It’s All Too Much

I’m intentionally writing this post now instead of in two weeks after I get back from Tanzania. Because you might think that I only feel this way because of my trip and blame poor Shaun Groves and Tanzania and the truth is, I’ve been feeling this way for months. Months, I tell you.

It started last year with the decorating for Christmas with a rock.  Remember that?  Wait, it didn’t start then, I know exactly when it started, The Cottage. Two years ago.  When we went to the cottage I was so inspired by the quiet atmosphere–both outside and inside.  So we can blame the cottage on my wanting more of less.  Really, the cottage was like an intervention for me. “Nester, well all love you but honey, you are addicted to accessories, you rely too much on them, be free, stop the madness.”

I’m longing for less and less stuff because less stuff for me = more life.  I learned that last year after I decluttered (remember that Hoarder’s marathon? blame that).  The less stuff I have the easier it is for me to keep our house clean, the less stuff have to take care of.

I’m not going minimalist, no way.  I love me a purposeless pretty pink pouf BUT, I want everything in my home to be there on purpose.  And even though I decluttered last year, and the year before had the great yard sale of 2010 decluttering is an ongoing process plus, I’ve found that the more I get rid of them more I want to get rid of.  It’s really great–even though I haven’t made many purchases in the past year, my tolerance for stuff has declined so now I’m craving the idea of LESS.  It’s addicting once you start.

Then I suddenly couldn’t stand it any more and wanted our family room white.  YESTERNOW.

Y’all, we have too much stuff.  Our two car garage is full.  Our closets are fullish.  Our surfaces get covered every day and then I don’t clear them because I’m not sure where stuff goes.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about being annoyed about the boys school work being out or a crumpled up blanket on the sofa. Oh No!  That is the stuff of life.  That’s not clutter, that’s our everydayness showing.  That’s the stuff I need to plan for and make room for.

And I’ve hesitated to do anything about it because a magazine is coming to my house to take photos (a week after I get back from the trip, oh my) and I hate to wreck it all up before they get here.  Not that I want to wreck it all up but you know, when you start tweaking things you need a little adjustment period before it looks right again.

Anyhow, I’ve been living with my own pretty clutter for a few months on purpose and it’s about to drive me crazy and I just wanted you to know that.  The end.

Comments

  1. Jennifer says

    I visited your blog several times over the years. Each time, however, I was overwhelmed by your accessories. In 2010, when you did the 30 days series, I subscribed–just for the 30 days. I’ve been reading ever since because it began to be more about editing our homes and lives than adding to them. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • I admit, I overcompensated with accessories because I didn’t like our rental houses–it didn’t help.

      yes, see, you could see my addiction because you were on the outside!!! I’m finally coming out of the fog!

  2. The theme of my blog is Traveling Lighter. It is an on-going, day in, day out effort [struggle, battleground]. I still have way too much stuff, even with all that has gone out the door. We live in rentals, too, and in a way, it makes it harder to get rid of stuff. Maybe I’ll need it in the next house? I loved the photos of The Cottage from your recent post. Perhaps I’ll make that a spot to browse often. I can see how it challenged you. This is a good topic – the line between minimalism and simplicity? Between what works for our family today and what inspires creativity and beauty? I’m interested to see where you go with this!

    • I have the same problem. We live in an apartment and are trying to find a house. I hate the idea of getting rid of stuff only to find out we need once we move and then have to buy it again. My Husband and I have also always been kind of pack-rats. I’m starting to try and get out of that and get rid of things but sometimes it is hard. We just went through and reorganized all our boxes and stuff that is in the storage room of our apartment. While we were doing it I was just getting so frustrated. I kept thinking OMG we have so much crap I wish I could just throw a bunch of it away. But by reorganizing it we were able to move some things from the living area to the storage room and it was just such a relief to have that space back.

  3. Instead of living with it, especially just because of the magazine shoot, try taking away just a little. See if that helps. Remember, the mag is coming because of your home. ” Your” being the operative word. Things can always be added back in if necessary.

    • so true! I think mostly why I’m hesitant to go ahead and clear some things is also because of my trip to Tanzania and my mind is just full and I don’t want to start a project. but you are right, it doesn’t hurt to remove a few things and put them in a pile–(I actually just did that and it feels better! even if the pile is in my office!)

