There’s a tiny chance that I am not a natural minimalist. I’m not sure what first tipped me off. It might have been the fact that I still own every book I’ve ever bought, stolen, or been willingly given. It could be that I own twelve blue nail polishes when many other people own one or fewer. It’s also probably the fact that when I moved out of my bedroom at my parent’s house in London, I already had enough stuff to fill my entire flat in Cornwall.
I was shocked when I emptied out my old room. I didn’t actually realise how big it was, because for the previous few years I’d worked really hard to cultivate a double layer of books on every shelf, and filled every corner with more stuff. The walls were closing in on me, in a very preventable way.
Now that I have a whole dwelling to myself, I spend an inordinate amount of time reading articles about all of the ways I’m failing to maintain an aspirational millenial home. I don’t have a cactus. Nothing is rose gold. I literally couldn’t give a shit about hygge.
Unfortunately, though, it is not even remotely in my nature to have a curated or (perish the thought) minimalist living situation. I like stuff too much. I like the fact that I could sit on my very large sofa, start reading the first book on my shelves, and not be finished with the last one for at least a year, not even allowing for dinner or sleep breaks. I like the fact that I have one corner entirely devoted to musical instruments and board games, because one day I might start a band, and also that instrument/board game combo is how I will one day prove to my house guests that I am both fun and talented (as long as they never ask me to actually play my keyboard). I even like that I have one shelf in one of my kitchen cupboards that is a living record of every jar I’ve used since I arrived in Conwall. Hey, I have a lot of storage needs, and one day I might do something fancy with some tea lights.
The theory goes that you’re supposed to go through your home and pick up each item you own, then seriously consider whether it sparks joy, before either keeping or throwing it. But, I mean, A) Fuck that, because if I started doing now I’d be here until at least April, and B) the thing that sparks joy for me is having a bit of clutter around. We’re not talking loads. But I like my home to be a little bit lived in because, well, I live here. Yes, I could do with working through the tray I’ve been dumping mail in for the past year (I’m, like, 90% paperless now so it’s not that dramatic), but other than that I like my blankets, and my pictures, and that really great lamp I just bought to go in my bedroom.
I should clarify that I’m not exactly next in line to appear on Hoarders. But I guess what I’m trying to say is simply that clutter rules and minimalism drools.
(Let the record show that I did have to wait until I renewed my tenancy for another year before writing this because if I had to move all of my (lovingly collected) shit somewhere else I might have cried)
(Actually, no ‘might’ about it. There would have been a Kanye-level tantrum)