Cutting the Clutter, Not the Hobby

Five Simple Steps to Keep Hobbies In Check

It’s safe to say that if I’m not organizing, I’m doing something else active… I love working out and staying fit. Going to the gym, taking a bike ride, swimming laps or going running is so enjoyable after a long stressful day. Since signing up for triathlons this year and starting to train for them, I’ve noticed all the sports gear and workout clothes have increased. I think I’ve shopped more in the last three months than I have in the last year. Two dresser drawers have been taken over by workout tops and workout out bottoms. My swimming stuff is stowed in the corner of our bedroom and my husband has already started to complain about it. Needless to say, keeping it all organized and keeping it all together, ready and accesible is important to me. 

Hobbies increase the stuff we accumulate and adjusting to the added stuff is important. Perhaps you can relate whether you run marathons, are an avid knitter, or just love accumlulating and reading lots of books. I once had a client who was so into quilting she put a quilting press table in a her living room and dining room. It was so large it took up both rooms. I know I’m probably calling the quilting machine by the wrong name (because I’m not a quilter) but hopefully you get the point. Hobbies can be very enjoyable and bring a lot of stress relief but sticking to a few simple rules will keep the amount of stuff we accumluate in check. 

1. Limit the number of hobbies you participate in. Sometimes when we’re distracted with too many balls in the air or irons in the fire, nothing signifcant is accomplished and we have no results to show for it. I’m not saying that every hobby has to be competitive and has to an award associated with it, but if our energy is spread too thin on many items, we never complete something. Then we’re left with a lot of undone, half finished items. 

2. Create specific boundaries. Pick a specific room, closet or piece of furniture to hold items related to your hobby. Just like everything else has a specific spot in your home, so should your hobby. If we have portions of it spread out all over the house we miss items we could be using or repurposing. It also causes us to have to look through three different spots to find what we’re looking for, instead of just the one. 

3. Stick to a routine. If you use your IPod every day for a run, put it in the same spot each and every day. If you allow workout clothes to “air out” before throwing them in the dirty hamper, pick them up once a day and get them into the hamper. If your hobby is portable and you take it with you on road trips or in the train, clean out and replensih the bag regularly. 

4. Watch the budget. Before you realize it, hobbies can eat up a lot of money real fast. Set a monthly limit to what you spend as to now let it get out of hand. If you can use up what you have first and then buy additional supplies when you need them, you’ll be better off. 

5. Clean out the old to make room for the new. As we excel in expanding and getting better at whatever our interests may be, the old is left behind. Ditch the yarn you’ll never use again. Throw out the worn out shorts or swimsuit you won’t reach for. Recycle the leftover art paper that isn’t sufficient or drawing or painting on anymore. 

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