In my Facebook group I received this question about collecting too much vintage paper ephemera:
Can you share a few tips on how to judge what’s a good amount of paper and ephemera? I am a minimalist in all aspects of my life except when it comes to the craft room. I can’t live with piles of stuff and it’s making me sick. I don’t want to hoard, but I don’t want to give away everything and start from zero. What’s a good balance? Keep enough for a couple projects? Any tips for going forward so I don’t accumulate again?
I definitely can relate to not feeling well when I have too many papers and piles of stuff around me in my work area. I feel overwhelmed, bogged down, and my creativity slows considerably when there is too much visual distraction. But there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question about balance however, because everyone’s threshold of “too much stuff” is different.
Some people are limited by space and therefore can only keep a certain amount of craft supplies and ephemera. If space is not an issue and you simply want to put constraints on yourself, consider limiting yourself to a container or tub with a lid. One or two, possibly. How big? That’s up to you. What I can recommend is that if you are concerned about accumulating to much paper ephemera, choose your container and tell yourself that you can’t keep more than what there is space for. Make a rule for yourself and then stick to it. If you really want more, then if something comes in, then something has to come out.
Perhaps it’s not a container but a shelf, preferably one that you can close a door on. It seems you want to avoid clutter and avoid the reminder of all the craft and art work you want to someday create.
When it comes to choosing ephemera, be picky! Your time is not limitless; your interests aren’t limitless either. Choose things you can envision yourself creating with and pass up the things that are mere possibilities. I keep a little standing office supply container that I fill with my authentic vintage pieces that I know I could incorporate into something. I have more, particularly larger pieces, but not much more. I want to use up what I have instead of continuing to accumulate. Of course there are always exceptions, like when I went to the stamp show and came home with two boxes of mail ephemera. 😉
What advice do others have for putting limits on yourself and how you acquire paper and ephemera?