Friday, December 28, 2018

How To Create A Cottage Victorian Larder And Why We Psychologically Organize Our Environment

My dear friends, 

I'm having some breakfast English tea this morning. I also took a caffeine tablet to give me some energy. I am completely out of zip fizz, so I am making due.

Before I begin the larder discussion, I thought that we might first have a chat about organization through a psychological aspect. You know full well I love a great post about organizing but you also know I have a tendency to dive deep. Particulars are never really about the external forces. All things in this expansive universe are about internal connections. My blog is about the fun, whimsical and fairytale, but will always strive to use it as a way to educate as well.  I believe many wonder about the same things that I do. 

Let's begin, shall we? As many of you know I moved into the cottage after marrying Jeffrey, so it's been a few years really of me gaining my footing as a new wife again, to a new man. 

Jeffrey has lived in this home for nearly 20 years so you can imagine there was much disemboweling to be had. I believe Jeffrey holds onto this home more tightly fisted as a way of preserving his sense of independence, and stability in his life. He lost his parents at an early age. His mother was a pivotal figure in his life and at the age of 15, I am sure that's a significant reason for his consistent need to keep everything from changing. 

I must interject that Jeffrey has been extremely understanding with me as I have completely overhauled the entire insides of this home. He has never said a word, except for a few things about wanting to keep the carpet in the bedroom. I tend to like all wood and tile floors myself, but having carpet in the bedroom at this point in life seems like such a small request. 

When I was married to my ex, he was quite controlling in the way certain things were to be arranged and the types of homes we pretty much "had" to live in. I was perfectly happy and always wanted to live in old homes. The kind with creaky floors, uneven walls, low ceilings and old sinks that have water rust marks from that slow drip that developed over 75 years ago. That's the kind of home I long to be in. The one where moss literally has grown as a blanket on the thatched roof and creeping fig is invading the windows view. I'm an old soul, and that's just the way it is. I no longer make apologies for my love of the old. 

Boy, I think I got on a tangent. I'll continue to indulge you because I bet if you're an avid reader of blogs, you, like myself enjoy a rambling tangent every now and again. 

So back to what I was saying about moving into the cottage. When I moved in, I really had a need to remove all of Jeffrey's past with regards to other women. Yes, I said it. I was that way at first. I admit it.  He was never married, but obviously, he was a bachelor and invariably had women stay here on and off, which is completely understandable. I will say though, he was very protective of the cottage at first because it was "his." And when you lose someone, like he did, you tend to have a need to cling. He wanted to have something that no one could take away. I understand that completely. 

Which leads me to why I went to college for psychological Interior Design. I wanted to understand why people do what they do, homes being included in the mix. I truly wanted to understand why I constantly moved things around. Why I moved physically so many times in my life. Why placing a piece of furniture in an area and then moving it a million times never seemed to fix that knawing feeling inside of me. Was it the home, the furniture or me? I wanted to know the answers to my questions. So honestly that is why I am constantly on the move to soaking up knowledge like an ocean sponge. I wanted to know why I have always been drawn to the colour green, but my father is repulsed by it. What causes us as humans to drastically differ in home design. Some people love open spaces. Some love small closed in spaces. Why do some people love a lot of knick-knacks and some can't stand them? I was on a voyage to uncover this dilemma and school was where I found that along with many books on human behaviour.

So why you ask, do people move things around. One person may place a piece of furniture in one room and never move it again until they relocate? There's a few reasons for this.

It is a matter of relestness in their psyche. Humans use "things" as a way of attempting to control their environment. Especially, if we are used to someone that has controlled us in our life. If we grew up in a controlling environment, we long to control other people. When we realize we can't control people we take the controlling behaviour and place it onto things. We do this subconsciously. Those that do not realize this is because in many aspects humans are mostly out of touch with themselves. It is generation upon generation of ingrained conditioning. Most people live out of touch with their ability to identify their emotions, comprehend where they belong or realize what their emotions are trying to tell them. Simply stated, most people never dive deep enough to intimately KNOW THEMSELVES.  That's why many people buy things. They try to fill a void within themselves that should be internally dealt with, they either don't know this yet, or they are in self-denial.

The need to organize is also a form of feeling the need to release. Have you ever noticed some people can't hold onto anything? And some people hold onto things way too long? The person constantly releasing, donating, or giving away things is a sign of not being able to love themselves wholeheartedly. They also feel if they can give things to someone, they will receive love from whom they've given the objects to. This is only true if one is giving away things that they really love. Say, for instance, I have an antique that I truly adore, but someone says they like it, and I was to give it to them, I am doing it to receive love. I would be subconsciously looking for love in the wrong place and wrong person.  If we hold onto things, such as I was saying about my darling Jeffrey in that he holds onto this home, he internally in some way is keeping ahold of his parents. I know it's difficult to relinquish things. I used to be the kind of woman that bought and bought and bought. I did it because I was so empty from not loving myself, was in a loveless marriage for so many years and needed to fill the void somehow. So I did this with "STUFF."

So now fast forward to me living in the cottage and coming from leaving a 24-year marriage with loads of stuff, to living out of two suitcases for a year and a half. I think I've spoken about this prior. I lived with Jeffrey and we were engaged to be married in a few months, but I wouldn'y take up drawer space. I kept my two suitcases right at the door with my belongings inside. I felt safe doing that. I couldn't bear to feel trapped or maybe even controlled. It was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I was constantly triggered and I would grab my suitcase and think about running almost every day. Jeffrey was an angel in regards to understanding. It was never about him, it was always about me. Me working through mental abuse and having been with a man that was notorious for gaslighting me years on end.

Know this...If you physically leave a condition before you've vibrationally set yourself right, you will continue to mirror the same scenarios over and over. You are always taking yourself with you. We can never run away from one self. We will always find the same thing in another face, another space, another state, another relationship or land. That is unless we work through our internal tug of wars. 

If you are interested in more about homes, energy, and how our environment affects our lives go here. I am also creating another post in more detail about each room of the home and detailed information on how to begin relinquishing and organizing taking small swimming strokes. 
This is our larder at the cottage before I cleaned it out. I threw out all the expired,  stale, and old items that have been sitting for entirely too long. I have no doors on the larder, as I removed the metal ones that came when the home was built. So until I decide what I'll do for the new owners when we move, for now, I think it's pertinent to keep it visually appealing to the eye. 

The larder is the first thing you see upon entering the kitchen, which is straight off of the front entryway.  Often times Jeffrey and I will find some things that are on sale, but taste it or decide we don't like it. I am sure you can relate to the idea of keeping things that need to be removed from the larder. I also donated many items that I no longer needed. I have been saving glass jars to recycle. I wanted to replace all of our plastic to glass and I think I finally have enough to carry us for quite some time. I saved pickle jars, wine bottles, pasta jars, etcetera so that I would have plenty of sizes. I also picked up ball jars here and there at thrift stores for larger scaled items, such as flour and sugar.

Larder: A room or large cupboard for storing food in the Victorian era.

I enjoy using the word larder, as Beatrix Potter used the same word in all of her storybooks. I am a lady who loves to emulate my heroes.

At first, I was going to paint the wood shelves but decided to just clean them really well with ammonia and leave them the original beige paint. If you notice too, I made shelf strips from crate paper cut into a scallop. This surely is a temporary solution. I was searching my fabric trim bin and couldn't find the cheap lace I had bought some time ago. I didn't want to use my antique lace, as I am saving that for my Tasha Tudor dress sleeves. Furthermore, Its antique and I surely wouldn't cut it to waste on our larder. We plan to be moving soon, so I feel confident this will carry us through until then. I surely hope my new/old kitchen has a larder like from the olden days and I don't have to make do anymore. To add a Mermaid aspect I cut a freehand scallop design.

 My old scale, that still works wonderfully and bone china platters I found at a thrift store. The large wooden salad bowl was a gift from me to Jeffrey when I first began dating him. He makes the best cucumber salad known to man. It is divine. I wonder if you'd like that recipe?
 The little wooden ladder back chair was 2.00 at the thrift store. The barrels Jeffrey found in the dumpster. Aren't they delightful? There is two of them and they are converted into four sections. I have charcoal,  and chicken feed in one, recyclable market bags, and the last one is for extra plastic bags for Olivers litter pan. I haven't wood burned any labels on them yet as I am not sure I'll always use them for those exact items. The far right is an antique farmer bucket gifted to me from a friend. I keep potatoes and onions contained in it.
 I didn't put a paper scallop on the bottom shelf because it would have gotten ripped straight away. I open those barrels at least three times a day so it would have been cumbersome.
 On my jars, I tea dyed the labels in the oven. I buy the regular white address labels from Walmart, tea dye them, put them in the oven for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet at 200 degrees.
 I don't use ribbon, but rubber bands instead. The reason for this is because when you are using jars every single day, It would be too much work to take a ribbon off every time.
 A little snippet of the chicken feed. See how it's angled and very well made and smells of cedar. I also buy little silver baby cups, creamer cups to use for scoops. It's always worked perfectly, instead of buying the expensive ones. I found all of mine at the thrift store for about 25 cents a piece. Dear Friends, I love thrift stores with all of my every living heart!

Have a lovely day and stay dry. It's raining here on the coast and I have the windows open feeling the lovely breeze while looking out at my chicken ladies in the garden.

I shall write again soon.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Perfectly larderous! One of my daughters is so fond of pickles that we buy the huge glass jars. I have a can of spray paint in "Oil Rubbed Bronze", and it is but a moment on the lawn on a sheet of paper and the lid is "antique" on each empty jar. My pantry shelves are slowly becoming unified and more charming over time this way, and daughter is thrilled to have her love of pickles so indulged :). You have many good points about re-arranging, keeping, and giving away. I will have to ponder this.

    1. Kimberly, you are indeed accurate. I also love the oil bronzed spray paint too. It's my go to also. I am so happy to hear of your oragnizing journey. Isn't it such fun to admire the larder? I especially love when I have spent time canning and then line the shelves with all my hard work. It brings me such joy. Thank you for always commenting. I just love it. Have a lovely day angel!

  2. I love organizing too, and thrift stores and larders ( although I call my walk-in larder a Buttery. Buttery, which according to Wiktionary is a room for keeping food, a storeroom).
    I like the scalloped paper borders you made.

    1. Marigold, I do think I have heard of buttery too, just as old recipes used to be called receipts. I like to use those old fashioned words too. Isn't organizing such fun? Thank you for swimming by. Love Raquelxxx

  3. Ms Sam Wears DressesOctober 5, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    Hello, sugar! I loved this post so much! Your larder is beautiful, and I love how simplistic it is. The sepia tones are so soothing. And the barrels are wonderful! I am always amazed by what people throw away. I did away with plastics years ago when I started to fear what the chemicals were doing to my family. And glass is so much more appealing to the eye and touch. Can't wait to see how you spruce up your new abode!


Connecting The Dots

You Might Enjoy