Tuesday, March 22, 2011

where am I ?

(warning: keepin' it real post ahead)

This post has been brewing for some time.


Should I  share?
Should  I keep quiet?


 If this is about  MY PASSIONS;
then this is what I'm all about 
right here, right now. 


I am here


 and here


and here.




Donna at Everyday Elegance 
has encouraged me to 'fess up.

I am a keeper.
I am NOT a clean-freak.
I have this quote at my desk.

 a creative mess is better than tidy idleness


I have always been this way.

I am too sentimental.
I love pretty things.
I LOVE old stuff.
I love a bargain.
I can NOT make decisions.
I LOVE old stuff.
I have an antique business.
I need inventory.
I LOVE old stuff.


That, my girlfriends, is a recipe for disaster.


stuff

it 
has taken over
 my home 
and 
it has taken over my life

it is everywhere

to say that there has been conflict is an understatement

conflict with my children
conflict with my husband
conflict in my own heart


every morning 
i would wake up
 and say 
today i will win, today i will  make progress

everynight

I would make my way through the path 
of piles 
to my bedroom
(we have the  last room in the house) 
and fall asleep thinking 
about what a failure I was


everyday. everynight.

when viewing a hoaders episode
I did NOT think
those poor people...why do they live like that?


I would think, "I am so close,
that could be me living like that"

my husband moved my stuff last fall
and I was so  mad 
I could have spit nails

wake-up call

last  winter when my newly, married daughter and her husband
wanted to come stay the night
I didn't have a place for them

in. this. great. big. house. i. did. not. have. a. place.


wake-up call

but the final straw was 
when I finally came face-to-face
with the fact 
that my family was embarrassed by the mess.
I was an embarrassment to my children.
I was an embarrassment to my husband.


wake-up call

ouch.

How did I let it get so out of control?

I was trapped.
Trapped by my stuff



enough is enough

Since January,
I have been on a mission
a mission to
reclaim my home.

It is a long and difficult task.
I am getting there,
slowly.
I still have so far to go.
but 
I  am determined.



Now, every night 
I ask my Mr.
Do you see it?
Somedays it is just a bit
but
progress
is
progress.

Donna's post came just at the right time.
(10 weeks of this and I'm only this far?)

I was feeling tired and discouraged
but she has encouraged me to keep going.

THANKS Donna
over the next few days
 I might share some of my strategy
or 
I  might  not.
My computer time has been limited
because
I am here


oh, progress
sweet progress




my sweet friend reminded me of one of my favorite verses:




"The unfailing love of the LORD never ends!


By his mercies 


we have been kept from complete destruction.

Great is his faithfulness;

his mercies begin afresh each day.


 Lam. 3:22-23




thanks jane, for the words of hope 

88 comments:

MARY PERNULA said...

I will keep you in my thoughts thru this. Let me know how you progress. I am trying to clean up a few areas in my home do to my passions,,,,,,,,,,,,,COLLECTORS AND SELLERS, HUGS MARY

Debra@Common Ground said...

Wonderful post, Rene. So many of us are a work in progress in this area. Having an antique business really does mess with your "real life". Thanks for keepin' it real!
xo,
Debra

The Green Pea said...

You are fortunate to know the Lord and have a friend that truly wants to help you. You are not alone with letting pretty things clutter your home. You will be so happy when you have your home back. I am guilty of the same thing. Keep up the good plan, and give your friend a hug. sandi

Debbie V said...

hang in there lady you can do it. the trouble is you have lovely things and its hard to part with them. have the mom of all garage sales and share the prettiness then treat yourself to a day at the spa

glenda said...

Didja ever feel tempted to wrap it all up in a bed sheet and carry it to the dumpster...well, I have. I am tickled pink or red to see that I am not the only one...who has her pilots license...you know pile it here, pile it there. My small bitty house is a train wreck..we won't know the difference in a hundred years from now...
best wishes and good luck..
glenda

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

It looks great so far and must feel so good too. Good for you!!! I am rooting for you and can't wait to see more 'this is where I am now" photos. Lots of work but well worth it when you are done:)
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

Rene ~
Thank you for sharing with us ~
I am so very much like you but
am a happy girl to see that there
are more of "us" out there too ~
At the moment I feel overwhelmed
by my stuff and started with a closet
about 2 months ago but haven't gone
any further than that ~ The problem
with that is that I just keep thinking about it and letting it bug me ~
I need to do something about it ~

xoxo
Lori

My Blessed Serendipity Life said...

