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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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I Swear Things Multiply In My House

It is cold and rainy today. I daresay I will not be going out. I have been working in the house the past few weeks, trying to establish some organizational sense to what I seem to have crammed into drawers.

Problem is, I simply don't have the space for things like linens, sheets and towels. So they are all over the house. 

I spent one or two days on the gallery wall. Once I started there, I went all over the house looking for nail holes. I have since figured out that I am not good at patching holes and painting over them. 

I think my nearly five year old granddaughter could have done a better job. I just don't know what it is about me and paint.

You can look in the first photo and see my poor attempt to fix a nail hole. Geesh. Please, someone tell me how to fix this.

Don't you sometimes wonder how things in your house get so entirely out of whack? I mean, suddenly I find Valentine's decor in a drawer in the dining room I had allotted to dish towels and place mats and such. 

I am finding things I'm not looking for and not finding things I am looking for. I am organizing as I go, which means every table top is covered with little piles that seem to make more sense. Dish towels with dish towels. Valentine's decor with holiday decor, etc.

I stand there looking at all the little piles and think: Now where are you going to magically go? And I start purging some more.

I have mercilessly sorted fabric and given a lot away to organizations that make things for children in hospitals. 

I have purged and tossed and filled my trash can each week. Where did all this stuff come from? 

I realize I must come up with a better system. I thought I was only bringing in what I had a place for. But mishaps occur. 

Like I recently brought in a small cabinet, only to realize it wasn't going to work where I needed it. So I ordered a very nice little kitchen cart from Wayfair, and it is perfect. 

So now what do I do with the cabinet from the junk store? 

My garage, which houses my vehicle, and my shed, are full. And even if the shed weren't pretty full, for some reason I can't open the doors. And while I'm on that subject, what idiot designed the cheap sheds with flimsy doors that get caught every few inches as you try to push them apart to gain entrance? 

I think if I had a gun I would go outside and shoot the shed, just so I would feel better. 

And then the hydroton I ordered to plant my house plants in just did not work. My plants started to look sick. So then I had to replant them all in potting soil. And the two heavy bags of hydroton sit on my back porch taking up chair space because where are they going to go?

To make matters worse, my brace I got over a year ago is falling apart. I ordered two others that I thought might work that were far cheaper than the $250 I had to pay for this one. But they didn't stabilize my ankle adequately because the parts were made of plastic, I discovered when they arrived.

Oh yeah, I'm really sure thin plastic pieces are going to do the job. Who discovered plastic and decided it could be used for virtually everything from sewing machine parts to ankle braces? 

Plastic seems to be the answer to everything these days. Which is why I prefer much older sewing machines. NO PLASTIC PARTS. Junk.

And then another very annoying problem is that my current blog design keeps having elements that disappear. What??? So I'm working on getting another. 

So now it's time for my one morning cuppa coffee. Maybe after a little jolt of caffeine the puzzle pieces will fall into place more cohesively. The little piles will blink in neon letters where they really need to go. I can stop shifting things from one spot to another temporary spot and just put them where they belong. 

First I have to figure out where they belong. Blink little neon lights!

Okay, I'm finally going to tell you why I seem so frantic. Country Sampler magazine will be here in two weeks to spend a whole day taking photos of my house for their magazine.  It is supposed to look summery. Um...yeah.

I just looked outside and my watering can on the back porch, which isn't small, has been picked up by the wind and tossed all the way to the shed. The one I want to shoot.

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  1. I am still looking for a knob that mysteriously disappeared via grandson a good six months ago...have yet to find. I am certain that when I finally remember to buy replacement knobs at Lowes or Home Depot the other one will show up :)

  2. I have felt like you describe many, MANY times. I'm a champion collector of stuff and just when I think I have a handle on it, one little thing gets out of whack and makes everything come tumbling down! I always found it was helpful to take a break, get out of the house for a bit (weather permitting), browse a few magazines (that always gets my motivation up!) and go back with new eyes to see an old situation. From there I usually made enough progress to where I felt I could breathe a little easier knowing that I KNEW what was in each drawer, cabinet, closet and even the shed. ;)
    Take care.

