Why I Quit My Kit Club

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

May 22, 2015

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:

20150429_1967

and worse, this:

20150429_1966

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.

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52 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Oh, wow! I am in the same boat! I opened a “new” kit the other day and realized it was from Sept of last year. So needless to say I am a little behind as well and have been debating the same issue for about two months. I love getting the new kits and different products, but I have fallen so far behind that I feel guilty. Man, I hate that feeling. So I will cancel as well and leave the guilt to others!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      I am glad that I wasn’t alone in “the debate”. One other thing that helped me was remembering that not now doesn’t mean never again.

      Reply
  2. Suse Fish

    Good for you, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing so honestly xx

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks! I’ve had this post in me for a few weeks now and I’m glad to get it out.

      Reply
  3. Francine

    I’m addicted to Paper Wishes and their weekly webisodes (along with the periodic week of webisodes) and I am a member of the Dazzles kit club. I’m also in the process of organizing my scrap/craft room. I don’t buy from any other company and the only digi clubs I belong to are ScrapStacks (and I really have to like ALL the selections or I won’t buy) and The Daily Digi. I subscribe annually to the Daily Digi. I’m also working on getting my digi supplies into Lightroom and am following a set of directions for doing that. I’ve actually gone through all of my extracted digi kits and deleted many that I don’t like any more and so won’t use. But I still have A LOT of physical supplies to go through – I’ve been working on finding my photos and gettting them all in one place for the last 4 or 5 weeks. I’m seeing progress but not as much as I’d like. (I’ve got photos from my mother’s side of the family and my father’s as well as my husband’s family’s and our own – filled one large Cropper Hopper photo box and got another started – still have one empty one.) Most of the physical supplies will be used for card making or heritage albums. So I’ve cut back on what’s coming into my house and slowly getting rid of things I don’t like any more. (I have a box that will go to the elementary school early next fall – by then it might be two boxes.) I really need to quit buying the HunkyDory kits from Paper Wishes. They take up a lot of room (their cardstock it 9 x 11+ and is heavier than our (US) cardstock. HD is from Great Britain. Plus if you fold the cardstock in half to use as a card, it is too big for the standard cards and the added weight means added postage.) BUT IT IS SO PRETTY!!!

    Does anyone else get the feeling that deep within lies the heart of a magpie or crow and any pretty sparkly thing grabs its (and your) attention and you can’t ignore, let alone, leave it and go on by?

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      As creative gals, we all have that “ooh, shiny”. So I think we always have to remember that we’re adult woman and are capable of making practical decisions… leaning on the confidence that we maybe have a bit more of as home-keepers.

      Reply
  4. Marie-Pierre

    Hi Jennifer, me too, i limes gerting the new stuff but couldn’t keep up with the pace of the kits coming in. I’ve been a subscriber for maybe 3 years? PL and scrapbook kits at Studio Calico and in February I did it. I unsubscribed! Ha! The first month felt weird. I decided to stop looking at their website and kits and sneaks and sales that wants you back in the subscription wheel. Two months later I felt relieved. And with the money I was saving, well, I subscribed to Ali’s kit. I’m happy I do. I feel like since her kits are themed related and The sayings are so generic, the products really don’t get old. And they can be use on anything and everything. I’m really happy that I 1. Cancelled my SC subscription and moved on 2. Get Ali’s kit and mostly educational content. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      It does feel weird at first, but you are so right… closing one door opens another. When you force yourself out of a pattern, you create an opportunity to buy or try something new and different.

      Reply
  5. Honore Francois

    I n March, I cancelled my PL Studio Calico kit and cancelled the scrapbook kits several years ago – I still have some of those to use…sad to say and I don’t think I”ll ever use all the PL kit stuff. I also subscribe to Ali Edwards’ story kits…I like that she offers many ideas for using the product but her real focus/emphasis is on the story.
    The one thing I found with kits/clubs is they cost more than the initial kit…cause you wind up with a need to store them in a way that’s accessible and orderly…more furniture? Containers? etc. It’s just all too much! And having all this product ain’t resulting in the equivalent layouts, albums, etc!
    Glad I made those decisions and that you did, too! Now, i guess we’d better get busy!
    Cheers~

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      There are lots of fun ways to make use of journaling cards. You should consider that one of your challenges during Stash Bash this summer!

