The other day when I was looking for a video to show a friend, I came to learn just how many scrapbook room tours there are on YouTube. Thousands. I didn't even really know that this was a 'thing'. A scrapbook room tour is exactly what is says, a tour of someone's scrapbook room. I'd like to think that the videos are out there to inspire & create storage solutions but it became apparent after watching a few that they are basically 'brags'. And there's nothing really wrong with that, to some extent all scrapbooking is a little vain. And blogging (at least in the way I do it) most definitely is. Anyway, I was jealous. Jealous of the beautiful (and some not so beautiful) rooms & the lucky ladies who get to slip away to them once they have their little ones tucked in bed. But on another level, I wasn't jealous at all. I use to have a beautiful (albeit not luxurious) scrapbook room. A whole room in my house dedicated to a hobby I had dedicated my career and free-time to. It's not that silly. But when the kids came along & I lost my space, most of my 'stuff' went into storage. And over the past 5 years I have picked at the boxes downstairs until there isn't much left. Most of it has been sold or given away.
This is what is left. This is my scrapbook "room" (corner) tour. Not worth making a video, it was a stretch to even find 6 photos. And after seeing the rooms & rooms full of JUNK in all of those YouTube videos, I have never felt so proud in the culling of my hoard that took place.
The thing is, my hoard had gotten so big that when it came time to use the red polka dot paper I bought 4 years ago, I couldn't even find it. So then, what's the point? I felt overtaken with my supplies. I was ready to give up scrapbooking. Between the supplies & the uncontrollable chaos that was my 'photo supply', I was done. It was all too much effort. And so I quit. Not entirely. I still got together with my girlfriends for the occasional crop, but I sure wasn't scrapbooking at home like I had once.
I remember attending scrapbook conventions where suppliers and retailers alike were worried that they were overwhelming their clients. The most common question I heard in my store was "What's new?" and it broke me. Fabulous items that were just a couple months old were 'old news' and required massive discounts to move. At the massive discounts required it didn't leave much money to buy new stuff to stock the shelves. Yet no supplier or store wanted to be the first one to say "Slow down!" or even "Stop!". It wasn't enough to stock a camping line, you had to have 4 or 5. And it created a vicious circle because even though you didn't want to, or couldn't afford it, the consumers came to expect it. But even avid campers can't use 5 different lines of camping paper seasonally. But they (myself included) were buying it. With fury. At Christmas time I bought no less than 15 different Christmas paper lines. I used my 2 favourites immediately & kept the others in my stash for later, only to buy another dizen next year. At this rate, later would never come. And when it did come (on rare occasions) the paper that I dug out seemed old & outdated.
It was a hard habit to break. If I still had my store, I am not sure I would have.
I use to be a retailers dream. Even in the years when I owned a store it wasn't uncommon for me to head state-side & drop $400 in 5 different scrapbook store stocking up on all the supplies I hadn't ordered to my store. They weren't good enough to make the cut for my shop but I bought them for my personal supply. It was ludicrous but it never phased me.
These days I have learned my lesson. When sorting through boxes of supplies I realized I could never use it all, nor did I want to. So I got rid of it. And as worried as I was that I might someday need it, that day hasn't come. But what has happened is that it is now much easier for me to scrapbook. I can look in the box labelled 'Christmas' and there are my options. And that is all. One box. And that's more than most have. Unless of course you are looking on YouTube.
Don't get me wrong, I would still jump at the chance to scrapbook in one of those rooms. But if I was overwhelmed with the massive amount of supplies that these women have, then I'd be back to being unproductive. And I am happy with where I am at now.
Last year I cleaned out my mug cupboard to discover I had nearly 50 mugs. I culled and 12 remained. And even then, I haven't had all 12 in use since.
I have enough stuff to support at least 3 scrapbookers hobbies. Enough paper to cover a house (I would venture to guess). And yet, my scrapbook space would make for a sad scrapbook tour. I'm proud of that.