10 craft supplies you can probably let go of

As a crafty and creative person, I can totally understand how hard it is to let go of anything that could remotely turn into a project. There’s a special kind of magic that comes with turning scraps and overlooked treasures into a masterpiece.

There isn’t a special kind of magic, however, in keeping things that are truly nothing more than craft clutter.

That’s why this post is all about getting real with our stash and discussing the craft supplies you can declutter and let go of today.

Get rid of craft clutter - 10 supplies to throw away ASAP

Craft Clutter: 10 Things to Get Rid of ASAP

1 – Scrapbook Scraps

Sure, those little bits of pretty paper and ribbons *could* come in handy down the road, but… there’s also a good chance they will simply turn into confetti that spills out onto the floor every time you open your supplies.

If this an issue for you, go through your scraps and give yourself some parameters:

  • Are the scraps of a certain size?
  • How long has it been since you used that exact design/paper?
  • Do you have actual plans to use those scraps?

2 – Paper Towel Rolls

Unless you have clear plans to use these, like you have kids or grandkids who regularly craft with you, then it’s best to toss these in the recycling bin. These cardboard rolls will quickly multiply and turn into clutter!

If you’re worried you won’t have the rolls for a future project down the road, remember that you’ll probably still be buying paper towels and can restock those supplies in no time.

3 – Baby Food Jars

Baby food jars, like paper towel rolls, have a way of accumulating rather quickly. So again, without a clear project plan in place, it’s best to recycle these and move on!

I would suggest using some of these containers to help organize and store your craft supplies and then decluttering the rest.

4 – Fabric You Hate

Ugh! Even if you spent “good money on it” there’s no point in keeping fabric around that you’re not in love with. Maybe it didn’t wash well, or perhaps it was a difficult fabric to sew. Whatever the reason, you’re going to continue overlooking it for your next project – and it’s going to sit there unused for years to come.

Declutter that fabric and free up the space for something you love. 

5 – Yarn That Doesn’t Knit Well

You saw it in the bargain bin and thought that the colors would make a nice scarf… only it didn’t have the right weight in the end. So, instead of it morphing into a wearable piece of art, that yarn has been tossed in a box and picked over time and time again.

Donate craft supplies like these to schools or other groups with kids.

6 – Old Paintbrushes You Meant to Clean

…but didn’t. Oops!

And now those paintbrushes are too far gone. Also, the fact that you haven’t had the need to clean them since their last use shows just how much you actually use them (not often!).

It’s best to throw these brushes away and replace with fresh brushes (when/if you need them) that you make sure to clean as soon as you’re done using them.

7 – Old Paints and Glues

Especially ones that have been slightly left open and now are half dried up. Ditch them asap!

For anything that can be salvaged, consolidate with other paint or glue containers.

8 – Craft Items You Had Intentions of Using

That craft kit that’s still in its packaging…

Those spare tiles you collected from a garage sale…

You had all the ideas and plans to make all the things with these items.

Only now it’s been 2 years and they are still sitting there unused. Now is the time to get real. If you haven’t used them in that amount of time, chances are you never will.

9 – Broken Items You May “Someday” Craft

When you’re crafty, you see endless crafting possibilities with just about anything. It’s part of the charm of crafting:  being able to turn random pieces into something beautiful.

So, for people like us, it makes absolute sense to keep broken trinkets and gadgets and clothing in the hopes of it being the perfect missing component of your future masterpiece. Ask me about the broken disco ball I found on the street and then proceeded to move from not one apartment but two…

Only there’s a fine line between having a fun stash and creating craft clutter. After a certain amount of time has passed, either put that item to use in a project or get rid of it.

10 – Half-finished projects

There’s probably a reason you haven’t finished those projects. Maybe you don’t actually like knitting and that’s why you’ll never have that scarf that you started 3 winters ago.

Why keep it around? All it’s doing is creating clutter while simultaneously making you feel a little bad about yourself whenever you see it. Focus your time and energy on what matters instead.

Recap on Getting Rid of Craft Clutter:

When going through your supplies, it’s important to:

  • Get real with it!
  • Think about how often (or if ever) you’ve used the items.
  • Understand that everything is replaceable, for the most part.
  • Think about if you even like that crafting activity.
  • Know that getting rid of craft clutter can open the door to new crafting possibilities.

So what are you waiting for? Go through your craft supplies today and get rid of the items that are no longer serving you.

Let us know what sort of craft clutter you are getting rid of in the comments below!

