Collecting vs hoarding: when is enough enough?

I’m a bit of a clutterbug, I love stuff…. not so much in a materialistic sense, but more for appreciation…

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I particularly like old stuff, it has a story, it has had past lives and has had possibly many relationships to many people long before my relationship with it began.
I also like different stuff together, creating relationships between things by putting them together… showing whole other perspectives of each than if they just stood alone…. kind of like creating little worlds, a still life using stuff…. and really we all do this all the time.

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But from time to time I look around at home and realise that I’m surrounded by a bit too much ‘noise’ and the whole thing has become a big crowd that prevents appreciation of individual things….
so yesterday I had a bit of a cull in the lounge and I realised that with quite a lot of things, I like them when they’re in a crowd but not individually… so they’re out!
I often see pictures of minimal spaces and think that they look stunning and so calm and wonder why and how I always end up living in what resembles an antiques and curiosities shop.

They say you should get rid of anything that you don’t find beautiful or useful (I would add meaningful to this though)…. the trouble is that soooo much stuff is beautiful and meaningful in different ways… years ago if I found a beautiful or meaningful object I HAD to have it, now I’m more able to be happy that I’ve seen it and to know that it exists in the world (and Pinterest helps of course :) I can virtually collect.)
…. maybe also as I get older I’m more able to feel that I have enough, that there is enough that’s beautiful and meaningful inside so I don’t need to collect and surround myself with such things…. don’t get me wrong I don’t think I’ll convert to minimalism anytime soon :) …… but I might be more inclined to edit my space, let things go and let the beautiful and meaningful have room to be.
That said, I’m visiting a new antique shop I’ve found this afternoon! I’ll let you know if I find any treasures :)

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7 thoughts on “Collecting vs hoarding: when is enough enough?

  1. I enjoyed this post, and especially the following: “but I might be more inclined to edit my space, let things go and let the beautiful and meaningful have room to be.” I’ve had similar experiences so I know how difficult doing this can be.

  2. Appreciate your thinking on this – particularly your thoughts on what makes a thing/ things meaningful. I have been going through a lot of changes recently and have started to revisit and review materials and things that i have had for some time. With some stuff the minute i touch it /look at it i am back at a particular time / reconnecting to a particular person or myself at a time i don’t quite want to forget. I think my fear is that without the memento i will forget or loose that part of myself. As an artist i collect lots of bits and pieces that i think i might use one day – realistically it is impossible to use every thing/idea but editing is a process isn’t it and editing shapes pieces, places and people. When is enough enough? Maybe when what is around me both physically, virtually and mentally isn’t a burden and there is a lightness to how i experience it?

    • I do that people who create things need to be surrounded by beautiful and inspiring things…. and that the things need to change and evolve over time… I hope your editing goes well :) and thanks for your lovely comments

  3. I rather think I was meant to read this! I was only thinking today how it was time to declutter and rethink our living space. Not easy when you’re an avid collector of little treasures, books and children! Honestly I have been trying to declutter – and then I visit an antiques fair and come home with more blue and white china, or a piano stool and a Victorian silver hair tidy! I do agree with your point about Pinterest – lovely to be able to collect things and ideas virtually. Onwards and upwards, I’ll keep trying, but candidly I wonder if clutter and stuff is just my thing? Maybe I should just rearrange for a change? Thank you for a lovely post.

    • Thanks for your lovely comments! Antique shops are like little treasure troves aren’t they? I totally can’t resist!
      I agree, I think I’m just complete stuff-lover and having a reorganise helps to keep things fresh … good luck with your editing :)

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