Yes, cleaning can be a drag.  I don’t always look forward to going through the routine of picking up, cleaning toilets, mopping floors, etc., but I have found that it can actually be very stimulating to my creativity.  I know it sounds crazy, but cleaning can be a good time to think and interact with my surroundings in a way that makes me look at them in a fresh way.  Sometimes I get my best decorating ideas when I’m cleaning!  Really!

Last weekend, as I was cleaning, I started to feel that creative spark.  I was motivated to take care of some things that have been hanging out in corners since we moved here…  a stack of pictures, ironstone plates, a chandelier still swaddled in bubblewrap.  We’ve lived here for several months and it’s time to take care of some of this stuff.  Yes, it’ll probably change again down the road, as I find furniture pieces to fill holes or work on various projects, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hang some pictures on the wall for the time being.

So, I hung some pictures and platters on the wall in the master bedroom…

A pair of ironstone platters are now hung above the antique prints next to the bed…


I also hung a grouping of old family photos over the chase in the corner.

And some platters, old photos, and a framed piece of antique crochet-work over the sideboard between the closet and bathroom.  (I bought that piece of crochet- work at a thrift store over 15 years ago and it’s been a keeper all that time.)

As I was hanging up the pictures, I realized I’ve been stalling on hanging them, because I’ve been getting stuck in the domino-effect that happens when you’re decorating, especially when you’re working on a new-to-you home.  I can’t hang pictures until I paint the walls or until I find the right piece of furniture to go there or until such-and-such is done.  I find that I’ve been doing that in places all over the house, but last weekend, I decided to not worry about all that is still on the to-do list.

Hanging pictures and things I already own on the wall is free and it immediately made the room look more finished.  Good lesson.

Have you been stalling on simple, free things you can do today or this weekend to make your home feel more finished or more like you?   If so, what are you going to do about it…?


  1. Karen L.

    Yes, I too just hung a couple of pics that I’ve waited til something else gets done first, ha! Good points all, Marian!

  2. Laura

    What is the best way to hang plates on the wall? Thanks!

  3. Jenn

    We moved into an in-law suite on the back of my parents’ house back in November. I’m stalling on hanging up things on the walls too for the exact same reasons you mentioned. Our walls are painted, but I’ve allowed other things to distract me from personalizing our space to suit our tastes. Maybe it’s time to get the hammer and nails out to do some hanging!

  4. Darcy

    Can I ask how you hang your items? I use monkey hooks, and like them….but I’m wondering if there is a better way? Thanks!

    • Judy

      I use “steel bank pins”. They are like straight pins only heavier. Found them at school supply stores years ago. They leave a very small hole and can hold most of my smaller pictures and things. Also, for heavier pictures – Moore Friction Lock Picture Hangers (holds up o 25 lbs) has a groove that helps the picture hang level.. I ordered these from Moore Push-Pin Company, 1300 E. Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038-0660, Phone 215-233-5700. That was in 1995 so don’t know if still there. Had to buy a whole box. Wide World of Maps also handles them. One little box of the steel bank pins will last you a lifetime.

  5. Karen K from Buffalo

    Where do you find your pieces of art that you hung in the bedroom?

  6. Claudia

    Just what I needed today!

  7. Margarita

    Oh yes, big time. I started buying furniture and other items to decorate my master bedrooms a couple years ago.
    and ta…da…da…., I’m still waiting for the new windows.

  8. Lynda

    Good advice! Cleaning can be very therapeutic!

    Speaking of cleaning….do you have a post on getting rid of odors in old dressers?

  9. JeanFB

    Wow your room looks gorgeous! I love what you’ve done with the side tables and artwork on either side of the bed, and your bed itself is divine. Your sideboard is also so very perfect, as it allows the vent and outlet to be free… brilliant. I could move right in!

  10. Monica

    Is it just me or is something wonky going on in those last two photos? It looks like the sideboard is crooked or curved or something, or maybe it’s the wall?

    Anyway, adding the photos really made it come together. Looks great! I need to take this advice. I always do that domino effect thing and then my house never really feels like home. Love what you did!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! Something wonky is going on. My son helped me eye-ball the pictures as I was hanging them and I think they are going uphill. I think the tote is also not sitting completely parallel to the wall! Wonkiness is definitely happening.

      • Monica

        Lol. Well, I’m glad you shared it anyway. It looks cozy and welcoming in spite of the wonkiness. 🙂

  11. Eileen

    I love your sense of balance, whether it is formal or informal arrangements. Very nice.

  12. Kathy Dawson

    I actually try to hang pictures before I paint! This gives me the freedom to make mistakes. If I like the result, I leave the holes and rehang the pictures after I paint. If I make a mistake or don’t like the final result, all I have to do is spackle and paint over it–which I was going to do anyway. 🙂

  13. Paula

    Can you tell me how you hang your plates and platters on the wall? I have some I would love to hang but didn’t know how to go about it! Thank you!

    • Marian Parsons

      I use those metal plate hangers. That’s it!

