Hello! Come On In, I’ll Put Coffee On

what does our stuff sayI had this thought the other night. If I died tomorrow, what would people find at my house apartment and what would that stuff say about me?Β  I know, it’s kind of a weird thought but sometimes I look around and wonder, among all my things which are a) the most valuable and b) the most sentimental c) the most tacky…and would I be able to tell the difference at this point? Furthermore, what does this stuff say about me. I mean we concern ourselves with what and who we present to the world but when it comes to our private spaces do we care as much or do we care more?

I guess it’s natural to have this thought after moving three times in the last decade. With each move I had to leave more things behind. I can’t think of a more apt time to evaluate our belongings and ‘stuff’ we accumulate than when we have a pending move. Moving and divorce seem to go hand in hand as well. Have you moved in the last few years?

A popular catch phrase these days is ‘downsizing’ or even better ‘right sizing’ and again, a time to evaluate our stuff. Let’s be honest here, I really don’t consider myself a hoarder. Maybe a collector πŸ™‚

So, come on in! I’ll put coffee on…take a peek inside my apartment and here’s what you will see besides the requisite family/children photos and television/computer;

My paintings (large and small) hung and stacked against the walls.

what does our stuff say about us?
My painting of my daughter hangs by the kitchen table


Book, books and more books stacked here and there.

 what does our stuff say

My Grandmother’s tea cups and other bright, patterned ones I’ve collected over the years.

A makeshift ‘bar’ with a selection of booze that never seems to get touched (I prefer wine).

That’s also one of my paintings. It’s a Paul Gaugin copy…an assignment for one of my oil painting classes

A pair of black converse runners (with a hole in one heel) I bought many years ago with my kids. My daughter got a red pair my son, green.

what does our stuff say

A long, black wool zip up sweater made in Prince Edward Island and bought there on a family trip we took when the kids were 9 and 7. Everyone chose a sweater. My kids have long outgrown theirs and probably have given them away but I still have mine. If you’ve never been to PEI, Canada’s smallest Province, I highly recommend it.

Charlottetown, PEI


A hand made wine rack recently filled by way of a wine trip with my Beau. He bought me every bottle for an early birthday present.

Fuzzy pillows and a blanket that’s perpetually crumpled on a slip covered couch.

Plants that have survived smoke damage and drought but thanks to the restoration lady who took them home, bathed them and nurtured them back to health, they are thriving today.

Hand knitted wool booties with one hole in the heel (this hole in the heel is a recurring theme) made by my talented mother in law.

An office drawer unit full of every bit and piece of junk and collections for hobbies and work.

A pen holder that says “World’s Best Mom” painted on it by a certain 9 year old blonde girl. (see painting above)

A table lamp made of driftwood made by my Beau and I, our first artistic collaboration—see the Two $ coin? it turns it on and off…

creopped and smaller image lamp

A mish-mash of clothing, some vintage (a nice way of saying second hand) and one inherited piece and some brand new…

my style too

A tiny table loaded with my paints, brushes and a small easel. My make shift studio.

paint brushesfixed

When I began making this list, I realized how lucky I am to have all of these things and stuff. Are they valuable? Not really. Are they messy and disorganized? Most of the time. Do they mean something to me? Yes. They also remind me of the nice things people have done for me and the generosity of others. You could say I like my stuff and if I have to move again, I will likely get rid of more stuff but until then, I will cherish what I have; tacky, valuable or sentimental.

What will I see at your place? I take milk in my coffee πŸ™‚

More on ‘right sizing’ by Kathy Gottberg at SmartLiving365

Where we bought our sweaters and more on PEI

signature black

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38 Replies to “Hello! Come On In, I’ll Put Coffee On”

    1. Hey Tracie, thank you so much and yes, I wish you could pop over for a shot of tanqueray. I bought that to make a martini which I never did. Then I thought it would be refreshing in the summer with tonic and lime and never did that either. Oh well, the bottle looks pretty on the bar πŸ™‚

  1. Hi Lisa! What a GREAT idea…going through and listing the things you know would be left behind if you disappeared tomorrow. What would people know about each of us if that happened? I just might have to do a blog post about this myself πŸ™‚ Don’t we all get great ideas and learn from each other this way? Thanks for both the link AND the idea! ~Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy, I’ll look forward to that post from you! I know you and Tom are very disciplined with your ‘stuff’ not holding on to unnecessary items πŸ™‚ Very inspiring. I thought some of my readers might enjoy your post on right sizing. It’s very relevant today and for our future. Thanks, Kathy!

  2. Your paintings are amazing!!! And I love the table in your make-shift studio. I admire artists and have always wanted to be one. I’ve dabbled but don’t have that much of a talent with paint, but I love all things about painting…brushes, easels, canvases, etc. And the lamp made out of driftwood is neat. I think you have some pretty cool stuff in your home. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Chrys! That’s interesting you’re drawn to the painting tools—a clue you should definitely try it. It takes practice for sure (you don’t see me showing the ones that didn’t turn out LOL) I love working with color and that’s been my pull to paints.We have a few lamps. We sold a few, too. It was a fun project. We always say if we had a house and some space we would probably do other creative things together.

  3. Great blog Lisa. I enjoyed it so much while drinking my morning coffee. Makes one feel grateful. Thanks.

    1. Hi Shali, thank you and I agree that looking around I really felt grateful for the things I have and how some of them tell a story. Have a great week! See ya soon.

  4. I didn’t know you painted! That’s gorgeous! We pared down – I have just one bookshelf now and we mostly get electronic books. I have a hand drawn picture of a room inside Buckingham Palace that isn’t currently open to the public. My great grandfather drew it and my daughter will inherit it when she pries it from my cold dead hands.

    1. Hi Liv, that’s so cool your grandfather drew a room at the Palace or should I say THE Palace. LOL, your daughter will have to pry it out of your ‘cold, dead hands’. Yes, I’m moving toward more e-books for sure. I have an ipad now so it’s really convenient. I still like to hold a book in my hand though and will peruse used book stores looking for classic gems.

  5. OOOOOO, I had such fun looking at your paintings and outfits and books!

    Thank you for allowing me inside your world!

    PS. When we went thru Kay’s things, I found 5 makeup bags filled w/ different colored lipsticks!


    1. Hey Kim that must have been so hard to go through Kay’s things…awwww, not a chore we want even when it’s time but a sudden and tragic death like that? What was her favorite lipstick color? Pink or RED. my sister loves bright pink. I just bought a color from Mac called ‘the dark side’. I love the name so I bought it. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Lisa!

    Wow, what a fun idea! I enjoyed looking and reading through this and learning a bit more about you.

    I have not had the experience of moving yet – I have lived in the same house my entire life, and I am still living with my parents as well. Maybe that makes me a loser (lol) but can’t pass up free rent/utilities/food. I have told them I won’t move out until I end up buying a duplex or something sometime in the near future. In any case, when that happens, I’ll surely have a much more interesting house to show.

    Right now my room is divided in half – one half looks like a music studio with a piano, guitars, drums etc. and the other half looks like an office. On the walls you’ll find letters and drawings people have given me, along with pictures of successful and inspirational people. The drawings make me happy and the pictures motivate me to work harder. πŸ™‚

    I am really gonna have to think about what people would think of me if they went through. It is a very interesting thing to think about!

    Thank you for sharing Lisa!
    – James McAllister

    1. Hi James, your room sounds perfect. So, music is your hobby? My son is a drummer and my daughter a guitarist. She’s in a band, too. I love that you have pictures of people who inspire you. That’s a great idea and I’m going to steal that one πŸ™‚ You’re smart to stay home and save up for a place of your own. Thanks for stopping over and sharing here, James!

  7. Hi Lisa,

    Lovely post indeed πŸ™‚

    True, we often don’t think of how and what we would leave behind once we leave this world – so glad you talked of it and reminded us of our legacies, big or small.

    I think mine would consist of bits and pieces I’ve gathered along the way, which one tends to call as clutter, but they are more of souvenirs for me from the ones I loved and lost, so I do treasure them and have a separate place for them at home. Besides, there are stuff of kids and ours, a few sketches I made, and one incomplete painting too (I didn’t know you painted too!!) – just wish I had the time to complete it and pursue it as it’s been my hobby in years gone by.

    Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a nice week ahead πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Harleena. I think clutter gets a bad rap…but it’s what makes us unique (so long as we’re not like the Hoarders on the reality show) πŸ™‚ I like that you keep your souvenirs of loved ones in the same place. That’s a great idea. You paint, too? It’s very therapeutic! I have many unfinished canvases from the past but lately I’ve been better about finishing my paintings. It does feel great to know it’s done and ready to sign. Have a great weekend!

  8. Hi Lisa,

    That thought crosses my mind too many times…if and when I go…what will happen to my things, my most precious possessions…who will have time sorting them out! Where would my beautiful sarees end up! What will happen to those hundreds of cards, which fill two of my drawers! And that letter, that most precious letter of apology written by my younger daughter…what will she do with it if she ever manages to find it in my invaluable possessions. I have kept that letter in my jewellery box and even written on it in bold letter -“my most precious possession.” I have also written a poem on this letter.

    I have started giving away my things but they seem to be endless! I have no idea how they kept increasing! I have never bought much except clothes…would you believe one wardrobe overflowing with my hubby’s formal jackets, some of which he must have worn just twice!

    This is a very interesting topic and I can go on and on! I loved looking at those pics and your paintings. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Balroop, I would imagine your daughters will want your beautiful sarees πŸ™‚ Oh, a letter from your daughter is your most prized possession…I can certainly understand that (especially an apology) πŸ˜› That might be something grandchildren will be interested in one day!

      I know our stuff seems to keep expanding. I read a great tip and I try to do this; when you bring something new home try to give away at least one thing. This helps to keep the ‘amount’ of thing we collect under control. Thanks for sharing, Balroop! Your stuff sounds beautiful!

  9. Hi Lisa,

    I often wonder what would happen to my stuff when I pass away too. What would my family do with what I think has special significance but might be junk to them.

    I was thinking about my stuff and I also have a collection of unopened alcohol that was given to us as gifts, but I prefer wine too.

    I have a collection of Stephen King books, some plates my grandmother gave me and are at least 40 years old – she’s had them since I was a little girl.

    I think my girls would keep my clothes. They can’t wait to snag my Bob Marley and Pink Floyd shirts.

    I also have a pair of black converse too. They’re going on three years old and look a little beat up but my kids say the older the better – “chucks” as they call them are to be worn that way. I wish they’d realize I’m way past my punk rock years, although I still love listening to the Misfits every now and then. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for sharing your home with us. You have great taste! I love your painting, you have some talent there. Makes me want to explore that too. πŸ™‚

    Hope you’re having a great week and that all is well Lisa!

    Take care,

    1. Hi Cori, Isn’t that true? What we find valuable our children will likely see as junk…looking at our stuff from their eyes changes things. You’re never too old to be a rocker chick—what with your Chucks and concert T’s πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Cori and yes, give painting a try—it’s lots of fun and messy!

  10. Beautiful painting!
    And we all have Converse here too, although only Cassidy has black ones.. and probably with holes in them.
    People would sift through a lot of camera equipment and books. and sundresses! Like.. lots of them!

    1. Thank you, Tamara! I will take a sundress or two… πŸ˜› You camera equipment will be valuable and maybe one of your kids will take up photography. Now, I need to know what color are your Converse?!

  11. Hey Lisa,

    Thanks for sharing a part of you with us.

    I know that people talk about downsizing all the time later in life but that’s how my entire adult life has been actually. I own a one bedroom condo and have for 26 years and it’s the perfect size. It has a huge closet that any woman on this earth would die for and another reason I bought this place.

    So I don’t have a lot of stuff but I am very sentimental. I think anyone who had to go through my things would enjoy looking at all my photo albums. I have them since I was in high school. When you walk in my home I have pictures everywhere. Of my friends and family, everyone enjoys looking at them all.

    Your painting is really pretty and your home sounds so cozy. As long as you’re happy though that’s what’s really important. Everything else is just stuff.


    1. Hi Adrienne, your condo sounds perfect! I love that you have tons of photos throughout your home. They tell so many stories. I’m jealous of your closet…although I use up most of ours b/c my Beau is not a clothes guy…I would still love a little more space. Yes, I’m happy and taking a look around my humble home, I realize how lucky I am to have the little things that really count. Thanks for sharing here, Adrienne!