  4. I feel the same way. For me it began about 7 years ago. It’s a long story, but let’s just say we lost nearly everything. I cried and mourned and then I realized I felt a little freer and I never wanted to go back. Since then, I’ve accumulated some stuff, but not that much. I’m pretty light on the decorations and I don’t often realize it until I go to someone’s house with a million things everywhere. I really do not want more than I can handle. I’m a collector by nature, but I am slowly breaking myself of the habit. I’ve learned to talk myself out of collecting things, because they will only weigh me down and eventually hold me back from what I really want.

    Great post. I agree though – don’t touch anything until after that magazine comes. ;-)
    ~FringeGirl

  5. Yes, I get it! Wait until you get back from Tanzania! Mag or no mag, you might start pitching stuff right away! Not that I think you need to, your home is lovely :)

  6. About 3 or 4 years ago I became obsessed with home decor. I don’t need to explain to you the ugly details :-) I was literally obsessing over a fabric swatch and the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “You didn’t dislike your house before you started reading all the home decorating blogs.” Talk about conviction. I unsubscribed from all the blogs and just chilled.

    I’ve made peace with that part of my life and no longer obsess over stuff like that. I gave myself permission to start reading the blogs again. However, I know myself. Yours was the ONLY one I let myself resubscribe to. I can read your blog and not lose my mind :-) I completely understand your feelings in this blog.

    I can’t WAIT to read about Tanzania! God bless you, I’ll be praying for you.

    P.S. And I’m so, so, so glad I resubscribed to your blog. Because of it, I heard about your sister’s book. And that book literally changed my life in a major way. So, home dec = craziness = change = coming back = your sister’s book. Not a bad thing!!

    • cheri-beri–I remember you from back in the days of beginning nesting place! so glad you are back, we can all grow and learn and change together.

      Oh mercy I leave for Tanzania THIS FRIDAY!!! hopefully the first post will be up Sunday nightish–I think I’m getting all my time zones confused.

      So glad you got Em’s book, I agree it’s amazing–especially for recovering perfectionist types that tend to hang out around these parts. Yippie!

  7. Ruth Baumgartner says

    Oh Nester, we do love you! I too am a struggling minimalist. I love pretty things, I just don’t like it when they don’t love me back and I start to feel claustrophobic from their presence.
    I lived in Panama, as a missionary for a year and a half, and my husband in South Africa for two years and I feel it taught us, of many things, that “stuff” doesn’t compensate… Whether it’s for living in a rental, or living in tiny cottage (that’s us) or for a lack of self confidence…. We use our “stuff” as props I feel, then we grow and become we end up not needing “it” anymore. Keep it up girl, thanks for the inspiration to tackle my bedroom! :)

  8. Lindsay Russell says

    Thank you so much for posting my exact feelings/confusion about exactly where all the “stuff” came from and where the heck am i supposed to put it. I have two closets that are full of random things I have either no idea where to store them or am to lazy to find a perfectly organized placed to put them…. I feel far to too often like I need to phone one of those “got junk” places to come over and get all the c**p out of my house… But than again i would probably just fill it right back up with other unnecessary junk!
    On a lighter note: I love you home just the way it is!!!

  9. Letting go of things is an ongoing struggle of mine. I am far from being a “hoarder”, but I struggle with letting go of the things that “I” see as important. I am getting better. I too used to buy things from thrift stores and yard sales only to discover that these things do not bring me happiness, just more clutter, which makes me miserable. Great post as usual. You make me see things in a different way because I am discovering that I am not the only one who feels the way I do.

  10. Several years ago, my sister’s mother-in-law’s house burned to the ground. Literally, everything was gone. Fortunately, no one was home. In the end, according to my sister, it was a blessing. She had too much stuff that meant nothing to her. She rebuilt and got new furniture that she liked, not stuff that had been handed down and saved for years. The last years of her life were lived in a simpler way. The only thing that she reqretted were the family photos..
    I wish I could say this changed my life and that I have gotten rid of all my extra stuff. Not true, but I have been trying to pare down.

