in heaven. I spent the next 8 years paper scrapbooking.
I wasn’t a collector, I did actually scrap, but still I managed to gather more supplies than one human can use in a lifetime. Then something happened something I said would never happen: I started to scrap digitally. Before I knew it I hadn’t scrapped a paper layout in over 12 months and my supplies were gathering dust. I kept the door shut to the scrapbook room as hidden in there was my guilt. If I didn’t look at it, I didn’t have to acknowledge it.
Then after the bad tornados in Joplin, I saw on a website that a scrapbooker in the area was collecting supplies for scrappers who had lost everything. I took a large box and mailed a box load. Now this didn’t make much of a hole in the issue but it did get me started and motivated to get rid of some of the supplies.
A year later, my room is organized and you can see the carpet. I even found space to install an elliptical machine and I can continue to scrapbook without any guilt.
If you’re a paper scrapbooker with too much stuff or a digital scrapbooker who needs to get rid of all those paper supplies you have, let me share some ideas of what you can do.
The first step is to go through your supplies and determine what goes and what stays. Easy to say I know – harder to do. If you have supplies you’re not sure about, put them in a box and tape it up. If 6 months down the line you haven’t touch the box, send it away!
The next problem: what do you do with all the stuff you want to get rid of? I divided it into 3 piles.
- Give to Friends
There are several way to sell supplies:
- Host a scrapbooking garage sale. You could even offer to open this up to friends to bring things to sell also.
- List items on eBay or craigslist. This will be good for larger items mainly but I have sold some Stamping Up stamps for a lot of money on eBay as they were no longer in production and were a sort after item. It’s worth checking out past listings to set your prices.
- Take a box to a retreat. I sold a lot of my stamp sets this way. I priced them to go and go they did. I was happy not to have to bring them home and the buyers were happy to get a great deal.
- Check forum for-sale boards. When I used to hang out on paper scrapbooking sites you would quite often find these. I haven’t been on one of these for a while, but I’m sure they are still out there.
Give to Friends
All my themed paper supplies were sorted by theme into 12 by 12 baggies. I was able to think about my scrapbooking friends and give them a baggie of supplies for things I knew they scrapped about. One friend got the bag of baseball as I knew her son had just started playing. Another, who I knew always scrapped lots about Christmas, got the Christmas baggie. Yes, I was giving away a lot, but it made me feel good to know these supplies had gone to a good home, to someone I knew would put them to good use.
Every sticker and paper I had bought was special when I bought it and so it needed a special home. This was particularly important to me for the themed supplies I had. As a paper scrapper for certain themes, I would buy everything I saw that coordinated with the paper; you never knew if you’d see it again once the store sold out.
As I said earlier donating was what finally got me moving on this project and I have donated much more than this box I sent to Joplin. Unfortunately, the cost of mailing can soon add up so this may limit you to local donations but I have found there are many ways to donate locally if you just look for them.
My donations locally have basically been in two areas: church and school.
1. Church. My church has a high school girls group who makes things for others. I volunteered to teach them card making and we spent three Sunday afternoons making cards for the troops. I’m not sure how many we made in the end, but I think somewhere in the region of 150 cards.
Your church may not have a similar group, but I’m sure there are ladies who would come and spend a few hours to make cards for donation if supplies were provided. Yes, this takes a little more effort than just donating the supplies but it actually turns those supplies into something that can be used. The church could even sell the cards made to raise money for something else.
2. School. In the middle of my clean-up I was lucky enough to get an email from my daughter’s school saying they were looking for scrapbooking supplies to be used to create a scrapbook for the theatre department. I don’t think the theatre teacher realized what she was getting into when she said bring whatever I could. A car load later I was happy to see a huge amount of stuff gone and she was happy to see so much stuff.
I also know that many schools around here require seniors to scrapbook their senior year for English class. If you don’t have a theatre teacher, contact the local high school and see if the seniors scrapbook that. You may find those students would love to dig through a box of your old supplies to use in their books.
Other groups which may be interested in supplies include scouts, day care centers for the elderly, women’s shelters, and hospitals (especially children’s wards). Remember: non-profit organizations can give you a receipt for the tax man.
Which of these methods for stash-reduction have you tried?
I had a similar experience when I switched to digital. Recently I’ve begun art journaling. As part of my purge (gave lots away!) a friend and I made spiral bound journals from my papers. We rotary cut the pages to the size we wanted then went crazy adding in different sizes and angled pages. Took the bunch to Staples and had them spiral bound for about $3 each. Now I have a great homemade journal full of papers I love to play in. And – no more guilt over not using them.
Ronnie, you are so right. I have a scrap room that is a huge mess and I never go into it anymore since I have gone digital. I could be using the huge collection with the grand kids, but I don’t since it has gotten so out of hand. Yikes.
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