Thursday, 16 January 2014

Living Simply - Tales of a Collector..

I stand here at a cross roads.. I am a collector in search of a simple life. 
For me the part of my life that isn't all that simple right now.. are my collections.  Over the years, little by little I've gathered bits and pieces, created my very own little vintage museum.  I've fossicked, foraged, thrifted and searched, for treasures that speak to me from days gone by.  And it was all very well when I had a whole room to keep my treasures in (as well as all around the house).  These days though, space is more limited and while I still love fossicking and foraging, it's taken a back seat right now for cuddles and story telling.  And while Ben and I sit and chat about our next step and wonder where we will roam to next, I can't help but feel like I'm being weighed down by the things I've collected along the way.
So, as this is my year to live simply and love greatly, over the weekend I made the first step.. I opened boxes, unwrapped beloved finds and began slowly to let treasures go that no longer spoke to me.  And you know what, I am beginning to feel liberated, free from the tea cup walls I was beginning to build around me.  But I know now, this is just the beginning. For there are still many treasures that are too precious to find new homes just yet and there is still to much 'stuff'' and too little space.  I don't feel life is simple enough yet, not quite at least.  I mean really, do I need ten tea pots? Exactly how many people are ever going to join me and the Mad Hatter for afternoon tea?
There is perhaps no easy solution to my collector's dilemma, other than to slowly but surely, piece by piece, let go.  And then what happens when I spot the most wonderful Staffordshire tea set or my dream pink Royal typewriter? Well I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.  In the mean time, if I've forgotten I ever owned it, it's going to a new home. If I wouldn't buy it today, see you later. If it doesn't make my heart skip a beat, it doesn't make the cut.  Yes indeed, I'm being ruthless, but in the long run, I know that my simple life is waiting for my little collecting soul to take a nice long vacation... somewhere without any thrift shops. 
I'll keep you posted with my progress and vintage withdrawals..
Much Love
PS. Are you a fellow collector? How do you 'control' your treasures?


  1. Hi, I must admit that I am a bit of a collector, or have been over the last few years and have amassed quite a few collections. Like you I need to go through them and let go of some, but I have managed to gain some control over my obsession in the last year. Mainly by not visiting vintage or charity shops and car boots very often. Also, in order to still indulge myself a little for a treat, where I do visit charity/vintage shops I tend to collect small things such as vintage sewing ephemera, washi tape or earrings. Things that take up little space and that I use in my everyday life and enjoy or books that I am happy to give back to the shop once I've read them. Good luck with simplifying your life and possessions. It's so hard to let go of things sometimes, but I agree that it can be very liberating to do so.

  2. I've become incredibly restrained lately! I like to think that some other lovely soul who has only begun a collection will stumble upon what I've left behind. It kind of makes it feel better ;) Wishing you gentle days of decluttering and simplifying. Much love and light lovely friend :) xxx

  3. Of course I'm a collector for myself and for business. I cull from time to time during the year, things never get out of hand and fill inappropriate places causing angst. But overall I think it's ok to enjoy a piece and move it on. Sometimes I sell a piece, gift it and sometimes even donate it when I've finished having my time with it. As for collecting and sourcing for business....well that's a different thing but I try to keep those pieces to their allocated area being my stock/work room or my corner in the garage.

    P.S - if you happen to have an incredible retro fondue set it's an exception on my list that's allowed (it's on my forever list) please let me know if you're looking to say goodbye to it.

    1. I may be able to help you with this one! Let me check and I will get back to you. Brown pot with and orange pattern mid 70s...

  4. When I was a little girl I loved shells. My mum and aunty taught me that if everyone took a seashell from the beach there would be none left. Instead they taught me to pick up the nice shell and carry it down the beach for a little bit, enjoying how it's contours etc felt in my hand, before putting it back down on the sand. I think I apply this to collecting and probably annoy a lot of shop keepers by carrying stuff around shops before deciding to put it back down. It is definitely also a habit to remind yourself that you don't need something even if you really like it. I enjoy it when I have this habit well-ingrained, it feels better than collecting. Good luck with the simple life! xo

  5. I've been wrestling with the same issue recently as well. I've unexpectedly started amassing a collection of Johnson of Australia stonewear crockery, and I'm now at a point where I only buy designs I don't have. We have way more plates and cups than we could ever need, but I'm choosing to believe the collection is acting as an insurance policy - if a plate breaks, there's so many more there that I won't be (too) upset.

  6. I have been intentionally simplifying over the past 18 months and it really is wonderfully freeing. Parting with the excess is a challenge and a process, but it does get easier the more you practice it. Early on, I decided to tackle my book collection (way over 1000), despite how much I linked being a bibliophile to my identity, I was surprised by how motivated I was to part with them. I have kept some, of course, mostly image heavy books and a small collection of vintage Penguin Russian classics.

    Simplifying can be a challenging road to traverse but it does reward you - I find it far easier to be creative with less visual clutter.

    I've written in more depth on these topics, I hope you don't mind me including a couple of links: (my own blog) (a wonderful blog and supportive community)

    Good luck with you quest and I look forward to hearing more on the blog xx

  7. This post really hits home with me. I have been collecting since I was a kid. When we married in the mid 80s we furnished our home with second hand "junk", as that allowed us more funds to renovate and pay off our little cottage. As a result we have some lovely old pieces of furniture and vintage wares. We have continued to collect and I'm now finding it a bit stifling, especially as we have recently received some family items as well. We have just made the decision to move to a smaller house and have to let go of quite a few of our treasures. We have attended a few swap meets and each time we hold a stall we walk around the house and select a few items to pass on to someone else. Doing it gradually has not been as difficult. However, the move will be coming up in the next few months and I admit I'm really struggling to let some things go. I'll enjoy seeing how you progress with the less is more you.

  8. Love to read this. I'am a huge collector of al kind of vintage things. Like teacups, tablecloths, a little owl, a bit of furniture. Because it's so beautiful, because it's cheap, because i won't find it anymore,... The past few months I've bought less stuff. I want to have a pretty but fresh place. So reading this, gives me courage! And it is so recognizable :-) Good luck :-)


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