Guest post by Laura Rahel
When you’re deciding to live a more intentional life and you begin simplifying your home, hobbies can fall into an uncertain category. On one hand, many hobbies can increase your quality of life. On the other, they can take up a lot of your time, energy, and money and they can easily cause clutter. Thus, hobbies fall into a category that many people struggle with.
You can lead an intentional life with less stuff and still have hobbies though! I have a super simple guide to choosing which hobbies and supplies stay and which ones to let go of. So you can make the most of your money, energy, and time, and still pursue things you love.
Guide to Minimalism with Hobbies
Follow these three steps to implement minimalism into your hobbies.
1. Choose wisely
It is impossible to do it all. You don’t have enough time to pursue every craft or project and that’s okay. You don’t need to try them all. Pick your top 2 crafts or hobbies that add value to your life and let go of all the rest. Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing which hobbies you’ll keep.
- Do you love the time you spend doing the hobby?
- Do you enjoy the finished product of that hobby
- Does doing this hobby make your life better?
When I used this criteria for choosing which hobbies to keep when I began my journey towards more intentional living, suddenly choosing my hobbies got a whole lot easier. I loved scrapbooking. It was a creative outlet. I loved all the pretty stationery supplies I had, and I loved my finished scrapbooks I had to look back at when I finished a project.
However, when I looked at other hobbies, it became clear that they weren’t going to be keepers when minimalism came into my life. For instance, calligraphy is gorgeous and I wished I could do it well. But the truth was that I rarely ever did it. I didn’t enjoy doing it because I wasn’t very good at it, and it was a hobby I wanted to have and enjoy, not one that actually made my life better in the “right now.”
Similarly, I had tons of fabric for sewing projects I wanted to try. But I hated sewing. I was too impatient to troubleshoot issues when thread got tangled or bunched up when I was using my machine. And I never actually made anything I loved so much I wanted to keep afterwards. So I returned my machine and gave away all my beautiful fabric scraps. An easy $80 back in my pocket and tons of time and mental space given back to me now that I didn’t have to worry about this thing I wasn’t good at but wished I was. It gave me more time to focus on the hobby that actually added value and happinesss to my life (scrapbooking,) and helped me to declutter my craft room tremendously!
So what hobbies do you have that you truly love? Which hobbies have you been meaning to try, bought supplies for, but haven’t actually got around to doing or loving? Choose your 2 favourites and let go of the rest. You will feel amazing letting go of the hobbies that aren’t contributing to your life and you’ll have more time, energy, money, and space for the couple of hobbies you truly adore.
2. Whatever hobbies you chose to let go of, let go of all the supllies you have for them too.
That’s right, let go of all the physical objects you have for hobbies you’ve decided not to pursue. Return things that you can, sell items that you can, and donate the rest.
I was able to make $400 last year selling off extra craft supplies I wasn’t going to use when I decided to pursue minimalism. Extra cash in your pocket feels good, but getting rid of clutter and extra possessions feels even better. And if you’re looking for a great place to donate crafting or go by materials, here are a few ideas.
Elementary schools love donated paper crafting supplies. Take them all your glue, paper, scissors, stickers, whatever! If you have wood working tools you want to donate, local high schools or vocational programs are great places to donate. Nursing homes are also a good place to donate extra crafting supplies like yarn, crochet needles, and scrapbooking supplies. These places often want to provide projects and activities to those in their care, but don’t have big budgets dedicated towards arts and crafts. Donations are usually greatly appreciated, just call ahead first and make sure they have a use/desire for your donation.
3. Be realistic about your limitations.
Do you really have enough time to crochet 20 blankets this year? Then why do you have so much yarn? When I decided that scrapbooking was one of the hobbies I was keeping, I discovered I had thousands of Project Life cards I could use in scrapbook albums. There’s no way I could ever use that many cards, even if I spent my whole life scrapbooking. So I downsized A LOT. And now my small stash of scrapbooking supplies is so fulfilling to my heart.
Downsizing my hobby supplies simplified the actual creating part of my hobby tremendously! Now instead of being overwhelmed by choices, supplies, and projects, I walk into my craft room and immediately know what I’m going to do and where to find everything I need for it. The whole process has become easier and my space has become much lighter and more pleasant for me to be in.
Have you started simplifying your life? I hope this article helps you figure out how hobbies and supplies for your hobbies will fit into your new, more intentional lifestyle!
Laura Rahél Crosby is a memory keeper and photographer. Her new class, Minimalist Scrapbooking, shows you how to create a beautiful, simple, and easy scrapbook with minimal supplies and effort. Check it out here.