paring down

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Organizing

It’s that time of year again when I get the itch to purge and organize.  I worked through my cabinets, closets, drawers, and storage spaces the past couple of years and have gotten rid of a ton of stuff, but there is always the accumulation of new stuff that needs to be dealt with.  The fact that I have done some thorough decluttering already is making the process easier this time around, but I find more stuff with each pass that I can let go.  I do find the more I get rid of, the more I can get rid of.  And I’ve come to really like empty or sparsely filled storage space.

I also notice that through the year, some of my open shelving gets a little cluttered.  Between using the pieces, adding some, and taking away others, what was once a tidy cabinet starts to look a little haphazard.


The stuff that’s hardest for me to pare down is my ironstone, dishes, and antique flatware.  It’s also what I like to keep the most after shopping trips!  I have never actually counted the collection, because it would probably be embarrassing and I would have to admit I have a problem.

It helps for me to pull everything out of the cabinets, so I can see the sheer volume of the items I own.

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Not surprisingly the Bakelite and French ivory flatware and the ironstone were out of control.  I bet I had over 100 pieces of flatware that were just decorative…sitting in a jar.

Pulling it all out also helps me group like items together, so the pieces that are displayed have great impact.

My rule for getting rid of a piece is – if it’s been sitting in a cabinet, unused and unseen, for more than a year, then it needed to go.  If I didn’t have a perfect place to display it, it needed to go.  The exceptions were my great-grandmother’s hand-painted china (dated 1924) and my mom’s china.  Neither set is huge and I think I would regret getting rid of them.  Especially my great-grandmother’s china, since it’s so unique.

As I worked through the cabinets, I filled one large contractor bag with trash, mostly from the craft cabinet, pantry, etc., and have a nice pile of stuff to take to the studio to price for the online shop or Lucketts and another pile started for a yard sale.


I’m going to try to take one day a week for the next few weeks to tackle closets and cabinets until every space has been purged and organized.

If you’re trying to declutter and need some inspiration, check out my posts on organizing HERE.

paring down

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