31 Days To A Less Messy Nest Day 13:: Edit Much

Lately, I’ve asked myself what’s the least amount of items I can have displayed and still love the look? Not that I’m trying to go minimalist or anything, I think you can tell that by my full gallery wall.  But what has my obsession been with much?

In years past, I asked myself, How can I work this all in? And I ended up with some loaded down centerpieces and tablescapes.

I love apothecaries as much as the next girl but, I didn’t need this many, I didn’t enjoy this many.  I just had them so I felt like I should use them.  This summer, I picked out my 3 favorite and put the rest in the yard sale pile.  As soon as I priced them and stuck them in the garage, I looked at my new arrangement and liked it so much better.

Last winter this grouping was on a table.  Part of the problem I find when renting is that I don’t feel like I can change or control much so I start abusing accessories.  This is accessory abuse for me.  Once I decided to paint my walls and move the furniture, I didn’t have to create a diversion for a pinkly hued wall.  I sold 80% of this stuff at my yard sale.  On it’s own, I liked each piece but I didn’t need that many candle sticks.

It’s surprising how taking something away can add so much to the feel of a space.

When is the last time you quieted the house and edited stuff out?

Be sure to visit the other 31 dayers:: Reluctant Entertainer, The Inspired Room, Remodeling This Life, Chatting at the Sky, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, My First Kitchen, Life With My 3 Boybarians, over the next 31 days.


  1. I’m SO glad I found you… we are renters also (and will be long-term, as a military family moving frequently) and it is difficult to find really great decor inspiration that does not depend on major/permanent changes. We have another move coming up in 6 months (wait–no–5!) and I’m planning a decor overhaul; I’ll be following your blog faithfully along the way!!! :)

  2. I’m with you, I am….but I am in shock that you sold all your apothecaries and now wishing that I had rented a U-Haul and driven to your sale. Then I could have written a “31 Days With All This Cool Stuff” series.

    • Not ALL of them, all but 3. See, the difference? I still have three. Dear God, what have I done? Actually, it’s been FINE to only have three, even I was surprised that I was ok with that! {And most I found at thrift stores and yard sales myself}

  3. Last Christmas, unintentionally I edited my house. We were so busy with a family death, that I put all my Christmas stuff away and then never really put my regular decorations back. I finally started missing them and only put a few things out. We’re moving now and I’ll have tons more room to display, so I’ll have to be careful :)

  4. I have come to terms with the whole less is more theory. my accessories move around frequently. so does my furniture… and we’re not renting. ;-)

  5. You SO having the organizing bug down! Every day this month you’ve said stuff that I tell my friends and readers over and over! We don’t need so much stuff! This is SO great!!

  6. i’m editing as i go…right NOW! we are having a neighborhood yard sale this sat. i just found out a week or so ago…so i’m scurrying around and grabbing everything i think i can live without for our impromptu sale. editing, editing, editing.

  7. Still loving this series – every day a new thing to do in the house! Do we have to wait until the series is over to hear how the yard sale went??

  8. Less is more! I am in the process of editing now!

  9. As another renter – I understand your need to want to control your space with accessories. I think for me – looking at something and asking if I love it. Now if I end up “loving” too many things I have to ask myself if I really have a use for it now or a place to store it. If the answer to those two questions is no – in to the yard sale pile it goes!

  10. Just yesterday I boxed up all the board games in our living room (two full boxes) and put them in the basement. They were in the living room in hopes they would get played all the time, but for now it isn’t happening. Maybe when the kids are older!

  11. I completely agree. This is my first home where I have edited acessories and kept some in storage. It’s so liberating to not have to find a home for every little thing. Great post, as usual. Liz

  12. Nester, your posts have been so helpful, fun to read, and beautiful to look at! Thank you for all the great ideas! Can we have 31 days every month!?

  13. oh, I LOVE a good edit! I am constantly getting rid of stuff. I can’t believe how much stuff I have. We moved recently, so I majorly edited…then did another MAJOR edit at a yard sale in our new home a few weeks ago. I seems you can never get rid of enough stuff. -denise

  14. Jennifer M says

    *Sigh* Editing can be such a painful process at times for me. I’m willing, though, after being inspired by your “after” shots. Here I go!

  15. I love to edit so I have room for new stuff!

  16. Nester, I too have been yearning lately for some visual peace. I am the queen of seasonal decor and “stuff”. It is beautiful stuff, but I have way too much of it! I recently moved to a new house and decided to just put out a few touches of fall/halloween. I am loving this because it has made these items so much more important as they are not competing to be noticed. I was thinking the other day that because of the trend right now toward white slips and light, airy interiors, we need to go “lighter” with our accessories.

  17. Colleen P. says

    I will second the problems with moving-you divest yourself of so much stuff before you pack and then when you start unpacking, you think “why do I still have THIS?”

    I think the most profound idea about buying things for any reason, not just to decorate, is to keep in mind that absolutely everything you purchase will probably one day be trash. No matter how much you love it now, you may not keep it forever, and someone else may not like it either. Eventually its useful life will end.

