Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let's Talk Collecting, Displaying, Decorating and Discarding

A few days ago, I shared a photo shoot that I did featuring the Lladro figurines I inherited from my mother. She had a huge collection, and when she passed away, we divided them up. Mainly each child took the ones which we had given her as gifts over the years, although some were divided up equally.  I have a few collections myself, mainly Belleek china and knick-knacks from my travels. One of my goals for 2014 is to organize and purge my home, and I am struggling with what to do with my various treasures. Traditionally, I have always displayed the same things year-round, but I've decided that I should get into the habit of rotating what I have on display and keep other things in storage to be brought out later. 
So, I sorted through my mom's  new collection with that thought in mind.
 I decided to store this beautiful angel with my Christmas decorations and bring her out once a year.
My mom bought this bear when we took a Alaskan cruise together; I bought one, too, so now the two will live together in my china cabinet:
My mom said that this pair of children reminded her of Henry and Clara, and I almost put them up in storage to be brought out at another time. 
But then I decided to put them on display on top of my china cabinet, along with the Lladros I gave her from my travels to Ireland, Spain and China.

That left two figurines which I lovingly wrapped up and put into storage. I'm not sure when I'll pull that box back down and add these back to the collection. For now, it feels good to have this bit of my mom keeping us company. Even though I hadn't opened the Lladro box for over five years, I know I'm not ready to discard this collection; I don't know if I will ever be ready for that.
So, I'm wondering what decisions the rest of you make about how you display or decorate with the things you collect. Let's talk. Are there things that go up and down throughout the year on a set schedule? Or when the spirit moves you? How do you know when you are ready to discard things your purchased (with perhaps a large price tag or that have sentimental value)?  Any tips for letting go?
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"Let's Talk" is a semi-regular series designed to inspire frank discussion and sharing of information on issues relating to photography, art and blogging. 

16 comments:

Amy said...

Things have changed a lot for me over the years but generally speaking I don't like to have too much out and rotate things so that I can have my sentimental items displayed.
I would like a crystal cabinet of sorts, maybe a cabinet of curiosities is a better description for me, and I have in mind a design I'd like my dear husband to make at some stage in the future.

Ladkyis said...

Mr M likes Lego, yes he is over 50 but he has four cabinets full of Lego models that people have given him as gifts. I have one or two bits that gather dust - I don't do housework - and I keep giving stuff to grandchildren and children in an effort to rid my house of stuff. As I have a whole room called the fornow room, where we put stuff for now I don't see my minimalist aims being fulfilled any time soon. I don't have expensive because that's what gets broken first.

Missus Wookie said...

Nothing wrong with Lego :)

I like to change my displays. One of the things I'm looking forward to in the new house is hopefully having a bit more space. I thin through the collections on an irregular basis, sentimental items get heavy thinking than expensive ones.

Definitely think the idea of thinking about it is a good thing - and talking to others who may have opinions :)

Sian said...

I'm definitely not the person to ask for advice about letting go! I keep it all, though quite a lot of my favourite things are what most people would call rubbish and are kept in boxes, not out on display. I like quirky collections. I've actually been thinking about unpacking one of my boxes - a dollshouse which I packed away when we were moving house when TTO was about 8 months old. That's how long it had been in the box!

Cheri said...

As I've realized that I really prefer a totally uncluttered look to feel calm and serene, I've been able to let go of collections without hesitation. I wrote about one here: http://cheriandrews.blogspot.com/2013/09/story-telling-sunday-my-precious-9.html

Particularly sentimental items that still make me HAPPY can stay, but everything else can go.

alexa said...

Your collections are very delicate - I have some Belleek china too as I lived not very far from it. I have very little in the way of ornaments - some things from my Mum I keep in a box, I'm afraid. I thought there was going to be another D in your title - Dusting :).

sky-blu-pink said...

Oh. I can never bear to part with anything that has been given to me, I still have all the little gifts my pupils have given me over the past 25 years or so. I am Mrs Nostalgia Sentimental for sure!

Carola Bartz said...

I used to have a lot of knick-knacks out, but a few years ago I went through them all because I was simply tired of them - and I also dislike how they collect dust (I don't like to clean either). A lot of them I brought to thrift stores, another part got boxed up, and I guess I will go through them again and more of them will take the way to the thrift store. Those that have a true sentimental value I will keep, either on display or boxed up and taken out every now and then. I try not to have that many things anymore.

Beverly said...

We have Lladros that we inherited from the Chosen one's grandparents and it has been packed up for the last 2 years. My doll collection is in a curio cabinet in the front foyer. I am very much a seasonal decorator.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

I don't really do ornaments. My shelves are full of books and little else. However, I am a hoarder....I think everything will come in useful one day!

Karen said...

I have seasonal decorations that I rotate throughout the year. They have been pared down substantially in the last couple of years. I'm in the beginning stages of my "Simplify" and organize, and I just packed up a box of handmade dolls that have been on display for many years. I'm not quite ready to let them go, but as I clear surfaces I'm finding I rather like the cleaner look.

Irene said...

I have given some of moms collectibles to nieces who are now married and have homes of their own. They love that I gave them a few of their grandmothers treasurers. I also use the fine china and crystal glasses for special dinners. It does not have to be a holiday. I feel that they are meant to be used and not stored in boxes where no one can enjoy them. Yes I have broken a few of the cups and plan on ordering replacements some day. Hope this helps.

Chipper Newman said...

I have never considered rotating ornaments ... what a good idea. I don't like to be surrounded by dust collectors but people I love keep buying them for me. I recently had to ban them as gift as I have no where to put them! I am saving for a china cabinet to display the ones I have in and that may help to free up some space. I love to have framed photos displayed in the house. I prefer it to artwork as I love to see photos of the ones that I love.

Melissa said...

I think you've done a wonderful job choosing to display some of these & store others & put the angel with the Christmas decorations. We pretty much keep the same things up year round . . . except at Christmas - a lot of the yearly stuff comes down & is packed into the Christmas boxes so we can enjoy the Christmas items.

I'm on a mission to declutter some this year, too. There are items with sentimental value that I know I don't want to part with, but I'm hoping to go through a lot of our stuff and maybe put some in the attic & start a rotation of items on display. (Because much of the house is devoted to Robbie's collections! :>))

Fiona said...

I have never thought of rotating ornaments throughout the year - apart from Christmas, when there are some that I only put out then.

Gail said...

We did a resort of my coolectibles back in 2011 and now only have out the ones I especially love. The rest are packed away in their boxes. The Christmas themed ones do come out in December though. Notice i said my collectibles, I would love it if when we get back we could go through his. :)