Thursday, 11 July 2013

Stuff

We have a great deal of stuff.
Too much for one small cottage to cope with.
Every corner seems to have a much loved nick- nack shoved into it.
Something to cherish
Something to dust.

If there was a fire....what would I save?
The burleigh potty? Mrs Roberts' grandfather clock? One of our watercolours?
A Carltonware lobster fruit bowl? Family photos?



Who knows?
Stuff is just stuff
When we are dead and gone..
The flotsam and jetsam of our life together
will be shelf clutter in a charity shop or antique centre
You never " own" stuff
You only look after it for a while..........................

66 comments:

  1. I see you also have a couple of brass candlesticks...

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  2. Replies
    1. Unfortunately yes

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    2. Well, if you said 'no', then all the burglars in Trelawnyd would pay you a visit, so well said.

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  3. I once looked after an ageing couple who lived up on the corner of our street. When they died I had the onerous task of sorting through the belongings they had gathered in a lifetime. Really it had all suddenly become not much more than rubbish. It was very sad. Like a museum.

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  4. You'd grab the dogs and Albert.

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    1. My first thought exactly!


      We know how you feel, John. Now that we are here on this 'hope to be a farm' again, what do we do with it?

      We're pretty sure our boys wouldn't live here, though one of them has said he would.

      Have a wonderful Friday, John; and enjoy all your stuff. ♥

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  5. Ooooh I love your glass cupboard with the heart on the door.

    I'd save the family photos. Easy if they're all on a disc.

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  6. That looks SO familiar... If you ever work out how to switch to minimalism, will you teach me?

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    1. I doubt that will ever happen AJ

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  7. Looks like my house. And, as someone a good deal older than you, I am facing the thought that when I go no one will want all my wonderful things! Your thought that we only look after it for a while helps a lot!
    Cheers

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  8. I swore, when clearing my stuff-ridden grandparents' house, that I would never get to that stage but it just builds and builds in corners and cupboards and drawers. That looks like a Lucy Dawson print in the first photo....my kind of stuff!

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    1. Eagle eyed em.....it is indeed

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  9. I have begun to give away some of my stuff - our house, which is quite large, is bursting with it. I collect hares - my favourite animal - and have pictures, cards in frames, photographs and sculptures of same. I have almost a hundred paintings, many of them those of my first husband who was a watercolourist. I collect modern art from artists I like (and can afford). I agree with you - when I die it will all go and no memories of where I got it will remain for anyone. Several special pieces are will to people - the rest will go to a saleroom, as you say we are only custodians as long as we live.

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  10. Whenever I see bookshelves in photo's in magazines etc. I crane my neck to see the titles... Bit like I look to see what folk have in their trolleys at the supermarket. You can tell so much about folk I find, or on the other hand what a sad person I am.

    Keep the stuff, it's your comfort blanket through life.

    LLX

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    1. Don't worry, you're not the only one.
      Jane x

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    2. me to! What will happen in years to come when everyone has a kindle.

      If I go to a new persons house I look for books. to see if they read similar books to me.

      Houses with no books freak me out!

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    3. I like the phrase COMFORT BLANKET

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  11. What? So my carefully catalogued photos on my hard drive and backed up will not be of interest to anyone?

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  12. I always think the best user id I've ever seen on eBay was dead-peoples-stuff

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  13. I've lost two good friends in one week and was just saying yesterday that I don't need all this stuff anymore.
    Having stated that, I can't seem to sort through my mother's things still after two years.

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    1. So sorry stew.....makes you review everything and anything

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  14. By the looks of things you have some lovely bits and pieces. Why not stipulate that it gets auctioned off for your favourite charity?

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    1. Good idea........nw which one would I support?
      Bulldog rescue perhaps?

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  15. That's why we're getting rid of stuff. Some has been auctioned, some has been sold, some has been donated, and some has been given to friends. And yet, there is still more stuff. ARRRGH

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    1. Pity you didn't live nearer....I eyed bric a brac for my one day

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  16. What about that suitcase you always keep locked, and to which only you have the key?

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  17. Once everyone was out I would grab the photos. Those would mean the most. And it looks like that would take a bit of time. After that...I might go after a tea-cup or two.

