Have you ever sat down at your desk for the evening to scrapbook and don’t know where to start? Before you know it, three hours have passed and you haven’t touched a single photo. More than likely, you’ve managed to sift through some papers and scrolled through Instagram for inspiration.
You’re probably frustrated that you didn’t accomplish anything. You love crafting and being creative, but this same thing happens more often than you would like. Being overwhelmed by anything in your life, especially your passions, is absolutely frustrating!
You’ve finally found a way to bring creativity back into your life, but now you are stuck. (If you are avoiding your crafting space, click here to read my post on 10 Ways to Bring Creativity Back Into Your Life.)
I deal with the feeling of scrapbooking overwhelm ALL THE TIME! Sometimes I have so many ideas in my head (and everything else from the day) that I’m stuck. I don’t know where to start and I end up wasting away my evening.
To help stop those feelings of overwhelm, I’ve been working to make a change. I’ve gathered 5 easy ways to help stop scrapbooking overwhelm and start creating today.
1. Begin with the end in mind
The first way to stop overwhelm is to begin with the end in mind. Becky Higgins talks about this often and I find that it can help to simplify your crafting sessions. Typically when I feel scrapbook overwhelm it’s because I sit down without a purpose. I don’t know where to start or what to look at and I sort through products, but have nothing to show for it.
If I sit down with an end result in mind, I am able to accomplish my creative goal much easier. Beginning with the end in mind can be as simple as wanting to scrapbook a single photo, make a card, or work on a larger project. Once you have the end goal in mind, you can begin to work your way through because you have a clear path.
If you are working on a bigger project, take it a step further by breaking it down into smaller steps to prevent overwhelm. You can work on a specific task that you want to accomplish to help complete your project. Maybe you only have 30 minutes, but you know in that time you can type up journaling, add embellishments to a layout, or cut something on your Cricut.
Giving yourself smaller tasks to do will help motivate you to be creative and not feel overwhelmed.
2. Limit Your Supplies
The second way to stop overwhelm is limiting your supplies. Raise your hand if you hoard scrapbooking supplies – I’m right there with you! It is so easy to hoard scrapbooking and crafting supplies. But when it comes time to scrapbook, I don’t know where to start because there are so many things to choose from.
Even with the best intentions, organized supplies can still be too much to handle. However, if you have a project in mind, limiting your supplies will help you prevent scrapbooking overwhelm. To do this, you can use a scrapbooking kit or create your own. A scrapbooking kit is a limited set of supplies to help guide a project. The kit provides you with less choices which equals less overwhelm.
With a kit you can focus on your project without having FOMO (fear of missing out) on other supplies in your stash. “But I might have that another sheet of paper that would fit this layout so much better?!” Stop yourself right there. If it’s not in your kit that you prepared ahead of time, let it go or you will go crazy.
You can also buy a subscription kit that has a theme or prompts, which can help guide your scrapbooking. Having a guided and limited package of supplies every month can help you focus on one topic and accomplish your project.
If you are looking to decrease your massive scrapbooking supplies stash, consider creating your own kit. Take some time to think about the final look of your product and gather supplies that fit your idea. Don’t go too crazy, but give yourself some options and plan ahead.
I have done this with some of my own projects. My first Day in the Life was created with the end in mind and a kit I made from my own stash. I also have done the same thing for my first December Daily. Thus far it has been a success and I’m actually using supplies instead of collecting more.
3. Keep Distractions Away
The third way to stop overwhelm is to keep distractions away! This may be one of the most important to accomplishing any project. The obvious culprits are smart phones, but movies, tv, and music can sometimes be a distraction.
I’ll be the first to admit, that I love to have music or movies on while I’m scrapbooking, but they can be very distracting. I do have a few go-to scrapbooking movies which work great as background noise because I’ve watched them a thousand times. But there are other times, when I have a tv show streaming and I can’t keep my eyes off of it. Pretty much zero scrapbooking gets done! Sometimes, I even need to mute the television to be sure my journaling is written properly.
Our devices can be great for inspiration, but consider setting them aside and out of reach when you sit down to scrapbook. The limitless amount of inspiration on social media can cause you to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. Stick with a few ideas and let your creative juices flow from there. Stop scrolling and start making!
The goal is to find your happy medium with a gentle noise in the background and some inspiration in your back pocket. Consider leaving all the other distractions out of your sight. You know yourself best, so pick what works for you or try something new to see if it works better!
4. Create a Specific Space for Crafting
The fourth way to stop overwhelm is to create a specific space for crafting. Along with needing a distraction free zone from technology, keeping a distraction free space will help to prevent overwhelm. If you are constantly getting up to take care of something around the house (laundry, picking up toys, cleaning, etc) then you will always feel like you are starting over when you sit down to craft.
If you have your space in an environment that is away from outside distractions, it can help you focus on your project. For me that means facing my desk towards a wall and keeping my supplies within an arm’s reach. If I have to get up to use my cutting machine, printer, or find other supplies then I’m more likely to get distracted by something else (like doing laundry).
Having a specific crafting space also gets you into the habit of crafting. If you find that you are avoiding that space, try another method by bringing the supplies to you. Many times we will avoid our beautifully organized craft rooms because of overwhelm. Instead, gather up your supplies using the scrapbook kit method, and take them to where you will be most often. Doing this can help you focus on your project and take you away from your crafting room where there are a million supplies. Just be sure you keep those blinders on and keep any distractions away.
5. Prioritize Your Crafting Time
The final way to stop overwhelm is to prioritize your crafting time. I talked about How to Make Time to Be Creative in another post, and I believe this is very important to stopping overwhelm. If you are prioritizing your creative time, then you should be setting aside all of your other to-do list items. This will allow you to focus on scrapbooking and get your projects done. Let go of the pile of dirty dishes, the laundry that should be done, and the other household chores and spend some time doing something you love.
Making time in your schedule to be creative and pursue your passions will help you to deal with feelings of overwhelm. When you are not prioritizing your passions, it is because you are overwhelmed with other things in your life. When you overwhelmed by other parts of your life, it creeps into your creative space. It causes you to neglect setting aside the time for your passions. You have to tell yourself “This is my time for me and I don’t need to think about anything else.”
Do whatever you can to remind yourself of that priority. Use post-it notes, write it on your calendar, or set an alarm. Look at what you do each day and decide if you can swap out some other activities for crafting. Make it a priority and make it important to you! Kaitlin O’Connell of HelloLovelyLife agrees with this and has figured out how to prioritize her creative time. Check out her advice and more in her Lead Your Best Creative Life interview.
If you are pushing your creativity to the sidelines, it will feel overwhelming when you sit down and are exhausted. Instead, if you dedicate time to crafting and use the other tips I’ve suggested, you will be beating those feelings of overwhelm in no time!
Stop Your Scrapbooking Overwhelm
Let’s remind ourselves of the 5 easy ways to stop scrapbooking overwhelm. For any scrapbooking project, begin with the end in mind. Next you should limit your supplies and keep distractions away. Finally, you should create a specific space for crafting and prioritize your crafting time.
Remember that these are your passions and your priorities. With these five strategies you can stop the feelings of scrapbooking overwhelm and start creating today!
How have you had scrapbooking overwhelm? Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips that worked.
And as always, don’t forget to lead your best creative life today.