  18. I am editing more intensely than I have done in many years. I suppose I am just more ready and see it more as clutter than as beauty. I think the economy weighs on it some for me too. It is hard (selfish, maybe?) to hold on to so much when there are those without. I’m having a yard sale Friday, it does my heart good to see stuff go to a good home. And haven’t we learned that if we need it, it will show up again at GW or a yard sale? Time to lighten my load…..stuff equates work at some point.

    Thanks for guiding us..

    Can’t wait to hear how your yard sale went and if every one was happy with their Ebay purchases:)

  19. I love your display in the tray with the white pumpkin, the starfish & the aqua candlesticks. My decor is currently somewhat coastal. I love the cool aqua & blue colors. I was unsure how to make it work with holiday decor. I can’t wait to see your Christmas decorating. The warm colors of fall & winter do not go with my current home. I live in So. California where it is always hot so I moved to a cooler pallate.

  20. I totally LOVE this post today. We just recently sold our house and are now renting for a bit to turn the titanic back around and the statement of “Less is More” means so much to me. I had lived in my house for 8 years and had way too much stuff!! I got rid of the stuff that I didn’t just LOVE and am so happy with what I have. I walk around our rental and looked at my remaing tresures and it just makes me happy. I can actually “see” the things again. I am embarassed to say we took 12 loads to our local community action that has a re-sale shop and gave away a ton of stuff to friends as well. Shame on me for being such a consumer of “stuff”!! My niece and I would laugh, she said you know what all your stuff makes me think about is Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and theives break in and steal.” I took that to heart during my “processing” all my tresaures.

    Love your blog, I have boys myself and “spooky” is taking over my house as well…Just enough to make everyone happy. :-) Keep it coming! You are touching lives and being a total cheerleader!!!

  21. I’m right there with ya sister.
    After having a giant yardsale about a month ago, there are actually rooms in our house that echo now and I LOVE IT! :-)
    Yesterday I thought about what I actually use/need/love in our house and I decided that if we end up moving somewhere that’s only 700 sq. ft. we’ll be a-okay.
    Now if we could just finish fixin’ this place up! :-)


  22. Doing it this weekend. It JUST FEELS RIGHT to declutter.

    Gonna retweet this. Love ya.

  23. As is is said, Less is more!! I feel inspired!! Whohooo! ~Chris Ann

  24. AMEN! You’re my kinda lady! There is simply nothing more spiritually & emotionally gratifying for me than to *purge* as I call it! Something new and divine always shows its’ self AND I love the satisfaction of knowing that I’m giving away things to others in need.

  25. Actually a couple of weeks ago. Whilst we wait to sell our own flat, husband and I are renting another(we live 80miles away from our own), and it’s combined livingroom/kitchen is small and pokey. We can’t paint, so I felt the need to cram it full of things of ours, for personality.

    Husband was away for 2 weeks for work, and in that time i quite seriousl minimised and moved things around, and I am so much more pleased with the less cluttered result! It still looks like outr flay, but it looks clean too!

  26. I just sold everything I could on Craig’s List and started all over. Less clutter, more originality. I love it.

    I had given myself permission to start editing a few weeks ago–and you re-confirmed it for me.
    I have many cloches, candlesticks, ironstone, lamps, tchotchkes.
    How much is too much?
    When we’re not enjoying it.
    When we’re looking for places to hide it while decluttering.
    When it’s no longer a blessing.
    Love you! Love this post!
    I think I need to have a late Fall yard sale.

    • It makes it even more difficult to part with beautiful things but you know what they say, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. How many times can I say the word ‘thing’?

  28. You are so right about editing. More is definitely not better in most decorating situations. When there is too much, beyond looking cluttered, you don’t see those really special things because they are hidden among the clutter.

    Your comment about “quieting your house” reminds me of a new Zac Brown Band song, Quiet Your Mind. Love it!

  29. The previous comment is mine, I just realised I hadn’t added my details!

  30. You’ve convinced me that I need to have my second yard sale this year. I didn’t get rid of nearly enough at the last one (even though it seemed like it at the time).
    Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

  31. I wish I was at one of your yard sales!

  32. Because of YOU, I’ve been editing. I think it was your clear coffee table post that inspired me. I don’t really have the room for vignettes and tablescapes so I’ve been eliminating them. I’m really liking the clean surface look.

    Also, last night I took 10 minutes and organized my closet by color instead of type of clothing. Love it!

  33. I LOVE the “Give Thanks” print. Is it by Blessings Unlimited?

    • no, that was just a Danielson’s Designs premade from DaySpring, however, I bet you could design one on DaySpring’s Danielson Design Studio :

  34. I’m guilty with over accessorizing, and would like a cleaner look. But, I’ve been collecting antiques for 50 years, and truly love this stuff so don’t want to get rid of it. With limited storage, it’s hard to rotate things. Any other ideas?