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  18. Last weekend I spent some time roaming through "antique " shops in Indiana. I just couldn't get interested in buying more "stuff ". I'm tired of moving around and dusting what I already have. But I like your room John. It shows your personalities. Minimalist rooms I find to be boring! In the event of fire I think I would grab my safety deposit box key and wallet - and cell phone to call my insurance agent! Mercenary that I am.

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  19. I have been weeding out for the past year or more. I am sorting special things and photos for each child and their kiddies....asking them to take what they want now and trying to save them from a hard go after we are gone...after all they are just "things"....

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  20. I think I needed to hear that John. Thanks.

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  21. You do have a lot of stuff, but it's very nicely contained. My head is cluttered, so my house is not.

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  22. I accidentally learned the value of family "stuff" some years ago, when I decided to get rid of it on eBay. Children, nieces, nephews, cousins did not want any of it; it went on the block. There were some valuable pieces. Better yet I was no longer responsible for them and they went to appreciative hands. I'm not "minimalist", but am definitely de-cluttered. Probably the only such person in the family.

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    1. Joanne a cracking way of doing this

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  23. Mostly I completely agree with you.... but photos are different. I'd grab my family albums (and my jewellery of course !)

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  24. I keep my precious old photos in the coat closet by the front door so I can quickly grab them in case of an emergency. Hubby is in charge of getting the animals who are usually sitting looking out the front door anyway. Everything else is insured and doesn't matter.

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  25. i am trying desperately to check out with no stuff left. i am getting rid of as much as i can. and, it is a lot of work!

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  26. It seems that we spend the first part of our lives accumulating stuff and the second part getting rid of it.

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  27. As i was the youngest in my immediate family and the youngest on my father's side, and the one who was careful with things, i ended up with quite a bit of other people's stuff after they died. Some of it i love, some of it i don't, and i spent quite a bit of time going through deciding what to keep and what to give away. I also tend to collect things i like and hold onto them forever, so i had my own stuff through which to sort.

    I still have too much stuff and have really slowed any new things coming into the house. As time goes on, i find i need to keep fewer things and once i really embraced the idea that we are only temporary custodians, it was easier to let the things go.

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    1. Megan.. Great way of looking at things too!

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  28. Interesting that you talked about this today, I was just wondering what I'd take in case of a fire and I had no idea where to start. Aside from the obvious things, like my cats dog and husband. :)

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  29. My home was destroyed (1993) in the first of the big fires that burn California yearly now.
    I know we all say things are things but while a sofa and shoes can be replaced certain things can not.
    Photos especially when you only have 3 left from your Grandfather and Mother. The dried flowers and family christening gown that your baby daughter wore right before her death. The one dish that your family passed down to you. The dvd's that where the only film of your children as little ones. All to do with family. That is what I miss.
    I had many wonderful pieces of art that I was given by the artist and friends that can never be replaced but you just have to remember you did enjoy it when you had it.
    I don't have a lot of stuff in my home, especially after the fire. I live in a desert too much dust everywhere.
    But the family history is what I miss.
    I am transferring as much of what I have left to computer files and am getting a bank box.
    Even after all these years I still reach for something that was destroyed, because I know I have it ! so daft !

    cheers, parsnip


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    1. Parsnip....well you have lived through it...I cannot imagine how I would. Feel if my treasures got burnt.... Perhaps they mean more. To me than I thought

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  30. How homey and comfortable the cottage looks with all your "stuff" and memories piled in. Those are the things that make a house a home in my opinion. Lane

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  31. I'd grab the dogs and Himself - the rest can burn. I'm done with stuff. In fact, I've sworn, if I ever have to move house again, I'm shoving a clean pair of knickers and a toothbrush in my pocket and simply putting a match to the rest.....

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    1. Your description Made me titter

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  32. we sell and move nearly every year. It makes you get rid of stuff. I also look at somethings and think I don't like cleaning you...

    nerd alert

    Both my sister and my parents have a hard drive with all my precious pictures and documents that I would need if anything ever happened to our house. They are protected by faraday bags. http://www.survivaldepot.co.uk/product/faraday_bag

    this probably sounds bonkers to other people. I would never have to go back into the house to get that one thing. Get out, stay out.