You are already on your way to tidying up. I admire you for getting it out there and sharing on your blog. I constantly see photos all over blogland with perfect looking rooms and not a thing out of place but nobody really lives like that. We edit our photos and show only what we really want to show. I just know that your keeping it real is going to help a lot of people. I really hope you show the after photos when you finish. I'm rooting for you.
xo,
Danielle

Lenemora said...

Thank you for sharing your life with us. He that called you are faithful,
you can do everything through Him who gives you strength. (Phil. 4:13)
God bless you and strengthen you.

Hug from Lene (from Norway)

Sue said...

I have great respect for people who "keep it real." None of us are perfect, we all have our flaws; but I believe God can help us overcome anything. He is bigger than our messes. Will be praying that He helps you to perservere! (I'm sure I didn't spell that right....)

Cindy said...

Rene, thank you for being so open and honest! You are not alone! Since my children moved out, I have not gotten things in order...one is the "storehouse" and the other is now our office which is to the ceiling in paperwork, etc, that so badly needs to be sorted and organized. My greatroom is full of auction boxes full of glassware, silver, mirrors, etc. that I need to sort for the shop or garage sale...YOU ARE NOT ALONE and I thank you so much for sharing! Feeling overwhelmed myself, so I'll join you in everyday taking steps to get things in order!
Great verse as so true; God's mercies are new every morning...so glad because we all need them!
Blessings,
Cindy

Lynn said...

This is really, the second time since last Saturday that I have been thinking of "letting it all hang out on my blog" but then thought..."oh no couldn't do that, no one would come back.." and then I had immediately read a blog that basically touched on the issue I was thinking about. SO first and foremost, I applaude your heartfelt honestly. Am I surprised? Yes truthfully I am because your blog has been such an inspiration to me and I sometimes would leave, thinking..."why can't I do what Renee does in creating such lovely. romantic vignettes. Am I disappointed or horrified at your state of clutter? Hardly!! You are just taken yourself off the pedestal and become ever so real to me. Enduringly so. Charmingly so. I mean now, if I saw you in person, I would walk right up to you and say hi. Because you have simply showed us your humanity. So you know why, I am gonna write the post I have been thinking of today. Mine is not about clutter, per se, but about my "dreamy personality" my love of magazines and still trying to be me all these years later. You put out such a refreshing post, bet once you clicked send, you were mortified and wanted to pull it back. So glad you could not. I liked you before, but now I really really like you cause you are just like me, not perfect, but getting there! I applaude you for the huge effort you are making and know this has to be hard. Sorry am writing a book here. I will come back to keep checking on your progress. Blessings.

ThereseMarie said...

Oh, I love you! I have a dining table covered with major projects and pieces, a computer room, which just now, after 8 years, looks like a home office, and a full basement, full of all my keepers and finds and things to work on, things to repair, things to alter, things to sell, things! If my Mr. touches it or criticizes me, I get sooooo upset, just like you, but he's right, we need some order to the chaos. You are making a difference by sharing this with us, it lets us know that you are human, and that we can share with you and feel joy in sharing our accomplishments as well as our shortcomings. Thank you!!!xoxo

Sweet Magnolias Farm said...

Ah Miss Gracie,

You are not alone. You can pretty much ditto everything you have said and done for us as well.

Buisness has taken over our home and our lifes too.

Everyday I come down the stairs and look at the chaos ..I think We'll get a handle on it. But work calls and on to creating another mess.


Looks like you are getting a handle on it though and that's a good thing.

Blessings ..Sara

d. reyné said...

You go girl!
I know that this is both a physical and mental challenge as you make your way through it all!
It's especially hard when this is your work!
I get that! But I know we can find a way to have our business stuff and our home!
I am so excited for you! I have faith that the Lord will see you through it!
Have a wonderful week and remember...you are not alone!

jAne said...

(*(*(*(*( gentle embrace )*)*)*)*)

my dear friend ... you are a courageous woman who is fighting against a giant. i'm so proud of you!

there are challenges we all face - some similar and we can really *understand* where the other person *is*. the fear to change is at times...paralyzing. seriously. but you know what? greater is HE!!! the pruning is ongoing (for all of us, no matter where we are) and the fact you've shared 'where you are' is such a sweet blessing to those of us who are paralyzed by our own challenges. may this be the beginning of a movement across bloggyville.

love you dearly,
jAne

p.s. when i come visit (and i intend to) i'm still bringing my little edelweiss trailer - even though you'd have room in time. :o)

~Sheri~ said...

