A home is the collection of one’s life affectionately know as stuff. In interiors stuff can eventually turn into clutter which becomes the nuisance we attempt to negotiate around in our own home. Too much stuff = a need to declutter and downsize to interior bliss.
We organize piles,
put things away in boxes,
shove things into an unused drawer,
stack furniture away in a basement,
and close things off in an attic. It happened to me… the public rooms were pretty, but I was living in a modern house of stuff. It was time to break free.
We all have stuff. Items which have been handed down, purchased or gifted over time, adorn our walls, perch on a shelf, and take up floor space in a room. Some are beautiful and have great value, others might be pretty but actually just gather more dust than attention. There is a big difference between a home filled with beautiful objects and one overtaken by stuff.
The accumulation of stuff (all real examples above) happens at all points throughout one’s lives but when has finally had enough, one of two things happen:
1. All of a sudden you look around, “where did I get all of this crap?”
2. “But, we got it from (insert name) or I paid (insert dollar amount) for it, I can’t possibly get rid of it.”
In the first scenario you are lucky and have no problem giving items away to anyone who wants it or to charity, realizing of course what has value and what is just stuff nobody wants. I have a friend/client like this, whom I applaud.
The second scenario is far more typical, I had to address all the arguments with a hard dose of reality. Time to declutter both emotionally and literally.
Heirlooms: A memory keeps people close and is contained in one’s head or heart, not in a piece of furniture or object.
Let go of stuff which truly does not matter. Old doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Not one but two heirloom dressers, my grandparents got for their wedding, came into my bedroom at age 16 and made their way around the country with me until last fall when I finally had them hauled off rather than hoard what might be useful to someone else. I can still cherish the special relationship I had with my grandfather but no longer have to have space taken up by what I don’t use, move on.
Your Kids Don’t Want It: Ask most twenty-somethings who are short on funds if they want their parent’s old furniture, most of the time they say no. They aren’t interested, guilt or arguments will not persuade them, ask, respect the answer and move on.
A Home Is Not A Storage Facility: Nobody needs their childhood toys, stuffed animals from your now twenty year old, clothing which does not fit, or a broken chair. None of this is beautiful and nobody wants to look at it, move on.
Change Happens: Styles change, tastes change, landfills and consignment shops are full of what once was the hot thing. A 40+ year old once expensive cherry kitchen hutch has no value today. This was just one piece in a room piled high to the ceiling with furniture neither my husband or I bought but inherited and would never use. Recently it was all given or hauled away, moved on.
Real Value: Family furniture may have real monetary value or may just be an assortment of stories handed down through time. Have a qualified appraiser provide a value for alleged antiques. If is valuable and you don’t want it, sell it, no hard feelings.
Money isn’t the only determining factor of value. Does the item bring you an abundant feeling of joy? If something is piled in the basement, casually stuffed in the drawer, or boxed up in the attic, it has no value to you, move on.
Cost: Unless we are talking investment quality art or furniture, it likely isn’t worth half of the purchase price. It does not matter one iota what an item cost, if it has no value to you today. However, there is a cost to keeping and hauling around stuff which is nothing but a proverbial ball and chain. It is taking up space in your home and head, move on.Nowadays space is a luxury, not a bunch of stuff. A beautiful home or room has space, there is breathing room. This is what we aspire to, this makes a home interior comfortable.
You can do it too. I’d like to encourage you to take back your home, live in a space you rule and not just be an inhabitant in a big (expensive) box full of stuff. It feels so great being on the other side. Move on from stuff and into a modern home of beauty and peace.