Sunday, February 27, 2011

No More Stuff (confessions of a thrift-a-holic)

I know I'm going to do Project Simplify which means I've got to loosen the grip on all my stuff, but while David was gone for the past two weeks I found some really cute accessories for our home at a nearby Goodwill. This basket is one of them (although I actually did make those flowers to go on the side-- learn how to do it here).

I also found a pretty vase.  It had this cracked look detail which you can't tell from the picture but it was pretty.  More stuff, I know.

While I was rummaging around in the spare bedroom I found some very picture frames that I'm tired of letting go unused.  I haven't really decorated our home with pictures much.  I've always wanted to.  I hung them on the wall in the staircase.  You know all those magazines with beautiful collage-art kind of picture frames? 

Magazine :)

Not so magazine- my wall :)
I still have some work to do... As you can see, my wall looks bare and not-so-beautiful next to that magazine wall!  But who's comparing?  Me.  That's who.  Too much stuff causes me to compare.  Isn't that what it does to us?!  More just begs for more.  Bigger house?  Mores stuff.  Got more stuff?  Now I need more beautiful stuff.  More beautiful stuff?  Now I need designer stuff.  NO MORE STUFF!!!! 

I didn't need that basket or that vase.  I had the picture frames but when I bought them the day after Thanksgiving (sale!!!) I didn't need them either.  But us women are drawn to beautiful things.  There's nothing wrong with that.  God created us to see beauty.  To desire beauty.  To make things beautiful.  But we don't always need more stuff to do that, do we?

So I decided to make do with the stuff I already had and do a little re-arranging.  While he was off working (or playing in soCal with friends and fam-- gotta love "business meetings" where you can hang out with family too!) I was home rearranging.  I always get these crazy ideas when he's gone.

"When you come home, can you move____?" or, "I think we should move around things in this room, but I need your muscles!" (can I just say that is pathetic manipulation!) or sometimes, "How would you feel if I sold___ and then bought____?"

It almost always has to do with furniture. I am addicted to playing around with spaces in our home. It takes me a while to get a feel for a room. To understand how we will use it. To know what exactly we will do with it. To know what feels right and comfortable.  And since David's travelling so much, it takes us a while to figure all that out.  Hence the constant re-arranging.  And buying more stuff (me, not David).

This time, I decided to do the moving myself since I know how annoying I can be when I ask David to move a large piece of furniture the moment he walks through the front door after being on a plane and driving the 45 minutes home from the airport. The word "unwind" hasn't really hit my vocabulary yet as a Field Traveler's Wife. I figure unwinding is what he does on the plane. Um, I still have a few things to learn.

Anyway, I moved a desk behind the couch and put up a couple of lamps and a vase of dried hydrangeas from last spring.  Not too bad.  The picture frame isn't centered, though.  I'll get around to re-centering it when David's home :).  But remember IDHTBPTBB.

The moral of this post is that we don't need more stuff to make our homes more beautiful.  Sometimes I do need something; most of the time it's just something I want because it was on sale and I think it's pretty. 

My friend Krista only buys something if there's a specific place for it in her home and a purpose for its being there.  No place?  No purpose?  She won't buy it!  Even if it's pretty.  And cheap.  And beautiful. 

Loosen the grip on stuff.  Make room for who is in the space and how they will enjoy it. 

How will you quiet your space and make it beautiful without buying more stuff?


  1. Hey Rach,

    Here's a cool idea I learned from Nate Berkus...LOVE NATE! Check him out. Find some vintage silk scarves at a flea market or in your dresser, iron them flat and mat them in a frame. Makes an awesome collage. You may be able to add some detail to your staircase magazine wall with scarves.

    Happy Decorating!


  2. OMG i love nate too. What a great idea. I should totally try it out. Thanks for the awesome tip! SEnd more my way!!! :)


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