  11. AMEN! I love this post.

  12. This is the very reason we camp as a family. Something about getting away and spending slow time together. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t tent camp and dig our own potties in the woods, we do what we like to call “Comfy Camping”.
    I love being able to say “Oh I’m sorry, we will be out of town”. Even if it is just the next town over. Some how “out of town” excuses you from just about anything! lol
    Your boys would love it, and everybody in every campground across america get it too!

  13. Totally relate! I love roaming the thrift store for fun extras or making something special with a little diy…but, on the flip side, it can be so overwhelming to be surrounded by so much stuff! I am actually wrapping up a series all about stuff because I wanted to be accountable to actually going through my things and thinking about them! Here’s a link to one of the more recent posts: http://www.homeforhireblog.com/2012/04/closet-generosity.html
    Thanks for the extra inspiration to finish it up and say “farewell” to what I’ve dubbed as the “jiggly, jiggly” of my home!

  14. Susanne says

    Hi Nester. I’ve never been so confused in my life. I believe that I am a less is more kind of person. I also have some OCD tendancies, I’ll save the rest of the list for my therapist. I have narrowed my “interior design” fave blogs down to only 5 and obviously you are still on the list, or I wouldn’t be writing. Confusion stems from the fact that now I have absolutely no idea what colors to paint any of the rooms in our 750 sq ft mansion. What to do with the two major focal points in my living room and how to place a single stick of furniture. Reading all the tips, ideas and imperfect perfections has totally crippled me. So, on that note, don’t worry about the magazine shoot it will turn out wonderfully and I know that you will be blessed not only on your trip, but every day.

    • the trick is just to start. you have to take a risk and make a decision, don’t take it too seriously, and enjoy!

      • Susanne says

        Thank you Nester for your encouragement. I think I’ll just enjoy the coming great weather and give it another whirl with a clearer head in the fall. Summer is short in New England. Time better spent with friends and the outdoors. Have a safe and beautiful trip.

  15. LOVE your reflections today!

    There’ll be nothing like a trip to Tanzania to kick you into gear when you return home. Minimalist living will take on a whole new picture for you. Blessings as you go …

    Maybe it’s no accident that this is all happening right before you leave? I’m wondering if the two are very closely related, that maybe God is preparing you for something that will turn your life upside down and inside out. {That’s the counselor in me reflecting …}

    But the coach in me has written tons of posts on clutter and stuff and junk and accumulations because I know that all we’ve surrounded ourselves with has a huge connection with what’s going on in our heads and hearts. And after awhile, many of us plead, ‘enough already!’ This is not what I want my life and home and energy to be about.

    Anyway, I’ve spent the last few hours putting my plants outside, shifting things around, putting LOTS of things away that have no interest to me here at the beginning of May. I feel like a breath of fresh air has come through my newly opened windows.

    I think I can breathe deeply again …

  16. Make room for life. Yup. That’s what we need to do.
    Make room for the fingerprints.
    Make room for the crumpled ribbons that come home from assemblies day.
    Make room for process – for baking the no knead artisan bread that everyone else knew about a decade again.
    Make room.
    Make room for mistakes.
    Make room for discoveries.

    Thanks, Nester.

  17. i hear ya, sister!!! i struggle with owning so much stuff DAILY. i don’t think it’s anything deep like i’m trying to fill a void, or i’m a hoarder… i’m just so indecisive!! anyway…i rarely buy things for the house these days. i spend a lot of time at lowes or home depot on house renovating, but i couldn’t tell you the last time i bought something for a plain old shelf sitting. :o) you make me feel normal. lol

  18. I am soooo with you right now! That is exactly how I’m feeling…that and the feeling of being in limbo because God hasn’t spelled it out for me in the form of an actual letter in the mailbox about what our family is supposed to do with our lives over the next several years. Plans changed drastically and dramatically, and I just feel kind of lost. But I digress. I feel like my house is full of clutter. I told a friend the other day I wouldn’t be too terribly upset if the whole place just burned to the ground so I could start over again, sans clutter. It’s hard for me to get started tackling a project like decluttering every. single. space. in my house.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Christy

  19. Yep, I get it! Hoarders will do it to you, and the feeling of clean style is always a good thing, plus it takes skill to make it look inviting with less. Please visit me for a chance to win an Annie Sloan book!are with you.

