Monday, November 15, 2010

Stuff, Stuff, Stuff & GIVEAWAY


Don't forget to enter my Giveaway HERE!

*****
My mother is a great collector of stuff. Her home is full of it. Every nook and cranny, is covered-- Framed photographs-- art work-- baskets-- glass/porcelain/crystal/china... Stuff, stuff, stuff-- All with just a hint of dust to qualify as "patina". From side tables, and book shelves, to cabinets and window sills, a look around her house will leaving you wondering....

Where in the heck did all this stuff come from?


First let me say, even with all this stuff, a good deal of which is breakable, my folk's home is VERY livable and childproof. It's a home you can put your feet up and enjoy, not a museum/don't touch anything kind of place. That said....

Every visible space has something on it. But the interesting thing is that Mom remembers the story behind every item (all trillion)-- A nic-nak that one of her five kids gave her when they were in 2nd grade, a vintage basket she found at a long lost friend's garage sale in 1962, a birthday present from a grandchild a decade ago, Mom knows the story behind it all.

So imagine my surprise when, during my visit home last week, Mom handed me a box and told me to take whatever I wanted-- That she was getting rid of the stuff cluttering up her house. And yes, she actually used the word "clutter". I didn't know that word existed in her vocabulary!

Aside from the shock that she was willing to unload everything including stuff I'd seen since I was a baby, and aside from the fact that for the first time ever, Mom was referring to her "mementos" as "clutter"-- I was more than uncomfortable at the notion of pillaging my folk's home for family treasures, items that reminded me of my youth, and *ahem*cough*err* things I've had my eye on for sometime now.

Knowing my mother, I knew reading between the lines was probably in order so I immediately asked if she was sick and/or had anything to tell me about her health. She assured me she as not about to kick the bucket, but she was ready to start "decluttering" and figured I might as well take what I wanted rather than "being stuck" with the stuff she would pack up for me and stick a bow on for Christmas.


After much prodding and a few days of stalling, I finally started filling the box. Mom and I both collect blue glass so those were the things she pointed me in the direction of first. Then she "suggested" the lavender glass, then the crystal, then the rose glass, then the milk glass, then, then, then.

Whoa!

If Mom had her way, I'd have needed a U-Haul for all the "stuff" she wanted me to bring back to Los Angeles, but in the end, she was happy with the single box I filled with blue and lavender glass. Along the way however, she did managed to include a huge wool blanket claiming it would help against breakage, but I think she really just wanted to empty a shelf in the linen closet.


All kidding aside, I'm thrilled to have the mementos I remember since I was a kid. Hubby on the other hand, is still grumbling about where we're going to put it all. And, I'm pretty sure the words "you've become your mother" actually escaped his lips but he's not copping to the charge.

Do you have too much "stuff"?
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins

57 comments:

  1. One person's "stuff" is another person's treasure. I love that your mom knows the story about all the things she has kept. It will make you value those she has passed on to you even more.
    I'm not much of a stuff person, but I have hung on to a few things that I treassure for a long time.

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  2. I'm trying to unload some of my stuff on craigslist. So far no takers. Which saddens me because it's not stuff to just throw away. I just need to keep reposting the stuff until the right person comes along thinking it's a bargain.

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  3. It's nice your Mom wants you to take things when she is able to see you enjoy it. The blanket looks really nice and I love the blue glass!

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  4. I do think your Mom has the right idea with giving her stuff away now instead of leaving it for her children to deal with when she is gone. I am sure it gives her much comfort knowing where these things that have so much meaning to her are going. I too, think it's pretty neat that she knows the story behind her "stuff".

    In answer to your question, yes I have too much stuff and most of it I know where or who it came from and most of it has meaning to me. But, I go through spurts of purging some of these items. We are going to be going through our basement in the near future and you better believe me, we will be purging quite a few things. :)

    Love the blue glass!

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  5. I think you have a bit of 'the collector' in you!

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  6. its not stuff it is treasure. i collect blue glass also

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  7. oh love the blanket.

    I think your mom probably got just as much enjoyment knowing you would now treasure her treasures.

    and no, not much stuff here. both the hubby and I are kind of minimalist. I've regretted it sometimes, but on the whole it helps my mind when my space is clear.

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  8. I want to give stuff to people long before I go... it will be fun to see them enjoying the things that I've been sentimentally attached to.

    Plus, when the economy forces us to move to a van down by the river, I won't have to find room for everything.

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  9. I don't have as much clutter as I used to, and I still need to get rid of lots of stuff. I hope you enjoy your treasures!

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  10. We have TWO storage units!

