Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Clutter Up Your Home


It all starts when you’re old enough to have a driver’s license. But it really kicks into high gear when you get your own set of wheels; then you can go just about anywhere. Who’s going to stop you? And all those garage sales and flea markets.

Still in my teens, all manners of “useful stuff” came home with me from various places: An inflatable smiley-faced pillow, a tin kiddie music box with a alien popping out of it, a Herman Hermits 45 with a picture sleeve, and a really old Minnie Mouse wooden doll with a very tattered dress are just a few of the treasures.

A collector is born.

And oh, how serious that accumulation of wondrous finds became! On Friday I’d be noting all the addresses for garage sales in the classifieds. Early Saturday mornings would be spent with the Hagstrom’s maps for my local area, planning the most efficient route that would use up the least amount of gas and time. Then, off I’d go, picking up yet more records from the 1960’s that nobody wanted (Beatles, anyone?), a Dad’s Root Beer sign, World’s Fair 1964 memorabilia, and pink dishes with cat tails on them.

Sundays were usually spent at a flea market held on the grounds of a drive-in movie theater. Made friends with several of the vendors along the way. Guess I became a “regular”. Now, that tells you something about the “bug” planted in me.

Eventually, I fell into a pattern while slowly gravitating towards sizably larger finds. At the time, I had a whole house to myself, so why not fill it up? Kaagen styled end tables with glass tops AND matching coffee table, atomic fifties bar stools, and night stands that only needed a little love, a light sanding, and some lemon oil. Fantastic!

Fast forward a few years. An Aunt of mine who was living alone became very ill. My family moved her to a nursing home. A lot of her “stuff” came to me, including an extensive collection of Depression glass and deco-styled dinnerware. Of course, I needed to work hard to expand those collections. Is there a collecting gene? It’s possible that my Aunt and I share that same gene.

That same year, two extensive record collections merged together. Albums and 45s take up lots of space. One can even buy special cardboard boxes for storing. Takes a long time to sort it all out too…you DO want to be able to play that Left Banke album when you’re hankering for a listen, right?

Oh and some more advice for accumulating clutter properly? Keep buying houses. It’s okay to sell off a house or 2 once in a while, but keep adding more space to keep “stuff”. Make sure the homes have LOTS of closets, nooks and crannies. A “secret” room is a BIG pls. And, garages aren’t just for cars you know. And the more garages, the better!

Now, if the clutter is starting to get out of control, instead of climbing over mounds of it and risking injury, there’s a few ways to tone it all down. #1 Rent space at an antiques mall. You WILL have to do your homework and really get to know the items you’re selling to ensure success. Two key words to remember: Traffic, and pricing.

#2 Have garage sales. Lots of them. As many that are allowable by your town. #3 Sell off some items on eBay. You will have to be VERY careful when shipping some items, such as Depression glass. #4 Use Craigslist to unload stuff. It’s free. You may get as many as five people vying over the same item. And the people come to you and haul the treasures away. Easy as pie.

Ah, what to do with all the proceeds from #1 - #4? Buy more stuff of course! And lastly, enjoy. After all, you bought all the stuff in the first place. Some of it must mean something to you!

7 comments:

Nyx said...

::Chuckles:: just have to watch that in the process of collecting that a Hoarder isn't born - because then it can become a real issue, unfortunately.

Nancy said...

My mom had a can with 42000 twist ties in it just in case she ever had 42000 loaves of bread that needed to be bagged at the same time.

Gerry said...

Twist tie hoarding! Now that sure sounds like a competition with my Aunt! I once threw out hundreds of brown bags that were stashed in her house. Went back a few days later, they were all back, stashed in all the same nooks and crannies! Sigh.

Nancy said...

And then there were the rubber bands....

Gerry said...

for tying up the twist ties?

Mary in Alabama said...

Ah, yes, I have attended my fair share of yard sales. My Daughter and I did it so much at one time we coined the phrase "Yard Hopping." My Mother used to say I had furnished my home in the style of "early poverty." when I lived in Whittier, I got my first bike at a swap meet in a drive in parking lot. I loved that bike! Banana seat, high handle bars. It would cost a fortune now. Years ago I bought a three tier cut glass dish. when I got it home and cleaned up the metal, it was solid silver and leaded chrystal and dated 1880. I paid a dollar for it!

= mr uxn design = kris said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
YOU JUST KICKED ME OUT MY BOOTS!

WHEN I MOVED FROM GERMANY TO AUSTRALIA & THE US THIS TIME, I HAD TO LEAVE LOTS OF COOL STUFF BEHIND. TWO SCULLS - ONE OF A SMALL MONKEY AND ONE OF A DINGO - ARE NOW SITTING IN THE BOOK SHELF OF MY BEST GIRLFRIEND MONIKA. ;) ANOTHER SCULL - I THINK IT WAS ONE OF A GOAT, DECORATES THE LIVING ROOM OF MY BEST FRIEND IN AUSTRALIA.

SO, IF I EVER SHALL GIVE YOU A SCULL, YOU KNOW THAT YOU BECAME A VERY DEAR FRIEND. ;)

AT THE MOMENT I HAVE A BIG SCULL, SITTING IN OUR GARDEN ON A TREE TRUNK, PARTLY SPRAY-PAINTED IN - ORANGE!

I TOTALLY LOVE YOUR BLOG!
BIG HUG
KRIS