  20. Even though I like my walls and surfaces nearly bare I can appreciate an aesthetic with lovingly collected accessories. The line, in my mind, is drawn distinctly at maintenance. If you are unable to keep all of these things clean and remember why they’re important, please let them go and pare down. If you have living space occupied by things that are not being used, just stored, please let them go or charge them rent. Live more, buy less. Go through your treasures in the garage and see what you can repurpose or upcycle. Share them with the world. Good luck!

  21. Julie in IN says

    Please, get back to your Nester roots! Your style used to be so beautiful until you started to try and look like other bloggers. Get back to NATURAL NESTER! Get rid of the turquoise tubular vases, rocks, fake fur and other things are so not you!

    Go back and look at the ORIGINAL NESTER that drew us to your blog! Thank you and blessings for your trip.

    • awww, so sorry to disappoint, but the real me is a girl that loves change it’s the only thing I can guarentee (how does one spell that?) here at Nesting Place (and in my life for that matter) thanks so much for putting up with me, Julie while I grow, and learn and change and experiment~it’s really fun!

      No apologies for changing my style, most of us aren’t wearing the same clothes we were five years ago and over time, I love that the feel of our home changes as my style evolves (for better or worse :) If you would have known me 10 years ago and liked my style then, you’d be asking me to go back to that original me–and in five years I imagine people will be saying the same about my current style.

      The point is, this blog isn’t about what my style is or isn’t or if people like it or not. It’s a place where I document how I think about my home, and I hope in the process you are encouraged and motivated in your own home, no matter the style.

      all the best!

      • Anonymous says

        You are a very gracious, woman. I think this is the best response i have ever seen to a comment like that.

      • The more I read here and your home journey, the more I see the real you. Right now, you are showing us your true roots and I am so thankful that you take us along for the evolution because it gets all of us thinking how we can look at our homes, lives, thought processes differently.
        Thank you for being unique, my friend. :) xoxo

      • oh but I forgot to add, if you decide to get rid of any of the puffs, keep them for the Becoming stage. I’ll definitely need to spruce that thing up again. ;)

      • Nester, that is the very reason that I follow your blog…it’s not about a specific style but about how you (and we) think about our homes!
        My home is an old farmhouse that we decorate in a colonial style (soooo out of the current trend!), and I’d never have a pink pouf or a fish or a fur chair. But they work for you and I love it. And if you sell the fish on e-bay and reupholster the chair, but you still talk about your home and your relationship with it and God’s work in your life in the midst of it, then I can still be encouraged and find something to bring me back to the Nesting Place.

      • Our lives, our circumstances, our preferences, our experiences, our worldview, our families, our energy all morph and change and grow. It only makes sense that how we decorate would sooner or later catch up to the rest of our lives.

        Keep growing, Nester. ‘Cause we’re all doing the same!

      • Christie says

        Very sweet. And I did go back to some of your early posts and saw a post about a blog you were reading about not buying unnecessary stuff!

      • I’ve been a follower for years, and yes your current style does not reflect my taste. But that’s the point right? Our homes reflect our families. Your blog has changed my life dramatically! I’ve applied your “doesn’t have to be perfect” mantra to so many areas of my life. Example, I have a huge fear of writing, but I’m posting this comment because “it doesn’t have to be [grammatically] perfect” to be meaningful. I sewed a blanket for my uncle and the whole time I was sewing, I told myself “it doesn’t have to be perfect” to be meaningful. Thank you for your encouragement.

  22. You crack me up! Have a great trip!!

  23. Ditto!!! Now to figure out how to start.

  24. I agree with the comment above about editing our lives. I too love seeing how through your decluttering, your tone with the house has changed on this blog. I love that you blog about the home and not just what you do to it. So much of what we do with our homes has emotional and psychological connections. We are attached to them beyond the color of the walls. And it is completely inspiring and encouraging.

    I will admit I love your accessories too! They are so pretty! And even though you still enjoy them, you have nearly not as much as way back when. I say, don’t be so hard on yourself. The thing about the cottage is, though inspiring, it didn’t have any of your stuff…like clothes, and paperwork, and homework, and nail polish.

