Thursday, January 10, 2008

things around my house thursday, 2 of 52

Things Around My House Thursday

When I was doing the massive PreMovePurge and learning to let go of clutter, I was struck by how many small decorative objects I posess that I adore and cannot let go of. You know the kind. The sentimental stuff. Or the spiritual stuff. These are items gifted to me by other people, things acquired from people that have passed away, or things that had been collected during a period of time when I was having some sort of life transition.

I had a bunch of these objects placed all together on a bookshelf in my bedroom. I would consider this spot to have been an "altar". The rest of these important items of mine were scattered all about the house in little clusters, usually in groups of three (and I have no idea why three). They were strategically placed with the intention that I would gaze upon these items from time to time, and I would...I dunno....have a reflective moment, I guess?

Well, there were a lot of these items. And they were everywhere.
And not all of them were in places that would get a regular dusting, if you know what I mean. So gazing and reflecting upon them wasn't actually doing anything for me other than making me feel like sloth for not breaking out a featherduster every once in awhile.

I vowed that when I moved into the new house that I would find another "way of being" with these objects.

The Way of Being, as it turned out, was to never really find another way, but just to never unpack the boxes I had used to move them. This worked great for eliminating clutter and dust bunnies, but a couple of months after being moved in, I really began to feel like I was a visitor in my own home. The house just didn't have that settled in feeling without having these items around. It didn't feel like mine.

I decided that I wanted to find a way keep the items on display, but in only one place. I didn't want the items to be strewn about the house again, but I wanted it to look more like a collection of meaningful things. One "grand altar", as it were. Instead of twenty-seven mini ones.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to find a solution that would fit the decor of my new home, wouldn't break the bank, would be easy to clean, and wouldn't be some sort of piece of furniture that I would bang into regularly (since we all know what I klutz I can be).

One day I was chatting online with TheBon, and I was explaining to her what I wanted to do, and suggested this nifty idea to me:

Little wooden boxes that mounted on the wall, and I got for a decent price at Target. This is on a wall in my bedroom.

I should mention that once I bought the little wooden boxes, they then sat around for quite a few weeks until I could decide what kind of configuration I wanted to mount them in (linear? abstract?). And then they sat around again until I could talk someone into helping me mount them (that would have been TheMIG who just took my design desire and ran with it...yay!).

Goodness, once the boxes were hanging though...hooray! I love it. LOVE. IT. I think it went in just before Thanksgiving maybe, and it really has had an impact on my happiness around here. It doesn't hold all of my little things, but the items in waiting are nicely packed in a pretty box. From time to time I rotate the display around, mixing it up and taking special things out and putting other things back. Adding things, taking things away, as it suits me.

During the course of this year when I do "Things Around My House Thursday" I will take you inside each of the little shadow boxes and give you a closer peek.

Sorry to keep repeating this, but since it's a relatively new thing for this blog, I will be making this public service announcement a few more times:

My comments to your comments are now found in the comments.

I am no longer replying individually by email, as blogger doesn't give me your email addresses. It was driving me bonkers.


The Bon said...

I'm so glad they worked out for you. Whenever we're in the next place from now I am totally going to make a mess for myself. Luckily, I've got access to a miter saw, and a husband who loves to make things. I figure then I can plan what I'm going to put in them and build them to fit things specifically. Because we both know I am that much of a planner.

M-H said...

This is a great idea. I have lots of little things, some of which I've had since childhood, some were my mother's, and some I have picked up when I've been travelling. I'm going to do this in my new bedroom. Sorry, *our* new bedroom. :)

~Donna~ said...

I am going to do the same thing...eventually. I am in the "I have the boxes I bought from Target, just don't know how to put them up" Altho, our boxes are larger rectangles with offset shelves. Same concept tho. We are doing it in my room as well as Spencer's for his mini's.

JohnK said...


That, me thinks, is the key.

MsAmpuTeeHee said...

The Bon ~ happy woodworking!

m-h ~ maybe save a box or two for the sweetie?? lol

donna ~ Ahhhh! I should have included info about how I got past the fear of setting on what pattern to hang them in! I will post about that today, so...thanks for the fodder ;-)

john ~ Yeah. Me thinks it is, too. And I really appreciate you boiling it down to one word. It would have (well, it did) taken me 4 paragraphs to explain that.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely idea. Now, of course, since I'm such a copycat, I'm wondering how I can implement it at my own house. My fireplace mantel tends to collect the pretty things, and I'd really like it to be more clear. This may be a solution for me.
Thanks to you and the bon!

Anonymous said...

I have lived in my "new" house for two years and have three boxes of these sort of things including photos. As I packed them I had to dust them because there was a layer of dust on most of them. In my defense I'm only five feet tall so the stuff on the top bookshelves I can't reach even with a footstool. Anyway, I haven't put them out again because I'm trying to simplify my life and housework stresses me out. Mostly because on my schedule I have only one day free to accomplish all of it. But now I'm thinking maybe your idea - and bringing it down low where I can see better may be an answer. Thanks for the idea