Week 11 – Leisure and Hobby Collections

It’s Week 11 of the 2022 Clever Girl Organizing Challenge! OUR FINAL WEEK!! You’re almost at the end, with one more meaningful focus before we pat ourselves on the back! 🙂 

FIRST – This week, our Live with Kathy is a ZOOM – would love to have you join in live as we recap this and the last 2 weeks (papers, memorabilia, etc.) and any focus you have for what comes after this week! Tune in Wednesday, 7:30pm Eastern (We’ll be on at least an hour, so if you can’t join promptly, hop on when you can.) Link and info is near the bottom of the email. 

As for this week’s Challenge, we’re heading into those categories of STUFF that are related to our hobby and leisure time. Whether it’s about arts and crafts or sporting goods or magic tricks or whatever it is that YOU or the people in your home do (with their permission, of course!) it’s time to take a look and take stock of what role these activities and this STUFF mean in your life *today*.  

Don’t forget the two guidelines I’d love for you to keep in mind before you start your work:

1) Have the tools you need before you get started — trash bags, recycling, donate box, and “goes somewhere else” box (so you can set things aside and keep going, not be tempted to return things to a different space while you’re working).

2) Keep up on that BEFORE and AFTER picture taking! I see people saying “Shoot! I forgot to take a before picture” and then they know they’re missing out on expressing to everyone just how tremendous their transformation was. 🙂  


We’ve gone through so much of our utilitarian stuff (kitchen, bath, clothes) and our sentimental stuff (memorabilia, collections, photos) and our aesthetics (decor, artwork, knickknacks) and our administrative stuff (paperwork and home office).

It’s time to spend time decluttering the FUN. 

That’s right – we’re diving into our hobby and leisure activities and the gear, supplies, materials, aspirations, and unfinished projects that go along with it. This is just a brainstormed list of what might go into this category — you know what you and the humans in your home seem to have on hand, from current activities to days-gone-by investments you’ve made:

  • Sporting Goods
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Craft Supplies
  • Sewing/Knitting/Crocheting Supplies
  • Scrapbooking Supplies
  • Art Supplies
  • Woodworking/Hardware Tools and Supplies
  • Camping Gear
  • Electronics/Computer Building
  • Musical equipment/sheet music/Stereo parts
  • Camera equipment
  • Gardening Supplies

We know that we can spend money in these categories. We know that these supplies and materials and equipment and gear can take up a lot of space, or require some effective systems to organize what we have. 

This week, we’re diving in and really critically thinking about what has value here. What are you making space for in your life. 

Did you have a hobby pre-pandemic that basically got ignored the last 2 years? When do you think you’ll revisit it if not during a pandemic? 

Did you pick up a NEW activity during the height of the pandemic as a diversion, but it’s not really something that has staying power? 

Have you been saving scraps from projects that you think could someday be useful, and after many years, they never have been?

Do you have unfinished projects, someday-maybe aspirations that are taking up space in your home, but not time in your day? 

Are you looking at items that are connected to the person you used to be, and struggling with the notion that you’re just not that person anymore, but somehow, you think holding onto those things makes that reality easier to swallow, or to not have to accept at all? 

In #Week11, it’s time to face all that! 

Remember, you’re making decisions based on the value the items play to you in your current and foreseeable future and recognizing that anything else is probably clutter, and clutter is getting in your way of using your home the way you want to. This is why we’re doing this work; to cut down on the cost of clutter in our lives. 


Each week, we have 3 levels for you to engage in. Pick the one that feels like it will work with your time, energy, and needs for the week. You can always rally later in the week and do more! If you’re managing your time closely and can’t do a lot in one session, see what you can do in a 20-Minute Attack. Set a timer, stay focused, and see what you can accomplish in less time than it would take to watch a sitcom! And let us know what you path you’re on each week with the hashtag #tackleit and then the week we’re on, for example: #tackleit  #week11

This week, I’m not going to list out different options under each category from the list above; they’re just going to be based on your ability to set your own goal and size up your energy and your needs. 

