When is it Clutter?

December 8, 2010

I read an interesting article about clutter in the current 2010 December issue of the Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine. The gist of it was that the author was not a collector of things and she had even purged nearly every personal possession prior to getting married for the express purpose of starting fresh. She prided herself that she was not attached to things and found a few differences of opinion with the surprising sentimentality that she discovered with her new husband and his family.
As this young couple started their own family she promised herself and her new baby that he would not be encumbered by material things. But as the article progressed, she took a different tack and began to find greater understanding of the memories attached to things and the emotions that were fondly stirred by them.
Yet, clutter can be defined differently by different people from anyone who wants to keep family furniture and decorative accessories to a true hoarder. Like the T.V. shows that feature this compulsive disorder to accumulate just for the sake of accumulation to the extent that one cannot weed through a space piled high with stuff is frightening.
But don’t be afraid to collect things that give you joy, or save things that evoke sentimentality or fond memories. Savor the thoughts that come from handling familiar things, reminiscing about people, places and the things left behind…
Be a care-taker for future generations – a thoughtful custodian of things with special attachments – of monetary value or not – value is in the eye of the beholder – and often, sentimentality out-weighs it all!
Designing with the collector’s eye or with the love of family and history, the pleasure derived from the things that surround you, and maybe even help ground you are not to be dismissed. Things do NOT take the place of people yet are often the things that people cared for and therefore are a means of establishing their immortality – a tangible memory. It can be a form of respect to care for something that someone previously cared for and passed on…
Step back and see your “clutter” or lack thereof…rearrange, organize and prepare for the holidays with the comfort of the people and things that bring you joy.

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