Yesterday I encountered a very smart shopper. Let me tell you about why I think she was smart.
She is an avid quilter and collector of quilt-related things. Like many of us, I, too, am a collector. And collecting is all well and good until it crosses the line. And just what is that line? To me, when I purchase duplicates of patterns, books, notions, fabric, that is where I cross the line between sensible collecting and wayward shopping.
I need to make the best use of my hard-earned money. I can't just fritter away the family fortune on unnecessary purchases. And you all know that books, patterns and fabric are generally not returnable, right? The book and pattern returns relate to copyright law and the abundance of copy machines. The fabric issue relates to the complication of cuts of fabric that become unusable, either because of size, laundering, pets, etc.
Anyway, the whole memory thing of what we already have at home does not become easier with time. Know what I mean? Oh wait, what was I talking about? And if I could just remember the title of that book it would be so much easier, or the author, or even what it's about!
So, our friendly customer was facing this question while looking at some of the samples that are on display. She had a couple patterns selected, but before purchasing, she consulted her phone. Turns out she already had one of those patterns at home. She was using an app called Craft Cabinet. And she said it is a very valuable tool for her, with hobbies of quilting, knitting and scrapbooking. This app costs a small drop in the bucket ($.99) and additional storage space can be purchased for $1.99. I haven't used it myself, so I am only bringing this to your attention on the word of a fellow quilter, and there is no affiliation with the app developers.
You can set up drawers for all kinds of categories of items. You can store a picture of the items, which is so convenient for quick recognition. You can add notes about those items. See the hibiscus rubber stamp below? You know the size, where to find it in your home, even what ink colors work best and the size of the ink pad! If you were doing this with fabric, you could note where and when it was purchased, cost, initial yardage, manufacturer, designer, what project it was used in, etc.
If you are a knitter, think how great this would be to have a category for needle styles, sizes, lengths, etc. Sometimes it gets spendy to double up on needles that you already purchased. Another item that usually can't be returned. Same thing goes for any of your crafty passions. Now, when you see needles on sale, you can look very cool by popping out your phone and checking your inventory!
You can search by any word in the title, or name of designer, etc. Now, this does take some interaction on your own part to set this up and keep it updated. Maybe you could hire an organizer to come to your home and log in your stuff! I'm still waiting for the app that will let me place my phone on the bookshelf and it will identify everything on that shelf!
Bernina has a great app, too, for keeping track of your Bernina accessories. It even links to videos showing how those mysterious thing-a-ma-jigs work! This app is entirely free. And we have employees who use it and that can tell you more or answer questions you might have.
It is full of useful information! And look at that Wish List category! Just keep your list going, and send it over to someone who loves you! You know, Mother's Day is fast approaching! Maybe this year you will use your Wish List on the app, and get something really useful!
There might be other apps out there for other machine brands, but when I did a search I couldn't find them. Guess that means we all need Bernina machines so we can use the app! Or just get the app, put the machine model that you want on your wish list, and send it over to that special person who wants to shop for you! Now that makes a (H)Appy Shopper!