Thursday, 16 February 2017

Organising

I like to hand-make cards and February is the time to do it in our family - four birthdays plus Valentine's Day.  I'm a bit out of ideas now but quite pleased to have created individual cards for everyone.

With Spring on the way I got the urge to do some de-cluttering. I don't think I'll ever be a minimalist, but somehow I've acquired a lot of stuff which I really don't need. Do I really need an Ancient Order of Foresters sash?  Specially when I don't even know what the Ancient Order of Foresters is....


And where does this rather large  jug come from?  It reminds me of the stuff we saw in Murano, and although I wouldn't exactly call it beautiful it's kind of interesting.  But what could I use it for?


Not keen on this glass lampshade but it is genuine 1930s, and might be worth a few pounds. I wouldn't sell it on eBay as it might break in the post but our local charity shops only sell fairly new stuff so I don't think they would recognise it as an antique. After surviving for 80 years I feel it would be a shame if it ended up chucked out in a charity shop bin. Any suggestions?


As for THIS... well, an early effort by one of our daughters to get her life under control, it seems...


I'll keep that, for sentimental reasons.  As for the rest, I'm fighting the temptation to repack it and put it back in the loft.

Still, yesterday I did use one of the items which has sat forgotten in the cupboard for ages. T and I got an unexpected bouquet of Scilly Islands jonquils from a friend.  There were so many flowers we didn't seem to have a vase to fit them, when I suddenly thought of my grandmother's glass jug. It has a very wide neck so they all fitted in.


They are beautiful and giving us a lot of pleasure.  Glad we didn't get rid of the jug, which I always liked anyway. 

I was still thinking about how to deal with all the other stuff when we went into central London yesterday, to run a few errands. We had a cup of tea on the fifth floor of John Lewis, overlooking the escalators, a spot I love. Somehow I can sit for hours and watch the escalators rumbling quietly away.

Yesterday, I thought how well those crowds of people in the store organise themselves without anyone to tell them how to do it! 

39 comments:

  1. You have a camera eye, watching strangers moving or talking.

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    1. Yes, I an often most interested in the "unconsidered details"

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  2. it feels so good to declutter, but the decisions we have to make bog us down.

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    1. I am just trying to be tough. I am so often glad when things are gone.

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  3. Before you get rid of those things, you might want to do a little research. They could actually be worth something. Well, maybe not the sash but it IS interesting.

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    1. I have a tendency to collect things because they are interesting, which is one reason that U-store facility does seem rather tempting at times!

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  4. Personal organization does not apply to rules of public behavior. We learned in school how to get in line, give way, all that stuff. We just lose it on the way home.
    Seriously, it is so difficult to declutter personal space. I'd ask the charity shop of their protocol. If they know the business, they'll skim the valuables at the door and sell them to a dealer, use EBay, etc.

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    1. I'm already thinking that I should be looking out for a charity shop that seems to understand old stuff. I think a lot depends on the people running it. There is one in Suffolk which always seems to have antiques in, but I don't really see myself driving 3 hours each way to drop the lampshade off. I guess i will remember to take it next time I go.

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  5. Thank you for sharing. Lovely flowers
    Is there a consignment shop within a good distance? That lampshade is really neat for collectors. As for any sashes, awards and such, I'd keep those. The escalator is mesmerizing. :)
    I see on TV where organizers label piles for keep, donate, yard sale, recycle, and such. The problem with that is the label magnetizes the word Keep so that more stuff clings to it like I did to my mother the first day of kindergarten (eventually letting go reminds me of tearing Velcro apart). Then you get to the good stuff/too poor to give that away situation. Consignment shops can be the answer or charity donation that gives receipts for the estimated value.

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    1. Yes, and what the programme doesn't show so much is the poor de-cluttering person returning to the piles and quietly moving items from "Recycle" to "Keep"!

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  6. Every time I try to get organized and get rid of a few things, I remember their history and decide maybe I should hang on. So little gets thrown out or passed on.

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  7. The flowers and jug are lovely...I'd do a bit of research first on the other things...Good luck!

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  8. This reminds of the William Morris quote: " Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

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  9. You might check with an antiques dealer, the lampshade (or the sash) might be collector items. As for the jug and flowers, they are lovely, and i wouldn't be able to give away my grandmother's jug unless i was forced to. Glad you will be keeping that!

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    1. I am wondering if I know anyone that sells antiques. I used to have a friend with a stall at Portobello road but he's stopped doing it now.

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  10. Beautiful flowers in the glass jug.
    I am trying to toss out "stuff" and it is so hard because I know I will need it down the road. So I have decided to buy whatever I need for the project.
    The thing is I just do not paint, I watercolor also, color pencils, wood cut prints, ripped paper collages, print cards and till last year ceramics on and on. So I have stuff. I am pricing to have another garage built for supplies !.
    Now don't kill me but if you do not keep the vase or give it away after finding out it's history, I would break it up and glue it on another piece of glass for an abstract stained glass window and hang it in a window. But that is just me.

    cheers, parsnip

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  11. Never been that keen on those 1930's lampshades but there must be a shop in London that deals with them. One in Westbourne Grove near the church used to specialise in lamps from that era.

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    1. I would have thought so but many such shops seem to have closed down now. I think a lot of folks buy the lamp and lampshade together these days.

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  12. Could the sash be masonic? They go in for things likes sashes and badges, don't they? Love the daffs - we've got some in the hallway, but not the lovely white ones. That letter is hilarious - she obviously took so much care with it! I've been organising things too - but have ended up with a big pile of things that need to be sold, and no outlet for selling them easily. Hoping church fairs will be coming up soon and I can rent a stall!

