Organising – Know What You Love

One of the things that has really helped me to get organised over the last 6 months has been to pay more attention to my favourite things. At the bottom of this post I’ll tell you how this can be applied to various aspects of life, but I want to focus on one of the ways I’ve used it to streamline my scrapbooking…

Last autumn I sat down with a notepad, pen, and my netbook, and spent three evenings reading manufacturers websites and a few blog sites that were full of CHA sneaks (like and, and looking through some UK online craft stores. My goal was: 

To decide on my three favourite scrapbooking companies.
This might be an easy choice for some, but until that point I’d always bought a random selection of scrapbooking products, from a huge variety of suppliers. This was mainly because I always bought items in the sale, choosing things that were on the best offer. But I realised this just meant I had a ton of stuff that didn’t easily go together (I could usually make it work, but it took longer), and that I didn’t necessarily love, because it had been an impulse buy.
I worked out that I’d spent about £50 on scrapbooking stuff that was on sale over the first 6months of 2011, which was about the limit of my spending aside from adhesive, and the spending had been spread out over those months. I asked hubby if I could spend £50 in one go, just buying stuff I thought I’d love, as an experiment to see if it would make my scrapping faster, and mean I’d have less waste.
I chose my top 3 manufacturers based not just on what their products looked like, but also their blogs (for inspiration, and for challenges that I might be able to win to obtain more lovely stuff), and, if I could find it – for information on their Design Team calls or whether they often had guest DT members – pre-planning that one day in the future I might like to apply to be on their teams.
At the time I chose Crate Paper, Pink Paislee, and Sassafrass Lass as my top 3. Unfortunately Sassafrass Lass announced their decision to stop manufacturing just after I’d made this choice, but then the lovely Sarah at SJ Crafts sent me my first DT package, filled with My Mind’s Eye products, and they very quickly filled the available spot!
My scrapbooking has speeded up so much since I made this decision! I still buy and craft with other brands too, but when I’m in a hurry I know I can turn to these three and make something, by mixing all three up or using them separately. For instance, when I had to make 3 Father’s Day cards, I kept it simple by making one each of Pink Paislee, Crate Paper, and My Mind’s Eye supplies:
It also means I spend less time shopping for craft supplies online – if I have a limited budget to spend, I can just check the latest lines from my favourite three, and the budget is usually spent before I look at anything else. It means I spend less time on the computer, and more time scrapbooking!
I don’t know if these three will stay as my favourites forever, but for now this system is working very well to help organise my paper crafting! 
There’s so many other ways to apply the ‘Know What You Love’ mantra to your life, here’s a few of them:
  • Know what your favourite tv programmes are, so you can cut out the ones that don’t interest you as much as you thought. My husband has been quite shocked that I’ve told him several times to continue watching a series without me, because I’ve realised after a few episodes that I’d much rather be crafting! (The programmes I currently love are Castle and Hart of Dixie, if you’d like to know!)
  • Be aware of your favourite products and food, so you can shop quicker. Why stand in the supermarket debating if you should try the dessert on special offer, when you know your favourite is Black Forest Gateaux and nothing else will compare? I’m not saying you should never try anything new – but when you’re in a hurry put the blinkers on and grab what you love!
  • Go to the events that you enjoy – I’ve stopped going to a mummy-and-toddler group that we used to visit, because it was always such a rush to get to it that I ended up feeling tense – we have more fun staying home, so mummy’s happy and we can play games here together! And when we went to some fireworks a few weeks back I left before they started, and hubby stayed up with little miss. I’m not that fussed about fireworks, and I came home to do some blogging and washing up instead. I’m sure I’d still enjoy the toddler group, and the fireworks may have been nice, but sometimes you have to cut back in order to be less stressed out about things!
Can you think of any more? Is there anything in your life that you could make a concious decision to streamline by focusing on what you love? I promise it will feel liberating, and if you miss something too much, you can always go back to it, right? Anything’s worth a try!
That’s all for this hour, but don’t forget that commenting on this post, or any post from this weekend, will enter you into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}– but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning it here
See you again soon, for a very exciting Organisational Blog Hop! x
  • I was very much a whatever I liked kinda scrapper – but have recently got into ranges and using kits and it does make scrapping SO much easier. I agree about only going to what you enjoy too and have no qualms telling people I don’t want to go as I won’t enjoy it.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm
  • I think this is a sign of growing up Jennifer! I have started to cut back on things I don’t really love, sometimes having to make other people less than happy in the process, because there is only such much time in the day and only one life.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm
  • I have my favourite Manufactures too and tend to look at their stuff before others. I’m rather easy going and find there are times when something i don’t fancy doing turns out to be the best thing!

