Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So I am you ever walk through your home...
and realize just how much you own?

I have been thinking a lot lately about the "things" I have around my house...and just how important they are to me.
The trinkets and possessions I have collected along the way of life.

There are loads of old white ironstone dishes...tarnished and worn silver...old clocks...lots of old kitchen scales....and even a big ol' white butcher's scale. Oh, and mirrors...I think the old mirror buying needs to stop for a while. There are enough seashells to fill a beach somewhere and if I recycled all my old metal pieces...which I will never do...I could pay for a dream vacation. I love all these things. But I would not say they are "important" to me. As much as I love them, I am just not a material person.

So where am I going with this?
I am not really sure to be honest with you.
I just have been thinking about this the last couple days...
so here it goes.

A friend of mine owns an estate sale company.
She is hired to take over a person's home, sort their posessions and get them tagged and ready for sale.
Lately, I have been helping her, and I have to say, I am always a little uneasy when I first walk into a home.

I walk room to room, trying to decide where to start.
Really, how do you begin to look through someone's drawers and closets when you have never met them before?
I see things that were seemingly so important to them in their lives.
Designer clothes in the drawers...and shoes in the closets.
China and crystal filling a cabinet in a dining room that was barely used. A jewelry box full of sparkly treasures.

Usually, these sales are for an older person that has passed away or moved to care facility.
Their story is usually very similar to the one from the sale before it.
But the sale I worked on this week was different.

The person that owned the home was young.
44 years young.
And she passed away unexpectedly.
Even though I didn't know her, I find myself thinking about her.
She woke up one day, took a shower...
 and started her day just like any other.
Little did she know that would be the last time she used her favorite perfume.
The last time she would choose her outfit for the day.
I have such a problem wrapping my mind around things like that.

As I looked around her home, I was amazed at how my 'things' she owned.
I mean seriously, I don't think I could own this much in my whole lifetime.
I believe she must have had quite a shopping habit.
100s and 100s of books, all sorted by subject and title.
2 armoires...clothes armoires...full of jewelry.
Statues and trinkets...enough to fill a store.
And the Christmas decorations...woah...I stopped counting at 18 trees.
It seemed as though she surrounded herself with things she really loved.
But I couldn't help but wonder why she felt the need to have so much.

Working on this sale made me feel I need to take inventory of my life. Weed out what is important to me...and what is terms of posessions.

I have always lived "simply" I guess you could say.
I don't even have a "junk drawer". And I hate clutter.
I like a great pair of jeans, but I don't care to have 20 of them.
I love shoes, but you won't find loads of those in my closet either.
I do think I need to purge a few purses...I get a little crazy with those.
And the ironstone dish and old scale addiction may need to be put on hold for a while.

I think it is a good thing once in a while to have something like this put you in check.
To realize I need to stop circling things in the Pottery Barn catalog that I want to order...and to put back one out of the 3 sweaters I found at TJ Maxx before I check out.

I want a fabulous home, with fabulous things. But I want those things to be unique...not lost in a sea of "collections". I want to be able to enjoy what I have and not feel burdened by it. Am I just having a hormonal week...or does this make any sense at all?

Maybe I am the only one that thinks of things like this...but honestly...I am so glad I do.

(images 1-6 Country Living, 7 unknown)


  1. What a great post, you really made me think :)

  2. Boy I am there with you. I love my stuff and alot of it are family pieces. But once it just fills closets and drawers it's time to really think about why it is there.

  3. You're so reason to have stuff just to have stuff. I'm an admitted collector of lots of different stuffs, and i want to keep it meaningful...however that occasional purge feels SO good! Great post!

  4. Less is more is the motto I have been working off of for awhile now! I love to have beautiful things in my home, but I find that by sticking to mostly items that have special meaning to me either because they reflect my faith or are family heirlooms, I feel more serene and peaceful in my home.

    Lovely images!

    :) T

  5. Mary,
    Your story is my story. Same thing happened to me. Owning lovely things that make a lovely and comfortable home is warming. Too much is too much. Purging, from time to time, is truly liberating!

    Thanks for sharing...

  6. Lovely lovely thoughts! It is so liberating when you are not burdened by stuff.

  7. I lost a friend this past year who was 33 years old. She left behind two babies and a bewildered husband and step son. During her illness I often put myself in her position, and it really changes your perspective on your own life. The hard thing is to keep it in the forefront of your mind and not let it slip away with the daily struggles.

  8. Mary- Somewhere in the middle of my divorce, I realized my stuff owned me. I had LOTS of it and obviously it did not make me happy...or thin. Two moves later, I am STILL putting stuff in the pile to sell at Kane monthly. I AM getting through it, room by room. I even started cleaning out each drawer in each cabinet as I finish a room- what IF I died and someone opened these drawers? What the hell would they think? Missed you at Kane...Anita