Decluttering with Astrid (3)

Astrid (47) is, together with Irene, the founder of Flow Magazine. She lives together with her partner and has two kids. Every Tuesday she writes about the sense and nonsense of decluttering.

I was always a faithful visitor of vintage markets and curio shops. Anything with the word “vintage” made me happy. And, let’s face it: it’s a much nicer word than the more uninviting “second-hand.” So I dragged a lot of thrift shop finds (also a nice term) into the house. Until, that it, my brutally honest and somewhat practical-minded English father-in-law was over at ours once. “Why do you only buy old stuff?” he cried out in despair, when we showed him our new—old—corner table. At first, I was rather angered at his inability to appreciate my eclectic mix of old and new, but later, I began to see my house more and more through his eyes. He had a point: vintage is, actually, quite impractical. Cookies in an old cookie jar go soft and stale quickly. The silver cutlery became stained because I had put it in the dishwasher by accident. And the old English Chesterfield was actually completely pointless. The 1920s dinner service with golden trim did give a lot of pleasure when it was used, but it was only used once (Christmas). And how many old cabinets can a person have? In the end, I started opting more and more for “new,” “clean” and “practical,” but above all, for “less.” And so my love for flea markets and car boot sales died away little by little. Which is a shame, as it’s a nice hobby, but I’m sure I’ll think of a new one.