How to Declutter Your Hobbies and Interests

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How to Declutter Your Hobbies and InterestsIt’s officially a new year, a time when people are tackling new projects and trying to start strong on those New Year’s Resolutions. I really debated whether I wanted to make a nice list of goals to achieve this year, but after the dumpster fire that was 2020 and the complete failure on my part to achieve almost any 2020 goals, well…I decided to skip goal setting this year. 

As I’ve been looking at house projects I want to accomplish this year, though, I realized that decluttering around the house in order to start new projects was going to be its own beast. The other day I started working on some decluttering and pulled out a few things that I’d started last year.

2020 was my year for trying out hobbies and interests. 

I was stuck home more than normal, the kids were driving me crazy, so what else is a mom to do in a pandemic but tackle new hobbies she’s had passing interest in? And tackle some new hobbies I did. Y’all I tried as many new recipes as I could, I began working out for the first time in my life, I counted calories, I started crocheting, I continued writing stories, and I even built myself a loom and took up weaving. 

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I’m a hobby packrat.

I find myself holding onto the tools and accessories of a hobby, looking at them, and then putting them back because I might pick the hobby back up someday. I’m basically a hobby packrat. But if I’m going to make some changes around my house this year, I need to create some space and organization, so I’ve got to cut back on some things. And so I’ve been asking myself these questions as I come across those pieces of my hobbies and interests in my tidying.

When was the last time I actually worked on this? I emptied a bookshelf the other day and saw a couple smash books. Do you remember those? They were like miniature scrapbooks filled with themed scrapbook paper. I’d bought two of them, one for my upcoming wedding way back in the day. I thumbed through them and realized aside from maybe three pages each, I’d never used them. I’ve just always been awful with scrapbooking and memory keeping. It doesn’t hold my interest, and I am seriously not gifted with creativity when it comes to arranging cutesy photos on fancy paper with little embellishments and carefully printed reminiscences. So…I’ve been married seven years now, and those books aren’t gonna fill themselves. Time to toss that hobby. 

When I take time for it, does this bring me joy? I totally ripped that one right from Marie Kondo, but it’s worth asking. Hobbies are time-consuming, y’all, and time comes at a premium as a wife and mom. If I’m going to dedicate space in my day to something, I need to know it’s something that I’ll enjoy. 

Does this hobby cost more in time or money than I’m willing to spend? Recently I got interested in loom weaving and Travelers Notebooks. Both those things have different tools and pieces and parts that add up fast. Looms can run in the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, and then you have to add in your yarn and accessories for making something. Travelers Notebooks are also expensive when you begin looking at different makers and types of notebooks and accessories with which you can outfit them. And then there’s the time investment to think of. I know that weaving and Travelers Notebooks are two things I’m willing to spend my money and time on, but when I’m looking at other interests, I’m not so sure. 

Will this hobby take me away from the more important aspects of my life? If I were going to categorize the parts of my life into priorities, my faith and family relationships would come first and hobbies would fall further down the line. As I’m looking at my interests, I have to take a hard look at whether they’ll capture my attention so much that I actually fall down on the job in terms of my other priorities. 

Am I even still interested in this? Perhaps the first question you should ask when you start digging out old hobbies, but I threw this in last because it’s sometimes easy to forget. I pulled out a book on learning how to draw Zentangles the other day. Then I found an old adult coloring book I’d bought but never colored because I wound up hating the art. For some strange reason I kept those things even through a move to a new house, and now here I am looking at these things that really don’t interest me anymore. So, yeah, if you’re not interested, why hold onto it?

Hopefully these questions can help you as we enter the season of decluttering. If you’re a hobby packrat like me, don’t let your hobbies control you (and your space). Take some time to figure out what should stay and go, and then jump right in to what you keep!

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Rachel is wife to Daniel and mom to an adorable almost-toddler boy. You can find her with a cup of coffee in hand and a book waiting for her to read. Her "to be read" pile is enormous, and she loves to find great deals at McKay's Used Books. She writes about self-care and learning to parent over at her blog (www.alifewithalittle.com) and enjoys window shopping, going to open houses, and spending time on free or cheap adventures with her family. She's always on the lookout for the next free donut day or opportunity to get another book in whatever series she's currently reading!

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