* * * * *

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14 thoughts on “10 craft supplies you can probably let go of”

  1. That was a great article written for me! If it wasn’t midnight I would go and take care of all these things I have saved for too many years! I will tackle this son! 😊

    • Mary Jo, I had the SAME reaction!! Great article! Except for Yarn, it’s ALL ME!!! And I’ve felt sooo guilty for all the space my clutter has caused to be unusable…will be doing this ASAP!!

  2. Sewing and quilting. All those scraps that I can use “someday”. I really need to clear them out but it’s really hard when some people guilt me about them being useful. Ugg.

  3. This article couldn’t have come at a better time. We have moved to a smaller house and , of course, I brought it all with me. Yikes, I need to purge for sure

  4. I have been a crafter and maker forever! There is not a thing I wouldn’t like to try soooo I have A LOT of supplies. Beads, fabric, yarn, paints, etc. etc. I’m not really ready to say I’m done with any of them, but after reading this there are something I can let go of. I’m keeping a copy of the article so I can go back and read it again . Thank you!

  5. I found a place in my town where I could take crafting supplies, fabric etc. You might see us your town has anything like that. Also you might post stuff on line. I found a women who wanted all my old crafting and beading magazines – I advertised “free to a good home”. Good luck!

  6. I went through my craft stuff and did a purge that filled my car trunk – I donated the usable craft things to a preschool. They were happy to get all the stuff for fun projects.
    Some of what was purged went to recycling.

    Little by little I am purging and downsizing – feels good to have freed up space and not so cluttered

  7. I have a storage unit I’m paying $65/mo for. I’ve known for a long time I need to jettison that, along w/ most of the “stuff” in it. Thankfully, the company has decided it will close that section of storage units to use for its building supply business. It graciously will supply a new unit for $85/mo, but I’m determined to completely get rid of off-site storage. There are a few treasures in there I’ll never get rid of, but there also are several “clutter coffins” of fabric my fabriholic mother bought MANY years ago but never used. She died in 2002. Will I EVER use that fabric? Nada. I have to have that unit cleared out in a month. Amazingly, I’m looking forward to it! THANKS for this post.

  8. I recently decluttered some of my craft stuff from YEARS ago, but I couldn’t seem to part with lots of counted cross stitch kits that I had bought to work on in the summer months when I wasn’t teaching. I have been retired for 14 years now, and I haven’t completed any of them. What kinds of places will take these kits off my hands? I promise I’ll collect and donate them right away!! (only the ones that are unopened)
    Thanks for the article!

  9. I have a friend who saves paper towel tubes for her granddaughter who has a bunny. The bunnies (and hamsters, I understand) like to chew on them. I’m sure my next door goat neighbors would also like to chew on them. It’s kind of recycling!

  10. I have oil painting and acrylic paints I haven’t gotten to use for two years, because of our move to a smaller house. Boxes take up one parking spot in garage. We are planning to build me an art shed. I’m hoping this year! I’m getting anxious so many paints might get ruined in the heat and cold. Frustrated and hoping it happens soon!

  11. Craft clutter does reproduce when your back is turned.

    My 84 year old Mom is a quilter, she just moved to an apartment. She had boxes & boxes of fabric in her stash. She gave me 5 large boxes to donate. I found a patient who quilts and delivered them to her after she said she would love them. She has now made 5 hanging decorative quilts and gave them to people who God nudged her to help. They are beautiful and besides making someone else smile, they are being used. Now I have to convince her to release the rest of her stash.

  12. Reading this really helped me feel better! Being a craftier, apparently I read a lot of this, or got the idea to get rid of all the excess craft stuff from reading your book! We had to be gone to help an elderly family member for nearly 2 weeks. We came home exhausted, and me not feeling good! (Also just not up to doing anything). So it was helpful to know I have accomplished this! Again thank you Sarah! I needed this as much as those that haven’t done it yet!

  13. Don’t forget assisted living and rehab centers for donating your old stash. This includes note pads, cards, pens, markers and non-toxic glue. Call and find out what else they might be looking for, yarn, cross stitch and embroidery hoop crafts are also popular.
    Great article. Just re-did my craft room closet. 4 large boxes are on the way out.
    For items I find too hard to get rid of, but should… I put in a non see thru box (cardboard) and set aside for 1-2 months. I try to see if I can remember what is in the box. What I can remember and still want, without opening… I keep, everything else goes. Most of the time the entire box goes without even opening.


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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