A New Year... a HUGE Challenge

(Be forewarned, this is a long post, with many personally revealing flaws within myself. It.Is.LONG.)


It's 2011 already.


I feel like 2010 just whizzed by me, and when I look back over what we did during the year, it seems like a lot, but also so little.

I'm hoping that 2011 is a banner year for me, full of personal accomplishment, goal achieving, overcoming lifelong obstacles, and a new financial freedom.

I've set several goals, most of which I'm keeping to myself. (There's nothing worse than someone reminding you of your failure if you don't meet them.)

One of the goals I've set is intertwined with other goals set to assure that I meet it. Achieving them will likely take up most of my blogging time over the next 12 months.

I would, really truly, like to go a full year without purchasing any crafting supplies.

I know that to many of my creative friends, this likely sounds like blasphemy and not likely to be achieved. I also know that several of you are wondering why on earth I would set such a redunkulous (love the word - deal with it) goal.

I've been handling our budget for the last few months, and when I realized the amount of money I've spent on creative supplies, I am astounded. Really in awe of myself. There is no reasonable explanation, at least nothing that sounds really realistically reasonable to me. I have a room overflowing (quite literally) with of things I don't use, but think that I love.I have boxes, bins, and shopping bags of new items that have never been opened or used stacked, piled, and laying around. 

Honestly, it is embarrassing. I've taken photos to document the current state of chaos but I'm not sure I am willing to share them with the world.  Though many of my friends laugh and joke about their "rooms" looking like an episode of Hoarders, I really feel like my room honestly is. Right down to the internal causes and issues that bring others to the world of hoarding. (In hindsight, it would be wise to share one photo, so that you have an idea of the level of support I will need to accomplish this feat.)
I truly have an internal urge to purchase things I like, but don't need and may certainly never use. I can't really explain it other than I just HAVE to HAVE these things. I am not proud to admit this, but I have gone to extreme lengths to acquire some of this stuff. Admitting this overwhelming need is also embarrassing - but oddly freeing as well.

Of course, this need poses several immediate issues. First, now that we are a one-income family (and really, before too), it puts an unnecessary strain on our budget. While funds may have been allocated to fill the "need" (note, the need not the want), the amount of money I've spent exceeds the allocation. Second, I have so many things that I don't know what I have or where to find them if I wanted to use them anytime in the near future. Third, really... (and this is rhetorical question, not a question for which I need a response)... how healthy is it to feed your desires every time you have them? Third, I feel that I am by far less creative when I have everything at my disposal.

One of the challenges I know I will face is finding ways to "get around" my goal. I know this will be a challenge because I am already thinking of ways to accomplish it.  With that in mind, I have set a few caveats that need to be met prior to any purchases being made.
  • Everything in my art room/studio/scrapbooking/craft room must be put away. This means, every box must be identified, every bag opened the items put into their place, every stacked bin emptied. In short, the room must be organized.
  • I cannot already own something that will do the same task. For instance... I will not purchase a set of rub-on's if I have a rubber stamp that does the same task. I will not purchase a glue stick because it smells better than another, if I have a glue stick that will work. I will not purchase an embossing template or metal die, if I have the same shape pattern electronically. 
  • If both of the above are met, the final caveat is that I must be using the item within the next two weeks. Gone are the days of purchasing things to collect them. 
I need to rid myself of the need to "have" things, and bring back (or bring forward) the need to create everyday.

At this point, aside from thinking I have lost my ever loving mind (which I assure you, I have not), you may be wondering how on Earth I plan to accomplish such a high and lofty goal. Here's what I'm thinking (so far):
  1. I'm going to take organizing my studio (and my home) one week at a time. It's a big project. I'm going to set weekly goals and tasks that I need to accomplish within that time. If you're interested, you can follow me along that journey on another blog I've created and have titled "Organizing my Life... One Week at a Time." I plan to take before photos, after photos, and share what I did to meet my goal. Once I have my studio completed, I plan to move onto the rest of my home. (My "room" is completely different from the rest of my home. My husband would have left me years ago if I had kept house the same as I have maintained my "room".)
  2. I am going to blog when I have the urge to purchase something, if only to journal out my feelings and get down to the very root cause as to why I have this insane urge.
So, that's it folks. A year long challenge for 2011 unlike anything I've ever tried to accomplish before. I know that it will be the most difficult challenge yet, but I also know it will yield great benefits for my family, for my creativity, and most importantly, for my mind.


Sue said...

Very exciting for you Heather! I know you will accomplish your goals. I love the way you are planning to organize your studio, and think I just might "follow along" with that and do mine as well. Thanks for the inspiration, and Happy, Happy New Year!


Kathy said...

Great idea - I think I might have to follow in your footsteps but with a couple mods - for instance me just keeping TRACK of what I spend on crafts would be good.
I like the weekly goals and everything has its place. I need to do both!

Robin Thomas said...

I am behind you 100%. You are s oright that the need to fill the cupboards has many underlying issues about need and I don't know something like love and value for me anyway. I think the buying something for a specific purpose makes so much sense. It is a great motivator.

You are very strong Heather. Who is stronger than you? I am completely confident that the struggles will bring growth and that you will be deeply changed in this year.


The Junque Seeker said...

I think these are such worthy goals, and I'll try to go along with you. I feel totally overwhelmed sometimes by the amount of STUFF I have and agree that it's hard to create under those circumstances. I also love the green aspect of using what we have. Look forward to reading about your journey and the inspiration you'll provide.

Ann @ I blog, therefore I am. said...

That room looks like my spare bedroom which I have to lock when we have company lest someone see what a slob I am. I am going to read this post in greater detail later in hopes it will inspire me!