Saturday, February 4, 2012

Collections or Clutter?

I like stuff.  And I have a lot of it.  Ever since I was a kid, I've liked stuff.  That's just me. 
Most of my stuff has special meaning to me, especially the items that belonged to my grandparents or my parents.  And some of my stuff is just stuff that I love.  Because it's pretty.  Because it makes me happy.  Or because someone gave it to me.  Whatever the reason, I'm a person who has a lot of stuff, and I can't imagine being any other way. 

Recently, I was in someone's home that is the exact opposite of mine; meaning, it was totally clean, organized, AND totally devoid of stuff.  As I admired the shiny floors and pretty light fixtures, I couldn't help but wonder.....where's all their STUFF???

For instance, where were all the books?  Hidden away, perhaps, neatly tucked into a cabinet?  Stashed under the bed?  I didn't snoop around to find out.  I was amazed at the neatness of the home, but seemed a bit empty somehow. 

Here's an example of stuff in my house, and how I incorporate some of the things I've collected over the years into the landscape of our home:
In our kitchen I have a red hutch that was an impromptu purchase from Ikea several years ago, back when I lived in Arizona (and had to fit it inside my old Chevy Cavalier to get it from Phoenix back to Tucson).  I really love this hutch.  I like it because it's red and because it holds a lot of stuff!  Here you can see some of my Fiesta Ware collection, my grandmother's Beautyware cannister set (minus the coffee one, that's on the kitchen counter, with coffee in it), which used to sit on the counter in her kitchen.  On top there are some various odds and ends (including my sterling silver baby cup that the other army wives gifted to my mom when I was born, and my old "Daph" personalized license plate that my best girlfriends gave me for my 16th birthday) that I've picked up and tried to arrange in a somewhat artful fashion....and at the bottom right of the photo are some items that I especially love: a cookbook that belonged to my grandmother, one that my mom got for her eighth birthday, my Tommy Tippy sippy cup, an orange glass bowl from my grandma, and her old hand-held flour sifter: 
I look at these items countless times every day, and they make me smile.  I can remember reading "Susie's New Stove" over and over when I was a kid and then playing with my own play stove, which I loved.  I remember how I wanted to wear my hear in pigtail-braid-loops just like Susie (a dream that never came true, might I add).  This book has been with me for a long time. 

Seeing stuff that has been handed down from my grandparents and parents makes me happy.  When I look at these books, or the Beautyware cannisters, I remember all the happy times spent with my grandparents when I was a kid.  I think about what my grandma might have made using that orange bowl or the hand-held sifter that cost $1.95. 

I like having my memories on display, so to speak.  Which is probably why my house will always look cluttered.  Despite many various attempts to purge stuff and de-clutter, I still have lots of stuff.  And I'm going to save all of it for Jacob, whether her wants it or not. 

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