Friday, August 5, 2016

An (Empty) Place of One's Own

This year, my blogs have been all about “place”. Mom caves, son caves, writer caves, workspaces, etc.

This year, it seems I’ve had to tweak my work space a dozen times. I’ve worked from the dining room table, from my office, from bed, a café, and most recently, I’ve been struggling to carve out an office niche that works for me in our antique shop.

One thing this business of selling “stuff” has done for me is to instill an appreciation of stuff… and an almost greater appreciation for an absence of stuff.

Yes, sometimes I feel a little bit like a character in a Dickens novel, surrounded by the stuff of others, stuff that is transient, just visiting, stuff piled so high, if it toppled it might kill me, but stuff for which I am the temporary steward, the guardian of its history, the caretaker of “stuff” that someone else found to be interesting enough to collect and amass around them.

Don’t get me wrong. I can sure find pleasure in stuff. (More cow bell, anyone?) I have my own clutter, tchotchkes, bric-a-brac, but it sure makes me appreciate wide open spaces.

Owning an antique shop, nay, a 7,500 sq. ft. antique mini-mall, has forced me to confront my love of stuff. If something comes in, something else has to go out. A place for everything and everything in its place, and most recently, I have found the greatest pleasure in empty spaces.

(DH and I spent our 23rd anniversary on the Poropotank River where we saw dolphins! The best things aren't found in a shop... and can't be kept in a drawer.)

Sure, we need some of that stuff, but don’t be afraid to get rid of some of that stuff too. Don't overlook the sheer pleasure of opening a drawer and finding the pair of scissors that you used to have to root for. 

Sofie Couch writes sweet romantic comedy and her upcoming series will definitely feature an antique shop owner.


  1. Nice piece, Sofie. Stuff has its place, but agree that sometimes it's nice to get away from it and have space to think - or just be.

  2. I love stuff. Stuff has meaning and memories.
    EMBRACE THE STUFF - or give it to me! LOL

  3. Stuff is such a mixed blessing. It all requires some maintenance and attention and takes up space, which means it can be a burden, but it also represents memories and possibilities.

  4. My husband and I are fans of American Picker. After reducing our 13-room house of stuff to a 1-bedroom apartment with a 4x4x8 foot storage cupboard, I'm resistant to stuff. I keep fabric for quilt-making and books, for fear of acquiring stuff I have to get rid of when we next move...oh yes, I also keep purses and shoes - galore!!!