    My home is the messiest on the weekends because that is when my husband is home. During the week when he works I have time to tidy and keep things clean, but come the weekend, it is a mess. Because we are busy living and spending time together. I am okay with letting the mess be for a couple days. I think you live with this mantra as well. You live in your home. You work from home. You have BOYS. No matter how tidy and anti-accessories you are stuff always builds up. And I think that is what we all love about you. You keep it real. I know that this is a constant process for you and I thank you for sharing because it reminds me to do the same!

    I think once I am done typing this novel of a comment, I will go tidy up and finish going through my serving dishes I am trying to downsize on! I love that your house is decorated but still has free spaces. This is possibly the biggest light bulb that I have learned from you {I think I have read and studied that post about your kmart table a million times!}. Decorate my walls but leave places free to work, eat, and live life.

    I often think this after I walk away from reading your posts, but don’t always say it. You stand out amongst a multitude of amazing home bloggers because it is so much more than decor with you. Perhaps it’s your introvertedness that I love…that you apply so much thought to how and why things belong in your home. But it is so refreshing. I don’t leave your blog feeling like I need more or what I have is not enough. I don’t feel like I need to tackle a new project to keep up. I feel inspired and encouraged to live and play with my home that best fits who I am and what my family needs.

    I say if you cannot stand how many accessories you have before you leave your trip, feel free to change it. Even if the magazine people come, your home is a reflection of who you are. And I imagine what drew them to you was not all your shiny accessories. It’s you.

  25. Oh boy. You know what keeps tugging at my heart? Are reading posts about estate sales and all the lovely items. I think to myself, “Will that be my home one day?” Will my family have to wonder about what to do with all the things I have? I am a bit of a minimalist, like you, the more stuff we have the more we have to keep up with. :o) But even more so, I feel a need to keep what we need and some special family heirlooms and leave it at that. I learned to quilt and have really enjoyed tucking those creations aside for (hopeful) family heirlooms. :o)
    Have a fabulous trip! :o) Sincerely, Trish

  26. Christie says

    Sighhhhhh … The Cottage is my ideal too.

    But I have to say your ideals … more intentional yet still beautiful … inspires me to do the same, which is why I read your blog! It is being a good steward while still enjoying what we have. I don’t think any of us are called to poverty, which is pure stressful living. And we don’t need to live in excess either, which we have found out just clutters.

    Once upon a time (long since sold), we had a beach house, and truly it was so freeing to have one set of sheets per bed (not 3, plus mismatched pieces), 8 bath towels that matched, one set of dishes, 3 throw pillows on the sofa (and no seasonal ones to rotate), no Christmas decor. It was intentional.

    So now what am I doing? Living in a rental, saving all of my curtains and fabric just in case I need them in the next house! :P The funny thing is, we’ve been here almost two years and I have some old curtains that would be perfect in this space and I haven’t hung them yet, probably because they aren’t my taste anymore!

  27. ps. One of the things I have loved (for years) about your home is how you make us feel. Like we could come in, share a cup of coffee, take our shoes off and be in the comfort of your home. I still find your blog to be that way, with and with out the trinkets. :o)

  28. OMGosh, I so understand! Yesterday as I was cleaning out my voice studio I realized I have too many accessories and not enough places for them. So, there is a crazy cluttered look going on. Good thing, I have a big house that needs more furniture…just need more money to buy said furniture, tables, consoles to place all of my accessories so that it doesn’t look cluttered. But, then, it will probably be furniture cluttered. Oh well…Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a grand evening. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  29. I’m on that same journey toward less. It started when I was really discontented with our tiny poorly-designed duplex (that we own). I was tired of feeling like I could never make it work, so I decided to MAKE it work, by only having things in our home that I love. No more of this keeping something out of guilt or because I can’t afford to replace it. Some things I’d rather do without just to make me love my home better. It’s working! The longer we stay here and the more junk I get rid of, the better I like it! In the process the word “stuff” has become a almost a curse word. I just want “stuff” gone.
    ~Jo, the daughter of a borderline hoarder.

  30. Oh, girl, you are so courgeous. Courageous to admit that your accessory love is actually an addiction. I think we become addicted to things–whatever they are, and sometimes they’re good things!–because we’re trying to compensate for something else or get lost from something else. Perhaps you were unhappy with the rental properties that you didn’t feel you could quite make “yours” without lots and lots of personalization via accessories. But now you’ve found ways to make this rental really your home, and you’ve identified that some of the accessories weren’t really “you” after all! That’s awesome, because the truth is your accessories always, always looked good–the rest of us are looking at them and thinking, “Wow, that looks so good!” I’m proud that you listened to the Spirit of God speaking to you, calling you to be just who you were created to be.

