26 May 2015

too much op shopping


Tucked behind a "World's Greatest Dad" mug and a half used scented candle, is a hint of powder blue. A delicate curve, a gold embossed rim - an ornate platter of days gone by. And so I quicken my step and snatch up this treasure for my own. All too often this scenario unfolds whilst op shopping and as a result our cupboards have been bursting with gilded, vintage treasures. I have dutifully applied a rule of "beautiful yet practical" to my purchases but how many platters does one family need?

Op shopping or thrifting is a wonderful way of making do; it is the epitome of recycling.  One man's trash is another man's treasure but the hard part isn't wading through the abundance of discarded "trash" , it's saying no to the "treasures".

Clutter comes in all guises and nostalgic pretties have the same habit of accumulating as less appealing fripperies. My hunting for delicate treasures made op shopping less about purchasing essentials and all about the "collecting" of something. I'd be heard exclaiming, "Oh, I don't have that particular pattern of Pyrex bowl!", regardless of whether I needed any more bowls or not (for the record, I did not!)

So I started taking note of my kitchen comings and goings. I noticed that I reached for the same tea cup day after day. The stacks of plates and  platters, no matter how beautiful, were rarely used bar a few. Balanced in hard to reach places, they made meal preparations difficult;  the constant un -stacking of fragile pieces in order to reach the one I wanted was frustrating.  These bargain beauties were not only cramping my cupboards but stifling my kitchen creativity.  And so a purge ensued.

I took everything out and spread it across the kitchen benches and spent a pretty moment casting my eyes over pastel hues. Those items that hadn't seen the light of day were quickly boxed up and passed on for others to enjoy. The fence sitters needed a little more thought - what exactly would I use it for, and how often? Finally I had a small selection of pieces, the old favourites, that I happily reach for time and time again. Coupled with pieces made with soul these vintage treasures grace our table daily; they bring joy. And isn't that really the aim of simplifying?


9 comments:

  1. These words ring true in my ears and heart. It's only in recent months that I have been able to say no to treasures I don't need but oh so want...it's a battle that will continue lifelong!! hehe. It is so freeing to have what you absolutely love and adore in easy reach and rotation. A beautiful post that will inspire me to keep simplifying whilst enjoying beautiful vintage wares

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    1. I think you're right about the lifelong battle! But I really am enjoying using those special pieces everyday rather than hoarding them like Smaug. Thanks so much for your kind words and may you be strong on your op shopping adventures ;) xx

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  2. Well done Steph! It's not easy, but it feels so good afterwards. xo

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    1. It certainly does Julie! Hope all is lovely with you xx

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  3. This is one of my struggles too. So much of our clutter problem is due to my bower bird instincts in op shops. I have, like you, purchased items i do not need but want. As well as crockery, i have also accumulated too many children's clothes and toys. I often wish i had saved those funds to purchase the wooden toys i really want for the children rather than every random wooden toy i see in an op shop. I have been purging a lot recently; every preschool day sees another load of bags (back) to the op shop. With baby 3 due in the next week, it might just be a nesting instinct, but recognising the ongoing need to say no to stuff is a continuing lesson.

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  4. It's so hard to let go of those treasures, isn't it? You're right though...we so often gravitate to the same over and over again. Why not live in a house full of favorites, and devoid of fillers? So freeing!

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  5. Yes, I love wandering around and looking at op-shops and markets, but now I am so selective about what I bring in to our home. I have my collection of precious pieces for special occasions, and I have our everyday pieces. Now I only purchase to replace what has been broken. Our everyday bowls and plates are an ever changing collection of thrifted mis-matched pieces, usually picked up for a dollar a piece, and I love love love them. I love that they don't match. I love their different patterns and colours. I love not knowing which one I'll get next when I go to grab a plate. And I love that there's no stress if a child breaks a piece. :)

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Your words brighten my day! Thank-you so much for joining me on my adventure. x