    The blue glass reminds me of my wedding. My colors were yellow and blue and I initially wanted to put yellow flowers in different blue glass containers. But they were hard to find!

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  11. Every time I visit my mother meets me at the front door with a box- I keep telling her I have gathered my treasures... she just cannot understand how I can let go of my jr high newspapers ;-). we love our mamas !

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  12. my stuff consists of boxes of books...the eaves of the attic are full of them....like the blue glass though...

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  13. My three sons, who collect nothing, have constantly nagged me to get rid of things. They moved me entirely by themselves thirteen years ago when we had to find another home to rent. With my job loss, my two hospitalization, and the reality that I must find smaller, affordable accomodates, I have begun to sell things on Craigs list. Things I used to collect are not all that important to me. I am definitely aware I must downsize but I have such inertia. I'll get to it....so much, as I age, is not that important to me anymore. I already gave my daughter-in-law one set of my china and eight place settings of sterling silver. That felt really good.

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  14. I had to smile. Your mom knew exactly what she was doing by "decluttering". She was just adding to your collection. Isn't it funny how she knew how to even make sure you packed without the fear of breaking anything?? Hope you find plenty of space for it all.

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  15. I bet you will treasure those "momentous" just as much as your mother did. That´s why she wanted you to have them.

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  16. Yes, I have too much stuff. A few years ago, in preparation for putting my house on the market (which never sold grrr), I got a 20 yard dumpster in my driveway. I filled it with 1.5 tons (seriously!) of "stuff". I could easily do it again.

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  17. YES! WE have too much stuff--but I blame Miss Chef. She's a hoarder at age 30. As for me, I moved house just about every year from age 18 to 30, and learned to love the streamlined feeling of truly having a place for everything. So there's a potential for conflict right there.

    Every once in a while I contemplate how nice it would be if our house had just one more room, but then I realize...it would just invite more clutter.

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  18. Hi Joanna, since I personally do not know the family part of growing up like you did I do not have ties to anything, no memories and no sentiment. So to hear about your mom letting go of some of the collections and many things she has and wanting to share with you makes me smile. You can't have too much stuff if it's from someone who loves you and raised you as your mom did.Whether you put them out on display or in a box to take out and enjoy periodically, I for one am happy for you to have some of your mother's belongings in your home now.

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  19. I quite like that cobalt blue glass too but I don't tend to collect "stuff." I'm sure you'll enjoy yours once you find the room for it. Your mother has the right idea.

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  20. That's how my grandma cleaned out her place--she gifted her treasures to everyone and I was glad to get what I got--with the stories attached.

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  21. I think I'm like your Mother too - I have a lot of stuff, although I've gotten rid of some of it, I could still get rid of more I think. So it's wonderful that she gave your things that mean a lot. I don't have kids to pass it on to, but that's okay too.

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  22. I wrote ;)

    http://fourisaneff.blogspot.com/2010/11/no-readers-here.html

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  23. Ya know I'm a twisted Type-A neat freak and I don't do clutter...it drives me nuts. I did go through things a couple years ago so it would be easier for the kids when I kick the bucket. I didn't tell them what I was doin'...I'd just the the "MOM!!!!!!!" response.

    You did get some treasured items there along with the memories of your beautiful mama's stories.

    God bless ya and have a wonderful day!!!!

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  24. I do have too much stuff. I started to purge in the kitchen last week and was actually surprised when I wasn't getting rid of as much as I thought. The box was nowhere near full.

    I am still working on it, though. I threw away some of the stuff, too.

    I'm happy I did it and am going to continue.

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  25. My parents have been trying to send me home with boxes of stuff lately, as well. It seems every time I visit, my Dad is throwing boxes in the back of our Suburban!

    My parents were always "collectors", too, so I wonder if it is something that all parents do when they reach a certain point.

    Though I have been in a purge mood myself but it has become difficult with my parenst throwing things at me -- LOL!
    :-)
    Traci

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  26. MY WIFE and I keep on saying we have to get a bigger place so our teddy bears can have a room of their own. Then there's my record collection (some 500 sheets of vinyl) and my comic books (which take up most of a closet).

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  27. Oh My I'm in love with your blue glass!! I collect blue and white pottery/china.....I'm now gonna search for blue glass it's gorgeous!

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  28. I like the blanket.

    I have a few things that my mother has given me that I remember always being around and I don't think I'll ever be able to get rid of them even though I don't use them.

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  29. I'm glad you were able to pick out some stuff to take with you.

    My mom went through this stage, too. My frustration from it came from her wanting me to take all my stuff I'd left behind as a kid. It bothered her to put it on a garage sale, but she didn't want it cluttering up the house either.

