Sunday, September 14, 2008

moving things around

I was looking around my home and thought: maybe I should get around to decluttering things a bit. Or tidying up a bit. No reason, other than it would be nice to be able to walk three feet without having to step over or around something. And to be able to get into my closets without having to move something from in front of the doors. Or move myself away from the doors, once they are opened.

The motivation would be that. And, I am having company coming next week, so I do want to make a good impression. Preferably one that looks like it came out of one of those scrumptious decorating magazines or websites devoted to perfectly coiffed* homes. Not a 'staged home'. Staged homes have no personality. They are bland. They have corporate looking art on the walls. They have huge vases filled with lemons. I never understood that. How would you get the lemons out when you wanted your gin & tonic? Or daily hot water and lemon? Staged home people don't drink hot water and lemon in the morning. So, wouldn't the lemons just keep deteriorating and turn an icky hard, less lemony colour? Staged homes have no love put into them. A coiffed home is just for you.

I put a lot of love into my home. It is filled with (I think) nice furniture. Lovely antiques. Books. Plants and animals. Candles. Pretty cushions and accessories.

Perhaps too much of the furniture and accessories.

I am what you might describe as a collector. I often have great plans for the things I collect. They usually don't happen. But, by then I have fallen in love with the things I've collected and will desperately try to make them fit in, even if it means banishing it to the closet until it does fit in. Which usually means banishing something else to the closet in its place. I lived in three apartments that did not have closets. Life was very hard for those years.

I know that these are just objects. That they shouldn't be coveted. I've already gotten rid of the stuff I no longer covet. And I don't miss them.

But it is time for my biannual changeover of the accessory colour scheme, now from turquoise to orange. And during this process I always find something that has been put away and suddenly I think: I've missed you. You must be brought out to be enjoyed.

I will tackle the closets first, in my decluttering. There must be a way to make more things fit. I will keep you informed of my progress.

*coif: verb, arrange attractively, give a neat appearance to


  1. How can an apartment not have a closet? Just curious....

  2. Oh my. Having to step over things? Having to move things to open your closets? As Regina Brett says, "Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful." One of my best incentives to pare down is imagining if I died tomorrow, how much work would I leave for my husband and daughter to go through my things? After having to go through my Dad's things when he died and then my Mom's things when they moved to N.C., I don't want to do that to someone else. I wish you luck because I know some people have a hard time letting anything go, but it sounds like your apartment could be a fire hazard. Again, good luck!

  3. I am totally with you on the decluttering. My house is bursting at the seams. I sorted Amy's room yesterday and it looks so much better but I keep looking round everywhere else now!

    CJ xx

  4. It's a lot of work to do that, but I think the worst is getting at it. I decluttered my clothes closet recently, had 4 piles: keep, toss, give away, and dry cleaning. I LOVE my closet now.

    It's harder with furniture you love. Or is it accessories mainly? We moved into a smaller house, and there are many things out in our sheds that have no home, but I can't part with them. For one thing, some came from my parents and grandparents.

  5. Robin: Very easily, actually. Many older homes do not have closets, especially on the main floor. So, if you lived on the first floor of a badly renovated house divided into two apartments (or more) chances are good that no storage will have been put in.

  6. geewits: I follow that mantra, too. And an even worse thought is to be in hospital for months and having to face those people who have been sorting through your things for you and knowing what they must have found...

    But, really, I think I have mislead you into thinking this is much worse than it really is. I am fearing what you are imagining!! Some of the stuff I have to walk over and around includes: my bike, too many chairs, shoes, laundry baskets and clumps of cat hair.

  7. Crystal: I am at least fortunate that I only have myself to sort out.

  8. Ruth: The clothes I've mastered. It is now the furniture and accessories - some of which is from my mother that I don't know what to do with, except that I want to keep. Yeah, I have two great antique chairs, in the perfect shade of (original) green upholstery that aren't actually comfortable to sit in, but fit under the window ... and I can't part with them, yet.

  9. Well, if you discover the perfect method for getting it done, please feel free to let me know.

  10. A new hobby for you - learning to upholster, then those lovely chairs will comfortable and fit in!

    I use those vacuum bags for out of season clothes - gives me so much more room in my closet and keeps the moths out!!

    I have a rule when decluttering every year, if it hasn't been used in the past year then it goes. It is hard but essential. I used to keep everything - well still do - big confession - still have all my old school books at my parents. Ooops - my excuse is.....well you never know when they might be useful. I will never be a minimalist as you will be able to see if you look at the pics of my house on my blog.

    A friend of mine has recently decluttered and couldn't bear to actually part with some of her furniture so she has rented a storage unit for a year while she considers her options.

    btw don't think you can have too many chairs :)

    Lemons in large vases - why????? the mind boggles.


  11. Jazz: I promise to share all learned knowledge.

    MA: Acttually, the upholstery is the best part of these chairs, they just aren't the 'curl up into and read' sort of comfortable, y'know?

    Maybe I just need more rooms?

    Yeah, the lemons in vases thing confuses me too. A regular fruit bowl looks just fine so why mess with it.

  12. I discovered the best way to deal with clutter, get a bigger place! lol

    Seriously, I don't have much clutter in my little abode anymore. I got rid of a lot of bulky stuff when I had my episode with bed bugs a few months ago. I can be a packrat but it seems to apply mostly to paper. Old bills and so forth. A few times a year I go through it all. Meantime, it cumulate on my filing cabinets, aka dining room chairs.

    I like open spaces, they get dusty though without so much stuff on it lol

    And I agree with the fruit bowl, lemons are great but best kept in the fridge so that G&T has an extra coolness to it :)

  13. I am of the opposite mind, I am a tosser out, unless it takes up no room in my field of vision. If it doesn't take up any precious space, it can stay, but the minute it becomes clutter, it goes. I am newly separated from a hoarder, and he still has a room in the apartment with his hoard. I close the door on it and pretend that is not part of the apartment. Sometimes I toss in a box.

  14. UA: part of my problem with the paper clutter is not being able to decide what kind of filing system to use. I am terrified of using plastic grocery bags for filing as once I accidentally threw one out with god knows what inside it. Perhaps a readers Digest sweepstake winner? So now I use colour co-ordinated boxes from Indigo. Attractive clutter.

  15. Irene: Good for you for tossing out all in your line of vision. I can have a very narrow line of vision at times. I pretend my big closet is not part of the apartment...


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