Thursday, August 5, 2010

Special Gifts and When Do We Have Enough?

A few weeks ago I was surprised with this lovely gift from Rosie at Journey to Charm.  For now, it is perched in front of me on my desk with it's sweet thank-you card peeping out of the top.  I have decided that Rosie's suggestion for a plant was the best idea and so I have been shopping for the "perfect" plant.  In the meantime, it brings a smile to my face every day.

And the teacup card?  From Susan at Writing Straight From the Heart.  I've watched Susan progress (in a very short time) from a brand new blogger to a whiz-kid at the computer.  She always has beautiful pictures and something positive to say. 

When Do We Have Enough?

I really love visiting decorating blogs.  I also love visiting "minimalist" blogs.  Rather schizophrenic, in my opinion, and destined to make me even crazier than I already am. 

Many of the minimalist blogs are really a bit over the top.  Personally, I not planning on living with 100 things, nor do I think doing so will "save the planet."  On the other hand, some of the decorating blogs (that I no longer visit), really stressed buying more and more "stuff" - most of which was really expensive. 

In the middle we have the "normal" people, struggling with day to day decisions and wanting their surroundings to be pretty without putting the family in financial jeopardy.  Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage and Jan at Bobbypinsboardwalk come to mind.  I've also noticed many of the "decor" blogs are moving into new areas and exploring new options for their lives such as Cindy at My Romantic Home

Right now I'm in the process of piling stuff up in by barn (garage) to either give away, list on Etsy, or sell at a (GASP) garage sale (it's been enough years that I've forgotten the pain of the last one.)   I feel like I'm drowning in "stuff", even though I am far removed from a hoarder type. Much of the "stuff" is left-overs from when I had a space in an antique mall and some of it is just the "I don't know what to do with it stuff."  I'm even getting rid of some of my books - now that's a biggie!!

 The questions for you are:

How much is enough and what really matters to you?


Susan said...
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Susan said...

Oh my goodness, Adrienne. Thank you so much for mentioning my blog. I cannot say I'm a computer whiz kid. I'm still pretty green in most techie areas. But I DO LOVE blogging (could you tell?)

Gosh, today's question is a hard one. How much is enough and what really matters? I guess I have reached the "enough" point with wooden Santas and the "enough" with cookbooks (but oh NO, just found a Rachel Ray book and bought it. yikes).

I do not like clutter but my pantry is jammed to the gills.

What's important on the home scene is making my home be a welcome, warm, and lovely environment. This is not just in things but in atmosphere, as well. I'm pretty sure I've succeeded in this area, from what guests say.

Anyway, loved reading your blog today and every time I see it! Susan

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I can relate to the decluttering. I am trying to do some of that now. Trying to decide if a yard sale is worth the effort. I use to do well with them, but the last 2 I participated in was not worth the time and work involved. I don't have lots of clutter sitting out. However, I do have some things stored away I really don't want to get rid of right now, but don't have enough storage space either - so what does a person do ? :-D I will be checking back to see what others say.

Laurel M. Rudd said...

"Enough" for me are pleasant surroundings that aren't a burden to own or care for, and the freedom to give things away. If I don't feel like I can part with general stuff, then that stuff owns me - which is not good. (Keepsakes/heirlooms are different.) What really matters to me, though, are my family, my friends, and my faith. All else is just "life decor."

Anonymous said...

Adrienne, when I was going through my reader and glanced at my name (having not yet read your post), I thought -- Oh Shoot...what did I do this time? haha Why is it that when my name is out there, I think I'm in trouble for something? It must go back to my high school days. HOWEVER, having read your post, I want to thank you so much! I'm happy that I came to your mind while you were writing your post.

Having recently had TWO yard sales within a month, I feel empowered. I can actually see what I have. And I'm trying to discipline myself to add nothing to a room unless it actually improves the appearance or function of the room in some way, though my husband and I have occasional disagreements about what is considered an improvement.

You question is excellent! I think that the thing(s) that really matters shouldn't change... God, family, country -- the big stuff. It also reminds me of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"... Constantly evaluate your motives. Know what is important for the moment, for next week, and for the future, and make decisions accordingly.

In all that a person wants from life, a material object will almost always fail to satisfy in the long run (though I love a beautiful room as much as the next person, perhaps more). I just need to keep it in perspective. I'm glad to have seen your post today to help remind me to stick with what matters.

I hope I haven't taken off in too many directions in my comment, Adrienne-- the subject matter is one that I find to be very interesting and timely; and consequently, have had many conversations with my family about just this topic. Kenny and I will probably discuss it more tonight having read your post.

Don't work too hard, Adrienne. Although that work will be worth it! I know from too much experience - - and to think that if I hadn't bought it, I wouldn't have had to sell it.

Lately I've been trying to conquer another obstacle -- that thing inside us that says, "Just because we CAN do it, doesn't mean we HAVE to do it or even SHOULD do it." This can be applied to so many things, it could be it's own post.

Adrienne said...

Susan - there is no way your home could be anything but welcoming and warm - just as you are!

I finally got rid of so many of my cookbooks but still have certain ones that I use all the time. One difference in us is that I've had more years to collect more things since I'm older.

Plus we haven't made a long distance move in 20 years which is a great way to cut back on the non-essentials.

Adrienne said...

Glenda - I'm having the same thoughts about a garage sale being worth the trouble. My husband would much prefer to load it up and deliver it to the Hospice Thrift store.

Adrienne said...

Laurel - the lady with the pretty daylily for an avatar.

All else is just "life decor." Excellent!!

I've given a bunch of my heirlooms to other younger family members already. My mother was a big believer in giving the stuff to family members while they were still young enough to enjoy them.

Adrienne said...

Jan - I always love visiting you 'cause you're so "real"

And yet another priceless quote!!

if I hadn't bought it, I wouldn't have had to sell it.

That statement is so simple and yet so profound.

I always say if you want to save money, don't randomly shop. Random shopping has become a hobby for some women (although I still enjoy a random romp through Ross ever so often. However, I've become very, very good at not buying much of anything)

MightyMom said...

well, let's see.

I have 5 growing people and 2 cats living in 1300 square feet. 3 bedrooms 2 baths, 1 living room, 1 kitchen/dining/laundry/waterheater room.

As Subvet says "Space is at a premium around here!!"....he also says "When in doubt, throw it out!". Being a submarine sailor in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club for 22 years taught him how to live with only the barest of necessities. Quite a bit barer than I'm comfortable with.

I've gotten rid of all but my most precious books, nicknacks, movies, all indoor plants, and my beloved gliding rocker is stored in the garage. But what I won't part with is my sewing stuff. I have it stored hither and yon in nooks and crannies and a corner of the living room and the top of sugar's closet and under his work bench in the garage....but it ain't leaving. No matter HOW MANY TIMES he's asked/told/fussed at me to chunk the whole mess!!!

Lola said...

This is one post that I feel so akin to, I'm schitzo with the Minimal/Decor blogs and the need for order.

I have held a couple of garage sales, and after every one swore I would never hold one again.

I had just dropped off half the back o'the van at the 'craft club' this afternoon. Wednesday, the other half will be deposited at our Parish thrift store.

Any Ebay tips on how to sell 'stuff'?

I also would like to know what you think is going to happen in the "Real-estate Market" in the next five years.