I want to thank u for being so candid and honest.....I have walked this path.....and in some ways I do believe it may have played a small role in the breakup
of my marriage. WHY????? because I was extremely unhappy with some of the cluter that I had created.....all in mmy attempt tp maintain a space...an etsy and my great love for bargains and antiques.
Upon moving into my lil house....i told myself..I WOULD NOT live that way....mine was mostly settled in 2 rooms...and the garage but one being the master bedroom.....where I slept every night.
right now.....i m still not completely moved out of the other house I shared with my husband.....2 storages and a garage full.....it is a day by day process.
U r not alone....u r not a failure!!!! I love and admire the way u decorate ur home....u r VERY talented..DO NOT FORGET THIS...u r a GOOD person.
Take it one mini accomplishment at a time.....sometimes it helps to have 1 person to help u...but it has to b the person who makes u laugh in any situation and does not judge u.....that person for me is my aunt. My 3 car garage was a night mare but with her help and sense of humor...i did not get overwhelmed..I laughed at my mess....joked about having my own store. In the event that u dont have thart person....look towards those like us.....U CAN OVERCOME THIS.....there r so many things that could b worse. I think by u postint this u have taken the biggest step of all....good for u.
CELEBRATE THE SMALL STEPS....even if its one box!!!!! sending u much encouragement and strength. U R NOT A FAILURE!!!! Hugs~Sheri

Angela said...

Thanks for being so honest. I can see your progress. I think starting the momentum in the right direction is half the battle, kind of like a diet!
My craft/computer room and my corner of the garage are disaster areas. I fight a continual battle with the pile on (and sometimes flowing off) the ottoman in the living room and the pile on the corner of the kitchen counter. When I clean them up, it only lasts until I begin a new project.
I think you are well on your way to taking back your spaces. Wish me luck!
Angela

jAne said...

one more thing . . .

a strength carried too far
becomes a weakness.

i was reminded of that this morning.
for me. thought you may find it worthy as well.

love,
jAne

My Country Heaven Cottage said...

I feel your pain ... I guess it is like admitting that your a alcoholic ... The first step is to admit you need help! LOL! I am there with you on it all but I am not ready to show the world how I live yet! Well my house isn't that bad yet but I do have my little stashes. Things to sale in my booth, things to work on, things that I was to do crafts with,etc. Let's just say that I have a Large 2 car garage that we can't get a car in!!!
When that show hoarders came on & I watched it for the first time. I told my husband about it & I told him when I got that bad to get me help. He said that I was already there. I said no I'm SERIOUS & he said so was he! LOL! SO my goal is to start on one room at a time & then move on to the garage. It will be like eating an elephant one bite at a time till it is all gone ! It's going to take a while to get it all cleared away!
Pray for me & I'll Pray for you too! :)

Maison Douce said...

Oh, my goodness, Renee, I am so glad I am not the only one.... My house, right now, is a mirror reflection of yours... Stuff everywhere, waiting for prices, or paint, or just a purpose... Thanks for your openness!!!!! I, too, am embarrassed
and trying to reclaim my house... I feel more motivated than ever!!
Isabel

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Could have written this post myself! I'm in the process of purging (a bit ~ baby steps, you know!) for our neighborhood garage sale. Now the true test will be what will my living room look like AFTER the sale?!?!

Big TX Hugs,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

stefanie said...

truly I think all of us!!! understands this!! good luck.

Destiny said...

I am proud of you! It's hard to get rid of things you love...I try first to organize them and what's leftover gets tossed. I had mentioned before that it was one of the reasons for closing my shop...but now that I'm getting my home organized, I'm ready for another shop haha! Your home is so pretty - once you get it decluttered, you will feel so much more relaxed ; ) The funny thing is that as I looked at all of your so-called "messy" photos, all I could do is see the beautiful home and pretty "things" - I'm one to look beyond the mess : ) Love your honesty though!!! ~Destiny

Susanne said...

Came over here from Theresa's at 612 Riverside and I've also been over to Donna's Everyday Elegance.

I realize how brave you gals have been to reveal your before pictures and I also appreciate your honesty. I share your, what should we call it, tendencies. I'll be following you and Donna to cheer you on and get inspiration as I struggle with my own overwhelming 'stuff'!

Good luck,
Susanne.

Leah C said...

It's so easy to let "stuff" take over our lives...I have "clutter closets" all over the place! And it's time to tackle my messes, 'fess up, & clean up;) Thanks for the inspiration and keeping it real!! Hang in there, progress is progress:)

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Thank you for being brave enough to share. Congratulations on the progress you've made! Stick with it, you can do it! And in the end, you will feel free!

Anne Lorys - Fiona and Twig said...

Good for you!
I SO recognize myself in this post....this is me. Imagine trying to get moved from one house to another and having to cart that mess...that is my reality right now.

Bravo for your honesty, my friend!

Hugs,
Anne

Crystal said...

Rene, I sooo thought I was the ONLY one!!! This is me!!! All the way around. I so need help and I'm so overwhelmed I don't know where to start.....so I bring out another project. I also have sympathy for hoarders!!! I'm going to make it....someday.....I hope!!!

vintagejunker said...

As a follower of your blog, I am cheering you on every step of the way! You can do it! Have faith! We will wait while you take care of you!

I was very inspired by your last post,Love Never Quits. Funny how some days you find just what you need, right when you need it. Thanks!

Petite Michelle Louise said...

you have a wonderfully loving family...a very strong faith...and the right attitude. you WILL succeed....and be happy....and proud. YOU GO GIRL! we are cheering you on!

Pauline said...

On Rene, I can relate, up to a point, lol! When I moved out of a three bedroom house into a two bedroom flat it had to lose a whole roomful of 'stuff'. I had only 5 days notice too! Very sobering indeed. Keep at it and you wont regret it :o)
Blessings
Hugs

Sheila R said...

Thanks for sharing and keeping it real. You opened yourself up and showed your vunerable side... what an incredible gift.

It reminds me of the book that I still have and refer to often Emilie Barnes "More Hours in My Day". She is a Christian author that gives help on organization by first beginning with God. She has written other books too.

Good luck in your progress!

Mrs. MK said...

I wish I had read this when we were visiting earlier! Becuase I would have told you that I CAN see a difference!!

This post is real, and real is often raw, bringing tears. Keep at it....you can do it and still love your house!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

You are making progress. Just keep on keepin' on.
Have you ever watched "Clean Sweep?" It's more inspiring than "Hoarders." They take everything out of a space (they do rooms but you could do one drawer at a time) and then make the space what they want/need it to be. Everything left over is tossed, donated, etc.
I found your blog via The FlowerLady.

NanaDiana said...

Oh- I don't even know how I found you...but I am glad I did. You are the voice of reality in the place of "everything is perfect" blogland. I appreciate your honesty and your painful realization that something is wrong and needs to be righted.

My dear brother ended up leaving his wife because there was no place for him to sleep. They fought it for years...but bit by bit stuff took over their lives. She did not realize (and still doesn't) that anything was wrong. How could too much of a good thing be TOO MUCH? I hear your heartache in every word.

The thing is, we ALL have some secret heartaches but some of them just don't show. We hoard our time, or our talents, or we hide our flaws and faults because we are ashamed. Shame is a terrible thing, isn't it? It makes us want to hide away and never leave our secret comforts. Hoarding and overeating are two comforts that show the outward expression of the inner turnoil. I understand! Thank you for this post...you will do a world of good for a lot of people~ xxoo Diana

tales from an oc cottage said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh! You don't scare me! {I'm just not brave enough to share my pictures!! ;} But I am in the process of "weeding" too!!!

m ^..^

Faded Charm said...

I admire you for sharing these photos....I, on the other hand, am not so brave. Now don't get me wrong, I have these very similar rooms in my own home and outside shop for that matter. I am also wrestling with the same issues as you my friend. I'm taking it one room at a time and deciding what i really want to keep, what goes to my booth and what is donated or thrown away. Baby steps one day at a time is what it is going to take to get me through all this mess. Otherwise, I'm afraid it will take over our lives. And I do mean "our".

Just wanted you to know you are not alone. We should start a "Junkers Annonymous" club. The other day I told my husband that I wouldn't be surprised if the "Pickers" don't stop in for a vist....haha

Take care my friend.

Kathleen

Liz said...

Oh Rene... Can I tell you stories!... My home is not like this... but I live in fear of it. I grew up in a home that was over run with magazines, papers, containers, car parts, and misc. hardware. My dad is a classic Depression era hoarder. I have not been in my parents home for 10 years. They live less then 10 miles away. I think that they are afraid that if we (my brother and I) saw it we would try and have them committed. Not that being committed would be bad...but that we would start "touching his stuff".

It is easy to say, "oh just start sorting"... "get rid of this," or "get rid of that"... Folks that have never dealt with this have no idea what the complexity of the problem is.

Needless to say... I can relate.

~Liz

rosarod said...

Hi Rene, (use translator) I read your post and believe me, I think there is a high number of women the same thing happens. When we like to keep, collect, create, etc, keeping going and we feel guilty. I have a house with two levels is sometimes difficult to keep in order. (I suffer fibromyalgia) my husband and children help me. Since there are always spaces that desire clear. "Took a while talking with a friend the same thing happens and we talked frustrated, and we promise to change the situation, I began to keep (clear), and collecting to donate, gift etc. and as you say is very difficult but not impossible. remember "everything I can to him who gives me strength. " encourage, true that you can, Rose Marie

afistfullofweeds* said...

I would not be too hard on yourself. I am very sure that a lot of us have the same problem, especially with a shop of some sort. You are woman...I hear you roar!!!

Stacy's Shabby Shoppe said...

Rene ~ this was a very brave post and I'll tell you something straight off, you are NOT alone! Most of us who love antiques and old stuff have this problem in one form or another. I've always been a pack rat and just this year I have decided to weed out some of my things. Even my husband is surprised at me. It was just ruling my life...stuff everywhere! Keep going, take it one day at a time and pretty soon before you know it, you will look around and feel "lighter"! (*_*) ~Stacy~

shannonc60 said...

Keep up the good work Rene! Glad to hear you are making progress - don't give up, Rome wasn't built in a day. I am a bit of a hoarder too, and find it hard to give stuff up.

margits bastelstube said...

hi rene,
ohhhh, this are wonderful pictures.
my motto is:"stuff and creative disorder are one of the beautifulest things in the world"!
I need some things like this....
many greetings from the sunny lower-austria
margit

A Shabby Moment in Time said...

All I have to say is "You go girl!" Creativity requires room, storage, and messes. You should see my home right now. We haven't been able to use the dining room table for weeks since all my creating was "happening" there. My poor boys have been eating off tray tables for weeks. My sitting room is full of things for our "At home with White" event...so I can relate to you completely.
Blessings and Hugs,
Karen

Diane said...

You're so brave Rene. You'll do it. You have all the beautiful bones of the house and your beautiful things. You have the want to do it. I think the hardest part probably is sorting. When I had my antique shop I had an awful mess in my sorting area. I would pick out the best and shove the other stuff back. Then we had a fire. It was all destroyed. When they rebuilt I did not want a sorting area, or a place to store stuff. I did it all in my office on the workbench. I picked out the good stuff and sent the other to charity. That was it! Period! (Well, except for jewelry, that always took time to sort and was pushed to the back of my workbench for rainy days.) It helped IMMENSELY!!I wish I could be there to help you. I'd probably drag everything to my house! Blessings, you will accomplish it. It's going to be beautiful when you get it done. Diane

Lady Pamela said...

Rene, Your post has touched my heart. I cannot say how or why. I just know that it does, and I know that God will take care of you. *Hugs and Blessings*

Karen said...

Renee, everyone who is a collector and a lover of old things struggles to find the balance between collecting and and too much. It seems that you are regaining your balance. God bless you on this journey. I know that you will prevail.

Sandi said...

Will be praying for you as you start this journey Rene. You can do this! I know you can!! :)

I was at the other end...an obcessive neat freak for years when my kids were younger...to the point of yelling at them if they spilled anything, but God has helped me in that area too. I have mellowed a lot in my *old* age. lol! Too bad I didn't learn that when they were young though. So many things I wish I could do over, but thank God He forgives and so do my children!!
Hugs~

Shelia said...

Hi! I looked at pics of your bedroom redo and your parlor and they are glorious! Look at them for inspiration. You can do it! Just work on one room at a time ! Our God is a God of order and not of confusion . I know my home is a gift from Him and one of the ways I try to thank Him for it is to keep it in order and share it with the people that He brings here. With blessings! Shelia

maggiegracecreates said...

You could have easily taken those photos at my house. And your words are so well written to describe the feelings I struggle with EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I do hope it is okay if I follow your pattern and post my own version of this (and that I printed this post to add to my journal for encouragement and understanding)

You are beautiful my sweet sweet friend. I will pray for your sucess along with mine.

Susan S. said...

OMG....I just popped in your blog and LOVE it! You are So honest and sweet. I understand about the love of a bargain, shopping, collecting...it's fun. The hard part is finding a place for it. :) I've finally learned (but I re-lapse) that I just have to look sometimes and admire but not buy. It's hard sometimes! I can tell you've been working hard on getting your house organized and Hat's Off to You...you rock! I also checked out some of your other posts and dearly LOVE the one about your and your husband. Well said....and ya'll are a precious couple! Good luck to you....come and visit me at my blog sometime...Happy Spring Ya'll!

Rebecca said...

Hey Sweet Girl,
You are such a precious person and you can do this. I know sometimes the stuff takes over and the Lord has spoke to me not that long ago, when I was closing the shop about where my priorities were. Donna has asked me to do a guest post on this... I think it is so important however not to get under condemnation but realize that when we give our shortcomings to Christ he will turn it into good.
I think you are doing wonderful!
Blessings
Rebecca

Mrs. G said...

I'm proud of you Mom. You are making great progress, and I am so glad to see you trying! :) Love you tons. And you should check out this: http://becomingmrsg.blogspot.com/p/graphic-design.html

Tracy Boyle said...

