Why do we have so much “stuff”?
Why do we as humans feel the need to collect and fill every nook and cranny in our homes?
As an interior decorator in London Ontario with over 20 years of experience, I’ve seen all sorts of different homes.
Some are minimal, some are tidy, but most happen to be cluttered with decades worth of… STUFF!
So why do we have so much stuff?
This lovely couple that were preparing their home for sale asked me just that question when I was finished staging.
But I Like Stuff!
When you get home at the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is organize, clean, or redecorate.
It’s all you can do to have dinner on the table and get the kids to soccer practice, music class, or whatever other activities they’re involved in, and pick up some food at the grocery store.
Over years of living like this, growing your family, working hard and just trying to survive, life has a way of just taking over.
Your stuff finds a place of its own, not because it’s the most logical or appealing place for it, but because it’s just easier to toss it in the corner.
But of course, the way we live in our homes and the way we prepare them to be sold is very different.
This couple was putting their home on the market, and their realtor called me in to stage it for them.
They were absolutely lovely to work with and were happy to implement the changes I suggested, but when they saw the results they were even happier, and even a bit shocked if I may say.
Take a look at the photos below – this is their kitchen and dining room as it looked when I first arrived.
What do you see here?
I see a home well-lived in by two busy people who just never had the time or the energy to decorate.
It’s functional for them, but it isn’t terribly pretty.
And if you’re on the market to buy a home and you’re trying to picture your own life in this house, sadly all you’ll see is chaos and stress.
So what do you do about it?
What did they do?
They hired me, of course.
Here’s what it looked like after we were finished.
Which one looks more inviting to you?
To prepare this home for sale, I removed the top of their hutch and replaced their chairs with fresh, modern looking ones.
I removed their spoon collection and other tchotchkes, and replaced them with a simple, understated painting.
And of course, the area rug below ties everything together.
But what was most amazing is how much stuff they had that they didn’t need.
For example, they had ten different sets of wine glasses, twelve different sets of drinking glasses, and fourteen different sets of glass dishes.
When will you EVER make use of fourteen different sets of glass dishes?
But the funny part was that they didn’t even realize how many they had.
Some of those had probably been sitting in their hutch for years or even decades, just taking up space and adding clutter to their lives for no reason.
Once they saw the difference in their staged home, they hired me to help them decorate their new home.
Sometimes we just have too much stuff, but it can be overwhelming and even frightening to get rid of some of it.
Maybe your kids have grown up and moved on, but your home is still set up like it was when they were teenagers.
Maybe you just have trouble letting go of some things – I can understand!
But if you’re an empty-nester, it’s time to make your home all about you, like it was for this couple.
They were like children in a new sandbox, and it was so much fun to help them.
They donated a lot of their stuff – including some of those dish sets – and kept the stuff that had important sentimental value.
But a lot of their stuff just ended up getting tossed.
After all, it was many years old and didn’t owe them anything.
These days, decorating style is much less cluttered than it used to be.
Once upon a time, a Victorian-era wooden hutch with a collection of antiques, dishes, collectibles, and other tchotchkes might have been in vogue, but these days “less is more” is the way to go.
Keep things simple, minimal, sleek, clean, fresh, and zen.
You’d be surprising how peaceful it can be.
What do you have in your home that you could purge, give away, or donate?
How can you decrease the amount of clutter in your life?
Purging is good for the soul.
Besides, once you purge you’ll have room to buy new stuff!
Mati Design can help you enhance the natural beauty of your home in a way that is timeless, comfortable, and works for you and your family Contact her for more information on his work.