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    1. Bloody hell.. What a fab idea

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  33. We used to have a ton of stuff. Your cottage has a minimalist look by comparison. We downsized a few times, but moving across the ocean decided us to get rid of just about everything. Although it wasn't easy at first, it got easier with each passing day, and it sure was freeing. And now there's so much less to clean!

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    1. I did the same when we downsized from a much anger hoe in Sheffield....I do miss some of the stuff I got rid of though

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    2. 'anger hoe'? is that like 'Westward Ho'? I've been there you know.....
      or you could just have meant 'larger house'?lol

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  34. The dusting is starting to get to me theses days. I won't ever let go of my Grandma and Grandads stuff though. xxxx

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  35. Homes that are too empty, too tidy, too precise, make me nervous, lol Conversely it's a bit of a worry if an abode could be recommended to the show "Hoarders" :-)

    I think you've hit upon (to my eye) a lovely balance.

    My parents fret over 'all the things' they have - as do I myself now and again looking about my own home at times. But I think the greater truth may be that if what you have around you brings you joy, comfort, contentment don't fret over having 'too many things'. If and when the time arrives you want or need or feel better having more space and less belongings about the place then sell, donate, toss them at that point in time.

    Easy enough also (I think) to avoid the family/sort out/burden issue - that's what estate sales specialists are for :-) if you ask me. Once any heartfelt items are removed by family/friends as you wished, the remainder can go to the hands of the estate seller to tag and sell. That way much finds new loving homes and the proceeds to be shared as you wish.

    What would I take in a fire? Everything I could lay my hands upon until my knickers began to scorch from the heat! lol

    Issy

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    1. I will send you some flame retardant Knicks in the post!

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  36. I can't believe that nobody has suggested it yet: You grab a Scotch egg out of the refrigerator and a clean pair of undies. If your house does go up in flames, you will need one of each.

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    1. Excellent idea....I never thought of an emergency scotch egg ..I would have to place it behind glass

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  37. I could spend a pleasant hour perusing that wall of photos with a cup of tea.

    My parents went through a massive downsizing when they retired from a big country home with a two-story barn to a one-story house. Still, when they had to evacuate for a hurricane, I was shocked and pleased to hear my mother say that, whatever might happen "It's just stuff."

    Yup, grab Chris and anything with paws and get out.

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  38. Looking around at my own "stuff", I realize that only we care about it all. Our kids have no attachment at all. Sigh.

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  39. How generous of you, John, to give your readers a glimpse of your indoors. Thought provoking post of yours.

    Like most for most of your commentator I'd save photos. And all those little notes, stories and poems my son has written and left me over the last 21 years. Just the thought of losing them makes me well up.

    A bit like your commentator Sol, I am so paranoid about losing my photos that, when going on holiday, I always give a box with all the negatives to a friend of mine. Just in case (the house burns down). It's totally irrational: After all: The house could catch fire during the five minutes it takes me to go to the corner shop.

    I once tried to help an older lady (she was in her eighties) to "declutter". It was hopeless. The only thing I managed to convince her to get rid of was a dead mouse in the kitchen. And, to be honest, I thought what the hell does it matter. She is surrounded by the memories of her life and she is clinging to her life with the shreds of her finger tips. Not that her son, a bishop, yes a bishop, the bastard, saw it that way. Am certain he just ordered a skip when his mother died. Not, of course, before removing saleable items.

    U

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    1. borrow a negative scanner, I borrowed one from a college. scan them in and store them in a hard drive or a cloud. No more worries.

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  40. I love the thought of an emergency scotch egg behind glass ready for you to grab on the way out after tucking the dogs under your arms and dragging Chris out.

    I don't like 'stuff', especially useless stuff, I'm being ruthless at the moment and things I thought I couldn't live without are being sold off at car boots, I don't need most of what I thought I did.

    If there was a fire I would be happy to walk out just holding onto Lovely Hubbys hand (so he couldn't dash back and get his tractor keys) and the cats under my arms, the dogs would be out well before me, no manners my mutts :-)

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  41. you and chris save each other...

    xoxoxox

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