Last week we decluttered the garbage and started working with the capacity of our room by defining how much space a collection should occupy. This week we are continuing that strategy with our tools. But tools have an extra consideration and that is function.
And we are starting with our scissors, snips and rotary cutters.
Our tools accumulate as our skills grow and we experiment with different styles. Some are pretty and bright, others are antique and quaint. But you might also have had to search for the right pair. Having a comfortable grip can transform the cutting stage from a painful one to a great one…I know the lefties out there are nodding their heads. And having the right blade and and a sharp blade affects our accuracy so you might have tried a couple of different cutting systems.
More than any other tool, I think our scissors, snips and rotary cutters play hide and seek the most. One issue is that they are hiding in the mounds of clutter we have but another is that we transport them to another part of our room or home, and then they don't come back. And when it’s not there when you need it, you buy another set and then another.
Function is about where and how we use our tools. This pair of scissors and this pair of scissors do different jobs. This rotary cutter and this rotary cutter do the same job but this works better when you are cutting a stack of fabric and this does better on curves. This these snips so exactly the same jog but one I use in my sewing kit and this one beside my sewing machine.
So here, understanding the capacity of your space, you want to declutter as much as you can but keep as much functionality as possible.
I have found that I like this style of rotary cutter, so by my sewing table, I keep one rotary cutter of every size. And underneath I keep the blades that go with them. I don’t need to dig in another drawer. They are right here when I need them. My pinking cutter, is underneath because I only use that once a month. And because my drawer is not cluttered I can immediately tell when one is missing.
I keep my good snips close at hand. But I also keep another set of snips in a different colour by my ironing board. So occasionally when they travel, I know they are not where they belong and put them back. I also have snips downstairs where I hand sew. Again, a different colour so I know where they belong. With my longarm, I have one on the back and one on the front.
If you have special applique scissors, keep them with your applique supplies. Bottom line is keep them where you use them. And don’t hesitate to mark them with where they belong. And this includes retreat bags and hand sewing kits.
And it’s time to declutter the remainder. Look for the dull, the specialized ones for crafts you no longer do, the ones you never use because they are uncomfortable, chances are you are hanging on to several ones that have been overused (but you keep them just in case). After last week’s declutter I hope you are becoming more comfortable saying no to these items and you can let them go.
And it’s time to declutter your dull rotary blades. I have talked about sharpening several times. I use this brand of sharpener. I’ll leave the link below. I explained how to use it in my Quilt Coach video episode 4. The trick is to do it often so that you only need to do a light sharpening which is easier on the wrists. But if you have nicked your rotary blade, dump it.
Old blades can be recycled with other metal products. Be sure to put them inside a tin can or wrap them in paper with a label first.
The last point is that scissors get dull. So add to your brain dump a reminder to contact the manufacturer about getting them sharpened.
While you are doing this challenge, you might want to watch these videos: