When You’re Tired of Being a “Stuff Manager” & Want to Enjoy Living

I read a handful of places every day, and always over at The Nester‘s — because she brilliantly, humbly, writes about the imperfect in life… translation: grace.  Myquillyn Smith sees the world through house-colored glasses. She’s a creative homebody armed with hot glue, paint and second hand furniture. She believes every home has a silver lining and that beauty can be found in the lived-in, loved-on and used-just-about-up. She shares how she learned to love her imperfect home in The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful, a battle cry for women everywhere to love the home they’re with because houses are for living not perfecting.  Her winsome honesty, sense of humour and down-to-earth creativity makes her one of the most endearing voices in the blogosphere. I am entirely smitten with this woman’s perspective on life: It’s a grace to welcome The Nester to the farm’s front porch today…

photos and text by Myquillyn Smith aka The Nester

Hello. Nice to meet you!

What do I do? Oh, I’m a Stuff Manager.

No, I don’t really like it but, isn’t that what everyone does?

My daily routine involves looking through my stuff, putting stuff away, organizing stuff, feeling guilty because I haven’t organized other stuff, fussing at my kids because their stuff isn’t put away, wading through misplaced stuff in our garage, piling up stuff I’m tired of so we can sell it, packing away stuff I’m really tired of to give it away, asking my husband where he put his stuff, sorting, washing, and drying our stuff —

And then dreaming about more stuff that I want and the bigger house I “need” because my precious stuff won’t fit in our current house–I guess it’s too small.

I never planned on being a stuff manager, it just kind of happened and now that’s my job.

Oh, no, I don’t get paid for it. I just do it because I think I have no other choice.

I have a whole other job that I get paid for and I use most of that money to buy more stuff. I’m training my kids to be stuff managers too.

What? Why are you looking at me like that?



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our days

“that’s all your house is, is a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff…”

–George Carlin


America spends more on garbage bags than 90% of the world’s 210 countries do on everything.”

~Dr. Wess Stafford in Too Small to Ignore

I’m a creative. I pretend to be a designer.

My entire job is to encourage women that they can create a beautiful, meaningful home.

I’ve done it all wrong but I’m learning that it’s really not about the stuff at all, even when making a home.

If I want my home to be a place of connection, I’ll ask genuine questions and get to know the people in my home.

If I want my home to be a safe place to make a mistake, I’ll lower my standards for myself first, be forgiving of my own mistakes, laugh at myself–and allow others to see that.

If I want my home to be inspiring, I’ll pay attention to what inspires me.

If I want my home to be real, I’ll learn to embrace the imperfect, find the beauty in the undone, the broken, the unkempt, the everydayness and the mess.

If I want my home to be comfortable, I’ll first stop apologizing and focus on others instead of myself.

If I want my home to be a place of rest, I’ll consider my attitude and the tone I set when I am home. I’ll allow and plan for restful spaces.

This is the kind of home and beauty we have to fight for.

Anyone can put pretty stuff in a room.

It takes intention to furnish a home with grace and rest and acceptance. I’m up for the challenge. I want to see past the worst and focus on the better. I want to search for the real beauty just waiting to be recognized. I want to make a home on purpose — with purpose.

I’m making home a safe, inspiring and life-giving place so we can go out and be what who we were created to be.

The Joneses don’t need to be kept up with — and secretly, they are tired of setting the mythical standard.

Homes are there to serve people, not the other way around.

May your home serve you and others so fully that it’s worn thin and beautiful in all the right places.




Myquillyn Smith, known as The Nester on her blog, recently bought a fixer upper on 12 acres outside Charlotte, NC with her husband Chad and their three teenage boys.

Her last house, an imperfect rental, was featured in Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas, Do It Yourself Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal and Cottages and Bungalows and is the subject of The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful, a #1 bestseller in design, and for very good reason. 

These pages will have you making more than the home you dreamed of. They will have you receiving the life you always dreamed of. Anyone who has a home, dreams of a home, wants to enjoy where they are right now — I cannot recommend The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful highly enough. Really, she’s brilliant…and about grace.