Earlier this spring, I made a big decision.

Cue dramatic pause.

I cancelled my subscriptions to the Studio Calico Scrapbook Kit and Project Life Kit. I had subscribed to at least one kit almost-continuously for the past 4 years.

Studio Calico was my introduction to modern papercrafting, helping me discover my scrapbooking style and define my own approach to “simple”. I love this company’s aesthetic and enjoy feeling challenged to try products out of my comfort zone.

Subscribing to a kit has saved me time in coordinating supplies and freed my imagination to focus on the stories first. While I wish the kits included more products from other manufacturers, I’ve been a happy customer overall.

So why did I quit? They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so my answer is this:

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and worse, this:

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I love pretty new supplies as much as anyone, but I’m also a big believer in roughly matching your shopping rate with your making rate. In other words, I try not to buy much more than I can use. By keeping my stash small I can avoid feeling overwhelmed by my stuff…. in theory.

The thing is, I had found myself stuck and not practicing what I preach. The guilt began to mount and honestly, I felt embarrassed that the kits were piling up. Since I’m not the most prolific scrapbooker, I had to make a change on the other end of the equation.

It wasn’t easy, though. I had to wade through the murky waters of FOMO, dealing with a certain degree of anxiety about no longer getting the latest and greatest. Without being a subscriber, what deals would I miss? What if that next Project Life kit had a filler card with that perfect sentiment I’ve been waiting for?

Then I told myself to get a grip. Even though this hobby is serious business for me, it really only is paper and stickers.

As I let go, I began to feel calmly confident in the decision as well as a renewed excitement for my scrapbooking. Here’s what I discovered from the process:

1. FOMO isn’t real. There will always be more. Today’s scrapbooking supplies are so evergreen and non-thematic that it’s really only the color palette that changes month to month. What seems like a “must have” this month will be quickly upstaged by the next “must have” coming down the pike.

2. I can still buy one-off kits. Once I stopped being so dramatic about the decision, I realized that not subscribing doesn’t prevent buying. While I personally chose to take a temporary spending hiatus, I’m glad I have the option of purchasing the kits that I love the most.

3. Less mail means less pressure. For some, receiving a new kit is the best day of the month. They’re ready to dig in and make more pages. But if you’re like me and not especially prolific, that new kit can represent added stress. We create enough of our own anxiety that there’s no need to have supplies be a part of that.

4. A backlog can be like Christmas morning. There’s little difference between an unopened kit that arrived yesterday and one that’s six months old. Our industry doesn’t change that much so new is new, even if it’s old. I’m excited to shop my stash, and at my own pace of creating.

5. Stash busting feels like a fun challenge. Since my stash is overly abundant at this point, I feel a sense of challenge to make a dent in creative ways. While I don’t desire to be wasteful, this stuff is meant to be used. I’m excited to tackle the backlog with the freedom of a kid in a candy store.

6. The money is spent. On top of having unopened kits, subscribing to a kit means that not everything is a winner. I could spend time regretting my purchases, but instead I choose to let it go. That means I’ll be focusing on the products I really dig and actively decluttering the clutter. Life is too short to keep supplies that make you feel bad.

For some, quitting is easy. For me, it took some thoughtful deliberation to make what was the best decision at the time. If you’re feeling guilty or stressed about unopened or unused kits (but can’t imagine canceling), perhaps my experience can offer some encouragement to take the leap.

Are you like me, tired of feeling that constant pressure to buy more? You might feel at home in the membership at Simple Scrapper. Our members include paper, digital, and pocket page scrapbookers who enjoy receiving tools and support to tell their stories with what they have. You can save 20% on a 6-month membership through May 31, 2015.