Sunday, July 19, 2020

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.
Linda




*

*

adapted 

*

visiting 

42 comments:

  1. If we are meant to have little, then why is minimalism such a big world?

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mmm ... never thought of it that way, Victor!

      Delete
  2. I'll tell you what, dear friend, you and I are so much alike. We are truly kindred spirits more than I even realized. I am getting ready to email you privately and send you a photo of our kitchen wall before we started downsizing. I was recently on a quest to find photos to send my cousin for a project she was doing for my uncle's birthday, and I literally CRINGED while looking at those old photos seeing all the stuff we used to own. I knew it was true, obviously, but having been removed from that setting for the past few years, I had forgotten just how much it was. Seeing those photos! Oh, my. There are no words. We, too, loved antiquing, like you, and those kitchen gadgets were one of my favorite things in the world. I absolutely LOVED them. Now? I love Jesus more - and when He called us away from our beloved home, they simply had to go. I, too, kept just a very few, and since moving I have been getting rid of even those. I absolutely loved reading about your journey and seeing how much we have in common - even more than already discerned and knew. Sending much love and gratitude to you today - for promoting our book, for your kind words, for being such a blessing to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazing how our pathways have intersected, Cheryl! You've done a great deal in leading me to a deeper understanding of how minimalism and the spiritual life can intersect. It's a powerful combo.

      We can't put the various areas of our lives in neat boxes. Every area of our beings impacts the others. It's how God created us.

      But ... I still love my wooden spoons and all my bowls.

      ;-}

      It's all good!

      Delete
  3. I moved about a year ago into a much smaller space so I got rid of so. Much. Stuff! Now, a year later, I am finding that I still have more stuff I want to get rid of. Books...but I love them too much to part with them so I’m going slowly. I think I will look into the book you’ve recommended though...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear ya'! Books can be very personal possession and many of them are much-loved, well-worn companions that have been there for us through thick and thin.

      I like your idea of going slowly, friend. Everyone makes their way through this journey toward a less-cluttered life on their own timetable.

      I've done it in layers and there's still lots more to sift through. You'll know when it's the right time for you.

      Delete
  4. Its so hard to get rid of things you've treasured for so long. I feel like we still brought too much stuff from CA but that's for another blog post. Sigh...
    Your vintage items were cute. I like old kitchen ware but I'd be in trouble if I started collecting such items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regina, for sure they were cute and fun and I loved the search for them! I can't begin to tell you!

      Now I'm looking for old glass and bricks and buoys on the beach.

      Always searching for something. There's lots of spiritual implications there!

      ;-}

      Delete
  5. I won a copy of Cheryl's book. Can't wait to get it. Thanks for sharing dear Linda. Hugs an blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been fun to read all the reviews here and there! Would love to hear your take on it, Cindy ...

      Delete
  6. Sometimes I think I'm always tossing. Retirement helped with the biggest part of it. I've always been one drawn more toward simplicity but my other half.....well...I do believe the urge to purge is connnected deeper than its outward appearance. Thanks for the inspiration to go deeper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Debby, there's something deep going on in this process. It's emotional, it's spiritual, there are memories and stories galore. Some of us are drawn there, others don't even want to venture in that direction.

      It's complex. That's how He made us.

      Maybe you'll write a book?!

      Delete
  7. Don't have time to downsize,
    and the reason can't be clearer,
    looking on with mine own eys
    at what's happening in the mirror.
    I didn't have much weight to lose,
    and now all that is gone,
    so it's up to me to choose
    my life's ending song.
    With such strength as still remains
    I'll make the days all count,
    and though sometime the wife complains
    about the vast amount
    of books and tools and parts for guns,
    well, what the heck, I'm having fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh won't Barbara have fun going through your books and tools and parts for guns! I'm guessing her tastes and interests might be just a bit different than your own?

      They sure are around here!

      Delete
  8. Amazing to me that one day our accessories and vignettes look lush, not skimpy and the next day, they look busy and a bit too much. I used to have layers of curtains and pillows in my bedroom. Now it is almost “monk” like, spare. Today, I feel that it is tranquil. Gail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Gail, you've said that so beautifully!

      From lush --> busy.

      Yep, there are far few layers happening here and barely a vignette to be found that's more than accidental.

      Those were the days.

      Delete
  9. Cheryl's book was such an inspiration for me, too, Linda. I have to admit, I really don't have much clutter around, unless you count books, but maybe it's time to give some of those away, too. There will be those, however, that I will hold onto, knowing I'll read them again.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, the books. They are some that are so very personal. I'll never let them go.

      I absolutely hear what you're saying, Martha ...

      Delete
  10. I once had kitchen gadgets plastered all over my walls! I did rid myself of all those about 25 years ago. But I still need to purge and I am working on it. My biggest collection includes tons of books, I love having them around me. I must think about parting with some, because I will never have a room that is a library, and that is ok!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This conversation keeps veering toward books. And no wonder.

      I think I feel another blog post coming on ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  11. My home keeps whispering to me, too - to let go of things my mom gave into my keeping when she moved to Florida - not just keeping but to preserve. Something inside keeps saying I need to let go that of things that aren't me, but put on me by others - and that can be a hard thing for a lot of reasons! Good for you for letting go - and blessing others in the process! Right now I have two extra dining room tables that need a home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2 dining room tables ... mmm.

      If we even began to fathom how leaving our children and grandchildren endless piles of stuff to sort would cause them untold stress / conflict / resentment, we'd begin to deal with our possessions now.