  12. Lisa,
    Thank you so much for letting us peek into your world! What a great post and thank you so much for the invitation!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Love the shoes!! I also have a box of hand painted teacups from my grandmother; they’re packed carefully in a box and one day, I want to put them out on display–a link to my family so far away. <3


    1. Thanks for popping in, Jane. converse have to be the most comfortable and versatile shoe in the whole world πŸ™‚ My Grandmother’s tea cups and my collection in general is inside a kitchen cabinet and I would hope to display them somehow. The colors are gorgeous. Where is your family from?

  13. I love your paintings Lisa!! Fabulous! I did not know this about you.
    Guess I would miss gifts and things with good memories attached. But when I left Ireland I left everything behind, all my belongings. I came back with one suitcase, pregnancy clothes, my camera and my christening medal, my Bible and a piggybank full of 2€ coins!

    1. Thank you, Marie! Wow, that’s quite a story and a lesson in appreciating what we have. Nothing like a sudden or forced move to make us re-evaluate everything. The things you took with you say much about what’s important to you. I love that you took your piggybank πŸ˜‰

  14. Hi Lisa,

    I have “smart sized” two years ago. But I do have some things that mean so much to me. They may be frayed or have a hole in it here and there, but they are meaningful. A blouse my dad and I shopped for together that cost $50 back in the early 1970’s It was the first time he went shopping with me.
    A hand made dress from my grandmother when I was a child. Oh…I even have my great great grandmother’s wedding sheets…hand loomed with love birds. Treasured to pass down to each female in the family when they get married. I could go on, but they are all tucked away in a box with messages on them just in case I die.

    Yes I do have that thought of some few precious things that mean so much to me that I want to keep in the family. The rest can go to good will. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing this. I love your art most of all! Then those Converse sneakers….


    1. Wow, Donna that’s is so cool that you have heirlooms you can pass on to your daughter and you kept a blouse as a memento of that experience with you dad. Very sweet!
      So much of my stuff will end up at goodwill, I’ve no doubt. πŸ˜‰

  15. I like this idea for a blog! If you came to my place, you would see books everywhere and dogs on the couch. My office is clean except for my desk and my peg board, which are cluttered with notes. There’s also a little bit of laundry on my couch that I should be folding, but here I am reading blogs instead, ha-ha!

    1. Ha. Love it! Thanks for sharing a snap shot of your home, Marcia. It’s how it looks when we’re not trying to keep it a certain way that really speaks volumes about our life. The messes show life! I am going to tidy up my place today b/c I’ve let it accumulate piles of stuff (laundry, books, papers—oh, the papers!, dishes…dust). My daughter is coming to stay with us tomorrow for a week so it’s a good excuse to get organized and do some cleaning….after I read some blogs πŸ™‚

  16. This is a great post. We have moved 6 times since we married in 88 and like you something almost always gets left behind. Then our children left the home taking things with them. My love of family is easily ascertained by family photos and the homemade bric a brac made by little hands. My love of coffee becomes evident from signs to my eclectic collection of coffee cups. If you cannot tell books were a major part of my life the bookshelves, boxes, swag and book related shirts, mugs etc will soon fill you in. Fantastic post!

    1. Hi Kim, Oh, I would love to come to your house. It sounds so welcoming and coffee would be on! πŸ™‚ Coffee signs, coffee t-shirts and a mug collection…I’m not surprised to hear that!

  17. Setting up a pot for your arrival now, my sweet! πŸ™‚

    And I love having this glimpse into your home. It’s funny, I consider myself to be someone who doesn’t attach meaning to a lot of things in my life but there are some items I cherish so much because of their sentimental value. That said, Bryan is a collector and he can’t ever seem to get rid of things which drives me nuts. I’ve learned, however, to stop bickering and fighting with him about it… if he has attached sentimental value to certain items, I have to let them be, right?

    Love all of your paintings!

    1. Oooh, thank you Charlotte. I could use a strong coffee this Monday morning πŸ˜‰ Good for you, for letting it go…once a collector, always a collector. I have too many paintings laying around but it’s a very therapeutic process!

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