      • Nancy

        I like Flatirons Disc Adhesive Plate Hangers. The are English and used to be difficult to find, but Amazon has them now. They are a little more expensive than the metal hangers, but they are invisible and they allow plates to lie flat against the wall.

        • Marian Parsons

          I have had adhesive disc hangers fall off before, so I prefer the wire holders. Those have never failed me once.

  14. Krista

    Really pretty and serene!

  15. Gloria

    I actually like to hang pictures and move them around before I paint. Then I can fix any boo boos and paint.

  16. Sheila

    Ok Marian, where are you hiding at my house?? Yes, I suffer from “I have tons of stuff to hang, but I can’t because…” syndrome. Thanks for the encouragement to move forward anyway!

  17. alda

    wonderful…NOW it is beginning to look like (and I imagine) and feel like HOME. excellent!

  18. Brenda

    I love your style. You have inspired me to accomplish some things I have been procrastinating about. Thanks for the motivation!

  19. Lin

    You won’t believe how much I needed to see this post!! We moved into our new home 2 months ago and I have been doing just what you said! Thank you for giving me a kick in the pants so to speak!!

  20. Shelly

    I have those same antique prints! I spied them right away. Actually, I sort of acquired them when I married my husband. Apparently, they belonged to his grand parents who lived (RIP) on the family farm where they still host fox hunts to this day. Lovely prints!

  21. Susan

    I love the ancestor photos! They tell the story of family and personalize the space. They honor those that came before us. I can really identify with your sense of style.

  22. Martha

    I have a very similar chest as the one on the right side of your bed. I have been considering painting it. Yours looks nice natural, are you leaving it that way. I thought about painting b/c every thing else in the room is natural wood and I thought I needed variation. What do you think about all wood no paint? None of the woods are a matching set or anything. You bedroom room is very pretty.

  23. Rebecca

    Oh my gosh!! This is so true!! I definitely get cases of decorating “paralysis!” We were in this house for two years and I still wouldn’t hang pictures. My husband finally said, “you know, it’s okay to hang pictures now and move them later… you have plenty of spackle and touch up paint and if you decide to paint the walls, you can easily rearrange or change it altogether.” Suddenly, I had the freedom to be creative in the moment. He freed me from the notion that hanging pictures is a lifelong commitment. We laugh because now I’m fearless!! I’ll take risks and jump the gun on so many things… and you know what? I’ve had some amazing decorating moments that I still use that I wouldn’t have if I’d been a slave to the “magazine photo” in my mind. Thanks for reminding us to decorate with abandon!!😊

  24. Mildred

    Please tell us again the source for your chaise?

  25. Mary S

    The master BR look GREAT!!!! You are still tempting me to get some “blue” things. They look so wonderful in your house. Good job – AGAIN!!

  26. Sheri

    Marian, I love the bedding in your master. Clean, classic, exactly what I am looking for. Could I ask where you found it?

  27. Thanna

    I SOOO needed this post! We’ve been in our current house for 18 months and I still haven’t hung up most of our artwork etc. I feel like I have so many big projects that I HAVE to finish first!

  28. Eleanor

    At small group the other night a member who has recently retired told of visiting his mother who use to be a neatnik but who is ill now and CAN’T clean. He came home from visiting her and said to himself, “I get to clean. I CAN clean!” His comment changed my attitude toward cleaning in a blink. I’m healthy enough to clean! I have a wonderful house to clean!
    I didn’t notice the “wonky”. Please leave it. Now I know that you are a real person. Ha.
    I hang pictures with the heavy end of broken sewing machine needles. Holds a lot of weight and makes a small hole.

  29. Carla

    Your master bedroom is lovely. You and your ideas are very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.


    Lovely job, Marian! Pictures just add so much warmth to a home — and especially when they are antique paintings or family pictures. Enjoy!

    Your home is just beautiful! Blessings!

  31. Tamyra

    I have lived in my house for two years and still haven’t “finished” hanging all my art. I do plan on downsizing my collection and only keeping the ones I would grab off the wall in a fire. Lol. I do love your framed lace piece ❤️ I would add that one to my must keep collection!

  32. Lori Bryan

    I needed that. I have just redid my living room(seriously needed)and I have pictures everywhere. I will stop agonizing and put them up!!! Just get up and do it!! Thanks

  33. Vickie White

    The perfect post for me today…*eyes a stack of pictures leaning against the wall*

  34. DH

    I suffer from “naked wall syndrome”, and I cringe thinking of having to put a hole in my walls. You make it look so easy. I love your lamps flanking the bed…could you share where you got them or the brand? Thank you for the inspiration!!

  35. Karen

    I love how you share what you’re doing. You always have a way of making even the mundane seem so exciting! May I ask where you found your lovely bedding?

  36. Birchi

    Thanks for such a beautiful post you have written on this topic. Have a good day for this post.

  37. Valarie

    Love this post and truly relate and agree with all you have mentioned . I have been doing this for years and thought it was just me. My husband thinks I have a “disease”every time I re-arrange our furniture. It is true if you really clean you move things out and away from where they were to where they could be! Brilliant!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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