Farewell, My Little Vintage Friends

I'm so glad you've dropped by today's snapshot-driven jaunt down memory lane.  Destination?  The 2013-era kitchen of our former New York home!  

We're talking about de-cluttering our stuff, developing a trimmed down mindset, and re-imagining our living spaces!  

Cheryl Smith's new book Biblical Minimalism kicked off today's melding of past posts and current musings.  If you missed last week's review of her unique Scripture-driven memoir / guidebook and the uplifting interaction that followed, click here.

Thought-provoking.  Definitely.

Anyway ...

Dismantling my beloved display of wall-hung vintage kitchenware was the first brave step in my long and winding road of embracing minimalism.

If you find that looking at all your stuff makes you sigh or mutter 'ugh,' or if you're overwhelmed by your stashes and find your closet doors refuse to close anymore, maybe our dialogue will offer you some sweet inspiration to take a brave step in re-imagining your own living spaces.

Here we go.

In 2013 ...

These were hard won, the 105 little vintage collectibles, hung with hundreds of tiny nails with great care and a bit of creativity.  For decades, they'd been eagerly gleaned at garage sales and flea markets near and far.  Usually for pennies on the dollar, the thrill of the hunt beckoned often, with the hope of discovering some wonderfully whimsical, well-worn kitchen tool around the next corner.

Fun treasures crafted of wood and tin and aluminum that had done hard service in the last century made my day, gave me huge delight, and reigned supreme on the crown of my kitchen soffits.

In recent days ... maybe not so much.  Liked them?  Yes.  Weary of them all claiming valuable white space?  Yes.  Dusty and greasy?  For sure.

So ... when popular home blogger The Nester threw out the challenge to de-accessorize your home for a month, I knew it was meant for me.  The heavily laden soffits needed to be emptied of their former eye candy.  After a bit of thought, I said 'yes' to the long-awaited invitation.

So they're coming down.  Today.  And I know that they're not ascending back up on those nail strewn walls again when the month is over.

Where they'll go?  Not too sure.  Absorbed into an old basket or a chippy bowl or the white and red enamelware bread tin?  Stored away in a big ol' Rubbermaid container on a basement shelf or maybe sold online?  I haven't a clue.  But that's ok.  All I know is that they're coming down off the walls.  And I'm good with that.

I'm more than a bit relieved.  Can you spy the cobwebs below?  Ugh.

In this fresh season, I am loving white space.  In every way, shape, and form.  Maybe even more than all the sweet little collectibles that have taken up residence in our home for 37 or so years.

3 Hours Later ...

2020 Update ...

All 105 kitchen doodads and gim-gaws lodged in the plastic basket for awhile in the dining room and then were lugged off to their new basement home, joining other cast-off 'valuables' stored in huge Rubbermaid containers.  In the years to come, many of them departed to my youngest daughter's huge adoption fund-raising garage sale.  I gave a few away here and there.  Most of the rest of them were donated to a resale shop or sent to auction when we moved from New York to Massachusetts in 2015.

And yes, I kept a few that I just couldn't let go.  They're around here somewhere.

So began the launch of trimming down and ridding my space of anything I don't absolutely love or need.  And that journey continues seven years later.

I couldn't be happier and less encumbered.  My spaces breathe, my brain and heart don't feel cluttered.  I pretty much know what I have and I truly value the practical use or the memories they inspire.

It's a good place to be.

And Back to 2014 ...

Sometimes we just need to listen to our houses, you know?  We need to hear what they quietly whisper to us in voices dim and quiet.  We need to discern the invitations they're putting out there in the most gentlest of ways.

For times have changed since we moved into our homes all those years ago.  Our families look different, our possessions have mushroomed, our daily lives bear little resemblance to what they looked like back in the day when we first turned brand new keys in unfamiliar front door locks.

We aren't the same now as we were then.

Maybe it's time to fully appreciate who we are in this season.  Here.  Now.  And thoughtfully consider what we truly must have around us to bring us restful satisfaction and a sense of place.  

And maybe more importantly, begin to comprehend that much of what is strewn about serves no significant purpose anymore.  With a bit of sorrow, disappointment, and yes, fear, we discover that the things we held dear in ages past are bringing us no joy in the present and take up valuable space that would best serve us in ways new and fresh, wide open and free.

For the truth is that we are who we are right now.  And our spaces need to reflect that truth.

Don't get me wrong.  I do love my collection of vintage bowls and wooden spoons.  Truly.  But I'm letting my spaces speak to me ... and I'm loving the compelling invitations that are whispering deep.


Traveling light works.  

And, thanks to Cheryl's book, I'm developing a richer understanding on how our commitment to living for Jesus impacts choices about what we value and how we live that out day to day.