An Abundance of Gifts

Hi kiddos,

Life has returned to normal-ish post honeymoon, and we are back in the land of the living – which means back to work, chores, bills and cleaning. We were completely ready to come back and were looking forward to cooking real food, sleeping in our own bed … and even doing the housework ourselves (well I was anyway)!.

I thought that after the photobombing of my daily outfits (which have their own organisational tale, which I’ll tell shortly), this back-to-earth period in our lives offers some good learning opportunities for household organisation.

Some thoughts on ‘stuff’. We were lucky enough to receive many beautiful gifts for our wedding, all of which were thoughtfully chosen. As a rule I believe that just because something was a gift doesn’t mean that you are obliged to treasure it and display it until Kingdom Come, but in our case there is truly nothing we received that we do not love and want to have around us.

This is one of our most treasured gifts, not just because of its breathtaking curves, but because it was given to us by dear old friends and neighbours who have known me my whole life. This one’s on permanent display!

So what’s a clutter-averse girl to do? Here’s what: I took stock of what we already had and what we had received. I thought about those objects that I wanted to display all the time because they were so knockout, and what of my current display pieces could be retired, rested, removed or re-homed to make way for new things – ie: I had to recognise that it couldn’t all possibly get a look in.

Why wouldn’t I want to have absolutely everything I loved and that meant something to me on display all of the time? Because there are more considerations that just wanting to be surrounded by them. I want to display key pieces properly; I want to keep my spaces clear and to direct the eye towards special things; and I want to show those key pieces the respect they deserve. All of this means not swamping them with other goods and encroaching on their space, not littering all available space, keeping them a clean environment, and keeping them well-cared for: none of which I can do if I can’t locate them for all the clutter.

Lots of things you want to display? Rotate them. Store some pieces safely and diarise every month or quarter to fish them out and create a new vignette.

Not much display space? Think about other surfaces you could use. I have arrangements on our hall table, buffet, side table, dressing table, bedside table, above the pantry, in the bathroom and in glass-panelled kitchen cupboards (not as overwhelming as you think if you keep it to a few items in odd numbers with some linkages between each display – I like to use Glasshouse candles as a cheap, useful, pretty and nice-smelling decorative theme).

Gorgeous Glasshouse.

Not much space to store items not on rotation? If you wrap and seal delicates carefully, you should be able to use high storage and darker spaces effectively. A box of vases for example can be wrapped in bubble-wrap and stored up in that top section of the built-in robe that you can’t get to without a chair, because it’s not something you’ll be using every day so the extra effort required to retrieve it won’t bug you regularly.

Just don’t know what to put out at a time? Try to stick to some basic design principles (I’m no interior designer but I do know these ones!): odd numbers work better than evens; arrange items in a pyramid shape (pointy to broad); try to incorporate a similar element in each item (ie: all silver frames) or between difference displays around the home (see the Glasshouse candles above; or you could use flowers or small tray, for example); and most of all: don’t forget that space with nothing in it is also a key design feature, so position objects in relation and proportion to one another and not just smushed up side by side.

If you’re lucky enough to have beautiful treasures around you, then you have a responsibility to display and care for them properly.