I am so in awe of your honesty and courage. How inspiring you are! Keep taking those baby steps. You've inspired me to do the same. God Bless.

Zuzu said...

Oh, I understand completely, Rene! It took us years to go from a 4 bedroom + 2.5 bath + full basement + dbl garage + outdoor shed home to our tiny 375 sq. ft. cottage - but we did it! Donating so much of it & knowing that it went towards helping others made it easier!

You can do it!!! One day at a time, little steps here & there... you are definitely making wonderful progress!

Hugs,
Zuzu

ferne said...

This is a wonderful post and something that most could relate to on one level or another, but I can say that when you get it more under control it does feel so freeing. You do have some treasures and they will stay treasures whether in your home or in your memory so it is okay to let some things go. I enjoy your blog!

Chateau Chic Boutique said...

Hi there,
I just want to give you a big hug and say you're doing great! I, ro one, fit your self-description to a T:
I am too sentimental.
I love pretty things.
I LOVE old stuff.
I love a bargain.
I can NOT make decisions.
I LOVE old stuff.
I have an antique business.
I need inventory.
I LOVE old stuff.
Every.single.word.of.it. I hope you don't regret your post. I hope it has lifted a weight off of you because you really encouraged me. Thank you for your willingness to be so honest. The Lord will bless you abundantly.
Sincerest blessings to you,
Missy

Danielle Sends a Hug said...

Followed a link from one of my favorite gardening blogs and it lead me here....how courageous you are in your honesty...I admire that...and although you have written that your "stuff" is taking over...I must confess that I thought it was quite lovely "stuff"...you have good taste ;)

Lady Jane said...

YOU ARE GETTING THERE. YOU MUST BE VERY PROUD OF YOURSELF.

tina said...

Awesome post and you can do it. Take baby steps and stick with it.

Curtains In My Tree said...

Where are all the comments now?

To each his own

I can relate to your situation

The entire blog world is not perfect even though they pretend to be


We like our stuff end of discussion

my dog doesn't care LOL

PeregrineBlue said...

I AM WITH YOU, BELIEVE ME. My house never got this cluttered but, also having an online vintage business and another of handmades, I have often come pretty close. The key is to sort and discard every now and then, not letting it get out of control. And a hard one, not to buy any more inventory until you have gotten rid of what didn't sell. This is how you can actually begin to enjoy your space but above all your family. I'm sure you can do it, I did.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I see progress and I am sure that must feel good for you. I am so sure that it must feel overwhelming to you. I have my own huge project in cleaning and organizing my attic. With all the many talents that you have been blessed with, it is good to know you have areas of weakness.

Adrienne said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart, my friend. I think more of us are right where you are. More than we know.

I'm taking a paper declutter class and she told us it's all about decisions. One decision at a time. Clutter comes from failing to decide. That made a turn-around in the way I see everything. And the way I'm handling everything. Paper. Stuff. Everything.

You're doing it, dear friend. Good for you! Keep going. You'll make it.
~Adrienne~

Dianne said...

Dear Rene

I will pray for you that you can overcome!!! I pray that you may choose family over things. Only God can give you that power!
I also love pretty things and a good deal. My storage room was getting so full and messy that I cleaned 5 boxes out of it. I had tremendous relief with letting go!

As a daughter of a hoarder I can hardly go to my Mothers' apartment as it is ALWAYS in a state of mess.
I am a neat person, and you don't know how it stresses me to go to her home.
Love and prayers

Cindy@Cutepinkstuff said...

Wow, it took lots of courage to post these photos. Cleansing, I'm sure, Rene. Keep up the good work toward simplicity. Come by to see my latest post where I'm craving clarity, peace, serenity....

FredaB said...

Hi Rene

You have made the first step in the right direction by admitting that you have a problem that needs to be solved. That could not be easy for you and considering you have an antique business you have the perfect excuse - except if that excuse is getting in the way of your family life it is not good.

My suggestion is to divide things into 3 serious areas.

Things you absolutely need and would never sell and could not get rid of. Maybe you need someone to help you along this road - to encourage you.

Next would be things that you know you do not want or need but that you could use in your business.

Third are the things (and we all have them) that we neither need or you will ever be able to sell. Put them in cartons and either take them to a Goodwill type shop or have a huge garage or estate sale and put them all out. Maybe even some from the first or second pile may end up there. People will buy things at garage sales that would never enter an antique mart or store.

You have the same problem as a lot of us quilters find ourselves. More stuff then we will ever use in a lifetime but there is always that hesitancy to get rid of or give away.