  3. Congratulations on Country Sampler coming to your home! They picked an excellent one. Can't wait to see it. No matter what we have its hard to find a place for it when we have to downsize - I am finding that out big time. Love your blog! Keep up the great work and beautiful pictures.
    Connie, IN/FL

  4. You are something else! Boy, can you spin a story to make us think it's about one thing, and then, ! , the real scoop!! Here we were, entangled in the dilemma of what to do with all your stuff, collected, bought, gifted, etc., when suddenly, a little murmur of, 'Oh, yeah, btw, Country Sampler magazine is going to pop by for a few shots of the house...'!!! CONGRATS!! I'm SO psyched for you, Brenda, and can't wait to see your Cozy Little House in shiny, satiny, glossy print!! Yay!! Colour makes a comeback via CLH, what a celebration!


  5. Congratulations on Country Sampler! That's wonderful...looking forward to seeing the coverage in the magazine. While you've got your gun out, I've got a storage room you can take a few shots at!

  6. First - congratulations on the magazine shoot - it will be fun to see professional photos (no offense to your work) and what they choose to photograph

    Second- I have heard of people who store their extra linens between the mattress and box springs- anything to make room in a small space.

  7. Wow Brenda how exciting!!! I think I would be in a tizzy as well! But not to worry, your cozy little house is magazine worthy with all it's cute cozy decor. But I know what you mean about the 'stuff', since I recently moved I have unearthed all manner of who knows what. I have very limited storage space in this 100 yr old house so I have no idea what to do with everything. It's so hard for me to get rid of anything and the piles don't seem to diminish even if I do.

  8. OH my goodness, I'm so excited for your good news about Country Sampler! Sales of that magazine will go way up when you're featured! How exciting! Now we know why you're bouncing off the walls! I can't help you in patching walls, once something goes up it stays there til the wall is painted again by a pro! That scares me too! Everything looks great, and I know you'll find the perfect place for that little piece! I thought of you yesterday, I went to Goodwill in search of a picture frame for a painting, and I stopped dead in my tracks when I came upon a White Sewing Machine in a full case for only $299! Wowsa, what a deal! And it wasn't in great shape, machine looked fine, but wood not so good!

  9. Take a deep breath and relax Brenda. Your house is gorgeous and the magazine piece will be fabulous. Please let us know so I can make sure to buy that issue.

    I was just reading Annette T's comment above. I have an old White sewing machine in working condition (even has the original light bulb) and the wood is in great condition. I think we need Samantha Stevens so she can wiggle her nose and send my sewing machine to Annette (I only paid $50) and move your thrift store cabinet to someone who would be thrilled to have it. :) J

  10. Great about the photo shoot but bad about the miss placement of things. I know that feeling oh to well around here lately! Trying to get "stuff" to craft with but no place to store it that I know or can get to it to use it....Aughhh! Hang in there and work on thinking of all the good things coming your way from the photo shoot. :-)

  11. YAY! Country Sampler is one of my favorite magazines, and your home is an AMAZING choice to feature for them. I cant wait to buy a copy! I'm working on my guest room/office/craft room (all of those purposes are fulfilled in one room - yikes!) today, and I feel your pain. Clutter is enormously frustrating. Wishing you well in getting everything organized... such a nightmare of a process, but it feels so good once it's done. As for the holes, have you tried toothpaste? It's what I used in my college apartment (had no money for even wood filler... haha). I simply put a dab on the end of my finger, shoved it in the hole, let it dry for a day, then barely sanded over with a cheap piece of sand paper that I had on hand. It became smooth enough to paint over, and no one ever knew the difference... it's worth a shot?! Even if it doesn't work, it's not anything that a little water and qtip can't remove to repair "properly". Just a thought... Good luck! Exciting things are on your doorstep. Congratulations!

  12. Congrats on your "Country Sampler" news…that's so exciting! Aaaah…Summer…and we haven't even gotten thru the holidays yet! You'll get it all together, I'm certain!

  13. Your stress is being felt on our end - hugging you to bring calm - it's all good, they're pros and will working all the details out - don't stress too much - you deserve this and it is GREAT news.

    As far as cheaply made and plastic? Ya got me there, seriously, just bleck.

    ♥ Hang in there, lady!!

  14. Country Sampler! You must be famous!! I love it and buy one every chance I get. The thought of things have a place is overwhelming right now. In a few days as it all comes together you'll feel great relief. Best to you as you find yourself in Country Sampler. Wonderful!!

  15. That's exciting! It will all be adorable. Can't wait to see the finished shoot!



  16. I love your gallery so much Brenda. I never have enough storage space either.
    Constantly organizing clutter here!!!!!

