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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clutter, clutter everywhere

I've been on a tear, clearing out clutter. But not all that clutters is a bad thing.

I've been cleaning out junk drawers, closets and storage boxes. I mean, just how many twist ties does a person need, anyway? I triage the junk. Keep, recycle, donate or throw away. Well, okay, I guess that would be quad-age, but who's counting? The fun thing is finding stuff I forgot was ever there, even if it is four rolls of duct tape. I guess I bought another one every time I couldn't find it in the junk drawer!

It's great to have drawers and closets and storage boxes that are once again roomy and organized.

But there's another kind of clutter—the kind that means something to me. Early Clutter pretty much describes my decorating style. Walking into my home is a little like walking into an antique store.

I have a lot of furniture, because I've kept so many family pieces. Just because it's a tight squeeze to fit something into a corner doesn't mean I'm going to get rid of one of the tables or dressers made by one of my great-grandfathers. Dishes from my great-grandmother top the buffet made by one of those great-grandfathers. Those dishes will stay, too.

And family photos. I have those all over the house, plus boxes more. Then there's spoon and oil lamp from my first-cousin once-removed, my mother's paperweight collection, the tea towels hand-stitched by my grandmother that I use as a valance over the kitchen window, and every hand-made-in-grade-school knick-knack my daughter every gave me.

This kind of clutter is not really clutter. It's a trove of treasures and memories that make me smile every time I look at them. The mementoes that "clutter" up my house trigger reminiscences of so many people and good times.

Some people like the spare look (and/or hate to dust!) and that's fine. But give me clutter!


  1. When DH calls it clutter, I call it my beautiful thingies. When I call his 'clutter,' he calls it 'a busy guy's work space.'
    And let's not even mention the kids'.
    No Zen-sparse for us. Thank you. I'm with you on this.

  2. On a clutter scale of 1-10, I'm probably about a five. I hate to dust, but I don't understand how people live in those perfectly spare homes.

  3. My house is filled with clutter (not the good kind) and some days I can ignore it and write and other days it starts to drive me crazy. I need to get at least some of it organized, but definitely not the treasures. They're staying put.