      We want our legacies to be of warmth, faith, laughter, love. Not mounds of furniture and what-nots and rentals of dumpsters to contain 90% of what we left behind.

      I'm getting off my soapbox now.

      ;-}

      Delete
  12. Linda, I am so proud of you! :) A few years ago, I went room by room and decluttered our house. My project room, which was intended to be my personal space, was so crowded with miscellaneous stuff that I could hardly bear to step foot in there. But I wanted to reclaim it. I spent weeks going through each bin, each shelf, each drawer and ruthlessly pulling out anything I didn't love or I didn't think I would use again. A friend helped me transform that space into a haven, and I LOVE IT! I got rid of a lot of flat spaces so stuff couldn't gather. I still have to be careful, but it was back then that I discovered decluttering makes my heart sing! I actually wrote a three-part blog series about all the things God taught me through the process. I'm so glad you've discovered your own sense of joy in opening up white space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I love that you have a Project Room, Jeanne ... especially with an active family, how lovely to have your own creative space. I'm especially taken with your observation about those flat spaces that invite stuff to accumulate.

      So true.

      Any chance you'd re-publish your 3 part blog series? I'd love to read it.

      ;-}

      Delete
    2. Hmmm, I never thought about republishing it, but yes, I think I will. Thanks for the idea! :)

      Delete
    3. Yay! Can't wait! You know I'll be sharing your story ...

      Delete
  13. Decluttering is something I really need to do. I think in the past when I've moved house I've seen it as a good opportunity, but when you stay in the same place for a while the stuff tends to accumulate. And I have no plans to move any time soon so your post encourages me that I just need to get on with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I'd love to hear your story as you move ahead, Lesley.

      ;-}

      Delete
  14. Wow! Good for you, Linda. Your purge is inspiring. Several years ago, we fixed up an old house and exposed an old brick wall, which I hung some old kitchen tools, including very old cookie cutters, which had been my great-grandmother's. I eventually got rid of everything except the cookie cutters. 3 of them are hanging in the kitchen of my new house today. I just couldn't let go of everything!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An old brick wall! What a super find ... adds such character to a room

      And yes, I hear you about the cookie cutters, especially because they were well-used in your great-grandmother's hands. Wow, what a treasure.

      I've got 4 huge jars of them sitting on top of the fridge. It's dusty and greasy up there and I haven't looked at them in eons.

      Mmm ... now what's a minimalist girl to do?

      Delete
  15. Funny - I had to re- clutter cause I needed things out of cabinets and closets to be able to reach while on a knee scooter. There is a time to re-clutter and a time to de-clutter.

    Yes I join in the holding onto books, bible study guides and if I bought magazines, I would have piles. That is where digital magazines save me from hoarding. I always think I may find an article or an idea so I keep magazines (if I buy them but never do).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Carol, that's a very interesting point about what we have to do when we're a bit disabled by injury or age.

      More of us are going to have to face these kind of accessibility issues sooner than we'd like to admit.

      Thanks for putting that reality on the table, friend.

      Delete
  16. My m-i-l has zero white space on her walls. :) It suits her fine, but it would make me feel cramped. I admire that you took that huge step a few years ago to declutter what felt right to you! I have some spaces that I need to do that with as well, just not walls (should we talk bookshelves? ugh!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cramped.

      Yeah, I hear that. Dislike that feeling, ya' know?!

      Ah, the bookshelves. Yep, it's a very personal space with alot of history and memories intertwined.

      Would love to hear how you do that, friend ...

      Delete
  17. You have a way of sharing words and leaving peace in their wake. I love the calm space you have created. I am feeling the urge to declutter again too. The idea of whitespace to free up my mind and ehart sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. White space makes me heave a great sigh of happy release!

      You go, girl ... I hope you'll write about your experience.

      ;-)

      Delete
  18. Hi Linda!

    I so enjoyed this post! Your vintage collection was beautiful,  but I totally understand how you’re feeling. I was just telling a friend the other day how much I value clear surfaces and white space. I remember how every surface was decorated to the inch at Christmas, for example, but not anymore. I’m so much happier with a vintage Ironstone bowl full of pine cones. I enjoy the Nester too - she’s very inspiring! One thing I’m working on is to declutter some of my spending habits … I don’t need to buy more stuff, right? I think long and hard over several days before buying anything.

    Now if I could just declutter this quarantine weight! : )

    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, oh yes! I love a big ol' bowl filled with something fun - pine cones, cookie cutters, old billiard balls, sea glass, Christmas ornaments.

      That's all!

      The quarantine sure took care of the urge to buy, to shop, to browse aisles aimlessly. We learned how little we really needed. That part of the pandemic has been a lesson, a blessing, for sure ...

      Delete
  19. I am traveling much more lightly that past few years too. I am a 'pitcher" but my hubby likes to keep things. quite a pair! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Opposites do attract, don't they Jean!

      Some things are worth fighting for, most are better released.

      In more ways than one ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  20. Linda, what a fun post! I love the transformation that happened when you took down all your kitchen doodads. I used to have a teapot collection on the tops of my kitchen cabinets. I loved it, until I didn't anymore. Now there's nothing up there, and I love that even more! Maybe the point is to rethink things every now and then, material and perhaps non material, and find a way to let go of the stuff that no longer brings us joy? Easier said than done, but so worth it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Now there's nothing up there, and I love that even more!'

      Absolutely, friend! No truer words were spoken.

      Come to think of it, I'm not sure where my teapots are.

      Mmm ...

      ;-}

      Delete