Steamlining:

More and more, I feel this desire to streamline my possessions. To get rid of clutter and live more simply. So this post is about my quest to declutter.

I took everything off this buffet except for the galvanized tray with books and the candles. 
 
It gives me a sense of calm to sit on the couch and look across at it’s clean and unfettered look.

I like the clean look to my little gold table and red chairs. I like to see the sheen of polyurethane in the light from the window. It just pleases me to see that shiny surface.

Editing The Coffee Bar:

I took everything off my coffee bar but the essentials. The rest is on the shelf of this potting bench above. Sugar, spoons. And my ever present coffee bean candle in the vintage jar.
 
I like the idea that I can just get my coffee, sit here and gaze out at the patio. I don’t have to move anything out of the way.
That is my new motto: If I have to move anything out of the way to sit at a table, then it must go.

The Hutch:

This hutch still has quite a bit of stuff on it. But I’ve taken things off, looked at it from all angles, and put those things back.  

I can edit, but I don’t want to take away from what makes a spot unique and pleasing to look at. Through my eyes anyway.

I’ve moved at least half of the house plants outside to spend the summer. 

As I get older, I just want things to be simpler. 

I’ve lived in grand houses and not so grand houses. I collected a lot of stuff because the “acquiring” of that stuff gave me a little “high” of sorts. I don’t feel that anymore.

Before you know it, those collections feel like extra weight you’re dragging around. It gets heavier and heavier with each move. 

Cleaning Out The Closets:

I’ve cleaned out my two closets and continue to throw things out or give them away. 

When I go out into my beautiful patio garden I feel such serenity. I don’t want to ruin that by walking inside and seeing a clutter of objects that don’t really mean anything to me. 

So that’s my new quest: Edit, delete. Edit, delete. Until I can look around me and feel that sense of peace I feel when I’m sitting outside on my beloved patio.

If you’re in the same frame of mind, you might try this. Edit a surface. You can always put whatever it is back. But live with it edited a day or so and see if you like it. 

I don’t have much space. And the space I do have, I want to reflect my favorite  possessions. And not a bunch of stuff I don’t really want or need any longer.

 

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83 Comments

  1. Dear Brenda, your house is so beautiful, so peaceful. I've been enjoying reading your blog very much. You're so transparent and although it might be tricky for you sometimes, it's so helpful for us, readers in need. It helps us to rethink our lives and allows us to improve ourselves. But whith respect to your house, I love it that you live simply and frugaly. It's the best way of living, I think. It allows us to focus on what's really important and also allows us to be responsible towards our money. So, I love being here! Hugs from Margarida.

  2. Love this post…when we sold our house of 40 years and moved into our son's beautiful pool house, we really got ride of so many things. Furniture to grandkids…and whatever else they wanted..then things sold on Craigs List, and tons of stuff to Goodwill. I can't tell you how much I love not having all those things around…oh, I kept lost of things…and still need to clean out a little more. But, we are comfortable and love our new home…one less bedroom to clean..:) and only one bath. I thought we might have trouble there but when Mr. S buitl my dressing area…it's all worked out great.
    Good luck on your editing…

  3. I feel the same way Brenda. When I sold my last house I down sized a little bit to a smaller house. Have you heard of the tiny house movement? Sometimes I think it would be so nice to live in a tiny house.

    Tania

  4. Good post. I loved my grandmother dearly. She collected antiques – furniture, china, glass, toys, linens, on & on. She went on to own a store – gifts, vintage, hone decor. Her house was packed full to overflowing with all her treasures. Then she got old and she became sick. My mother, and others, ask grandma to write down some of her wishes, where she wanted some of her things to go. Grandma had 12 grand kids. She never did write anything down, she never expressed anything concerning her belongings. In the end, our aunt flew in and made off with much of it, the rest went up for auction…I did not attend. What did any of it really mean to my grandma? This changed the way I look at my belongings and the way I live with them. I do prefer uncluttered and I give new purchases much thought.

  5. No matter what you do it always looks great. I have a cabinet that I keep changing around. I can't make it look right. Now I'm thinking I've got too much stuff in it. This week I'm going to remove the things that I don't really care that much about. Maybe it just needs some editing and simplifying

  6. Brenda,
    As you know, we have moved to an apartment and are tweaking plans for a smaller home.
    It is so freeing to remove remnants of the past. Those unnecessary "things," we packed across the country
    and hurriedly unpacked and displayed – glad they are gone, I feel lighter and happier.
    Jemma

  7. Brenda…
    Where did you find the small mug holder on your kitchen table??? I have seen larger ones, but never one this small… Thanks for your time…

    God Bless…
    Debbie

  8. I've been decluttering stuff in my home for the last month or so. I have been giving a lot of things to our local Goodwill and some things to my sister. As the older I get…the more I really like that less is more in my decorating decor.
    Cindy

  9. You're so good at creating little vignettes, Brenda. Your eclectic, but tidy style has always appealed to me. I'll miss the way you used to decorate, but I understand the need for less clutter. It definitely frees the mind. Change is good.

