Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stamp Out Chaos- Striving to Simplify

Hello friends,

I am afraid I don't have much to share today in terms of pretty pictures showing off all the progress I have made on my space.  It's the end of the school year and my time is being spent helping the kids with their end of the school year projects (including creating a traditional Swedish children's outfit from Goodwill finds + ribbon and trim picked up at Jo Ann Fabrics AND whipping up a crock pot of Swedish Meatballs to feed an army of hungry 4th graders for their International Buffet... seriously, Heritage Day, I am looking at you).

Lindsay and I embarked on our journey to Stamp Out Chaos a couple months ago, and I did want to take some time to share some of my thoughts and what I am learning through this process.  Recently, I have been drawn more and more to practicing minimalism in my home.  Now I am not talking 'bare walls and mattress on the floor' minimalism, but a rational minimalism that makes sense for a busy family of 4. Living with what is truly essential and necessary- nothing more, nothing less.

I have come to the realization that I am a really bad manager of stuff- my husband's stuff, my kids' stuff, and if I am being honest, my own stuff too.  I function best in an orderly environment, but over the years, between working full-time, the family, church and community commitments, I have been conditioned to survive in some degree of chaos.  It's not an ideal fit.

This most certainly applied to what what happening in my creative space.  I felt like I was spending more time organizing and maintaining my crafty stash than I actually spent creating and something had to give.  In my reading on minimalism, I came across the following quote from Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, who said "owning less is far more beneficial than organizing more."

This spoke to me in a profound way.  In some ways, the evolution of my personal card-making style also supports the pursuit of simple, but it wasn't really until it was pointed out to me (a couple of times because I can be dense like that...) that it began to seep in. 

Last week, on Plugged in with Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking blog Kerri Miller highlighted a few of my cards and wrote about the importance of sticking to your style, mine being clean and unfussy.  In April, in writing my introduction for the Waffle Flower Crafts Design team, Nina wrote "I also love that she can create something very unique from very simple supplies." 

Now, I am not attempting to #humblebrag here.  It is just funny to me that other's can see clearly what can elude you for so long.  I have struggled for years to define my style and here it was, spelled out clearly that my most successful designs are those that are clean, simple, unfussy with a twist.  

Needless to say, there was a whole lot of fussiness happening in my craft room, and I needed to reassess and rationalize my space in order for it to support me creatively. Big changes seem to be in order and LOTS of them. 

And while change can be hard and require a lot of patience, I know that it will be worth it.  

What's changing first? 
Let's talk about this blog.  Don't worry, I am not abandoning it, but I will be changing it's look and title in the coming week.  When I selected "our charmed life" back in 2008, I started the blog as a place to share family stories and pictures.  I was much more of a scrapbooker back then and the name was actually inspired by a title card from My Mind's Eye.  It quickly evolved to be more of a platform for my paper crafting and I feel that it's name should somehow represent my approach.   

That's all for me today, but more to come on this topic including some about the process that I am using to take stock and reassess my space and supplies.  And now that I have rambled on and on, how about you?  Do you feel that your crafty environment reflects your style?   How so?  Do you think that's important or is the final product all that really matters? Do you practice some level of minimalism in your life?  I would love to hear your thoughts!  

Thanks for stopping by! 


  1. Love this post, thanks for all of the wonderful inspirational quotes too!

    I often wish I could 'start all over' with all my crafty is so very easy to get overwhelmed and buried in things that we 'had to buy or have'.

  2. I am so proud of you, Katie! It takes a lot of courage to get rid of those things we would much rather hang on to, but the rewards are so good! I so enjoy sharing this journey with you my friend. It has encouraged me greatly.

  3. I'm right in this boat with you Katie - also trying to simplify - thanks for your wonderful thoughts on the topic!

  4. You go girl! Then come on over and help me do the same! Hugs...


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