Summerize Your Home Part II :: Keep it Calm {how I quiet the house}

This post is part two in a three part series Sumerize Your Home :: Cool, Calm and Collected.

No one loves cute tchotchkes more than me.

I will fight anyone who thinks they love their accessories more.

I am the Coco Chanel of Home accents.

I’ve got to have them.

I don’t understand women who buy bags and shoes and pedicures, it’s more fun to buy lamps, pillows and needless yet beautiful little things.  I think I’ll have T shirts made that say Nester ♥’s Tchotchkes. Too bad my name isn’t Joanie.  Tchotchokes even have a facebook fan page.  Somehow, an update between moi and Tami was the top post.  I’m not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed.

I love being surrounded by meaningful stuff.  Shells, bird cages, lanterns, plants, baskets, clay creations from my boys, eggs in all shades of blue, white dishes and urns, I could go on.  Most every thing has a story of why I love it, how I got it, or why it brings beauty into our lives.

75 cent thrift store framed Italian painted mum in the perfect shade of orange, $1 Fortnum & Mason micro vase that I broke in half and pieced back together in the perfect shade of aqua, monogrammed embossed thank you note from our wedding, framed photo of me and my man, don’t ask me what that green thing is…

I’m not at all afraid to get rid of stuff.  Once I’m done with it I give it away or sell it at a yard sale or on ebay. I just have a high capacity for liking stuff, home accessories to be exact.  It’s my style and it’s OK.  And if I change it 4 times in the next year, that’s OK too.  Just weird. And complicated.  And fun.

However, every summer, my stuff starts to make our home feel hot, loud and jumbled.  So, I’ve noticed that every year, I destufficate the house.  I like to call it Quiet the House. I remove loads of my much loved, favorite stuff and let the house just be without the distraction of a hundred cute little things.

I quiet the top of the dresser too.  But, this dresser has more than one purpose.  I fill the drawers with all my loud, beautiful stuff and my house is quite for a while.  It’s extremely calming to quiet the house by packing away lots of my tiny objects.  And most of it fits in this dresser.  I’ve also been known to pack it in boxes under my bed for a few months.  Then, come fall, I have my own store where I shop my house and get rid of stuff I’m no longer addicted to.

How to Quiet the House

  • Remove every thing smaller than a football and place it on some surface in another room {the breakfast or dining room table will do}
  • Don’t forget to clear off  your coffee table, shelves {you don’t have to count books but what if you did!} mantle, even walls
  • Remove baskets, magazines, plants, pillows, every thing but furniture, lamps, rugs and big art
  • Sit in the newly quieted room and soak in the feeling
  • Notice any huge “holes” or areas that are too quiet and cold and fill them in with a purposeful item or 3 if you must
  • Pack away the rest of the stuff in an easy to get to place, hutch, cabinet, under your bed…
  • Enjoy your new quiet home, that cost you NOTHING!

Take a moment and read Vintage Minimalist by Life in the Fun Lane.  You don’t have to love her style, paint everything white and only have 3 things in each room to learn something from her way of thinking.  There is truth to the fact that if I have 42 items in a room screaming for attention, then nothing gets noticed.

Do you have a tip to quiet your house?


  1. ahhh, I worked at Fortnum and Mason in ’96-97… :-)

  2. Will this guarantee my daughter will go to bed earlier? LOL! I like this idea a lot.

  3. I love home accessories much more than shoes or bags …. glad I amnot alone!

    Love the idea of reducing the things I love – just 3 will be a challenge but I will try.(and if I manage it my husband will be your biggest fan!)

  4. I am right there with you! I am so much more comfortable shopping for “things” than I am for clothes or shoes. Love your ideas about clearing away for the summer.

  5. no tips… but i’m considering calming our apartment. i often feel like our surfaces have too much “stuff” on them.

    question: do you quiet your walls?
    {that’s not sarcasm, i’m honestly curious.}

    • Yes, I need to. My plate wall doesn’t bother me becasue it’s all white but, the wall over my sofa bothers me with so many pieces. Ugh.

  6. Love this idea…no my house is not quiet. With three kids maybe this would help keep it quiet?? ;)

  7. Another great post! I think you should write a home dec book, I bet it would be snapped up in a flash!!!

  8. Nadir@hodgepodge says

    Well said. I need to take a dose of this medecine b/c boy do I like to accumulate things! Although I’m not sure I could pack away my lush green plants, I love them so. :-) I love the flower arrangement in your 1st picture, it looks exactly like what my wedding bouquet looked like. :-)

    • Yeah, I guess that would be hard to pack away plants in a drawer for a few months. Ok, so there are some exceptions.

  9. I love this, you just have a gift of putting decorating instinct into words. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  10. Hi Nester, I’m in this process right now… painting the walls, removing little things, feeling the room vibes… Ah! and like you, I just don’t ‘get’ why other women spend hours with their bags, shoes and hair… such a waist of time… lol
    Your summerized home looks fabulous!

  11. Yes, keep it to 3 colors and 3 colors only! Much more calming. :)

  12. Well I am getting ready to add cabinets in my laundry room so I can store more of my tchotchkes, because like you I have lots of them! I can’t wait because I have been trying to quiet my home too!

  13. Less that I have to dust…I like it… ;o)

  14. hmmm…i like quiet. i’ve got stuff hidden in drawers, under the bathroom cabinet. I can’t fit everything and i don’t want to get rid of anything just yet. minimal is good…and calms my spirit.

  15. Shhh, it’s getting really quiet in my office as I’m taking your advice. I’m noticing a difference already.

  16. In the spirit of your “Summerizing the Home” posts, I posted a few pics of my favorite “cool” rooms on my blog. It’s too hot for June. Your home looks so inviting! :)

  17. Love this series!!!
    Then in the Fall, I will look forward to “How to winterize your home.”

    Keep it comin’


  18. My DH would be happy if I never brought home any “lovey” item. :-( What I get for marrying a military man single far longer than he should have been–I lost out on massive amounts of “training time”…lol.

