A recent controversial New York Times article has the organizers in my NAPO listserv all in a tizzy. Let's Celebrate The Art of Clutter is the voice of a woman who is the anti Marie Kondo. As a Libra, I do see both sides of the story: the minimalism movement as creating freedom or shame (though I think freedom prevails). We all have different clutter thresholds. I may reach mine with 12 pieces of paper on the dining table and you may reach yours with 25 boxes of paper in your living room. One is by no means better than the other, but should the more cluttered seek help, I'm sure glad there is an industry of compassionate professionals to provide it. Naturally, I'm surrounded by people (on all ends of the spectrum) who recognize how a life with less makes for an easier life. Dominique Browning inserts the opinion that the process of shedding is "pointless and misguided." Tell that to my clients who shed tears of relief when they can suddenly sleep better in a peaceful, clutter free bedroom.
"I would like to submit an entirely different agenda, one that is built on love, cherishing and timelessness. One that acknowledges that in living, we accumulate. We admire. We desire. We love. We collect. We display."
I fully support people loving what they have. The proposed agenda is actually the same as mine. However, it's harder to admire the beautiful things amidst the tattered things. It's easier to display what you love when there is room for the beloved object to breathe. In living, we most certainly do accumulate, but isn't movement a sign of life? To accumulate without the counteraction of letting go, is a one way street to stagnation and imbalance, not to mention, unsightliness. Letting go of the unnecessary is a fast track to loving and cherishing what matters most.
Where she really gets the attention of we organizers though is with this line:
"And rather than fret about my inability to get rid of things….I am not only giving in to the desire to keep getting stuff, but I am also fantasizing about how I am going to pass my things onto my children.
Who, I insist, must take them."
Is guilt tripping your children into saving your stuff long after you're gone (especially in the wake of losing you) a better breed of guilt than the one that we organizers supposedly impose on the cluttered?
Cluttered and frustrated? Hire an organizer who loves to do what you hate.
Cluttered and proud? Don't judge me for having less, and don't judge my clients for working towards loving their homes as much as you love yours.
Friends, please read Let's Celebrate The Art of Clutter and share your thoughts below in the comments! Is this a voice that you think we'l hear more of in light of the anti-clutter movement? Is it helpful to hear the other side of the clutter story? Is it even the other side of the story, or a minority opinion?