Sunday, 1 March 2015

On Clutter

Enjoying Sunday, with an eclectic brunch. I made a huge mess making this, and rather stressed myself out unnecessarily. One thing about buying an old house is that you will never be finished with it. Ever. It always needs something. We've never, not even for one day, had everything in a place we intend it to be in every room. It seems like we clear out one area, just to clutter another. Right now, for example, the living room has cardboard boxes full of stuff, positioned over the biggest holes in the floor. I actually like a certain amount of clutter in my life, but I like it *just so*. I like things tidy, not bare. Living with a small child of course, redefines you in every way - we need to get used to a new meaning of the word clutter. I suppose you have two options, try to go minimalist and spend your life resentfully clearing up after everyone who doesn't share your whitewashed vision, or you can embrace family life in all it's messy glory. Embrace colour. Embrace clutter. Embrace the happy mismatch that is your particular set of human and animal companions.
I guess what got me thinking about this is that F. was looking at a book today that I haven't flipped through in a while, A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life. I forgot how much I love it:

The homes featured in the book are full of clutter, colour, kids, animals - full of life! We've been talking so much about 'finishing' our home, about 'polish', that it's easy to forget to enjoy living here in the meantime. I made an ambitious DIY calendar that would have us 'finished' by April (not going to happen), and every weekend we 'waste' by, say, seeing friends or making a messy brunch has been stressing me out. Well, no more. Yes, I still want to get a certain amount done on the house this spring, I still have some sanding, painting and sewing to do. But I'm not going to stress about chew toys and books and bike locks - I'd rather live with clutter than live alone.

Interestingly, I didn't used to be like this. What happened to the wild girl who had a 'box party' the day she moved into a new apartment? What happened to the insomniac teenager who painted murals at night? I think having children a little later in life (I'm 31 now) can allow a certain amount of perfectionism to creep in before they come along and upset the apple cart. Children are free, and they remind us that we should be too.


'Can we please go now?' Old mattress being taken away. It's always something!


  1. This made me laugh, in my "art/cat room" I have a mattress propped up to be taken away, I think it's been there for two years now. But I have started the garden and looked at the sewing I want to do .. This year .. So I feel good about that never enough time .. But always time for the kids .. Your blog is so inspiring lady, and that beautiful little lady looks so happy.. High five mom :)

    1. I love that you have an 'art/cat' room - haha. I wish we had a garden - I'm on a waiting list for an allotment, but I'm number 221 on the list!

      Thanks so much for the kind words!