    But decluttering? Yes. Definitely.

  19. Love this! I also love your home! I have been working on organizing our closets this week. Your pictures always help motivate me!

  20. What a fun post! I unfortunatly do not share the love of Tchotchkes, but totally understand it. I like to keep my house so calm you can hear crickets over here:-)

  21. I sure need “calm” in my home…thanks for the tips!

  22. Super ideas. I really need to quiet my house in some places. Like you, I just love all of my “things”. Your home is lovely and it looks very calm and relaxing. Hugs, Marty

  23. It might be counterintuitive, but I like a little white noise here and there to quiet the house down. I find it immediately relaxes me and if the white noise happens to come from a fan, then a nap might just be inevitable.

    I love the suggestions about removing the Tchotchkes in order to see what a space really calls for. I’m definitely going to try that one out.

  24. i am such a nerd. two days later, i finally get that summerize is SUMMER ize. as in get ready for summer TIME. Not summerize your home into categories, the first category being cool; the second calm.

    geez. only about once a decade do i act my hair color. today is the day, i guess.

    we had our carpets cleaned several months ago and when we had to clear all the tiny stuff off the floors, etc…it was WONDERFUL! I need a shed where i can store stuff i don’t want to use, and go shopping when i feel the need for more stuff!

  25. now i’m even dumber. ..cause i didn’t mean summerize into categories, i meant summarize with one word. cause you can’t really summarize into categories, can you?

    okay, then. in summary, i think i need a nap.

  26. I love this post! What a great idea! It’s free and makes a huge impact!!
    LOVE IT!

  27. have to say, joanie ♥’s Tchotchkes would be such a great t-shirt. maybe you could claim it as your middle name?

  28. I try not to bring little things into the house. I got for few but larger items now.
    Oh, I reaaaally want those white ceramic lamps! I just know you must have gotten them at Home Goods which I do not have anymore :(

  29. I GO for few but larger items now. Geez, I can’t type today.

  30. Love your white lamps. Where did you find them?

  31. Whew…..thanks for these posts….I feel like you just put down in a coherent fashion a lot of what I’ve been feeling the last few weeks.

    We just finished a whirlwind move. As in, we had two days to pack up the whole house and the third day the moving truck was there. As I have been unpacking I just haven’t felt up emotionally for unpacking EVERYTHING……even though I’m also typically a huge accessory person, I love all of my categories of dishes and stuff. It just has felt like too much.

    Now I’m realizing it is probably not just the quick and somewhat emotional move it is probably the summer season/warmer weather too….

    Today I finally went into face the “storage room” where I’ve been putting everything I’m not sure what to do with. I’m trying to categorize into garage sale, and organize-to-keep (“shop your home” fashion, as you’ve taught me :o).

    Anyway, thanks again, this was timely for me :o)

  32. Hello, and thank you for this one! I don’t really do tchotchkies (sp???), but I do definitely need to declutter my counter by the phone, because I am one of those unfortunate people who collect paper clutter (aka junk mail) JUST IN CASE I need it…

    Also, I think that green thing is a finial? I could be right about that. It would normally go on a four-poster bed to cap off the posts, or sometimes on a stair post, although I think that one is probably too small for the stair post.

  33. Now that I have been reading these Summerize posts I have a need to re-do my whole house. It looks so dark to me know. I told my husband that yesterday and his response was, no we have no money for that. So, my solution? I am going to do just what you suggested…remove things. Perhaps simply the removal of too much stuff will make me feel slightly better. We are also headed to a neighborhood garage sale tomorrow, and you never know what you will find right?

  34. I just did this very thing last weekend. I try to do it in the beginning of June. I love my tchotchkes too, but too much stuff creates mental clutter for me. In the summer I want to cut that mental clutter to a minimum. (Honestly, I think it is mostly because my kids are home and I need less to dust.) This way I can clear the decks pretty easily, have less to clean, and spend time with the 2 people who entertain me most.

    My only tips are that I cut the pillows in half, regardless of how many there are, and put away all of the blankets. We still use the blankets through June, but if they aren’t out it seems lighter. I also use a very beachy theme throughout the summer so I don’t have to change apothecary jars or cloches. (Saving time again.) With the one exception being the 4th of July. I do extra decorations for that, but that’s it. I love your idea of the dresser for storing everything. My garage (and husband) would thank you!

  35. The room quieting does have a nice effect, and feels good in the summer. I put away many little items when you first gave us this challenge and no I ready to put even more away. It helps me to forget what I have to appreciate it again when I dig it back out. Best thing is – this is free.

  36. I do love my things and move them about constantly. Clutter stifles my soul yet I have to fight its take over. New seasons prompt me for changing the atmosphere. How many candles can you use in the autumn and winter?
    Your hints are so helpful with encouragement to do the things I need to in our home for serenity.
    How do you get your home ready for autumn? Linda

  37. May I ask you where the white dresser is from? Or what you would say that style is considered? I am desperate to have a similar one…thank you!

  38. Oh yes, me too!!! I am addicted to cute home accessories!!! I am the girl who only buys new clothes when it becomes an emergency (like when I’m down to one pair of jeans that is fit to walk out the door in)! I would rather spend my money on home decor!!! Way more fun!

  39. i do “quiet the house” every weekend or when i really feel the need to, being a working mom, (mother of four smart and beautiful boys and girls) it is not easy, but i am really a super mom. after quieting the house, i make it a point to enjoy, sit back and relax…i do decors myself as well and my hubs and kids as well as my mom appreciate it. :)

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