Are you storing, or staging?

We as homeowners, are always running around cleaning up our ‘stuff’. Seeing socks strewn down the hallway or towels on the floor, is given ‘stuff’ that we don’t want to see and feel better when it’s out of sight.

But then there’s the stuff we DO want to see. Our pretty stuff.

I’ve long thought I was abit of a packrat. Not in the decor sense though. I’ve always enjoyed putting out just enough to make me smile, but then the overflow, I never had the courage to give it all up. You know the stuff I’m talking about.

I tried when I moved. I got rid of lots of stuff as I was attempting to utilize every square inch in this home at one point. No boxes in sight was my ultimate goal! Loads of stuff got stuffed into garbage bags and taken to the local thrifts. But how many times did I go through those bags before they left the curb… countless. The bags were always smaller going out than my original intent.

Now know, I’m talking about an era before I knew I wanted to decorate. Wasn’t decorating something everyone just did because they wanted their home their own? Thinking that way, I felt discouraged knowing I had too many boxes taking up realestate. Onlookers would wonder why why why would I hold onto so much.

But now I know why.

Staging my home for this Christmas show requires stuff. And a whole lot of it. What pops into my head, I wish to see it on display, for I know it would look wonderful! However, that hasn’t transpired this round. I’ve been making do with what I had on hand. Decorating in this manner is alot tougher than going out and simply picking up what you think would be perfect for THAT spot. You have to make it work. And that alone pushes your creativity off the map (not a bad thing) but stalls you timewise (that part bad).

Knowing I’ll be having other town wide open houses and shows has brought new perspective on my collecting methods. I’ll now watch for that perfect wintery coat for the front entry. Or that perfect seasonal throw blanket that would soften the edges of the sofa.

Now I know, my stuff is no longer simply stuff. People, we are talking business here! Those boxes upon piles of other boxes is now known as, ‘staging accessories.’ And they’re a must!

I used to stress everytime I walked into my basement looking for ‘that’ thing. Now I maze my way through the riff raff with a smile on my face. Although I don’t like all that stuff in my way, it serves a much different purpose. This ‘stuff’ indeed has a place in this home. And now I have to find a good place for it to call home.

My buddy Dan told me one time my garage is a ‘workshop’, where I make things, so it’s allowed to be disorganized and messy, because it’s being used on a constant basis. That allowed me to think differently. Rather than quickly clean up every square inch of sawdust and put all the saws back in their cases, I now proudly have tables set out allowing for immediate use. WAY more productive!

Much like my workshop, part of my basement will indeed need to turn into my staging storage. I’m excited to report I cannnot WAIT until things are neatly stored on shelves so I can grab and run. (and walk)

So my dear decorating friends, the next time someone raises an eyebrow at your storgage area, think differently than they do. It’s simply FREE stuff to change out your house now and again. If you decorate, you are a stager. No different than tools stored in the garage! How do you like that theory?!?

How about you? Are you simply storing, or do you use your stuff? And more importantly, where are you putting it?!? … help…

And don’t forget about our weekend party. It’s still on starting Fri nite! Theme is always anything goes…

… so hope to see you there!

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14 thoughts on “Are you storing, or staging?

  1. I hate storing stuff. I think b/c mom was messy and didn’t even know what she had it has made me ultra neat. I like a lot of stuff at my home just not stored. My style is organized clutter.

  2. Donna, thanks for sharing this! You have hit the nail on the head in my opinion, also. I have quite a bit of “staging” stuff and sometimes wonder if I should keep it all (especially as we’re trying to make room for baby on the way) but I use it often enough that it seems a good idea. The past two baby showers we’ve had at church, I’ve been able to go to my stash and pull out an assortment of things to stage the table. It is such a joy to me. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts. Kelly

  3. I am a pack rat … I am the first to admit it (as long as I am faster than my husband). Up until now I was a storer .. I love cool looking things .. vintage things .. things that have a story. Up until now I was too busy and had too many little ones running around to stage .. now I can work on staging.

    Thanks so much for your inspiration, Donna! We are almost identical in taste! I spend alot of time drooling over what you have already done!

  4. I’ve got one up on you gal! I have all of that “storage” in my house, and I have half of my garage full of that “stuff”, and I have a 20′ x 20′ rented storage unit FULL of more “stuff”. I’ve parted with all I can bare to part with………….or have I?