I don't know if this will help any but I noticed since you posted not one person has commented. Come on gals and give Rene some
encouragement.

Hugs

FredaB

The Vintage Barn said...

Keep at it! I work with a former organizer and we do estate cleanouts. I've been working with her for over 4 years and I still remember my first hoarder.....it was scary! I made up my mind that I wasn't going to end up like that! I must say that I do have quite a collection of furniture to paint but I've gotten rid of all my "clutter" and things I don't use. Right now my mini van is FULL of donations!!!
Nancy

The French Bear said...

I have faith, you will do it!!! You are not a hoarder just a collector without space......but I do admire you for coming clean, posting pictures and taking the leap.....I on the other hand am still swamped under my mess....
If I was braver I would show you but I am too embarassed!!!
Hugs,
Margaret B
xx

craftymarta said...

Rene, if you only knew how much I can identify with your situation. I asked myself when too much of a good thing is just too much. I have been blessed with a lot of stuff and I have learned to justified my behaviors, you know, it's for the business, it was a great deal, blah, blah. I'm still trying to answer all those nagging questions and it sometimes feels like we have become experts at sabotaging ourselves. The people in the shows only got a couple of things on us, we can find our beds and kitchen countertops and there is no pooh and carcasses living underneath our stuff, that is all. I still have boxes in the same spots since I moved to the new shop, that was 4 months ago. I really don't have any answers. i just know that I love beautiful things. My husband swear he will never buy a bigger house since it won't stay big enough for long. What do we do? I have a sister in a worst situation and it is affecting her emotionally. She is so stressed out over the mess...I told her to do one room at a time, 20 minutes, take a break, and then continue; that have seem to work for me. I used to start in one room and will want to do all the house at the same time. The mess is like gaining and losing weight. It takes time to get there and will take time to take it off. You can't undo in hours what have taken years, months or days to do (baby steps). I recommend to start with the room or pile that embarrassed you the most. My mom used to tell me that a smart thing was to keep the places that visitors have access tidy. A clean kitchen, family room and bathroom will allow you to feel better about having people come without warning. Ask for help, let the people close to you know how you feel, I'm sure they will support you. Just little advise that have helped me cope. I don't think God intended the pretty things to take over our lives. We have to choose what is important. I take peace and joy over stuff, sounds easier said than done, but possible in Christ. I will pray that your beautiful home will be restored to what you dream and long for. One step at a time. Blessings, Marta.

millie said...

...i really liked the words and thoughts of this posting...love your blog....God bless...

Tarnished and Tattered said...

Rene,
Thank you for coming out of the closet sweet friend. Funny how we are all so alike. I sit & watch hoarders too, I sit in judgement of them thinking how could they live like that? Truth is I'm not far behind. Except for the tons of cat poop they always seem to have. It's nearly impossible for me to part with anything old, turn away gifts of 'trash' or not stop at a garage sale to find more. I'm planning a huge sale next month to hopefully clean out our storage unit, garage & 2 attics. So thank you for this post Rene. I will pray for our progress! Lisa

Alaina said...

You are not alone. I am looking around my computer room at that same collection, a creative person's clutter. You can do it, just like I am working on mine. Good luck to you.

kpaints said...

Thanks, so much for your honesty..I am headed to the 'hoarding' way. I have been buying thrift stuff to..... 'stuff' my feelings. My wake up call came this fall and winter.
Thanks, for sharing your story....I don't feel like I am the only one.

Anonymous said...

I don't own a blog but I read alot of them and I must say that it brought tears to my eyes that you were brave enough to reveal your burden for others to see. I admire you for that. Lisa from Texas

Zita - Mlle Magpie said...

I really love this post. I can very much relate to you. I'm chipping away at the problem areas of our house very slowly as I was quite ill for a year. I say celebrate all the little steps along the way because they're totally worth celebrating. Part of my plan is also to contain the mess mostly only in one room. A room where it can be as messy as I like and no one can comment about it. Good luck and keep us posted along the way. I'm totally with you!

bigeyedchick said...

It's very comforting to know that I am not the only one who lives like this! I feel like it's a mountain that I will never reach the top of, but I keep trying and some days are better than others! Keep up the good work Rene'!

Laurel :)

Claire de Lune said...

Oh my, this just hit me where I'm living right now, literally. I just closed my shop and what didn't fit in the storage unit is now all over my house. Everyday I get motivated and start working on it and by 2 pm, I'm depressed and irritated. But I think that some things are meant to be chipped away at instead of bulldozed so that the sacredness of the task is appreciated and not soon forgotten.

kerrie of sea cottage said...

