Monday, February 7, 2011

Guest Post: Advanced Editing 401

Since  former blogger Stephanie from Bonjour Madame and C'est si Bon said au revoir, there's been an empty space in the blogosphere.  I miss her travel stories and photos, and the posts about decorating, fragrance, and style icons that populated Bonjour Madame.  Then I was invited over to C'est si Bon, where Stephanie posted about more personal journeys that resonated with many readers.  

Although no longer blogging, Stephanie still has projects to share, and I'm so happy she agreed to guest post on My French Corner.  Merci beaucoup, Madame Stephanie!

I want to thank My French Corner for inviting me to guest post.  I have been a long time admirer of this blog from the beginning.  

If you read my former blog, you know that I am a fan of de-cluttering.  I do it constantly and am known to be ruthless.  I had no idea what an amateur I was in the beginning.  It went something like this.  I would de-clutter, think I did a great job, pat myself on the back, then months later decide to de-clutter once more and in the process, would wonder how some items made it past my first edit.  Each de-cluttering session made me ask harder questions.  I wanted to get to the root of it.  

I’ve found different answers depending on the category.  With clothes, I might have held onto a smaller size with the hope of it fitting one day.  With decor, I might not have taken a fresh look at how it looked in the space.  Sentimental items usually made the cut because it reminded me of an event or person and I wanted to hold on. However, the number one stumbling block I come across is recognizing and having to admit expensive mistakes.  Ouch.  

My goal is to edit by getting rid of the wrong pieces and carefully adding the right ones.  If you are not at this point, it’s hard to de-clutter the right way.  With that in mind, I finally faced my Hermes scarves.  I bought my first Hermes scarf in Paris and the whole experience was magical.  I loved going to the store and choosing a gorgeous red scarf.  Fast forward a few years later and I now have a small collection.  I appreciate their beauty and love the details.  But, after much deliberation and internal monologue, have decided they are not right for me.  

After taking an honest hard look at them, here are the reasons why they do not work for me.

  • I’m not fond of the square shape.  They lend to fussy knots and fidgeting through my day, therefore making me uncomfortable.
  • I feel stuffy wearing them.  To me, the silk is thick and stiff and I dislike how it feels around my neck.
  • Wearing one makes me feel about twenty years older than I am.  (I think this is a result of the stuffy feeling, but also I’m just not that aristocratic and formal.)
  • Most importantly, I never wear them.  They sit unopened in their boxes, taking up closet shelf space.  
 I’ve known this for over a year now, but didn’t want to admit it.  I wanted them to work for me.  Isn’t every self respecting female supposed to love Hermes scarves?  What was wrong with me?  But then I realized nothing is wrong with me; they just don’t fit my lifestyle.  I actually love scarves, but the ones I reach for daily are the long cashmere variety in winter or the whisper light silk or linen long scarves in the summer.  Le sigh.....a very expensive lesson learned.  But it’s a good sigh, because now I know what to focus on.  Remember, edit the wrong pieces and carefully add the right ones.  

All is not lost.  I plan to sell them and recoup the expensive part of this mistake.  And here’s where the sting softens.  The proceeds will go toward saving goals for a trip to Paris.  Letting the iconic scarves go will allow me to follow my real goals instead of clinging to an idea that never worked for me.  As for Advanced Editing 401, apply this logic to your things and see if it works for you.  Ask hard questions and make the space that will allow you to move forward.


  1. So nice to read a blog post from Stephanie! I miss C'est Si Bon. This post was so appropriate for me too! I'm reading The Joy of Less by Francine Jay right now and trying to rid myself of more clutter. I find it difficult to edit but when I do, it makes me feel really great. I just have a long way to go. I think I haven't learned to be ruthless enough yet but maybe I'll get there. If Stephanie can get rid of her Hermes collection, surely I can do more editing.

  2. Thanks for letting me guest post A! It was a lot of fun and I appreciate you sharing your blog with me.

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  4. This is an excellent post. And too true. Sometimes the hardest things to let go of are the most expensive mistakes. I'm glad you've found a way to clear out the clutter where you instead have the possibility for a trip!

    Oh, and Stephanie, will you be selling them through consignment or online? :)

  5. I'm planning on selling them on ebay in a few weeks. I didn't want to consign and my prices will reflect that. I'm not looking to get top dollar, but just to recoup some money and move on because the more this lingers, the harder it is to let go. Of course, you can email me if you are looking for anything in particular and I'll send photos to see if it matches up. I'd be glad to let these go to loving homes first before they get shipped off to who knows who. *shameless plug :)*

  6. What a wonderful post! I hope I can de-clutter in the near future... Just in time for spring cleaning! :)
    Do you have a list of the Hermes scarves you are selling? Or is there an email address I can email you for pictures?
    Thanks again for the post!
    Also, I enjoy reading My French Corner for other delightful ideas... :)

  7. Stephanie, you are a decluttering inspiration. There are items like your scarves which are kept, simply because it is too hard to try and dispose of them ('money has been spent'). Good luck with your Paris savings account, and Merci.

  8. Renae - I just set up a blog to show photos of the scarves I'm selling. There is a link in my profile. Thanks for asking!

    Fiona - Thanks! It's fun saving for something like Paris.

  9. yay Stephanie! How nice to see a post from you. Hope all is well!

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