Why Clutter is Okay.
I started writing this post a while back, just jotting down thoughts and battling my love hate relationship with clutter. I love being surrounded by trinkets and mementos, but there’s a weird guilt built into having shelves lined with essentially useless items. Most organizing books and posts recommend purging your life of unnecessary items. I do that pretty regularly, especially with clothes; I all my clothes in two drawers under my bed, minus my dresses and coats in my closet. But I have books, and craft supplies, and gnomes, and more gnomes. These are things I like that are just harder for me to get rid of.
Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up helped put my mind at ease a little bit. I plowed through that book in almost a day and was pleasantly surprised that a good number of her suggestions were already habits of mine. The main thing I took from it was that if your going to have things, they should bring you joy. No more keeping something around for the wrong reasons. Even still though, I continue to feel guilty for my trinkets, assuming many would label them as clutter!
The other night I watched a documentary on a fabulous lady that helped springboard me past some of these feelings! It’s called Iris, about the fashion icon Iris Apfel. I feel like know this woman’s soul. She has conquered so many of my interests from decorating, to accessorizing, to designing. Her style is just… inspiring. She makes me wish I had the guts to step out the door in similar outfits. I’m the kind of person that will dress myself up, full of accessories, then stand in front of a mirror and piece by piece, take off of all the fun colors for fear it’s just too much, or for fear I’m not the type of person who can pull it off.
I mean, LOOK AT THIS WOMAN!!! In so many ways she reminds me of my Granny, who I’ve always thought of as such a fashionable lady. As a kid, I used to dig through piles of Granny’s jewelry… in fact I still do every time I go home to visit! She had the biggest, most colorful, chunkiest jewelry!!! I still always gravitate towards the largest pieces in stores. I have tin boxes in my closet that only seem to come out when I move, distracting me for hours as I try on each ring, necklace and earings again and again.
It was the tour of Iris’s home though that really struck me the most. Every shot of each room had a million different things to pull my focus. All of the patterns, colors, and items that filled ever nook and cranny!!! Nothing quite matched but it all went together just the same. I saw myself in those spaces. If I was free of guilt over hoarding knick knacks, that’s how my space would look. She makes no apologies. She knows what she likes and what she wants. That’s how I want to be, that’s the confidence I’d like to have.
So I will keep her in my mind when I worry about the little things. I’ll allow the clutter to spark creativity, to carry me off into memories of where each piece came from. I’ll allow all those tiny trinkets to comfort me on those kinda emo days where there’s no real reason to feel down, but I am just the same. And I’ll use this inspiration to finish decorating my new bedroom! #Clutterwhore.