  17. congratulations on your upcoming magazine feature, Brenda. Trying to to organize everything in a small space is definitely a challenge. xo Laura

  18. Hi Brenda! Congratulations on being featured in a magazine! That is so exciting. Now calm down and take 3 deep breaths and I know everything will fall together.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  19. Wonderful news about the magazine shoot. I'm certain it'll be perfect when they arrive, but you know how they are. They'll probably move everything anyway, so don't stress over it.

    I love what you've done with your old window pane.

  20. Congrats on your upcoming photo shoot! So happy for you!!!!
    Mary Alice

  21. Oh Congrats on the upcoming photo shoot, Brenda. I am an old wall patcher from way back. You should be able to just scrub that excess off with a rough terry cloth wet with water...It will take it back to the original wall color if that works for you- xo Diana

  22. Brenda, I was hanging on every word and could relate to everything in your story. I purged a lot with my garage sale this summer but still need to do more purging. Love the way you just happened to throw in that you're frantic because Country Sampler is coming to do a photo shoot! Congrats! Let us know which issue you will be in!

  23. Congratulations on the magazine shoot! It will look beautiful no matter what. Maybe you could dump all your little piles into the flat sweater boxes and cram them under the bed, and deal with it later. (kidding, sorta). I'm no good at patching holes and covering with paint either. Looks like you have gotten lots of tips. Hope everything settles down for you and you feel calmer. Take care, and congrats, again!!

  24. That is wonderful news! Congratulations on having your home featured in a magazine! I completely understand why you're fretting now. If I were you, I would get a box and just put stuff in it that you don't want and take it to Goodwill or call a company to come pick it up for free. I know there are charities out there that will come and get it from your doorstep. That would free up the cabinet you don't want and the plant containers that don't work etc. Or.......take it to the curb to be picked up by the trash company. I'm a organization nut! In fact, I just worked on cleaning out my basement today and made a big pile to take to the consignment shop and to Goodwill. Things you don't use a lot can be stored in those Rubbermaid tubs you find at Walmart and labeled. They can go in your garage or dare I suggest (the shed). LOL! Remember what they say too if you haven't used it in a year, you probably don't need it anymore.

  25. I have too much stuff here in my little house too, Brenda. I do have a basement though, but the problem with basements is that you fall into the trap that you have all this storage room, so you keep bringing stuff in! I have been slowly but slowly purging though. Just donated another 4 bags of stuff to Vietnam Vets today. Funny you should mention the linens though...I am currently going through my napkins and dishtowels (tablecloths are in a plastic storage container - in the basement, of course) and trying to find room for them. Doing a little rearranging. Sorry to hear about the problems with your brace.

  26. I'm tickled "pink" for you, Brenda. I subscribe to Country Sampler and have for years and years. I have heard from other blogger friends that those folks are lovely to have in your home. Make sure Charlie and Abi are featured too.
    I've been purging too and my home is not going to be in that great magazine. There comes a time when "stuff" has to go. Somehow it loses it's meaning, value, etc. I'm just not "in love" with it anymore..
    Would you have thought back in the days, before you moved to Oklahoma, that your cozy little blue house would be featured in a magazine.? I think it's just a magical thing to happen for you.
    I'll be waiting, in anticipation, for your issue to arrive.
    Thinking about you !
    Charlotte in Virginia.

  27. Oops, I hit send too soon...I meant to also congratulate you on Country Sampler coming to your home - that is so exciting! Out of curiosity, how did that come about...did they contact you after seeing your blog or Pinterest page? As far as nail holes, what I do for small ones is take either a little Spackle or white toothpaste and rub it over the hole with my finger. Then I sand with a little piece of sandpaper the next day. Then use the appropriate leftover paint to touch-up.

  28. By the way, I know, all too well about shed doors that don't want to open or close. I have three sheds and they are all filled to the brim. Boy, oh, boy could I do some purging in them.
    Hugs, Charlotte in Va.

  29. Congrats on Country Sampler coming to your house....very exciting...

  30. Country Sampler Magazine is one of my it! I can hardly wait to see your home featured in it..please let us know what issue it will be...I can hardly wait! Good For You Brenda!!!all your cozy decorating is paying off for you!! Carol

  31. Country Sampler coming for a photography shoot in your home is so exciting--Congratulations! Cleaning and organizing in a small house is a big challenge for me. I've been cleaning and decluttering in the bedroom this week. Things are scary in there. As an example of how out of hand things are, yesterday I excavated 28 well used, erasers fossilized due to age, pencils out of one drawer of the antique vanity/dressing table. No wonder I could never find a pencil when I needed one for the past 5 years. I don't know how so many of them ended up in that drawer. I am attempting to clear and declutter because we may have to have work done on a window sill in this little old house in that room. The workers may have to be in there and able to get to the window. I can't move anything without moving two or three other things first. I would be in panic mode if anyone (other than myself) was going to be taking pictures inside my house.