    Anyhoo, I understand your need to have what you have.

    Also, just wanted to let you know that you won something in my giveaway! I sent you an email, but just incase you haven’t gotten it yet, I’m telling you here as well.

  5. Hi Donna,
    I have a pull down stairs for easy access into our attic, It holds a lot of my stuff. In the past I have gotten rid of so much that I would love to have back, oh well. I would love to have Polly’s storage though.

    Everything is looking beautiful – good luck with the show!

  6. I’m somewhere in the middle. I REALLY enjoy organizing so while I’m good at knowing how to store the extra stuff (fortunately I have the room), I tend to get rid of stuff too fast. Workin’ on the ‘hold on to it longer’ part as long as it has some history or is a classic shape, colour etc.

    With budget being a huge factor, I hate to have to buy something again and love to repurpose. Like someone commented, there’s lots of things that I have regretted giving away and yet getting rid of stuff appeals to the organizer in me. I’m trying for balance. I think keeping in mind my overall style sense should help. I’m not really into what is totally current and hot so this saves me some money. I have learned that I prefer my collected style better.

    As for storage of seasonal decor, I have Rubbermaid totes labelled by holiday/season stored in our large storage area in basement. Inside the totes are smaller shoeboxes labelled with specific themes. I loooove my labeller!

    The tougher part is decor stuff. I have the space in a small walk-in closet in our guest bedroom in the basement(safe, dry and out of the way) and the basement kitchen cupboards, but I don’t want the stuff all hidden in boxes. Like you, I want to SEE it and grab it.

    I continue to admire how you gather a few items together and make such an interesting tablescape etc. I’m working on not just having ‘stuff’ out, but it looking interesting and cohesive. This is where I struggle. Sometimes I feel like I have too much out or maybe it’s just not meshing well together.

    Anyhoo, good luck this weekend. Keep your valuables safe and hoping you get tons of business. Your home will look amazing no matter what. And I so hope you will be able to share more photos when you get a chance.

  7. I struggle with this all the time. My house is small and doesn’t have much storage, and it begins to feel cluttered very quickly (remember my extreme home edition post???) So I get rid of things….then I go thrifting and pack it all in again.

    I”m just going to have to get the lead out and learn to be a better organizer….and I’d like to streamline my decorating accessories a bit too. It’s hard to know what to keep, though, when your rooms are ‘done’ yet. Staging is the last step, so it’s hard as all get-out to know every accessory that will be used where.

    Great post, girl! Got my brain cells firing, and that’s always a good thing.

  8. Im going thru this right now. Im cleaning out my house and packing for a move. Ive let go of alot of things but still there are things I look at and think…..hmmmm I might be able to use this in the new house. So its hard. And Ive put stuff in the garage for the thrift stores only to pull a few things back. I just keep telling myself if I keep it I have to pay for storage and the helps.

    You see Im moving but wont be in a house till I find one so my things will be stored for a month or so. Ill be living with my bfs folks till then. So looking at it right now as $$ spent, helps to keep it from becoming too chaotic. Im sure once I land Ill look at my things and say…… why did I keep that? lol

  9. I like your way of looking at things. My house is extremely little, and it has almost no storage place at all… we use a free bedroom for storing things. Lately it’s looking all messy. I know I need to organize everything around… but this way of thinking is much better than thinking of it in terms of storing.

  10. I purged EVERYTHING before this move- 6 months ago. My taste had changed and now that we are committed to this being home through the rest of raising our girls (God willing), I wanted to start with a fresh slate. Autmun was hard because I had NOTHING. But as I do each holiday- I will begin to store it and and eventually it will become a little easier. I’ve just begun Christmas…

  11. I struggle with having my stuff in boxes that I just can’t part with. My hubby said that I needed to use it or part with it. I pulled a ton of it out while trying to “stage” our condo when we moved in a few months ago. However, it’s REALLY cluttered, even by my tastes. I am going to put a lot of it away to bring out the Christmas stuff, and it’s not all going to immediately come back out. I am going to try and rotate it better. I struggle with having it be organized and knowing what I have at my finger tips. Good luck with organizing your staging stuff.

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