I’ve noticed several bloggers taking up the de-cluttering approach as advocated by Marie Kondo. I must admit, the very thought fills me with horror. I don’t want a minimalist, showcase worthy life, I like STUFF.
Am I a bad Fairy?
STUFF #1: Clothes
I didn’t have a lot of stuff as a kid, clothes were largely hand-me-downs, or, horror upon horror, the dreaded ‘You’ll Grow Into Them’ variety. Guess what? I never did! My PE skirt was still knee length when I left school aged 17, while all my classmates’ skirts had turned into tiny teeny weeny little fanny pelmets. Jealous? Moi? Of course. I remember a hand-me-down Wonderbra, donated to me by one of mum’s friend’s daughters (oh the shame). Even padded to hell and back, I rattled around inside it, barely touching the sides.
I did a very small amount of sewing for myself after leaving home, but it wasn’t exactly fabulously made or fitted. Years passed, I stayed short, skinny and flat chested. Money was extremely tight, especially once kids started appearing around my feet…(I still don’t know what caused them, all ginger too, the shame.)
Clothes were mismatched, very cheap, sometimes from catalogues, still sometimes hand-me-downs, and were worn and worn and worn. Jeans were patched. Repeatedly. Shoes came from the market, and one pair of ankle boots had to keep me going for about 10 years.
So yeah, I like clothes. I liked buying them when I was in a brief flush of income, I LOVE making them now that my sewing mojo has returned. I do blitz every so often, and got past the ‘I’ll shrink back into it’ phase some years ago. Things go to smaller folks, eg the wife, or to charity shops. I’m not sure that I have a ‘look’ as such, but the things I like do change gradually over time, even if the colours don’t. My wrap dress phase is done for now, several are due to go to the charity shop.
STUFF#2: Priddy things
When my kids were small, priddy things were in very short supply. They were little wreckers, and the few nice things I snuck into the house were rapidly trashed, broken or just spoiled. I mostly stopped bothering until they’d all left. Even then, having bought a nice sofa bed to go into the ‘back room’, a visiting daughter squirted hand cream all over it about a week after I got it, and the stain never came out. Same daughter trashed carpets regularly, with a delightful habit of making hot chocolate, knocking the mug over, and failing to mop it up in time.
My little set of glass coffee tables? Trashed.
My painted glass lamp shade? Trashed.
My bottle garden? Do you see a theme here?
My dear son even snipped the tips off a rather lovely aloe vera plant while watching TV, just because the scissors were at hand.
So I lived in a depressingly second hand and shabby home for a LOOOOONNNGG time. (As some of the earlier pics demonstrate- dirty brown suite anyone? Hmmm?)
After my separation from the ex-husband, I did a major blitz. And bought a few nice things at last- a dining table and chairs, a beautiful new bedstead and so on. After the sale of the marital home, I blew a lot of cash on NICE THINGS just because I could. And I love them. They delight me. We’ve had to move house several times, and we’ve bought more things on our travels or just because. We’re currently in a rather small house, so lots of our nice things have no space, and are packed away in the loft. I couldn’t get rid of them, they’ll have their day when we move on again.
Well, that takes no explaining. I’ve ALWAYS had lots of books, and they’re going nowhere. You can keep your Kindles, I like the printed page. I have my iPod for audiobooks while I’m sewing, but that’s as modern as I’ll go!
STUFF #4: Sewing related and general ‘it’ll come in useful’ crap.
Not even going there.
STUFF #5: Kitchen tech
I likes me gadgets, I loves me Magimix food processor and Andrew James mixer.
I cook and I bake. The wife is always trying to replace old kitchen friends with shiny new tins WHICH STICK. Get out of me drawers woman!
STUFF #6: Teaching related papers and books.
Unfortunately, goes with the territory, even in the e-files age. I try.
STUFF #7: The wife’s stuff
Hmmmm. She had always insisted that she has hardly any clothes or property apart from her guitars and tech for music. Ha! When we moved here, the removals guys were at it for about 2 hours, and the living room and 2 upstairs rooms were piled to the roof before anything of mine came in. ‘Nuff said. I’m working on her wardrobe transformation as you know, and the next step is to prize the itsy bitsy clubbing clothes that she doesn’t want to part with. She used to spend a lot of money on this gear, and it’s pretty amazing…but she also used to be so tiny that not a single item of it is big enough for your average 14-year old. Seriously. She’s very tidy [ex-WREN]
but can still never find anything!
Is the minimalist approach for you? How would you categorise YOUR stuff?