    I think some of the most authentic spiritual transformation that occurs anywhere happens in 12-step programs. The complete dependence upon God, the brutal honesty about addiction–it works! Maybe you could start one. “Hi, I’m Nester, and I’m an accessory addict.”

    Hi, Nester! Love you!

  31. I so, so relate. I’m easily overwhelmed by clutter, so I try to think in terms of housewarming and not decorating. I like to “warm” a room with books, family photos, a plant or two (loved your last series), and light (candles, lamps). Anything beyond that tends to make me feel overwhelmed, which is why I blog a lot about simplifying. Have a wonderful trip and I’m sure you’ll come back changed even more.

  32. you’re so honest about who you are and it’s refreshing.

  33. I am in love with the idea of having less . Hanging onto things and buying more is so much easier on us mentally! We get that mental high of something new from Target and get to stay in that mental comfort zone of hanging onto things that we have had for so long, but don’t really even need, love, or use. I try to buy things now with practicality, but still allow myself to buy little things that really do bring joy,(like a beautiful color of tulips in an amazing green pitcher that I swear I will love forever…..My splurge on Sunday :) I will be posting on these beauties soon!) Good luck to you on your trip, and I bet when you come back you will realize even more how little we need to make us happy in life.

  34. I totally get how your feeling! I too, feel less is more! My hubby laughed at me today, as we took a truck load to the dump from one of our student rental houses and it felt so good to get rid of it. And it wasn’t even my stuff!!! I just love the feeling of getting rid of things, it really is freeing!
    Enjoy your trip!

    Cindy

  35. Jessica says

    I am going through the exact same thing. I love my thrift stores and yard sales, but decluttering feels so good. Thanks for the encouragement.

  36. I have to say that though I have loved your house and admire it (especially since you painted it white) I have thought you have a lot of stuff and accessories and though it is visually pleasing I would not be able to live with it.
    My home suffers from the opposite problem and the same one. Most of my walls are all bare and there is minimal decoration and accessories. My husband is very minimalist and I don’t like a lot of clutter but things are just TOO Bare. At the same time our bookshelves are a hot mess as the bottom 2 shelves are toddler territory so things are randomly crammed on the upper shelves. Also we have too many toys and no proper storage for it (yet). Right now our house (which we have lived in for 8 months now) is less inviting looking then the rental apartment we left. Being 19 weeks pregnant and having nesting going on I am going nuts with how our house looks!

  37. Nester I am just a few steps ahead of you and I am moving more and more minimalist each season. I put up about 1/3rd of the Christmas decorations this year and I am donating things left and right. I blame the Zero Waste Home blog, which has made far more impact on me than any of the other amazing blogs I read (have you looked at it?). Anyway, bless you for your work in Tanzania! You are making a huge difference. XO, Steph.

  38. I love this post and I love your honesty about how your ideas about design are changing. I’m excited to see how you get rid of some of the clutter, and I’m totally with you – I’m constantly trying to edit things out of our home that we don’t need or use anymore.

  39. In January, my MIL had a small stroke (she’s mostly okay), and within 2 days, my SIL (with my hubby and son’s able-bodied assistance) had moved my in-laws into an assisted living apartment. In February, my SIL rented out the in-laws house. Everything that had been left in there was moved out in 2 days, and most of it went to the Goodwill. We took a few things that meant something to us. I am still amazed, though not always in a good way, that 40+ years of life in a home can be completely erased in less than a month! And all of those things we save as “treasures” and “heirlooms”? They are completely meaningless if we have not been using them to build memories with our families. Great-Grandma’s silverware won’t mean squat to our kids if we are afraid to use it because it is too “special”. Our kids may feel more sentimental about styrofoam plates than our fancy china if that is what they use most often! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Use it and love it and wear it out, or let it go to someone else who will. I am still working on this, and yes, I know I need a little therapy about the family situation, but that is another day! Have an amazingly blessed time in Tanzania. You are a brave and bold woman to be going there!

    • oh that is good stuff, very good.

