When Hobbies Overtake Our Space


what's your hobby?I was reminded this week of a home I walked into many years ago in the beginning of my business. When I stepped into the front door, I was greeted with a quilting loom. At least I believe it was some sort of quilting loom. I’m not a quilter. Anyways, this piece of equipment was eighteen feet long and probably nine feet wide. It took up the family’s whole dining room and front living room. I remember thinking to myself, what a hobby. Wow. I don’t think quilting is a bad hobby but I remember the space it consumed and how much this impacted the family.

Another family comes to mind, who practiced the extreme saving while grocery shopping. They had rows and rows of products they purchased at an extreme discount. They could have fed five families for months.

Awhile back I came across a family who loved to ride bikes, for recreation and competition. Their basement was filled with bikes, bike parts and even special clothing for when it’s snowing! Now that’s dedication to biking!

Recently, I’ve come across avid Craig’s List posters and Ebay sellers. My sister is addicted to flipping furniture she finds, refinishes and then makes a killing on Craig’s List when she sells the piece. She spends $20 and sells it for $120-$150. Her husband is less than thrilled the space the furniture takes up but boy she makes a large profit.

My hobby is triathlons. My road bike and bike parts take up space. Half my clothes dresser is workout clothes. Half my shoes are running shoes, and my swim bag is full of swim suits and gear. I fit all of these things into space around my house and recognize the time and money it takes to do this hobby. In total it can consume a lot of time, energy, and money IF I let it. That’s the key word, if.  Maybe your hobby takes up a large space, sucks up time, and spends a large amount of money and perhaps it doesn’t. I want to encourage you to draw boundaries. Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, don’t dismiss it. Consider the three categories: time/energy, space and money.

Let’s take an Ebay hobby for an example. Any hobby can fit into this example, but for ease of an example read on about selling items on Ebay and how I would draw boundaries with this particular hobby.

  1.  Money: Raise your threshold on price. If the item or group of items isn’t listed for $50 or more, don’t bother listing it. I know you might pay more to sell these higher priced items and make a bigger effort with more pictures but that’s not the point. The point is to give yourself a boundary.
  2. Space: Mark off a space boundary. If the Ebay items exceed a certain area/space/or shelving unit, tell yourself you have to donate some of the items. Once it outgrows the spacial boundary you and your family agree to, you have to choose to donate items.
  3. Time/Energy: Be stricter on deadlines and time. If you don’t make the time by the end of the month to post “x” amount of items, you have to donate the same amount of items you didn’t post. This will again, keep the hobby in check. Waiting for a sale or special on posting Ebay items won’t work. It only delays the process and puts you behind schedule.

So what’s your hobby? What do you love to do?

Photo © yurizap depositphotos

This entry was posted in General Organizing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to When Hobbies Overtake Our Space