      Reply
  6. Jennifer

    I used to be subscribed to a few kit clubs from Paper Wishes a few years back and guess what? Most of the kits are still in my closet unused. I won’t part with them because I know that someday I will get inspired to use them. But I still get the urge to re-subscribe to maybe one of the kit clubs just because getting the newest and greatest is always such a fun feeling. But I’m behaving. 🙂 I do so many different types of crafts that I just don’t have the time for everything as it is.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      “Behaving” is a good word for it I think. It takes a bit of self-discipline to resist the pull of something new when it’s not a good time.

      Reply
  7. Nancy

    Yes I am a paperholic. I put myself on hiatus periodically. I have enough beautiful papers to start my own store. I am addicted to scrapbook paper.
    I have paper in $ 18-24,00 packs un opened.
    I have been good since April 30 because I got the flu and bronchitis so I have not been to the scrapbook store but I was looking on line.
    I have a 4 album heritage scrapbooking and still have kits I subscribed to that I have not used yet. They just kept coming every month and now I have a stockpile. They are so beautiful but I feel guilty if I give them away. Oh Dear What am I to do.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      I do think it’s important to work through that guilt when it comes to decluttering what is excess to you. A stuffed stash can make it hard to feel inspired, so it’s in the best interest of your hobby to just keep what you love most!

      Reply
  8. Gab

    Great post Jennifer! I was down to one kit (The Scrap Room) and quit around 2 years ago and I still have over 12 months worth of kits waiting to be used!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks Gab! If you’re having trouble using up the kits, have you thought about breaking up some of them into your regular stash?

      Reply
  9. Mary

    Thank you for this! I quit two subs last month and plan in quitting the other after this month (I really want the new canada stamp) and then unsubbing from their emails to avoid temptation. Part of the problem for me is that EVERYONE uses their product and it adds to my FOMO. I was even debating not renewing my membership to your site in order to avoid seeing pages made using their new stuff – I’m now looking forward to being inspired to use my stash!!!

    Reply
    • Paulette Sarsfield

      Hi Mary… who has a new Canada stamp??? I gave up my subscriptions to everything but simple scrapper in March… it’s all too much… I have enough product to last me many life times & I have been purging like a mad woman! I want to breathe in my studio…

      Reply
      • Mary

        Hi Paulette – SC has it – I was in the same club as jennifer and subbed to all three (and preordered the planner whic I also intend to unsub in August). It’s too much and I have such a glut of stuff – it impacts my creativity. I will keep Ali’s kit as I find true value there (it includes shipping and instructions) and doesn’t take up a ton of space. I’m sure I will eventually quit that too.

        Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      This is definitely the place to be for stash-using inspiration! I’m so glad you both decided to stay.

      Reply
    • Delanie

      I’m another person, and team member here, who recently unsubscribed to my Studio Calico kit. I’ll definitely be using older product for my layouts. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Anne

    Thanks for sharing your guilty little secret with us 🙂 I’ve found that the more supplies, kits, etc. I buy the less I use. I love getting pretty things in the post but I soon start to feel overwhelmed and put them away as they are just too nice to use. Since I stopped buying my mojo has returned and if I don’t have a product I want to use I am getting very good at inventing new ways with older products. I would love to know the secret of buying just enough, but living in UK scrapbook supplies are not as plentiful as in U.S. so it encourages overbuying when I do find a scrapbook store or shop online.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Anne, what I will often do is fill my cart with everything that I like and then start deleting items until what’s left is just what I love the most.

      Reply
  11. kybarb

    Exactly why I think kits will not last much longer. I can’t imagine that anyone is able to use up all those supplies every month. I still will never understand why anyone would want someone else to choose what supplies will be used for something as personal as scrapbooking.

    Reply
    • Diane

      I agree!

      Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      I like purchasing kits because I tend to overbuy on some items and underbuy on others. I find that having someone else coordinate my products saves me time not just in shopping, but in making sure that I have what I need for a layout.

      Reply
  12. Gina

    What a great post Jennifer. Thank you so much for writing and posting this. I think you’ve summed up exactly what many of us feel, myself included. I finally unsubscribed from Scraptastic and plan to unsubscribe from SC PL kits. I too have a stack of boxes from the kids piled up. Since starting a new job in September, I haven’t scrapped one page – and have continued to receive kits. So I too need to make a little progress before I subscribe again. I am guilty of continuing my Ali Edwards kits. I just love them too much and absolutely love her inspirational classes. I’m not sure how I”m going to “catch up” with those but I’m not ready to cancel yet – definitely FOMO on those kits. I look forward to seeing your progress on stashbusting!!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks Gina. I am still getting the Ali Edwards stamps, because they are tools I will use again and again. What if you set a goal of just one page by the end of the month?

      Reply
      • Gina

        Great idea! Plus that will help use my stash. Thanks for your response! I’d love more posts on how you’re doing with getting through your stash. Maybe I should save my money for your stashbusting class.

        Reply
  13. Kari

    I had to cancel my scrapbook kit and project life subs to Studio Calico in March due to financial reasons but to be perfectly honest I have a huge stockpile to use up. So it actually was a good thing. Although I found the first reveal hard after I cancelled. Now it doesn’t bother me at all and I just think of all the money I am not spending on stuff just to have it pile up. It feels really good not to be sucked into the kit scene.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks for commenting. While I liked being part of a “clique” of subscribers, I do agree it feels empowering to be on the other side.

      Reply
  14. Kelly Jean

    This is totally me! Which is why I decided to take your Start Fresh class. I was so focused on products and getting new products wasn’t the motivational push like it used to be. It didn’t matter what product I was using, new or old. It was one in the same. So I decided to step back from the product buying and just focus on telling my stories.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks for participating in Start Fresh. I think it’s awesome that you’ve been focusing on what matters most to you!

      Reply
  15. Lisa

    Great post! I no longer subscribe to any kits. It was fun receiving a kit each month but also caused stress. I now get a thrill from using my stash to create lay-outs or cards. Matter of fact, I just made 10 thank you notes from Becky Higgins PL paper I bought several years ago on sale

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks Lisa. Hooray for your stashbusting!

      Reply
  16. Kathleen S.

    Okay, so I’m not a spring chicken anymore, and my texting is positively 20th century, so what does FOMO stand for?

    I’ve never done a kit club, I do enjoy Ali’s story kits, and I still have too much stash. Most of the scrap stores here have closed,but Michael’s and HobbyLobby are occasional temptations. I’ve been a Simple Scrapper for a while, though, and Jennifer’s been a wonderful resource and encouragement. Think I’ll go declutter a scrap drawer now.

    Reply
    • Naomi

      FOMO means “fear of missing out”

      Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks Naomi for answering – and thank you Kathleen for being part of our community!

      Reply
  17. Carmelle Landreville

    Great post Jennifer… I don’t presently subscribe to any kit. I have too much to learn from the classes I follow on your site. I have a big box of kits I use to buy long time ago. But don’t remember what they look like. I don’t like the english journaling on the embellishments because my langage is french so I think I bought those and there are many things I won’t use. Maybe I would like the Alie’kit for the stories. For now I prefer put my time on organizing my photos and finishing my projects.
    Thanks for helping us to think how to manage our scrapbooking purchases…

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      My pleasure Carmelle. I hope to see you tackle that box of kits during this summer’s Stash Bash event!

