Friday, September 26, 2008

Working toward a simpler life

I have been visiting Emily at Remodeling This Life and her latest entry really hit home with me. For years I have been a collector -- samplers (see earlier post), miniature churches, church birdhouses, musical instruments, old church hymnals, cherubs, musical angel figurines, vases, rose dishes, books, teddy bears, and just about anything else that appealed to me at yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops, antiques stores, plus things that I cherish because they belonged to my parents or grandparents. Some of my little churches are shown below:

Last year, when I turned 70, I had a horrible thought -- in ten more years I'd be 80 and I'd still have to cope with all this "stuff." Ten years might seem to be a long time if you're young, but time seems to pass more quickly the more we age. Here are some of my musical angels and nativity scenes:
So this year I have begun to work seriously on "downsizing." It helps that a Goodwill opened here recently. Yes, it's a great place to find neat "stuff," but I don't go there unless I also take a donation. So far I have donated a few samplers, needlework kits, other vintage linens, crocheted items, a good number of books, a tablecloth, some clothing, teddy bears, and dishes. I f you walked into my house you wouldn't think anything was gone because there are still a lot of things in the house, and more must -- and will -- go.

The nativity scene below is a favorite because Cliff made it. The nativities, angels, and the church scene below are only displayed at Christmas; during the rest of the year there is other "stuff" on the shelves. (You can glimpse some of my rose dishes to the left of the photo and a dulcimer on the right.)

For a while I thought I'd make a little money selling some things on eBay, and I started collecting boxes to ship things in. Now I have a big pile of boxes to get rid of also!

There are still many things I treasure too much to give away -- my favorite books, old books that belonged to my parents, my musical instruments (well, maybe I could part with one or two), old family photos and mementos, Dad's paintings. But if I get rid of the "stuff" that I never use, that fills cabinets and closets or sits around gathering dust, I will have more time to enjoy the things I love, like my organ, below, the painting over it by my Dad, the little girl figurine Daddy bought at an auction years ago, and a sampler (shown in a previous post). I bought the chandelier lamp on eBay, painted it white, and found replacements for missing prisms.

Have a great weekend.



Thanks for the visit Joanie, I love that painting by your Dad and the light is beautiful. It must feel good to clean stuff out, I need to do the same but can't decide what to get rid of!

Becky said...

I too need to downsize. I don't know why I hold on to things. Memories I guess.
But I really need to.
So keep asking me if I am working towards that. Ok Accountability.
I need it.

Susan (Moonlight and Magnolias on RMS) said...

Hi Joanie...thanks for visiting my blog and for those kind words. I really admire you for trying to simplify. It is so hard to choose what to get rid of, I know. I've also added you to my blog roll!
:-) Susan

flycatcherjoe said...

as far as photos go, you might want to check out . they are a photo & album scanning service that helps you share old photos with scattered family members. the nice thing is they'll even do albums- you don't have to take all the pics out and destroy all your work. when you consider the expense of the scanner and the tremendous time it'll take to scan on a typical flatbed plus the time to find the right software, it's really pretty affordable. i mean 500 pics is less than $100. albums $20-30.

once photos are in digital format, sharing is a cinch. and they don't take up any space. most people simply don't have the time to scan hundreds of pictures on a slow flatbed.

all those pics can be scanned, burned to disc and uploaded to a secure family webpage before you know it. why bother making reprints all the time or set out on a huge scanning project you know you'll never finish on your own?