Decluttering

Today, when I sat procrastinating doing some Very Important Admin, I was watching some youtube videos of people’s apartments. Most of these apartments were white, pristine, clean, looking as though they were designed expertly for a high end magazine. It looks suspiciously like there was some artful lighting placed invisibly just beyond the camera angles. The plants were brand new, the sofas hadn’t been sat on, there was no clutter at all.

No coffee cups, no newspapers, no books out of place, no pencils and pens, no thoughts lying on open pages, no crumbs evidencing food was consumed, no clothes absently draped over chairs and no thimbles left to roll on a windowsill. Did these Youtubers actually live in these homes? Or did they pay someone to make a set so that they could get some fabulous content?

I know some people like to live as though they were in a magazine, with no clutter at all anywhere. My husband is like this, which is why he hates my books (which I enjoy accumulating because they bring me comfort). He thinks that if I read a book, I ought to give it away as soon as I am done, so as not to make this house more cluttered than it is.

Anyway the point is, it has now become a trend to declutter your home, and live as though you dare not own anything ‘tacky’ or have any personal taste at all.It has to fit an ‘aesthetic’. Currently the trend is large green houseplants, slim lines, a dark green or blue feature wall, plenty of white, and some rustic ruggedness that is also pristine and new. People on social media apologise for their ‘cluttered’ homes, which are just personal spaces filled with things they enjoy having, depicting their personalities and interests.

So if you have clutter, you get judged. Not me, just people who post things and people who comment things.

Now, this is a stale argument in my marriage, but I happen to think that some clutter is a good thing. A little decoration piece that you got 6 years ago on the edge of a river. A post-it note from your classmate who is now traversing distant lands, but which reminds you of times when you couldn’t control your laughter. A tiny gondola made from murano glass with its edge snapped off, but which reminds you of early marriage days and sweet innocent love. It differentiates you from everybody else who has a feature wall and large houseplants.

It also makes you realise who YOU are.

I read a sad thing yesterday, where a lady who runs a youtube channel and an instagram page said, as though everybody else thought the same as her, ‘I regret painting my wall blue to fit an instagram aesthetic. Next time, you should choose a colour and design YOU like, not what instagram likes‘. It seems like a lot of social media orientated people are doing this.

 

Is It Really Necessary?

i-love-you-sharon-cummings

 

 

Well, is it?

You tell me.

An example. I wanted to buy a funky ornament. It was a motorbike (or motorcycle for you Americans) made out of old watch parts. Damnit. I wish I took a picture! It was stunning, gleaming and so steampunk. Also inventive, artistic and a fantastic way to use an old broken watch.

I could tell lots of care and attention went into making it. How proud the artist must be.

I also thought how artists and creative people gather a lot of clutter.

Before I married Damian and moved in with him my bedroom was like this:

Many tottering stacks of books from all genres in all the available nooks and crannies. Polished and varnished original floorboards with lime green vines painted on in one corner. A yellow wall covered in colourful postcards from around the country (also some from various places in Europe and three from Barbados when Aunty Jo was on holiday there).

These things covering every free surface:

Paintbrushes, pens, canvases, papers, scrapbooks, booklets, notebooks, doodles, folders, glittery pen holders, a ceramic hand draped with necklaces and rings and pretty bracelets, a glass bowl filled with beads, Sir Jiles Darcy (Lulu’s pet rock), pots and potions, purses, a teeny glass vial labelled ‘fairy dust’ and filled with superfine glittery sand (a memoir from childhood plays with friends), a large glass diamond, marbles, old coins, old stamps, lots and lots of keyring, fairy lights, calligraphy pens, mini globes, steampunk ornaments, candles…

I could go on all day. Honestly. I had so much, and always accumulated more. My room was warm and cosy and interesting and colourful and cluttered!

Now my room is clean and tidy, all my books are put neatly away, all my odd little trinkets have vanished, replaced by neat stacks of untouched paints and paintbrushes. The theme is white and grey and brown, compared to the blues and reds and yellows and greens and splashes of everything you could imagine before.

So today, I stood staring wistfully at the pretty watch motorbike, and I thought about all the things I have to pack away in boxes, and all the things I gave away, and the lack of colour in my home, but all the things I have to lug around with me as I move around the country living in many different homes and I said, aloud, “is that really necessary?”

Well, that is arguable.

Maybe it is not necessary in that I don’t need it. But I want it, I want interesting things to adorn my bare surfaces. I want things to look at and contemplate. I want colour and vividly and brightness and things, like thoughts, to crowd my room. It inspires me and gears my brain for creativity!

I think the state of my room now reflects the state of my brain. It feels empty, I am lacking creativity, my thoughts are stagnant and repetitive, I haven’t painted in years, I am not as witty as I used to be. Something needs to be done! I need to bring back some of my clutter! It’s too tidy!

This is my computer background, a delicious, colourful, vibrant mess!

abstract-paintings-of-love-wallpaper-1

 

So I ask you, dear reader, is it really necessary?