    • nope. :}

      I truly loved my stuff to {although I’m sure it didn’t have as much value as yours} but, once I removed it from my house and saw what a difference it made, I was READY to get rid of it, it even surprised me how ready I was

  35. I’ve been slowly learning how decluttering makes the surroundings more peaceful. I am constantly scanning for items to purge from view, and for beautiful substantial items that make an impact with less clutter. Now I need to purge all the stuff I’ve pushed behind closet doors!!!!

  36. I’m loving this 31 day series. I have 4 young kids and so decorating and having a neat house that’s also kid appropriate is a challenge but I’m finding great tips here. Thank you so much.
    Oh- and I sure am sorry I missed your garage sale! I’m guessing I could have spent a lot of money there…

  37. “Accessory Abuse” made me laugh OUT LOUD. And yes – I have been VERY guilty of it. ESPECIALLY ihn a rental!!

  38. I have been trying to ‘quiet’ my house. In fact, when we left the Philippines I asked God to put us in a slightly smaller home to force me to purge stuff. We are in a smaller home but I haven’t gotten rid of much… mainly because it is still packed. And the renting thing… someday I hope to live where I can paint and knock down walls and tear out cabinets and make it “ours”.
    I do enjoy your blog.

  39. Tina Foster says

    My 8 yr old daughter just edited her room and and now feels like she has a “fantasy room”. How come it’s so much easier to help someone else purge THEIR stuff? :)

  40. “Edit”. For some reason, this reminds me of the Friends episode when Ross is moving the couch up the stairs and he keeps telling them to “Pivot”. Loudly.

    Edit is good.

  41. “Accessory abuse.” That is my new favorite phrase. I bet a lot of us should be locked up for that crime.

  42. Have you ever been to the Elizabeth Home Tour? It’s around the first weekend in October every year in Charlotte. I’ve noticed the past couple of years that this is indeed true. All those gorgeous houses have very few accessories just for the sake of “pretty” and the focus is on the house itself. They’re all decorated simply, with maybe a pair of candlesticks, a few books and a picture frame on a table, family photos and kids’ art on the walls, etc. Everything else is pretty, but absolutely functional. Don’t know if you’ve been to Laura Casey’s blog – she did the best house of the bunch this year. Gorgeous. You should go next year.

  43. I actually pared down some of my apothecaries for the same reason! I’m also going through my books (for the 3rd or 4th time) for another purge. The girls in my MOPS group are getting together this month to do a big book/magazine swap, and I plan on getting rid of, um…gifting, a bunch of my stuff. :)

  44. When I was pregnant with baby number three I went through and eliminated any ornament I didn’t love – and that was 80% of them. Now that I have baby number five and live in a 700 square foot home that is under constant renovation I think it was the best idea I ever had! Beautiful does not mean useless. Now just to get well meaning family to stop giving me ornaments for Christmas and birthdays!!

  45. love it! My hubby and I just downsized homes and we’re renting, too. I have barely put any of my decorative stuff out and it’s kind of nice!! I haven’t hung anything on the walls, either. I’m an over-accesorizer myself so it’s been a nice break from the visual clutter. Now i’m carefully adding items back in, little by little. I don’t miss the over-crowded shelves and walls!!

  46. Jennifer S. says

    I do think less is more, however for some reason I adore, love, love, love that photo of all your candlesticks. Something about it just looks warm and inviting and not too much. Maybe it was too much in person, but the photo is beautiful.

  47. Nester: You are the ~Queen~ of accessories. I have learned so much from you!

    I live in a one bedroom condo, so I have to keep it simple. For every new item I buy, something has to go. Every season I look at what I have and edit. This year for Halloween, I rid myself of a Hallmark crow that I’ve never liked and bought a white resin pumpkin. It’s such a nice change. Let’s face it – some accessories go out of style. P.S. Don’t forget to clean your accessories (nothing like shiny glass, etc.) I can’t tell you how many dusty knickknacks I see at estate sales.

  48. This is my weakest area! I love stuff. I keep walking around saying I’ve got to get rid of at least thirty precent of my stuff to make things pleasing to the eye, and I’m having a very hard time. I even bought tubs to hide some away in the attic for a while before making a permanent decision and I only filled half of a tub. It’s a good thing I don’t live in your neighborhood. I would have probably bought your stuff and lugged it home with me. At least I am to the stage where I actually want to downsize. That alone has taken me a while.

  49. We pared down our entire home before we put it on the market… And I like the simplicity! Great post, Maureen

  50. oh my gosh, perfectly staging my house last spring for sale, and then moving out of state [Do I really want to PACK in a box, PAY for the moving truck to HAUL this thing I only marginally like over 1,000 miles out-of-state, to then potentially STORE it until we get into a new house? Uh-uh, no way! Exit pile!] was the best editing gift EVAR. No, I do not need 35 identical black picture frames that were used on a gallery wall I no longer desire in my home.

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