"From His fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace." John 1:16 This is the scripture I read and held onto last week. I hope it encourages you in your journey to de-clutter. I wish I lived closer so I could give you a hand. My parents are collectors...they do not throw anything away. So I grew up in a home with piles everywhere. That is why I can't live with piles. I am a bit OCD about it. I really need simple open space. We are all different. And we embrace each other in our differences right? I have a difficult time getting rid of my children's things because they hold so many memories for me. But I have had to tell myself that we can't take it with us to heaven and it has helped me to let go. There are many boxes in our garage that I cannot even begin to try and sort through yet. Mostly homeschooling books, papers, drawings, projects my kids created. Makes me cry that those years are over. I will do it someday when I am ready. Not yet. Try putting on some worship music while you are sorting through and ask the LORD for help in decision making. Remember His yoke is easy and burden is light. Bless your sweet heart Rene. ox

Paula said...

My sweet friend! What a beautiful and open heart you have!!! I am so proud of you for sharing this! But first, I must say, you are NOT a failure and I cannot imagine your family being embarrassed by you! They adore you! You are such a GODLY woman and a inspiration to me! You are so loving and so kind! I love the verse you shared, it was so encouraging! I am proud of you for going through all your pretties and deciding what to keep and what to let go of. Each day things will get better and more organized, take it one day at a time and before you know it you will have your home just the way you want it. Look at how beautifully you always decorate and arrange your vignettes! You have a gift dear one! I am so glad your friend has encouraged you to do this! I will keep you in my prayers and know that the Lord will help you each step of the way! But please, don't be hard on yourself. Thank you for sharing your heart my beautiful friend! You are already making great progress!!! Love you dearly, Paula… a big hug too! xoxo

FlowerLady said...

First, I answered this heart touching post of yours but must have forgot to publish it.

I have always been in awe and inspired by your blog. The stories of love, ups and downs, your love of pretty and shabby things, your lovely way of decorating. I have wanted to have your lovely home in the quiet country.

Having been in the antiques business years ago, I know about buying and stacking things all over. We still have 'stuff' and our little 50's cottage is only around 600 sq ft. We no longer go out looking for things to buy and it's a relief really.

You are an inspiration to so many, and here you are posting about a real issue in your life that many of us can relate to.

None of us would ever know this chaos that you are living with, if you hadn't shared it with us. Now we can all cheer you on, and do some decluttering of our own.

Thank you so much Gracie for being your sweet, lovable self, and for the inspiration that you are.

FlowerLady

Sweet Magnolias Farm said...

Sweet Rene, Thank you again! We have the same problem here. We do get it organized and then it happens again....we go shopping for product, we start working on projects and it starts creeping throughout the house. But because of the nature of this business it is never ending and always changing especially because we don't deal in just one kind of item. We were once asked at a show by a mag. photog. if our home looked like our booth....boy did we laugh and then said "NO". We tell people its more like a warehouse. We are not lazy and we work hard at what we do....its just the nature of this business. I will think of you often when I get overwhelmed and know that I am not alone.
Sweet Blessings, Abbey

just me jan said...

Rene...
First off let me commend you for baring your soul and your home to the general public...such a hard thing to do! While you may think your progress is slow, don't despair...every little action is a step forward. I would suggest that you spend a few moments checking out the website theflylady.com...it's a site that helps individuals such as yourself begin to start controling their out of control households. While I am a passionate purger of items and ultra organized, I find that I, too, enjoy this website and the daily "household tasks" that are set up for readers. Check it out...you might find it helpful!

just me...thinkin' you HAVE made a difference and hope you'll keep pluggin' along...jan

nooksncrannies said...

I looked at your pictures and that could be me!! We are of the same passion,this I have found in other collectors, so you are not alone sweet friend..I too am going thru the same fight within myself and beat myself up that I don't make bigger strides in my work but we will conquer with God on our side!!! Love your blog!you are my inspiration...a new friend,Roxanne

Faye said...

This is me! Slowly this is happening to my house only I don't sell anything. I keep it all!!! You are brave to show this and you are not alone. I love everything old and pretty and I can't part with anything. I love finding a good deal at the thrift stores but I have no place to put any more!!! You'll get it done but don't let it eat at you. My husband says our house looks lived in...thank goodness he is as bad as I am...I think. Hugs!
Faye
(wildrosevintage)

Gail said...

Stuff or space, that is the question. Family or furnishings, that is the question. Godspeed working through this.
PS Lam. verse is my Mom's "favorite".

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am just like you, only not as brave. It does make me feel better to know there are others like me out there with exquisite taste but too much of it! I have an antique business too and see the beauty in everything I acquire. I have just acquired too much! But, I am making progress, like you! Blessings on you and your family! Becky