The Crazy Suburban Mom: When your treasures become clutter...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

When your treasures become clutter...

(A long post but there are lots of pictures of estate sale finds from the middle down)

I just started reading several new blogs and I am already in love with them; The Southern Hospitality, Colorado Lady and The Inspired Room Blogs. All are visually lovely and all are about living better in lovelier spaces, not necessarily for more money. In fact, they find vintage, estate and thrift shop deals and are adept at turning finds into what would be enviable additions to any home.

What I wanted to talk about in this post is something that Melissa at The Inspired Room has been talking about. Nesting.

I've been a whirlwind of frantic energy this week and last. Taking my son to school and saying good-by was... I can't even describe it really. There isn't anything to compare it to and I've been trying to keep busy. Mostly what I want to do is eat. I'm not feeling particular about that. I don't care if I eat salad, or three servings of a healthy dinner or Coco-puffs - I just want to swallow it all. Swallow my feelings I suppose.

Isn't that what an emotional eater does?

I read Melissa's post a few days ago and I thought nesting might be a better way to go than to drown my sorrows in Cheetos. And nesting has some good and lasting benefits while Cheetos? Not so much.

I've been cleaning out, decluttering things I thought I would use and haven't. Things I've known for a long time I should part with and couldn't bring my self to because either the item was too expensive, or someone gave it to me, or maybe I will use it someday... It's the perfect time of year for doing that. Twice a year the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset County has a spectacular rummage sale (see details here).
They describe it as:

This famous Rummage Sale, held every fall and spring at the
Fairgrounds in Far Hills, New Jersey, is New Jersey's largest and oldest.
As a major fundraiser for the VNA, 100% of the proceeds support the
VNA’s programs and enable the VNA to care for those who
are uninsured or under-insured.

If you haven't been before, prepare yourself! Bargains are
everywhere, and the selection, spread out over 75,000 square
feet, is incredible: clothing, appliances, antiques, sporting goods,
furniture, dishes, name it and you'll find it there.

If you aren't local it's still worth a look-see. The traffic and parking is usually terrible but if you are on the train line there is a Far Hills station not far from the fairgrounds. They are at the point of taking donations and I'm going to drive my van over there as soon as it's full and donate, donate donate for charity, to clear my home and to clear my mind.

I've had to make some hard decisions about what to keep. I'm really surprised at the things I will probably be letting go. I have been buying much too much.

I need to learn that just because something is lovely and a good price does not mean I should take it home.

These are some of the things I've had to decide about lately.

Syracuse China Celery Dishes


I found six of them in one place.


Gosh, I love them but why in the world did I need celery dishes?

And speaking of need...

Steam irons. Did I really need steam irons?


No, I have one. An expensive stainless steel one that
I don't use because it involves, ya know...ironing. So I see
these and buy them because one was yellow and the other?


Pink. Who can resist a pink iron?
Well, I totally should have because I didn't use
the one I had and now I don't use the three I have.

Already listed on eBay actually. Sigh.
I'm going to miss the pink one.


I've had this vintage wallet for a while. I got it at an estate sale.
It even has it's sparkly comb and mirror. But really, didn't need that either.

And the button thing...


How many buttons does a person who doesn't sew really need?
These buttons are in the large size pyrex bowl, the BIG one, and it's full.


But look at them?


Even the plastic one's are sparkly...

clear rhinestone 2

And the sparkly ones are mad sparkly..

clear rhinestone

Like jewelry.

blue rhinestone

Or a tiara.

I may have some trouble stopping the button thing.

I guess the upside to buttons is they don't
take up as much room as irons.

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Anonymous,  9/10/09, 8:11 AM  

The buttons are amazing. I love anything in the accessory category. Now, the iron, not so much. Even a pink one. :)

ladyjanewriter 9/10/09, 9:22 AM  

OK, with the buttons, you should open an Etsy shop and sell them, or ebay them. There are SO many crafty sewers who would K-I-L-L for the shiny sparkly buttons.

That way, you can Let Them Go, but also know that they'll go to a home where someone who loves them as much as you do will appreciate them.

Sometimes when I de-crap or declutter, I imagine the person who's going to get my stuff.

So, picture the ladies who are gonna jump up and down and squee over the pretty pretty buttons or the pink iron.

What if the blue button is the perfect closure for the cape someone knitted?

What if the gal with the all-pink apartment needs a new iron?

It really takes the sting out of letting stuff go. :-)

I also say a little prayer of sorts asking the Higher Power or whomever to please help this thing find the right person. I know it's hokey, but I like to think it works.

mama-face 9/10/09, 9:24 AM  

My daughter would be all over those much? And that handbag, I love it! The Irons...hahahaha.