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    1. I think the sash is sort of masonic. I don't know the name on the box though. Wonder where my parents got it.

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  13. That note by your daughter is for keeps.
    The bouquet of Scilly Islands jonquils is really pretty, or rather the way it is arranged in the jar.

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  14. I love this! Wish you'd show your cards, Jenny. I'd love to see them!

    I wish I could offer some good thoughts on the organizing but if you saw my space you would know why I'm not the person to do that! However, with that lampshade, maybe you could sell it to a dealer. There must be tons of them in London, Portobello is no place else. I would think someone would buy. Even if you don't get the real value, you would at least be giving it a chance at a new life and get a few pounds back for your trouble.

    That escalator photo is fabulous and oh, how I love those jonquils!

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  15. I went mad a few weeks ago and did a bit of de-cluttering. My madness didn't last long...but I did get rid of a few things to the local charity OP Shop!

    That is an interesting-looking jug. Do you have an antique dealer nearby? That could be the outlet for the lampshade.

    Those jonquils are stunning! :)

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  16. The flowers make me want to go and get daffodils for my living room, too - but I won't be around all weekend and most of the week anyway, so it would be a waste.
    I can see what you mean about watching the escalators. They have something of a calmingly hypnotic quality.
    As for crowds - well, I think the opposite every time I go to the supermarket (twice a week) and when I travel by train (nearly every day). People often seem to be completely lost in time and space, and you have to maneuvre your way around them somehow, with shopping trolleys left in the middle of the aisle or people standing on the platform right in front of the train's doors so that nobody can get off...

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  17. I would rather perish than be a minimalist. I love to be immersed in the clutter of all the things I love (books, antiques, photos, etc.)

    I like the jug in the second photo. Keep it on a high shelf away from children and pets (my cats broke two of my favorite vases). The 1930's glass lampshade looks like it's in great condition. I think you should do some research on it and possibly keep it - but I have no idea what it could be used for. It's too nice to use as a lampshade....

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  18. I discovered, when disposing of some of Joe's stuff, that certain charity shops take the more unusual and auction them on eBay. Apparently they get more money that way. I also believe there is a demand for things like that lovely jug.

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  19. I learned so much when I went travelling for a year - I realised just how little I actually need if I have to carry it on my back!

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  20. As someone who just ditched 95 percent of her stuff, I don't think of myself as a minimalist either. Loved seeing your stuff and reading what you thought of each thing. Happy Decluttering and thank you for sharing.

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    1. I got your message. It might work. Worked for me. Though I had nooooooo idea that I was gonna declutter after the half marathon.

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  21. I, too, like to produce my own cards but not by hand. I use my (and occasionally those of other people with their permission - unless I'm trying to surprise them by sending them one of their own!). Some years ago my brother (a master collector) was staying and we had a blitz on my loft. Fortunately he will be here again this summer because it's now as bad as it ever was.

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  22. Decluttering and organizing is a difficult chore. It's probably easier for me, because I don't have anything valuable, just trinkets and old things that are either worn out, broken, useless, or duplicates. I used to pretend I would move and therefore had to get rid of stuff (since movers charge by the pound). I should do that again!

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  23. Hello Jenny,
    I love your header - most beautiful.
    Good on you making your own cards... they are always so special.
    Yes that little note is definitely something to be kept.
    The others who've commented have said it so well.
    We had to de-clutter and get rid of things years ago when we decided to sell up and travel around Australia in a bus. We stored some large items but lots of things just had to go. The one thing(s) we still regret are a lot of our books and vinyl records.
    Now, we're in a small home and I try to keep with our Bus rule still... one thing in - then one thing out ;D) I don't always succeed.
    Sorry I haven't been much help but have to say those Jonquils are gorgeous!
    Cheerio for now 😊

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  24. I gather there's quite boom in storage facilities, with many people storing all their superfluous possessions rather than taking a deep breath and chucking it all out. Garages also tend to be used for storage rather than parking a car. We removed temptation by having our garage demolished!

    The Ancient Order of Foresters is a friendly society. Its main function seems to be providing insurance to its members - life insurance, sickness insurance, children's trust funds and so on. Maybe you have an old policy stashed away somewhere?

    The jug is rather hideous, isn't it? It certainly has the gawdy Murano look!

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  25. Oh Jenny, I did laugh over your daughter's note. Wonderful! I'm sure mine have done the same. That thirties jug, now. If you weren't so far away, I'd buy it off you! What a fascinating thing! Lovely post as always!

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  26. A little de-cluttering is good for the soul. Those flowers are gorgeous and look just right in that jug.

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  27. Can i buy that deco lampshade?

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    1. haha! knowing me it would break in the post. One reason I'm not putting it on ebay....in fact, the main reason...

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  28. You have some interesting stuff there. I actually liked both the strange looking vase and the lampshade. I'm on my second round of decluttering, so not that much clutter left. Just did my bookcases. Always the most difficult for me.

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  29. Hello, again, Jenny! The daffodils look so nice in that glass jar and I feel like that their fragrance wafting from. Presents and letters from children and grandchildren are priceless, probably I’ll keep them till my end. My children’s books and toys , which were useless when they grew up, got revitalized when my grandchildren started enjoying them. Happy for having kept them. BTW, do you know Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”? Her method is sorting and purging by category rather than by room and when deciding what to discard, make sure that the things you hold onto make you happy. As for myself, I still cling to old method, tidying room-by-room little-by-little.

    Yoko

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