      Reply
  18. Cheri Stine

    LOVE this post, Jennifer! When I first started scrapping I subscribed to two kits per month and they became my “how-to” guides. As I became more comfortable with my own creativity and ability to tell my story my way, I found the kits no longer served a purpose but it was so hard to stop because I loved getting monthly surprise gifts. The amount of backlog became unreasonable and I eventually stopped both subscriptions. The temptation to start another subscription remains, however. I’m going to bookmark this post and revisit it each time I get the urge!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      What a great point Cheri! Kits are super-helpful for guiding those still figuring out their style and approach to scrapbooking. One thing that’s helping me is remembering that if there’s a kit I like, I can just buy it. I’d rather spend $5 more to not have that stress of backlog.

      Reply
  19. Paulette Sarsfield

    Thanks Jennifer, I think we’re all in this together… It’s the rare “scrapbooker “who can use all her/his supplies… and it reaches a point where it’s all just too much & then we don’t enjoy our hobby… I say we “bash the heck out of our stash” and get back to having fun… guilt is an energy suck & that’s what too much stuff can do! Thanks so much for sharing:)

    Reply
  20. Deb VC

    Jennifer,
    What a timely post! I’m debating about a monthly club I belong to — I can only buy refills if I am a current subscriber. So it’s hard to think about stopping. But some of the kits just weren’t ‘me’–and I made them only to give them away to someone else who loved them. It’s almost like a backward gift. “Here you take it because I don’t like it. Enjoy!” Some kits I don’t have a home for – and so they are stockpiled on my shelves. Not something easy to organize and the guilt is overwhelming when I look at them.

    Thank you for the post and the reflections. It’s not an easy thing to admit; but I think you know now you’re not alone with the struggle!!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      It sounds like you could use a big declutter, coupled with a generous dose of self-forgiveness. If hanging on to stuff means you’re hanging on to guilt too, that’s 2X weight on your shoulders. As Elsa says, let it go!

      Reply
  21. Catherine

    I love my kit club, but I find I only use it if I immediately break it up and store it with my other supplies! Just the kit by itself is both too limited and too much pressure, if that makes sense. But I love the actual supplies and will use them up if I sneak them into the rest of my stash.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      That’s awesome Catherine. Actually using your supplies is what matters. I’m not anti-subscription at all. Great tip!

      Reply
  22. Debra Williams

    Stopped kit clubs a few years ago and find I much more enjoy having a budget to buy deals on peachy cheap, scrapbook.com, bitsy, etc. that are a variety of item on my “to get” list…not limited to paper and embellies.

    Reply
  23. Linda Smith

    I was a paper scrapper for many years, way back in the beginning. Back then there was not a lot of kits that were coordinated, which I wish that they were. I have a ton of scrapbook supplies and tools that I need to get rid of. I have been digitally scrapbooking since 2007 and haven’t looked back. In the beginning, I was buying new digital kits all the time. I am now down to 1 monthly subscription. I only buy kits if I need one for a particular layout other than my one subscription. That way I don’t feel guilty if I buy a new kit. I am working on my 3 daughters scrapbooks and it has worked out well so far for me. I love scrapping my digi stash.

    Reply
  24. Tiffany W

    I love kits and wish I could afford a subscription. I used to subscribe to a kit club. I used a lot of the kits I purchased, and then bought a bunch they had on clearance. But then my style changed so I gave many of them away. I still have a few left I use. I think kits are great if you remember that you are the boss of yourself and the kit!

    Reply
  25. Lisa

    We are in the process of renovating bathrooms at our house and it has me on a decluttering track :). I’m actually excited to declutter and bring back into rooms only what I truly love and will use. Room to breathe….this is i want for my creative space/room as well….excited to purge ?!!!

    Reply
  26. Susanne

    I think it takes some of us a long time to realize the subliminal stress of having too many supplies. I stopped subscribing to kits, but was still spending too much time on the internet on sites whose sole purpose was to sell me product. I was too susceptible to their sales pitches. So even after I stopped my subscriptions I was still buying at a faster rate than I was making. One way I stopped was to spend less time on the internet, and when I did go online, to concentrate on sites that encouraged me to be productive in my scrapping (like Simple Scrapper). So I am slowly working through my backlog making my own kits and revisiting some classes I had purchased online as well. I am finding the thrill of completing projects more lasting than the thrill of opening a box of new supplies.

    Reply

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