by Stephanie Walker.
So, you’ve finally ventured into the world of adult coloring. Welcome. You now know that it is a glorious world. One full of magic and possibility. Creativity is buzzing around every corner, and your imagination is coming alive with every new coloring book you bring home. Every pack of colored pencils, gel pens, and markers provides an almost endless spectrum of color to play with and you find yourself near bursting at the seams with excitement. You see new books and new coloring supplies each day and you buy them. You get to know different artist styles and develop favorites. You sign up for an Amazon Prime membership because you have a wish list full of items that need to be delivered and you aren’t messing around. Your coloring stash is growing, and this amazing new hobby can finally flourish in all it’s intended glory. Life is great!
Several Months Later…
You are still coloring and of course you still love it. However, now your tastes are definitely more refined. You know what kind of art you want to spend your money on, and you have a preference among all the different types of coloring media. But here’s the thing…you now have tons of coloring books and coloring supplies that you’re not really into but don’t really want to get rid of all willy-nilly. You are experiencing the wonderful, cluttery phenomena called Coloring Supply Overload. And I can help.
One of the first things you need to do is sort through your supplies. A wonderful method of decluttering that is often used in organization is the “Keep – Throw – Donate” process. We are going to change this to the “Keep – Gift – Donate” process for our purposes as there is no sense in throwing away any good coloring books or supplies. I mean, that’s just crazy talk.
Start with your coloring books. Pick up each book and flip through the pages. Ask yourself how often you have actually colored in it and if you really need this book in your life. A lot of times when we first dive into Adult Coloring, we jump in head first and scoop up anything and everything that tickles our fancy. Even if there is only one page in a whole book we might actually color. That’s all well and good until your coloring book collection hits 165 while you’re only focusing on two favorites. Yes, some people have that many coloring books; others have even more. Hey, don’t look at me!
So go through your books and put them in the keep, gift, donate piles. It’s going to be a challenge, but each time you’re not sure about a certain book, ask yourself if you know someone who would not only love it, but would actually color in it. Then put it in the “gift” pile. It feels good, right? Well, it will. Trust me.
When you are done going through your coloring books, start tackling the coloring supplies. You want to go through all your colored pencils, markers, gels pens, etc…until you have whittled it down to your favorites. At this point, you should have three good piles going so take a second and look at what you’ve accomplished. Wow! See? It’s not so bad! Some people find it easier to break this process down into a couple sessions. It might feel a bit overwhelming at times depending on how attached you get to your goodies.
Make it a goal to get your piles taken care of within the week. Get your keep pile organized by using storage containers or a supply cart, and shelve your coloring books if you can. Create a little home for everything, and by keeping up with it, your coloring area will stay tidy and a lot less chaotic.
Gifting and Donating
Take your gift pile and get to gifting! You can save these for holidays or birthdays if you wish, but don’t stash them away and forget about them. You will enjoy giving the gift of coloring to your friends and family, and seriously, who doesn’t like getting gifts?
Take your donate pile and figure out where you want these items to go. You can definitely drop them off at your local Goodwill or other secondhand shop, but I encourage you to look for more creative places to donate your extra books and supplies. Go to your library and ask if they host any coloring events and see if they could use some extras. Check with the activities directors at nearby nursing homes, children’s hospitals or mental health facilities and see if they can put your donations to good use. You will be making a bigger impact than you think, and it feels great to help others in need.
Lastly, there are a few groups on Facebook that deal with donations. They often have a large need for people who are willing to donate coloring supplies to those who are struggling financially for whatever reason, be it an illness or layoffs. There is always a need, and if you have extra, reach out and make someone’s day. It’ll make your day too, I promise!
If you have made it to this point, congratulations! You have successfully dealt with your Coloring Supply Overload and lived to tell the tale. Your epic adventure will be remembered for years to come and songs shall be written in your name and…well, maybe I’m getting a little carried away. The point is, now you can relax. You have gotten rid of the unnecessary, extra coloring clutter, and you can focus on your favorite artists and use your favorite media freely without being bogged down with stuff you just weren’t really into. And it did feel good helping others didn’t it? See? I told you it would!
Keeping the clutter free bliss depends on a couple things. First of all, when you see new books or products coming out, take the time to think a bit before making an impulse purchase. I know it’s tough but doing this helps you keep more money available for the supplies you love and the new books coming out from your favorite artists.
Don’t stop trying new things, but see if a friend has those new colored pencils or markers you’ve had your eye on. Ask if they will let you test a few out to see if you really like them or if they’re just another trendy money muncher. Be picky, demand quality, and really think about purchases before you buy and you will have an easier time maintaining an overload-free zone. As always, let your creativity flow and happy coloring!