Wednesday, September 05, 2012

When Our Things Own Us

Kosta Boda "Vision" Vases, at Bloomingdale's

How much time do we spend taking care of, dusting, cleaning, touching, or moving our things?

You're here today reading this housekeeping/homemaking blog, so I'm fairly positive you, like me, sometimes think about the cost of owning as many possessions as we do. I muse about how many items I own and how much time it takes to care for, display, protect or reorganize them. Watching " Hoarders" makes me throw things out, so I make sure to watch it every time there's a new episode.

This month I'm re-prioritizing the items I own. I'm striving to only keep things that are useful or beautiful, and things I actually will use in the next 6 months.


  • Need to do any mid-week vacuuming or sweeping?

  • How about mid-week laundry?

  • Need to pick up anything fresh at the store on your way home today? Milk, bread, cheese, produce?

  • Check supplies of pet food and treats. Got enough to get you through the end of September?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Looking at My Things

Waterford "Mesa Sunrise" Vase, at Bloomingdale's

I'm starting in the bedroom, wondering if I need to edit any of the decor sitting on my bookshelf and side table, peeking into my closet and checking out my bathroom counter for clutter.

Last fall I made a major push to sort out my closet and perfumes, so I feel like I'm doing pretty well still. I haven't been able to indulge myself with very many new clothing purchases, and I got rid of three or four old shirts earlier this week.

I own more books than I can read in the next 3 years. I'm proud that other than The Night Circus which I bought to read on my Kindle for my book club, I haven't bought a book since January. I'm doing better at donating or giving away books once I'm done reading them, rather than keeping them around the house. I'm only keeping my most favorite books on the shelves from now on.

The Madeleine pan I eagerly bought two years ago but have never used. Sigh.

The key to de-cluttering is to not bring new things into the home to begin with. It's great to throw things away, give them away or donate them, but the very first place to start your clutter prevention efforts is at the shopping mall.

I need to stop shopping for things that don't get used up. I still let myself shop for candles and bath/body products. I feel great about indulging my need for retail therapy at the grocery store - I feel like I'm shopping, I treat myself to interesting things, and my family benefits from the tasty foods. The food gets used up and doesn't sit around cluttering the house.

If you're spending too much time dusting the cluttery knicknacks in your living room and bedroom - it might be time to remove and edit your display. Keep just two or three beautiful things displayed on a side table, on top of a bookshelf, or on top of your mantel. Let's not spend so much of our time sorting, pushing our belongings back and forth between the rooms in our homes, dusting extraneous objects, and handling everything multiple times. Let's edit so our homes are relaxing and easy to care for.
Let's pay attention to what we're bringing into the house, what we're actually using, and what we can live a lovely life without.

LOVELY BLOGS: The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle

This is a really fun baking and cookie blog. Check out her adorable Pumpkin Lollipops post from a couple days ago. Besides blogging about cookies and showing off her lovely creations, she writes about decorating tools, decorating tips, frostings and icings, and airbrushing food coloring onto cookies. There's also a section for tutorials on using cutters, cookie stencils and cookie templates.

Don't miss her post on vintage toy cookies!


Back to School Organizing and Decorating (Martha Stewart)

Everything You Know About White Wine is Wrong (

Give Yourself an Olive Oil Facial (CHOW)

New England Fall Foliage Central (Go New England/

The Old-Fashioned Cocktail Your Way (Cocktails/

Summer Vegetable Stir Fry (Bon Appetit)

What I Learned About Life From Tasting Every Variety of Pepperidge Farm Cookies (Slate)

When it Comes to Reservations, Time is Money (NY Times)

No comments :