  10. I like your new motto, Brenda. Decluttering always helps me to feel more calm. And somehow I notice my favorite things more when there is not so much stuff. I like your idea of living more simply.

  11. I'm a big believer in decluttering. We have moved a few times in recent years and that has helped to weed out all the extra things I no longer use or need. I feel more in control of my life with less clutter. I've always felt that my eyes needed a place to rest without all that visual stimulation and it creates a more relaxing and soothing space to live in. I've always loved the colorful vibe in your home and your beautiful plants and now you can enjoy all the beauty with fewer things.

  12. Brenda, your plants always look so healthy. Girl, you have a green thumb! I also am slowly but surely cleaning closets and drawers in hopes of simplifying. Over the years it seems as though I thought I had to buy whatever caught my eye at the time. But now I find I no longer feel the need to take it home with me… but just enjoy looking. Lol.. we are "a changing" as we grow older aren't we..

  13. Oh my, you're singing my song. I'm not sure if it's an age thing. My mother lived to be in her 90s and never felt the need to shed her stuff. I'm completely opposite. My husband and I have totally changed how we live. It started six years ago. We never lived "grand." We've always stayed below our means but stuff just has a way of creeping in and taking up valuable physical and emotional space. It certainly improves the stress level of keeping a tidy home when it's so much easier to clean. It's possible to have a very cozy, warm home without clutter. This is something I've really been thinking about a lot. I wonder if we're just so visually and emotionally overloaded in this new technological world that we crave peace?

  14. Brenda, I wonder if it is our age? I have spent so many years acquiring and now I am seeking simplicity. I am letting things go—and editing and purging. And, it has been scary at times because I have so much invested (emotionally and financially) in some THINGS that I kind of "gulp" when I let it go, But- I have a new saying- When in doubt–put it out! xo Diana

  15. Brenda…I am doing some de cluttering too. Trying to organize better too. We downsized and my kitchen is short on storage for the pots and pans! I set up metal shelves in the garage just around the corner to hold tubs…which can hold those items I only need for specific kitchen jobs. Still cleaning out storage units too. Will it ever end? Ha! Sheila

  16. Great subject, Brenda, because we all seem to want to de-clutter. I agree, buying stuff makes us feel fulfilled in a temporary sort of way. My problem is I love to rotate things around yet I have no space to store the things I want to keep but can't have out all the time…mainly seasonal items. I agree with you and the ladies, less clutter eases the mind and also makes you feel like you're leading a more simple life. I truly need to get rid of some of the what were "once treasures" and then not repeat the buying things I don't need. Thanks for an eye opener. Your house look fantastic!

    Jane x

  17. I like moving things around, packing some away and bringing them back out. It helps change up the pace a little when I'm restless. I like the changes you've made!

  18. I know what a freeing feeling that is! I used to have a lot more stuff in my house years ago. I also had a lot of color which can make the space feel more cluttered too. Once I reduced all of that I felt like I had more space and that everything was cleaner. But of course, you have to do what you feel comfortable with. Glad you are finding serenity with your changes.

  19. I've felt that way for the past year and have gotten rid of loads of "stuff" – but there's still tons of stuff in my house! Guess the stuff that's still here is what I love and can't part with. Your house is looking good!
    Mary

  20. I sure understand your quest to simplify. I still haven't unpacked from having our floors redone, and I've been starting to wonder why I have all that stuff anyway!

  21. Cleaning and reorganizing here also. I have a couple of boxes in the dining area ready to go to charity, but still have more closets to clean and prioritize what's in them. The past couple of years I really have begun to like the Nordic look… clean, white, bright, sparse.

    Judith

  22. We have been editing for the last few years…moving from the condo to a house means we have "less" stuff, but in a good way. I love the phrase, have nothing that doesn't please you or is useful…I love my fewer items, my beautiful and useful items. A visitor came by the other day, [they have a crowded mobile home] and remarked that they could "give" us some things to fill the place to overflowing. I politely turned her down…it's not cluttered here, it's comfortable, and cosy without being cluttered, and I like it that way.

    It's a movement towards the simpler life, and away from the crass commercialism of constantly acquiring more and more material things. I kind of like the way society is going towards a cleaner slate.

    Jen

  23. I think for me having to downsize and move my parents to assisted living made me realize that we own way too much stuff. I feel a little overwhelmed as to where to start, but I'm ready to declutter and lighten the load. I always enjoy reading your posts Brenda.

