The Things That Matter

photo via bhg

photo via bhg


I recently watched an interview with Oprah and Nate Berkus which was part of OWN’s Soul Series. I love decorating, and I’m one of those people who likes pretty spaces. Sometimes decorating gets a bad rap and is considered superficial. I’m in agreement with the motto people matter before things, but I also feel it’s important to surround yourself with things you love. A beautiful house won’t make you happy if you aren’t sharing it with people and things you love. Nate talked about not only the importance of how things look, but how they make you feel. I loved this quote which is from his new book The Things That Matter. “The truth is that things matter. They have to, they are what we live with and touch each and every day. They represent what we’ve seen, who we’ve loved and where we hope to go next. They remind us of the good times and the rough patches and everything in between that’s made us who we are.” I’m a bit of a pack rat so it could be I like this quote because it helps justify my keeping things like my old Mrs. Beasley and other dolls from the 1970’s as well as my large collection of Nancy Drew books. It also encourages me to really look at things with a more discriminating eye.

Nate recommends asking yourself these questions before you buy something?

  1. Is this really serving me in my home?
  2. Does it represent me and matter to me?

I’m a list person so I decided to come up with a list of things that matter to me in my home.  These aren’t necessities, but things that I think are beautiful, represent memories, and are creature comforts to me.

  • photos (especially old ones)
  • seashells (because I love the ocean and they remind me of nature’s magnificence)
  • my Keurig (I have become dependant on a cup of coffee in the morning or some type of caffeine)
  • books
  • warm slippers (my feet get cold)
  • quotes/inspiration boards
  • containers that are pretty and functional so my stuff doesn’t look as cluttered
  • my grandmother’s antique bedroom set
  • my laptop computer
  • my camera
  • my IPhone
  • certain pieces of jewelry
  • my kids artwork and certain things they’ve made
  • a nice warm blanket
  • a comfortable mattress

After listing these things, I realized I really don’t need a whole lot.  Maybe this new perspective will help in my ongoing decluttering process.   What are some things in your home that matter to you?

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  1. Angela says

    Dawn, I LOVE this entry and a fun exercise! Nate Berkus is one of my favorites. I tend to love things that are worn, or maybe better put, well-loved. I love to estate sale, so to earn a spot in my house any item has to have a purpose, or it has to replace something else. otherwise….MY estate sale will be a nightmare.

    My top 5 things that I NEED are:

    1. my drawer of potholders/hotpads that I’ve had since I left home at 26 years ago! (they should be replaced….but I refuse).
    2. my stacks of books near my bed that is probably taller than my bedside table.
    3. Paintings that Mallory has made for me and photographs of the Kids, my parents, and sibs.
    4. le creuset french ovens (because I love to cook, they do the job, and look pretty while doing it)
    5. soapstone counters….because it is indestructible and it feels like nothing else, especially when kneading dough!

    • says

      I have been to your house and I think you do a great job of editing. I could use some help in that area. I love that one of your favorite things is potholders. They must hold special memories for you. I don’t own any le creuset, but I’ve read good things about them. I’m also not familiar with soapstone counters, but I want to learn more. We are going to be doing some remodeling in our master bathroom. Thanks for sharing your treasures!

  2. Nancy Galbraith says

    In visiting my senior clients who often live in small one room apartments, it is amazing to see what treasurest they havr chosen to keep, as they have downsized through the years. Although objects, they tell their life story, make them happy and most of give them comfort. Although, I have many favorite treasures, the shell collection that Paul and I collected over 10 years in Florida is at the top of the list. I can smell the beach air and feel the warm sand in my toes…..

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