  32. Yikes!!! I'd be frantic, too! But the magazine obviously likes what they've seen, so just keep doing what you've been doing and all will be good. Just throw everything you don't have room for in your car before they arrive. Oh, and leave the car locked in your garage! Congratulations and good luck!

  33. Well, I have a large home and still every nook and cranny and drawer and close are crammed with crap! I so need to get rid of things and get organized. Wish I could hire a professional.

  34. Hi Brenda! This is fun news! Im so excited for you!!! I have actually stored stuff in the back of my car... and in the dryer in a pinch!! THe shed.... have you tried WD40 in the tracks? It helped mine!
    I love your gallery wall!! Great job!


  35. How exciting for you Brenda... I am sure that by the time Country Sampler comes to photograph your lovely home, it will look as cool and wonderful as your own photos of your home look.... best of luck and congratulations....

  36. How exciting for you Brenda... I am sure that by the time Country Sampler comes to photograph your lovely home, it will look as cool and wonderful as your own photos of your home look.... best of luck and congratulations....

  37. How exciting for you Brenda... I am sure that by the time Country Sampler comes to photograph your lovely home, it will look as cool and wonderful as your own photos of your home look.... best of luck and congratulations....

  38. I have the same issues here, Brenda. Well, except the magazine people coming to do a shoot- haha. Congratulations on Country Sampler! I'm sure the after-coffee time was very productive :)

  39. My favorite Magazine! Congratulations! I have lived in a little house for 32 years so I hear ya!. If I haven't used it in a year, it is out of here. If I don't absolutely love it, it is gone. At times I think I need a bigger house, but then I would just fill it up and have the same problem. I have always loved little houses so can't see me living in anything else.

  40. I feel your pain, I am trying to organize and purge things myself. Congrats on the magazine that is awesome. Be sure and let us know which issue.

  41. I spend my life trying to organize. One thing I have discovered is that crap expands to fill the space. I think it is a law of physics. Congrats on the magazine spread!

  42. Well, having a magazine coming to my house would make me frantic, too! But it's going to be fantastic, and I can't wait to see the pics.


  43. Congratulations on this exciting opportunity! Your home is gorgeous, I have long enjoyed seeing it on your blog, and I am so looking forward to seeing it in a magazine!
    Helen x

  44. Well, I am new here and I am enjoying it already! I am what you call an organized hoarder. Everything is in its place but now I have lost space for things. So this last 3 months I am going from room to room to get better organized and bring things over to the Thrift Shop for others to collect things. You ask what are things? Books,candles,lamps,cups, music boxes,cloths,magazines,blah...blah...blah..LOL I can really relate to you Brenda. You made me laugh and I know we are a sisterhood club for collecting things. Hugs, Echo

  45. Congratulations on the Country Sampler photo spread. Remember how you talk about shopping your home to come up with new ideas. Well, just look at it this way -- you have so much stuff that your home has become a superstore! You're sure to pull together some fantastic vignettes for the photo shoot. Have fun!

  46. AWESOME BRENDA!!! So happy for you!!

  47. That's so exciting, Brenda! No wonder you're so motivated to get it all shipshape. I would be in major panic, and yes, I'd want even my drawers to be neat. You will be so organized by the time this is over--with only the shed to sort. If you don't shoot it first!

  48. Country Sampler! How fun! No wonder you're getting worked up to clean! Congratulations!

  49. How exciting about the magazine! Don't worry, they'll just push aside anything that's out of place. At least that's what I've always thought they must do. Certainly, no ones real house is magazine perfect all the time. Is it? Please tell me it isn't. Please?

  50. Congrats on the photo must be so excited! ;)

  51. If Country Sampler was coming to my house, it would be on FB, twitter, my blog and I'd probably call CNN and insist they place it at the top of their newsfeed, and of course they would obey. Here I am feeling sorry for you because of what was seemingly a frustrating day, and you just happened to throw that in. I can't wait to see the issue!

  52. Congratulations. I understand how both proud and nervous you must be! But I bet what they loved about your house is what we all love about it: it's lived in and cosy, not minimalist!

  53. Yeah for you for your photo shoot. I still think you need to write a book with all your beautiful pictures.


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