How to Have Clutter-Free Hobbies

A room of clutter

As we began to declutter, I had the wonderful surprise of actually having free time.  Suddenly, I was no longer spending every waking hour either at work or cleaning the house!  

And there I sat, wondering what to do.

It was time to find a hobby.  I experimented with a number of hobbies.  I designated one room in the house as my hobby room, where I collected paints and brushes, cross stitch kits, and a mountain of scrapbooking supplies.  I cropped, cut, and pasted and found that room growing more and more cluttered.  

Every Christmas, my scrapbooking supplies increased, until simply getting them all out and putting them away wasn’t worth the time.  I found myself losing interest in this hobby, so my supplies were relegated to the back of the closet, where they sat neatly tucked away in their fancy containers.  Right next to the paints and brushes, the cross stitch kits, and a pile of board games.

How much hobby equipment do you store?  What could you do with the space where it sits, gathering dust?

Today I am going to give you some suggestions for clearing up that space, while still finding plenty of fun to have during your leisure time.

1.  Keep no more than one clutter-inducing hobby.

I have a friend who loves pottery.  It is her passion.  So of course she has a room designated to contain the tools of her trade.  The same goes if you love cooking, or even scrapbooking.  The rule of thumb is, if your tools are out more than they are in, this is a hobby you should consider keeping.

But go into that closet or attic, and free up the space that is being occupied by all those unused hobby tools.  I found a wonderful home for my scrapbooking supplies, and we have recently donated our board games.

2.  If it’s something you want to keep doing, pare down.

Scrapbooking was fun for me.  But I enjoyed getting together with friends and cropping.  That just wasn’t feasible with my multiple rolly bags of supplies.  So, for awhile, I got it down to one hand-held bag.  I kept some hand-selected papers in my book, and put my scissors, glue, and pictures in the bag.  I just had the basics, and I found that the convenience allowed me to use them more.

We did the same thing with cooking.  I loved cooking when I had a full kitchen.  But I didn’t need a million mixing bowls or a full set of pots and pans.  I happily created with one good knife, one mixing bowl, and three pans.

3.  Fill your day with clutter-free activities.

Moving onto the sailboat, we have realized that the most fun activities don’t involve any clutter at all.  Here are some ways that we spend out time now:

  • Get a museum or zoo membership.  Beanie loves the Children’s Museum, where she can play with toys that don’t clutter our home.
  • Join a gym for clutter-free fitness and classes.
  • Explore the trails at a nature center or park.
  • Have fun on the water!  Canoing or kayaking don’t involve a lot of clutter.
  • Take a walk to an interesting site in town, and pack a picnic lunch.
  • Photography and writing are great low-clutter hobbies for those who love to create.
  • On rainy days, consider a social video game system.  We have a Nintendo Wii and love it.  It does not replace outdoor activities on nice days, but a lot of the games available are designed for groups to play and socially interact.

The possibilities are really endless!  It definitely is easy to find activities to fill your day once you gain the free time that comes with decluttering your home.

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6 thoughts on “How to Have Clutter-Free Hobbies

  1. Absolutely! I’ve noticed, over and over again, that my friends with the most cluttered homes are my friends who are “crafty”. One of my friends has a whole room of which she cannot even open the door fully because it is piled high with her stash. It reminds me of that show “Hoarders”, and I can’t think she’s ever going to use it all.

    I’m a gym junkie, and when my friends come over, they comment on how tidy my home is. Of course, all I see are the cobwebs! But basically what they’re seeing is a lack of junk everywhere, because my hobby is something that I don’t need to buy stuff for. I have a home rowing machine, an over-the-door pull up bar (which fits neatly in my wardrobe when not in use), and a few dumbbells for curls, which fit under my bed. Plus three sets of gym clothes which I rotate. That’s it. Everything else is at the gym.

    When I look at all the crap…er, I mean “supplies”…that some hobbies take, I cringe! I can’t imagine having a house full of junk like that! It’d drive me crazy! And it must be so expensive! I’m sure that hobbies like that are designed to keep people poor!

    Great post on a really interesting topic. We humans are so odd sometimes…

    • It is so easy to envision yourself doing so much, or to fall into the thinking that you need so many supplies to do something. But as you’ve seen–when you have so many supplies, you can’t use ANY of them! I have friends who are into one craft (knitting, for example), and stock up on the supplies for that. But having yarn where you might want it to be when inspiration strikes is a whole lot different than having a stash of stuff so packed in that you can’t use it!

  2. I have several hobbies which all need supplies. I am a homebody who doesn’t watch television which means I have many hours a week to fill. I cross stitch, crochet, read and restore furniture. But I also have need of other supplies such as sewing notions because I would rather repair things than buy new. For each of these I have kept the smallest amount of supplies possible.

    Your list of clutter free hobbies is a good one, but some of us enjoy being home or live in areas where the climate keeps us home more. We do need hobbies that eliminate boredom and that can take a bit of space.

    I never got into the scrapbooking craze, I just don’t get it. The supplies are costly and the finished product is one that while lovely, takes up space to store.

    • Lois, we would have to have a talk if you ever quit your creative hobbies! 😉 I doubt that you have a single crafty supply that sits around in a closet, gathering dust.

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