    1. Just start small. One corner. Don't even make yourself think of the whole room. Just one segment at a time. Like slices of a pie.

  24. Brenda,
    I am with you in this!!
    I realized that I need to simplify my life…. all aspects……. And I have been on this quest since the beginning of the year. I have been purging like crazy. I look at everything with 3 things in mind…Do I need it? Do I use it? and Do I absolutely Love it????
    And I am also clearing my calendar of Clutter to like bowing out of things that I volunteer for or got conned into doing because I have a hard time saying no……..
    My health is an issue and these are things that I need to do so I can continue to work full time for now……
    Kudos to you on your quest to De-Clutter….
    Hugs,
    Deb

  25. Your home looks peaceful and refreshing in these photos. I particularly like the little table with the heart cut-out, holding the pot of ivy.

    1. That little table is out of style. How long has it been since cut-outs of hearts, etc., were in style. But you know I don't follow any dictates of current style!

  26. I relax just looking at the pics of your cozy little home. I die cluttered my old home so I could put it up,for sale. I love how it feels when I walk in. Unfortunately I took all the stuff to my new home. A lot of it I enjoy looking at but I do notice the difference when I return to the dw cluttered home. Slow but sure! You just keep growing.

  27. I totally agree with you! I love pretty things, but not where it looks like clutter. It's actually freeing to have more open space and not have so much "stuff" around you.

  28. Lovely post Brenda … I think as we get older we do want a simpler life and time to enjoy the simple pleasures that we so often take for granted.

    Happy month of May – it will soon be here.

    All the best Jan

  29. I've been decluttering today, too. A much needed new mattress is arriving Saturday morning and I'm cleaning out the bedroom and, yes, under the bed because I'm thinking they will set it up for me and I want the room to look presentable. One thing leads to another and the next thing you know, I'm rearranging clothes in the closet and throwing out stuff I don't want or need. It's a job and I'm still not finished. Taking a break now with some blog reading and a tall glass of iced tea!
    Re: your comment on my post today. I wished you lived closer, I'd be happy to have you along on some of my country drives!

  30. Your pared down spots look very peaceful and lovely. I've always loved all your decor items, but this new look is very nice and fresh.

    Where did you get that mug rack on your round dining table? It's so different.

    And your ivy plant is so lush and beautiful. And I still need to get a head planter for my garden. I love yours.

  31. I have been feeling the same way lately Branda, especially with the construction and remodel chaos and mess around my house. I just want to get rid of it all and start over in my new space! I have a very similar round galvanized tray that I got from Decor Steals-love it!

  32. Clutter gives me hives more and more the older get. I don't put all the layers of things on my mantel any more or on other surfaces. I just keep out things I really love and rotate some for seasonal decorating. I keep giving things to charity and have several boxes prepared for another charity pick up tomorrow. It feels great to open a cabinet, or closet and see it organized an not so crowded. It makes the closets I haven't gotten to yet feel even worse!

  33. Yes, you show the less is more very nicely. I like having options and being able to shop from my home. There isn't a lot of new things in stores that interest me anymore. I feel very fortunate to enjoy what I do have. That being said I am running out of room!

  34. I don't like clutter either, I do like my pretties though! You have done a great job in living simple and love your motto! By the way, love the old photographs on your bookshelf, they are wonderful!

    Nancy

  35. You do seem to be able to declutter quite nicely. I laughed when you said you had to move things to sit down, I certainly do! I know I have to declutter but I love my stuff. I am trying to when I bring something new in I pull something old out! Simple is better!

  36. I've been doing the same Brenda. Starting in a corner and working my way around. Now the paint pots are out and the touching up and refreshing has begun. It's lovely to sit back and see reflections on surfaces and things all neat and tidy. It's very rewarding. x

  37. I've been working on the edit and delete since moving to my duplex. It has made me so much happier. I'm still working on it. I have found that some of my 'collections' aren't bringing me as much happiness so maybe it's time to edit them and keep only the things I love there also. Good job Brenda!

    Linda

  38. Hi Brenda,
    I love your apartment. Yes it is wonderful to select our favorite things and enjoy the space. Having a garden is a blessing and I love to sit and admire what a work of art a garden can be.
    Joyously
    Betty

  39. I am working toward a more simple home.. slowly, but surely. I've acquired way to much "stuff" and not nearly enough of the essentials. I love that the things you're keeping are used daily, and practical!

    1. Everyone wants what I call "pretties." But when you have too many pretties, they kind of blend together. Like with blogging, white space is your friend.

  40. I understand…but, you and your style of decorating freed me up, to do what ever I want to in my home! I do what I want in the garden and in the house, and as long as I am happy, who cares! I have a lot of things, so I ofter "shop the garage" and redo my decor…I love it!

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