Monday, 4 April 2016
thrifting with a toddler: beautiful problem
No, it's not the child. The beautiful problem is stuff. Stuff that I love finding second hand or even collect... the exact stuff that I've built this blog around. The stuff in thrift shops, all the unwanted vintage, all the shabby retro stuff going for cheap.
Maybe it's the minimalist blogs I read. Or maybe having a child forces a shift in relationship with stuff anyway, naturally. But maybe just for people like me, who live in a small apartment and have had a lot of excess stuff stashed up in there already.
Take a small, one bed apartment and fill it randomly with an eclectic mix of thrift shop finds: larger items legoed cleverly into the lay-out, smaller ones into drawers and shelf space... Then land a baby in there with all the necessary baby-related large and small items and see the chaos unfold in an organic, evolving manner.
I watched the chaos unfold and then tried to live in it, but it was too stressful. We culled our furniture first. Then some other items which suddenly became irrelevant, obsolete or a potential hazard... Our storage locker in the basement is chock full with the stuff we decided to keep. The rest was let go. Yet still when I look around in here, or go through cupboards and drawers in my head all I see that there are still many to be decided upon.
Like fat lava vases. I have a little collection of them, about a dozen or so, but nowhere to put them. Right now, it really doesn't make sense to start thinking about investing in specific shelves to put them upon... so they are going into boxes, wrapped up for a later time, when the idea of decorating with breakables may be relevant.
Old children's books. Falling apart, needing tlc, or a bit dirty. Not built to survive a toddler's curiosity, but so fragile or damaged that I don't like turning their pages either. They make me sad, because of their condition. Yet I'm held captive by them, their naive tales, their illustrations. Chuck or keep? I'm just as torn as their pages.
Craft supplies, which in their colourful vintageness whisper about potential projects, only if I had the headspace to even think one up from beginning to end. And time to actually do them. Knitting and sewing patterns for weekender jumpers, 60s dresses, cabled cardies and other big projects. Such big commitments in time, effort and material. Deep down I know that I will never use them.
Just a few to name. Why did I buy these things in the first place? On the spur of some utopia, or nostalgia, or idealistic wishful thinking. And however much I place the using of them into my future, I still need to find a place for all that stuff now and in this present home. Which is the beautiful problem.
So I'm just wondering about it all, trying to clear space in the home and in the head, and in the emotional department, while feeling in thrifting limbo.