    She also wanted me to tell her what I wanted when she was gone. (This is years before she passed.) I didn't know. I don't have a china cabinet and really no use for nice china. Another bone of contention. I think she was trying to avoid my brother and I squabbling over "stuff" like she and her siblings had as well as my dad and his siblings.

    Well, my brother and I aren't like that. And to honest, until someone is gone, you really don't know what little thing will remind you of them. In fact, I was surprised to find that I wished she'd left me the grandfather clock. That lasted until it woke me up in the middle of the night. My brother can have it. I want my mom back is what I want. Other than that, my bronzed baby shoes with the picture frame which holds a photo of me when I was 4 with the family cat. That's the only thing I ever really wanted, so to appease her I took it with me a couple of years ago.

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  30. I don't have too much stuff for this stage of my life, but when the kids leave I want to divest ad downsize. When my grandmother dies we all took just a few things each - I picked a little marble-topped end table and a couple pieced of the art they had collected around the world.

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  31. As I was reading I thought you must have been taping my actions. I, like your mom, decided recently I needed to downsize junk. I did give most of my collection of Bella Casa glass to my daughter. I spent a week and a half putting photos in books from boxes and I do a little bit each day. My mom was a collector, more so than me and I didn't like trying to get rid of her things when she passed away so I don't want my kids to go through that. For kicks I should put a 20 dollar bill in a photo album and make them go through each one looking for more. Teach them not to help me with photos!!

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  32. I don't like clutter so I keep things simple. I have even tackled my entertaining storage room. We don't have children so most of the time I tell my mom to give to my sisters (they have kids) and I will sometimes pick one or two treasures.xo

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  33. Mementos are great, clutter not so much... I'd say it is one fine line!

    I have a little giveaway too, come by...

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  34. The blue glass collection is beautiful. I agree with stinkpaw's comment about the fine line...I know I have to be careful!

    Have a great Wednesday.

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  35. Me thinks you may have stumbled into my mother's house....she has a window full of blue glass just like that....smiles.

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  36. The blue glass is gorgeous! I have a few pieces, myself. It was sweet of your mom to want you to take it.

    A few years ago, my mom started writing everything down in a book, so she could make sure all of us would inherit the things we want when she's gone. Every time I visit, she wants me to go around the house and pick things to add to my "list". I understand why she's doing it, but it feels strange to "shop" for the things I want after she's gone.

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  37. ha, I have been trying to clean out stuff the last couple of weeks, especially paperwork. We used to have a blanket like that many years ago!

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  38. I like the blue glass AND the blanket! :)

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  39. Blue glass is so beautiful - I've always wanted to collect it! I am starting to unload stuff on eBay - great time right before Christmas :)

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  40. Oh Lordy, yes, I am the Queen of Too Much Stuff. But I love my mementos too, and have stories to tell about each one, like your mom does. I go thru phases where I want to unload things, then I regret that I did. It's a midlife thing, I guess.

    But I agree -- the blue glass is lovely! I have some in my kitchen, which is a tribute to our trips to the Mediterranean. Lots of yellow and blue. Enjoy your glass!

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  41. I DO have too much stuff, but Hubby and I are trying to do a little decluttering of our own. I absolutely loved this post. I felt like I was a fly on the wall, watching the exchange between you and your mom. Great job.

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  42. I do have too much stuff, and I watch "hoarders" to scare me into action, because after an episode of that, I'm all about the purging...

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  43. Wow - that blue glass is gorgeous!

    I'm definitely all about clutter...

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  44. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

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  45. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hello Joanna,

    I absolutely love all the cobalt glass! I have a wee bit of an addiction when it comes to blue glass... When my mom tells me she is "cleaning out" I somewhat panic because I know she has "stuff" I would love to have but at the same time I have no idea where I am going to put it. While I am up there for TG, we will be going through stuff and marking what I want to keep and they will bring it to me when they come down in the spring. At least it will give me a few months to rearrange and make space!

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm more of a "toss it now and regret it later" kind of gal. But I do really love having a few things from our family that have been passed down. You are lucky.

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  55. Nice collection of blue stuffs!
    I think that antique blue glassware can brighten many days all year round ...

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  56. The scary part about the amount of stuff I have is that: 1. I've seriously downsized over the past decade; 2. My stuff is organized; 3. It's been 'weighing me down' lately; 4. My house is too big with way too much storage space so things get tucked away and forgotten; 5. If I don't find new homes for it, someone WILL have to go through it when I die (someday) and I hate the thought of burdening anyone with that.

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