Friday, July 3, 2009
Not Quite a Minimalist
Is this clutter? Or is this charming?
This week I was influenced by a terrific blog French Essence, written by Vicki Archer who asked "Are you a Minimalist or a Maximalist?" The responses were fun to follow, but it made me reconsider all that I had around me. No one could accuse me of being a minimalist. I love little vignettes on window sills, and I hold unusual or sentimental objects a little too dearly, but I definitely want to stop maximalism before it strikes. Unfortunately, my old house loves stuff. Shelves and corners and end tables seem to attract the charm of clutter. I swore the weekend house would be different, but there it was, a collage, candles, a handblown vase plunked down on the mantle. I have a friend who definitely does not clutter. Her kitchen looks like a Home Depot Showroom-- not a personal artifact despite a young and busy family. That's a bit too aseptic for me. But I know the scads of paperwork and children's art could run amok and take us down with it. So how to declutter?
Armed with garbage bags and a lovely teenage assistant, we pulled the basement apart, dividing everything into store, toss, donate. I saw this week as an opportunity of get rid of just about everything in my path, vowing not to clutter my life again.
If we weren't sure what to do with something, it was gone. Having Emma with me was great, not only for the extra set of hands, but for her gaze. If I was embarrassed to try and keep the basket of silk flowers in front of Emma, no way was I pulling it out of storage and putting it on a shelf. Out it went, along with anything damaged, half used, moldy, or downright ugly. I boxed all drawings and sentimental objects, and although it's not perfect, I am definitely seeing shelf and floor space.
Next week's plan is to pull excess off of shelves and tabletops. Maximalminimalism here I come.