“At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.”
–Dame Rose Macaulay
A Great Read!
Today’s quote is from one of my favourite books on the subject of home: “A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life”, by Mary Randolph Carter. It’s a great book filled with wonderful photographs and interesting ideas on “how to live creatively with collections, clutter, work, kids, pets, art, etc… and stop worrying about everything being perfectly in its place”.
Reconsidering Clutter: An Opportunity to Share and Express!
It’s true that an uncluttered space has a certain appeal – it can be calming and efficient. But it’s also important to recognize that purposeful “clutter” can express our personality and our history, and can create warmth and visual appeal.
When I first found Carter’s book, it was a great source of inspiration for me. It was a period in my life when, more than ever before, I started to focus on how to set up my home in a way that celebrated our life and nourished our interests.
I liked Carter’s take on clutter:
“Embrace it, make peace with it, take control of it, share it, reorganize it, and when the time seems right, bid it farewell.”
“Clutter is the grand parade that follows us all our days from a playpen of toys… to the places we call home.”
“Find solace and a little beauty in the clutter of the things we cherish in our everyday lives at home and at work.”
A Home Is For Living!
Part of the reason that I connected with this book, I think, is that I was raised in an unpretentious home where living life was the priority. What was surprising, though, is that this book about embracing clutter inspired me to start a process of decluttering.
It was a big job. I began to go through all of our stuff, starting with our basement, which we basically used for storage. I got rid of countless things: I donated tonnes of stuff, and threw out or recycled what was not fit for giving.
In the process, I rediscovered mementos that were real treasures; imperfect, and full of personal history and interesting stories. These items didn’t belong in storage. It was time for them to add some character to my home!
It was during this period of time that my personal philosophy of home “organization” really started to evolve.
ClutterFree With a Twist!
In some ways, my philosophy is somewhat minimalist. I enjoy living in a space that is not overly or needlessly cluttered. At the same time, I find it joyful to be surrounded by the things that I love – books, pictures, and keepsakes. My home is lived in, not perfect; but it’s bright, clean, and welcoming
So my home has become a combination of an uncluttered calm space, mixed with meaningful, useful and comforting objects that enhance my life. It is all about about enjoying the things that you love, in a functional space that enables you to do the things that you love!
The above image is by Adam, courtesy of freerangestock.com