House Home

We’ve been here almost 2 months. Noo is happy. We all love our new city. This house is rented. We have one less bedroom and decided that various things would go into storage to save space; all my books. Now, I don’t need my books but I like a bookshelf to look at, to remember. I love the variation of the spines in the corner of the room, and the associations with the different books. I’m not going to read most of them again. Keeping the books is hanging onto memories. That’s not a bad thing. Is it?

I did decide to get rid of my vinyl. The vinyl was stored in a dark cupboard in the corner. If I took a rare moment to flick through, my head filled with sounds not only of music but of parties and friends. Club nights in dark sweaty rooms. Snatched conversations. Dancing for hours. Long, cold walks home. Soundtracks of journeys and places. People now gone from my life. This precious pile was priceless. In all honesty, I wasn’t going to play them again. I hadn’t had a turntable for my entire life in the North. The vinyl was ‘stuff’ that filled a space. Unable to do it myself, I sent Mr Noo off with to the second-hand record shop, convinced he would return with a fortune. He didn’t. He got 15 quid for a few of the albums. The rest he took to a charity shop. De-cluttering is good for soul (I tell myself).

I do miss a bit more of my ‘stuff’ around me. This house is nice, it isn’t forever. It only needs to be functional. It is painted throughout in the same colour and that makes it feel a bit soulless. I love that it has a hallway. Our old house had no hallway (this is common in Northern Victorian terraces). The door opened straight into the living room. I like the tunnel of space a hall creates, a tunnel between the world outside and the comfort of home. A partition of the public with our space. To make our space more of a home we decided to get a ‘unit’. Somewhere for our bits and the Lego. In the Queen’s Christmas speech she is often stood next to a sideboard overloaded with photos, I imagine while her’s didn’t come from Ikea, but we too are going for the royal photo overload. Some might not make the final edit. It’s good to have some memories around. It makes the room more us, more our home.

Is it memories that make a house a home? What things do you hang on to just for the memories?


  1. e1aine

    A tiny, tiny cardi that was the only thing that fitted my 2 month prem baby. I couldn’t throw it. Every time I see it I can almost feel the little tiny person that is now a 21 year old clutter monster!

  2. Ali

    I always say where ever we all are is home BUT right now our house though living in it for over 10 years is purely functional. This makes me very sad as I am a big home person not in the physical sense…

    So not sure it is the memories as we have many happy memories here. My favourite house in fact in fact I lived through some of my saddest times but also pre-children some of my best times too 🙂

    I do hold onto things for memories but then I can de-clutter sometimes and get rid of something I have hoarded for that reason for many years with just a flicker of regret, weird hey?!!!!

    Still in envy of your new location x x x

  3. Grenglish

    Memories you make in your new house will make it feel like a home. It’s comforting to have our old stuff around but all the best memories are already engraved on your heart. At the end of the day, the books and the vinyl, as nice as they are, they’re just stuff. A home is where you all are, together, making new memories.

  4. older mum in a muddle

    Really glad to hear you are settling in well…. it’s funny at the end of the day the property is just this blank canvas – what you put in it, is what makes it a home. Having said that, I Iike a big clear out before/ when I have just moved – it creates space for something new to evolve between everyone……

  5. Midlife Singlemum

    I love my books but every few years i do have a cull so the ones I give shelf space to are my absolute favourites. I do have the intention to go back and read them all again one day. I have about 10 vynls left – not sure what I’m keeping htem for tbh. I also have a small case of cassettes – ditto. I’m ruthless about passing on DDs clothes as she grows out of them as we would have been far worse off without other people’s kind passing on of clothes. I have a collection of old china which I love. I’m not a hoarder but home is where my books are (as well as my daughter obviously but I expect DD to leave in about 16 years time whereas the books stay forever).

  6. An Exeter Mum

    There are so many things that make a house a home for me. I could not get rid of my vinyl its far too important (infact will be writing a post on it over the weekend)! Books. I love books. I did cull som before we moved though. Moving certainly makes you take stock of all the stuff you have though that’s for sure! My garag is still full of boxes!!

  7. Head in Book

    Having spent the day re-acquainting myself with the books and other stuff we’ve had in the garage for *cough* 5 years, I couldn’t answer that easily. Especially after sleeping out last week & thinking a lot about homelessness. Home is the place that let’s me close the door on the outside world and makes me feel safe, I think. Memories and stuff, less so.

    I will show your post to DH to nudge him further along the path of divesting himself of his obscene amounts of music…

  8. Susan

    I’ve got all my books over two large bookshelf units and I’m the same, I never really take a book down and loo at it, but I like seeing the books and the memories of reading them or a different part of my life when a particular book was important.

  9. Johnson Babies

    Beautiful post.
    I’ve found as soon as I’ve moved anywhere (and now ‘we’) putting photos and pictures up really do help. Of course books do so much, but blankets can temporarily have the same effect.
    And, of course, I have so many memory boxes, for each of the children and me, but it’s the photos first time every time.

  10. Molly - Mother's Always Right

    The first thing we did when we moved into our (rented) cottage was fill the bookshelves with all my books. We have built in shelves, so luckily there was room for my books. I also have a stencil sticker blackboard and we put some art on the walls. It’s not the same as being able to paint the space your own colours, but it certainly helps.

  11. The Fool

    I’m a big fan of the de clutter and don’t get sentimental over many things. But I do like photos, love having those snapshots of a moment in time, for me they create the warm homely feeling more than anything else. Still struggling with managing this with so many digital photos though. So far we’ve started making photo books of big holidays etc which is a nice way to make digital something physical

  12. sarahhillwheeler

    Love your post on the vexed subject of decluttering, I can empathise with the books going….mine are all in storage and I’m missing them terribly. De-cluttering is meant to be good for the soul, but I’m not so sure. Thanks for sharing.

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