I often want to write about my love of a certain post by a certain blogger; but I didn't know if I should because my stalkerishness would show. I love that you did spotlight other blogger posts. :)

beth 9/10/09, 10:49 AM  

alright. now i want all of these things, too and i totally don't have room for them!

@eloh 9/10/09, 12:25 PM  

OHHHH YESSSSS, I got a thing for buttons myself. It was one of the high lights of my be allowed to "look" in the button tin.

Coloradolady 9/10/09, 1:09 PM  

how much for the celery dishes and buttons...seriously....I love those...I can not seem to bring myself to get rid of stuff, I just bring it home. Have a great weekend and a Happy VTT.

viridian 9/10/09, 2:17 PM  

Love the buttons - do you think some may be worth something to a collector? Just sayin'. I inherited my grandmother's button box, and I am well onto my own collection.

SueLovesCherries 9/10/09, 3:16 PM  

Oh, I love your commentary! It's hard not to hoard certain things - especially when they're so beautiful! Great collection of buttons!

Lidian 9/10/09, 3:19 PM  

Tracy - Of course you need a pink iron, and that fab sparkly wallet - and oh my, the buttons! I think I need some stuff like that too! And...more magazines and postcards. And now - oh, fine, now that I've seen the celery dishes I need to look for some of those too (and I don't even like celery, go figure, but I LOVE the dishes)

Mom Mayhem says: 9/10/09, 3:36 PM  

Oh-I can understand I'm not even that into vintage shopping but,can appreciate things like that lovely vintage wallet or what looks like a nice bowl of buttons! =D
And it is nice to clear out things even though it's hard. Good Luck and yes nesting does seem better than eating-I imagine the whole empty nest thing is a hard transition -Hang in there!

The Crazy Suburban Mom 9/10/09, 4:01 PM  

Lisa - I had the irons around for a while and was going to donate them to the rummage sale, ended up listing them on ebay together as one auction cause I thought - what the heck? With in one hour I had a bid. I actually only listed them for what they cost me but I will be glad to break even!

Ladyjane - I totally agree with you and I've got many many nice emails from people who have won things on ebay from me. Im always surprised how much something can mean to someone. I mean really really a lot. Ive met some of the nicest people... and it frequently turns out that what I let go, goes to a better 'home'. As to etsy, I have never had good luck there. I don't know why but the things seem to sit into oblivion. It might be a feedback thing - I have very little on etsy and 700+ on ebay... I just dont know.

Mama-face - I think I might list some of the buttons on ebay... I wasnt going to but... I think it's time to let some of them go. Or maybe etsy, I dont even know anymore. I actually did list that wallet once over the summer but it didnt sell. Its not the best time to list in the summer with vacations, etc. Which is also why I have to stop buying! And I never thought the other bloggers would think I was a stalker? omg, hope not!


ELOH - yes, me too. My grandma was a great seamstress and had tons of buttons which i lost in a move years ago. But she had amazing buttons. amazing. and they were in a tin. I think everyones relatives buttons were!

ColoradoLady - wow. Never thought of listing them flat out here but...hmmm.. I'll email you

Viridian - Yes, some of them are worth something to collectors but I think probably more so if there were sets of them. But yes they are nice cause they are actually fairly big. I got a lot at this one estate sale and did sell some that were sets because they would be so much more useful to someone who actually uses buttons to sew.

Sueloves - I know and I'm fighting that hoarding thing. I go to estate sales and see the stuff people amass and just think, oh I have to stop before this is me!

Lidian - sigh, the pink iron. and yes, all the stuff was so cool I brought it home and than...what? what am I to do with it all????? and now Im buying the magazines too.

Its a sickness I think!

MomMayhem - honestly clearing out makes me feel so good. It always has...and especially when I feel hemmed in, like now!

Tee 9/10/09, 7:21 PM  

Just found your lovely blog today. (I came over from Suzanne's.) That button collection is fabulous!

Vonlipi 9/10/09, 10:15 PM  

We are sisters in clutter! How lovely!

I have been cleaning\listing\giving for 18 months now! And of course my clutter has been replaced by Pyrex! We just starting the basement....With a woodworker in the house, we have this giant pile of wood and or building materials....We tackle that saturday!

Mary 9/11/09, 9:05 AM  

I like Colorado Lady too. I used to post on her Vintage Thingies but I haven't in awhile - I need to get back to that.

The irons are cool. I've never known anyone who collected irons. lol.

I've been decluttering too. It's hard. Just last week I took 2 boxes to our thrift store and came back with one sack. :| At least what I came back with was less than what I took up there.

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