collect not clutter.
by victoria comment


white cabinet with glass doors. / sfgirlbybay

i’m feeling much more zen today, so thank you for all the positive comments yesterday — i was way down there in those dumps! but what also makes me feel better, besides your trusty companionship here on the blog, is cleaning out the cobwebs — literally and figuratively. i’ve been sorting through my belongings and trying to declutter – a lot! it’s a difficult task for me, because i love collecting lovely things, but one can only own so many beautiful objects and those we do own should be sentimental and shared lovingly — maybe in a special display case or a prominently on a shelf for all to gander. they should also be displayed in a cohesive collection as to not look cluttered — “like objects” with their mates, so to speak. i think these images give us a great example to live up to. collections so pretty, but not in the least bit cluttered, so on with my purge!

neutral ceramics on white shelf. / sfgirlbybay gray built-in cabinet with ceramic dishware. / sfgirlbybay ceramic dishware. / sfgirlbybay inspiring collections. / sfgirlbybay inspiring kitchen accessories / sfgirlbybay curated collection of knick knacks. / sfgirlbybay ceramic vases on drying racks. / sfgirlbybay black cabinet with white ceramic dishes. / sfgirlbybay kitchen with vintage dishware and accessories. / sfgirlbybay large black cabinet with glass doors and curated collection of decor inside. / sfgirlbybay curated collection of eclectic dishes and kitchen accessories. / sfgirlbybay inspiring collections of ceramic dishes. / sfgirlbybay neutral wall decor. / sfgirlbybay curated collection of vintage mirrors. / sfgirlbybay black cabinet with curated decor. / sfgirlbybay inspiring neutral kitchen decor. / sfgirlbybay

• photography credits in order of appearance: femina; femina; devol kitchens; leanne ford interiors; association; apartment therapy; an eclectic eccentric; homeyohmy; ferm living cabinet via stil inspiration; anne sage; planete deco; a href=””>leanne ford interiors; the glitter guide; @wingnutandco; don freeman photography; remodelista; @fotografthereseromell; one king’s lane; anthropologie; lonny; maire claire maison; artist ann agee via locks gallery; 79 ideas; living agency; the poetry of material things; rue magazine; sukha amsterdam; be pure home; apartment34.

9 responses to “collect not clutter.”

  1. I always feel better when I’ve done some dusting. Some years ago I started collecting mid-century bud vases, the sort with bubbly, coloured bases. And I also began amassing handbags. Last year I took most of the bud vases to the charity shop and kept only those that I really loved. A couple of months ago I delivered a batch of handbags ditto. I don’t miss any of them. After a while I realised that having these things and not using them was pointless. When stuff does not bring joy, time to move it on. Glad you feel cheerier.

    • Annie, Your comment was an epiphany for me! I have haunted second-hand stores for decades and have found many treasures. And being a ‘one thing in, one thing out’ person I’ve never minded donating what I now longer needed, wanted or used.

      But your comment has added a joy to it that I had never thought of before.

  2. I love Annie’s comment. Years ago, I found another perspective that helps me regularly purge. I imagine the delight someone ELSE will have finding one of my items in the second-hand shop! It makes filling a box joyful and I love imagining my art and dishes and good clothes that I’ve simply tired of or don’t wear enough in someone else’s loving home.

  3. Annie’s comment and especially Cynthia’s comment really tell how it is with me. I LOVE second-hand stores, always have. It is my go-to place on dreary days. I love the thrill of the hunt. But, I always seem to find something unique and perfect. Over years, all these wonderful treasures have added up. I decided several months ago that I wanted someone else to enjoy finding these while out on a dreary day. That image in my mind helps me to be able to begin to fill the boxes.

  4. There’s isn’t any point in collecting things that we don’t use. Life’s too short to just pile things on without getting any joy from them. Think of all the dusting that comes with it! Yikes! Everything looks so much better after some sorting and curating…Good luck with it.

  5. I like this post as well as the comments, but a lot of the photos (though lovely) seem to be a little bit of collection + kitchen dishes. Would you consider doing a Part 2 post that includes photos of collections with less (or no) ceramics/dishes? It would be helpful to visualize other types of uncluttered collections.

  6. The perpetual conundrum–I love stuff and I hate stuff, and this coming from one who has made a life from buying and selling vintage and antiques! I want all the beautiful things, but having them can become a great burden. Keeping it all clean. Storing or displaying it. Moving it. Even once you hit the point where you feel suffocated and decide to get rid of it, pretty things can still be a pain–you want to get some of your money back out of it because you know it’s worth something, but the selling process can be time consuming and annoying.

    I have moved a few times in recent years and that has definitely helped pare down my belongings. I try to live by ‘one in, one out’ as a means of improving the collections I have. The idea of fewer, better things is appealing (but sometimes hard to live up to!).

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