    June 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm
  • Thanks for the great tips. I seems can’t organize my time on the things I liked. It’s hard because I have to think of the things my husband like too.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm
  • I have already implemented the giving up tv shows thing. Like you, my dh was surprised. I also have given up some of my pay to click accts because they are just not worth the time spent on them.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm
  • What an interesting concept- if I ever get through all this stash- I’d consider trying that idea!

    June 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm
  • One of my solutions regarding scrapbooking that you did not mention is to stick to kits. I have found that to be the fastest way for me to scrap, no need to go through the stash and try to match random papers. Streamlining your home decor makes life a lot easier too!

    June 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm
  • I think the flip side is also true. Know what you don’t like and the purge it from your stash. That has really helped me.Rinda

    June 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm
  • Sound advice – I’ve almost given up watching TV altogether, definitely much more selective than I used to be about how I spend precious free time

    June 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm
  • What a great idea to consciously limit yourself to a few favourites that you know you love. Last time I shopped online I ended up limiting myself to Basic Grey and Echo Park for a similar reason.

    June 30, 2012 at 5:27 am
  • Great tips, sorry if my english isn’t good enough, just want to thank you about this event… everything about organisation is truly apreciatedsra_de_romero(at)

    June 30, 2012 at 5:28 am
  • This is actually a really good idea I have never thought of narrowing down my favourite manufacturers and I like the idea of doing it with the TV programmes. 🙂

    June 30, 2012 at 9:07 am
  • concentrating on the brands i really like also helped me reduce my expense! for me it’s American Craft and Paper Craf!

    June 30, 2012 at 9:29 am
  • So true about streamlining. I have quite a few manufacturers I love, but I try to limit myself to just four papers from any range, and that way I am more likely to use them while I still love them.

    June 30, 2012 at 10:05 am
  • Thanks for the advice about this–you’re so right. I’ve only been scrapping/card-making for about 6 months but I’ve already accumulated some stuff that really isn’t my style, simply because people offered it to me for free! I need to learn to only buy/accept what I’ll actually use!

    June 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm
  • I’m more likely to get rid of stuff I no longer like.

    June 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm
  • I really still enjoy many companies products to stimulate my crafty mojo, but I have narrowed down my choices on the staples of the craft – I have certain tools, adhesives, and sources for inspiration that I have narrowed down over the past few years. Focus can be a good thing in some areas and not in others.

    June 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm
  • I know what you mean, but I somehow feel that having disparate ‘stuff’ makes you stretch yourself and try new ideas.

    June 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm
  • I totally get the tv one! I have had to really cut back on what I tape as I am sick of feeling tied to the damn thing lol

    June 30, 2012 at 9:37 pm
  • I love those 3 companies too but am not sure I could manage without stash from other lines! Will be interested to see how you feel in a few months.

    July 1, 2012 at 9:22 am
  • I like the idea of streamlining to stay more organized. We typically only watch football (American) on TV, however a new series of Dallas started this month & we’ve chosen to watch it on Wednesday evenings. We DVR it so we can start about 15 minutes late, fast forward through the commericals & still end on time!

    July 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm
  • Because I love organizing so much, I have read hundreds of blog posts on the subject. I thought there wasn’t much new that I hadn’t already heard. But finding my style by looking at different blogs and manufacturers is a fantastic idea!

    July 2, 2012 at 1:04 am
  • I too work on a budget – but I love mixing up manufacturers too much to choose 3! I speed things up by putting a kit together myself and then I work mainly with that til it’s gone – it limits the choices and the umming and ahing for me 🙂

    July 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm
  • This is jolly good advice – I am definitely a bargain bin stash shopper and have a large collection of stash from a large range of manufacturers. I don’t use half of it though! Impulse buys :o(Occasionally I win quality stash and realise how much more versatile it is – how much I like the doubled sided papers or the matching spots or whatever … time to be a little more selective I think.

    July 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm

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