Our Fixer Upper

Living Clutter Free

New Fixer Upper Kitchen Cabinets

As our summer travels are winding down, and we continue to work on our Mid Century Fixer Upper, a common theme keeps popping up,  how can I make our new home functional for us at this stage in our lives? I started realizing that my ideal living situation would be for everything to have a designated place and to live clutter free. Marie Kondo and other organizational gurus make it look easy, but in our business we are constantly out picking and bringing home fresh finds. After fun days working in the shop or driving around Southern Indiana picking, it is easy to see how our current living space has filled up. For the first time in almost 20 years we will have a home separate from our workplace, and I really want to focus on utilizing the space as a clutter free zone. I am sure we will still bring some of our great finds into our new home, but I have started to ask myself, can I live clutter free?

Jeff and Cindy Smotherman on vacation
Our last vacation of the summer.

With the addition of our Fixer Upper also came The Barn and one thing I know is that the more space you have, the more stuff you try to squeeze into it. Learning more about the roots of our Mid Century home and its style has led me to realize that we definitely style our shop in the farmhouse trend, and my challenge is always trying to add fresh finds without it looking cluttered. I will always love this style and all the collections and absence of space, but I also love the mid century style with sleek lines and open space. And remember how I talked about combining my love for these two styles? That is still my goal, and now I am adding in to make it clutter free. 

I am looking for a peaceful balance in the style of our new home as well as in our life. When I imagine living a peaceful life, I imagine it clutter free. I know that we will always have new items coming in and old items selling, so I need the space organized in a neutral way to highlight our treasures. I already take the time to organize our shop and our home frequently, but I am trying to be proactive when designing our new home so that our living space remains clutter free and peaceful.

Two McCoy pots filled with succulents
Some of my McCoy planters

Regarding our Fixer Upper, I started with simple neutral colors because I know adding plants and décor is the fun part. As my style has evolved, I know the challenge will be not adding too many of the wonderful vintage I love. So I am writing it down, I will only pick the best of the best and you, and my husband 😉 , will have to hold me to it. I already have a collection of McCoy pottery planters, so I plan to keep a lot of my decor within this same color family so it is not overwhelming. Thinking about peace in our home, I also plan to create a space without a television, only music. 

These are my challenges, so stay tuned to see how I accomplish this and how I overcome my struggle.  Jeff has agreed on giving Laura Werner and I carte blanche on the upstairs as long as he has executive rights on the basement design. Fair trade in my opinion 🙂 As we finish each room, we will reveal it to you, so stay tuned because the kitchen reveal is coming up! 

Please leave me your thoughts, comments or suggestions on how you live clutter free and any insights into how it brought you peace. I am hopeful that by planning ahead and being thoughtful regarding the design process I will accomplish my goal of living clutter free.

Hey everyone! My name in Cindy Smotherman. I’m a beginner blogger. My husband Jeff and I live in small town America, the Town of New Harmony, Indiana. We have over 27 years of antique experience and we own and operate Firehouse Antiques. Check out our page and feel free to contact us!


  • Paula M.

    So enjoyed reading your blog post, Cindy! Being clutter-free is hard because it’s so hard to let go of stuff! I’ve just started my de-cluttering this summer – baby steps! I know you will be successful with yours.

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Thanks so much for reading our blog! I would love to know your process. I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s book and piling all my clothing in one pile has me intimidated, but I’m going to do it. I’ve always had the desire to live clutter free, so I have to take the steps to do it. It’s keeping it that way, that’s the challenge!

  • Leslie

    I *like* clutter! And without people like me, what will the antique dealers in 50 or 100 years do to stock their shops?

    Now, mind you, my house is a bit too cluttered even for me; but that doesn’t mean I have too much stuff, it means I need more space. : )

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Shopping for antiques & finding a perfect place in our home is definitely a joy of ours too, it’s all the extra clutter, the pile of mail, the extras that I don’t sell or have a place for. That’s why I’m so excited about our new barn, it can be a space for the overflow. I will also have a place to Store what I have in my Etsy store. Check us out online http://firehouseantiques.etsy.com Happy Shopping! I’ve also thought of chests in our room for Jeff & I for organizing our personal belongings. I’m thinking ahead these days. I’m so excited to continue sharing how we organize. Stay tuned!

      I love that you are shopping in antique shops like ours! Small local businesses need support like yours!

  • Firehouse Antiques

    Oh I love that you are out there shopping and I do love buying too! I guess the key is everything having its place. Thanks so much for your comment, it gets me thinking!

  • Carol Hahn

    I really enjoyed your blog! I was especially interested in your comments about your McCoy collection. I have quite a collection and have had to stop because I have no more room!!! I love the succulents in your pots. I will have to add some of those. I have used some of my pots and felt guilty. But, I really enjoy them. In addition to the McCoy, my husband has collected a huge amount of brown drip pottery – mostly Hull. We are going to have to de-clutter one of these days!

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Oh I must see this collection! I’ll be sharing how I use it in my new kitchen, I even installed “grow lights” in my open shelves for my Succulents! In regards to you feeling guilty about adding plants to your McCoy, I totally get that but if it’s a planter, enjoy it as a planter! We can always find more, right?!!! Thanks so much for your comments, it’s fun to share!

  • Julie Deeg

    You already know how much I love your antique store!! 👍🏼👏🏻 Your house is coming along beautifully and I love all the special touches! It will be a wonderful place to call home!!
    Julie Deeg

    • Firehouse Antiques

      You are the best Julie! Thanks for all your support through the years! It’s so much fun hunting for you!!! Glad we have the same taste in advertising & local finds!

  • Barbara Comeau

    Now don’t laugh but take a look at http://www.FlyLady.net! You’ll think it is something out of the ‘50s but if you’re totally disorganized and cluttered (like I am), it can give you some good insights…the most important being that the clutter didn’t appear overnight so it’s going to take awhile. Perfection is the problem, not the solution. Don’t subscribe! You will be inundated with emails but take a look. I’ve been reading the info but haven’t done anything more than ‘shined my sink’! Have fun in your new spaces😀🇨🇦

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Ok, I will and you are correct about the perfection!! I always say progress, not perfection and I’m ok today w who I am, just like you 🙂 Thanks Barb

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