The “Stuff” of Our Lives

I like my stuff. I LOVE my stuff- they are my treasures. We have lots of antiques- mostly from my family, as this was my ” trust fund.” And lots of collections- mostly mine, of course. I come from a long line of collectors-people who enjoyed antiquing, junking, shopping, some of whom made a living doing so. It is definitely a trait I inherited and love. I have moved many times in my life and my “stuff” was my constant companion. It is important to note that my collections have evolved over the years. Many things have been curated out and new items acquired, especially as the size of my home has increased and my own personal view of the world has expanded.

But there is such a thing as too much. Many people have what I call “filler” in their homes- items placed there to fill up the shelves, tabletops, above cabinets and other surfaces that the owners are at best ambivalent about. If they really don’t like it and they certainly don’t love it, it is stuff and not treasures. So how do we handle stuff in our homes? How do we keep balance and have these things we own from overpowering us? By first very carefully and thoughtfully learning how to evaluate whether these items are treasures and worthy of being in our most personal spaces. We ask ourselves questions like “Do I love this?” “Does this make me happy?” “Does this make me anxious, nervous or stress me out?” “Do I need this?” “Do I want it?” If the answers are negative, then why keep it? There are online auctions, resale shops and many worthwhile organizations that will gladly take your unwanted stuff off your hands and repurpose for those in need.

Once the evaluations are made, then what’s next? The answer will be different for everyone, but it all comes down to how best to place these objects in your home that best reflects your personal style, so that can be
celebrated and enjoyed, without causing stress and tension in the space that is the refuge from the rest of your life.  For ideas on different ways to celebrate the treasures in your home, check back for my next installment for tips on some of my favorite places to showcase collections.

Until then,

“There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.”- Jane Austen