All Aboard (This is the normal challenge level):
– Review all your categories, and do a full review of your supplies and material and gear

MiniChallenge (for people with limited time or energy this week)

 – Review just one category in this week’s focus, but go DEEP to finish

LevelUp Challenge (for people with more time, energy, or greater need)

– All the things, including the EXITs out this week!


Our hobbies. Our pastimes. Our leisure activities. They already seem like a luxury in terms of how we spend our time, our energy, our money.  When we invite the critical eye of determining the value that, not just the stuff, but that the ACTIVITY plays in our life, it can open up some shaky feelings.

And as a group, they take on a persona of singularity: “My art supplies”, “the kids sports stuff”, “my gardening equipment” — we see it as one big lump in our mind. The collection is often a “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” scenario. While we think of them as one cohesive group, what’s underneath are so many individual items that build up over the years.

Many collections often begin with just one item. Often, they’re supporting a hobby, passion, or interest, and as your commitment to that grows, so can the gear or supplies that go with it. And so can the complexity of these feelings when we think about slimming down or even eliminating a collection altogether. 

It’s through reflecting on those individual items gathered through those years where we can find the sticking points, the barriers that we’ll face when we challenge those items’ existence. We’ve talked about many of these concepts before, and they can show up here, for sure: 

– “Gee, I invested a lot of money in this hobby”

– “It used to be a big part of my life, but it really isn’t any more”

– “I’m hoping maybe I’ll have time to get to do this again some day – what if I get re-inspired to do this and I’m wishing I had these materials again? “

– “Some of these items were gifts from people who wanted to support my joy”

– “It would be so expensive to buy all of this again if I ever decided I wanted to get back to it”

– “These really remind me of important and happier times in my life… i remember loving this… ”

– “I started this with the best of intentions, and I’d hate to just abandon it, even though it was a long time ago.”

– “These were great when I started, but I’ve really advanced my skills beyond these basics.” (sometimes followed by a clause of “these would be good to hold onto if someone I knew wanted to get into this as a beginner”)


We’ve been through versions of these week after week: Your stuff screaming with “waste!” “guilt!” “bargains!” “convenience!” “remember who you used to be!” as you wrestle with them on the way out the door. 

My hope for you this week is that you’re able to listen to those barriers or these rationalizations/justifications that come up and you’re able to ask yourself: 

What is the real role these items play in my life today, and in my foreseeable future? Why am I valuing these items as more important than the other things I’ve been working hard on all this time, struggling with storage space, cleaning, maintenance of spaces? What am I gaining TODAY by keeping these items?

Remember: You’re here because you made a choice to bring your head, heart, and body all in the same direction: to let go of things and have smoother systems in your home. If it was easy, you’d be done by now.







Week 11’s Final thoughts:

End strong — Make the time, be honest with yourself about the role these types of items play in your life, and be focused on what you’re creating for your future by letting go of the items that aren’t serving you! 

I’ll be sending out a FINAL “Final Thoughts” next week, after The Challenge is done. ALMOST THERE!!!!!


 Happy Organizing!  






WEDNESDAY, March 9th – 7:30pm Eastern
via ZOOM:


Meeting ID: 848 8562 2627

Passcode: KATHY

missed last week’s? Click here






Week 1 – Jan 3: Kitchen: Food – Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer
Week 2 – Jan 10: Kitchen/Dining: What we use to prep, cook, serve, eat, store, and clean after eating! 
Week 3 – Jan 17: Bath and Bed: Medicines, Toiletries, Cosmetics, Personal Items, etc. 
Week 4 – Jan 24: BREAK – take a break, catch up, or sneak ahead
Week 5 – Jan 31: Clothes, shoes, accessories
Week 6 – Feb 7: Living / Family Room spaces
Week 7 – Feb 14: Kid stuff / Holiday Decor / Pet stuff (Choose Your Own Adventure)
Week 8 – Feb 21: BREAK – take a break, catch up, or sneak ahead
Week 9 – Feb 28: Memorabilia
Week 10 – Mar 7: Home Office/Papers
Week 11 – Mar 14: Hobbies / Arts and Crafts / Sporting Goods