      “Great-Grandma’s silverware won’t mean squat to our kids if we are afraid to use it because it is too “special”. Our kids may feel more sentimental about styrofoam plates than our fancy china if that is what they use most often! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Use it and love it and wear it out, or let it go to someone else who will. “

  40. The best way I’ve found to clear the clutter is to completely empty the room except for furniture.Edit out the furniture first then start by only bringing back in what you must have like lamps, a clock, remotes, a pillow or two and a throw. Live with it that way for a while and slowly the room will tell you what it needs. Maybe a big picture over on this wall or a couple small things on that wall. A tall vase somewhere. Well you get the idea.

    I’m a firm believer in less is more. Clearing the clutter and all the “stuff” is so much calmer and restful. And isn’t that what our homes are supposed to be?

  41. mel cable says

    2 things. I just got off the phone with my close friend Kelli Stuart from minivansarehot.com, and am so excited for y’alls trip. And secondly, you must read the book “7” by Jen Hatmaker. It would be a good airplane read. It is hysterical, wonderfully written but a crazy cool young Christian woman, but the message is incredible, practical and heart stirring. Do it! You will love it and it goes into what you just blogged and much more.

  42. I’m SOOOO with you. I’ll help you get rid of things if you ever need/want help. Or maybe you should do an online yardsale?!

    also – a magazine coming…how exciting!!!!

  43. Thank you. So true. Well spoken.

  44. Oh yes! I have very little in the way of decorative stuff, but we are still overwhelmed with stuff. Hate, Hate it. Hate it!
    We have decluttered some, but there are still two rooms full of stuff, never mind the big shed.
    After the gardens and greenhouse are planted, the truck and trailer are getting packed up with excess, and hauled to town for a garage sale with a sister in law.
    I want our home and little farm to run like a well oiled machine, and I strongly believe that clutter is an external sign of the inner person spiritually.

  45. nester,
    maybe you are yearning to have a home of easy, simple comfort for your husband and sons while you are away. the “stuff” is what you usually take of and you want to know your guys aren’t having to worry about anything extra in your absence. and you don’t want to have to worry about anything but them. :) In a way this is the opposite of nesting. it’s called flying, and you are taking flight to a new world. so happy for you. —gina

  46. You are always inspiring. I think that so many times, you say out loud what so many are thinking and feeling.

  47. Erica Jean says

    Hi Nester, I don’t know if you’ll ever end up seeing this but I thought I’d write a comment anyway because I just read a book that I think you’d really enjoy. It’s called “7, a spiritual mutiny against excess”. I read it with a bunch of girlfriends for a book club and it was awesome with a capital A. Jen, the author is incredibly hilarious…as in “hub, hub, let me read you yet another page of this…you have to hear it!” It’s a quick read, super enjoyable, and points to Jesus through and through (not to mention convicting about all our clutter and the excess we live in, yeesh…). The author is Jen Hatmaker in case you’re interested!

    • oh creepy, just took a photo of that book yesterday at the bookstore, I had it in my hand but wasn’t sure after reading some of the Amazon reviews, but so many of you have mentioned it, I might just have to get it! thank you!!

  48. I feel ya. I already live a pretty edited-down life (by necessity–we live in a small flat in a foreign country), but I’ve still been feeling the tug on my heart lately that I have too much. Compared to most Americans, we don’t have a lot, but compared to most of the rest of the world, including the people in our neighborhood? We’re swamped with stuff. I recently had a local friend over, and the first thing she said when she walked in was, “Wow, you must be rich!” We’re definitely NOT, but that was a wake-up call to me that our home looks extravagant in the eyes of the local people around us, and it’s time to simplify a bit more. I’ve seen others mention the book 7–I’m looking forward to picking that up soon and having my eyes opened about other parts of my life that need renovating.

    Have a wonderfully blessed trip. I pray that you are filled to overflowing on your journey, that you’re used until you’re squeezed dry, and that your heart will never be the same.

  49. Oh Dear Nester,
    You spoke right to my heart here! I have had the same issues going on here at Irishman Acres! In the process of a cleaner, de-cluttered, less stressful environment. Almost done! And feeling free-er already!
    ~Kim

  50. God is changing you, and you are letting us see it. Thanks for sharing.

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