Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Minimalism, Schminimalism

Sometimes I look over a room-- or even just a bookcase or table-- and think, "Maybe I should get rid of all this stuff.  We don't need all these little bits and pieces-- all these knickknacks... It would be so much easier to keep the house clean and dusted if all this crap just went away."  (Yes, I think "crap".  So long as I'm not already worked into a frenzy of bad temper by exhausting housework, in which case, maybe it's better I don't tell you what I think...)

...Then I usually either go ahead and spend ten minutes dusting, stand back to admire the gleaming surfaces, and think "Oh!  That wasn't so bad.  Why am I such a whiner?" (until five minutes later, when the dust has magically reappeared [cue the "it's better I don't tell you what I'm thinking"!])-- or I get sidetracked, forget my (temporary?) dislike of decorative clutter, and go another week or two without really bothering one way or the other. 

Still, it can't be denied that if I did eliminate some of the cluttery Stuff around the house, it would be easier to keep clean.  Maybe it would make the place feel more relaxing, too.  (On the other hand.... meh. Nah, I don't really think it would make that much difference.  Not to those of us who live here, at least.  It's amazing how you tune out your most familiar surroundings.  I frequently live under the blissful misapprehension that a room is, if not spotless, at least reasonably tidy and presentable-- until someone drops by for a minute, at which point offense after offense leaps to my eye (causing me to burn with shame ;o)).

Oh well.

The point of all this? 
Simply that no matter how I may occasionally consider tossing this, that, or the other, I never seriously want to live in a painfully minimalist home.  I suppose I'm just too traditional for the style.  So many of the (magazine versions of) minimalism look stark, cold, inhospitable-- nothing like a home should look, to my mind.  I mean, just look at this room... or this one... or (~shudder~) this one

Why would anyone choose to live that way?
So, yes.  Fine.  I'll live with the clutter of my earthly possessions-- books, knickknacks, whatnots, CDs, endless scraps of paper, and all.  Doing so seems much preferable to living without any clutter at all.