Saturday, April 5, 2014

Minimalism Versus Creative Clutter

I am by far not a minimalist.  I agree with many of its tenants and ideals, but currently unable to subscribe.

I get it.  Less stuff. More peace. Less materialism. Clutter causes stress and weighs you down.  Less stuff; less money spent. Americans are wasteful. This is a movement towards being better Americans. I live in Oregon..Portland, Oregon and a huge part of the culture here is "shame on you" if you are cluttered.  Shame on you for your bookshelves and bookshelves of books.

But, to play the devil's advocate as often these trends seem to go the full spectrum. A pendulum rotating from one extreme to the other.  I am going to "wonder" and play with the idea that there might be something wrong with this too--

Just like diet; the one size fit all may not work.  Some people are vegan and some are Paleo, etc..What works for one may not work for others.

I look at my unsuccessful attempts at "minimalism" in a house with 5 people and 3 pets. Three kids outnumbering the adults. I look at what I may need to homeschool them.  Materials and books, and trips out of the house, and exercise, lots of books, lots of paper..Not very minimal and not a lot of time to simplify and clean.   I actually think that having some materials--creative materials around me; books around me, even some clutter around me, to feel comforting; and it puts me at ease.  When I first move into a home and it is bare/stark; I find the need to "fill it"--Not overfill it (mind you) but it seems to cry out, for decoration, purpose, use, creativity.  Could it be that the peacefulness to simplicity could also be looked at in a different way...that perhaps, the vegan/Paleo...Not judging either way of eating..  That there is also a "value" to a "creative" home; one filled with books and paper, and art, and constructing materials...

Maybe there is a really really good minimalist homeschooling family out there..who also "lives" in their home rather than uses it as a museum to visit when they get home from work.  Or someone who does not go crazy with picking things up as their career...(ok that is maybe not for the minimalist, because they have less to pick up, don't they)  (-;  (I mean no disrespect for the minimalist or the person who likes an immaculate home)

I mean to address the shame of not quite being a triangle, when you are a circle.   I think being a minimalist may be a little bit like this.

I think being a minimalist may also be a bit like being thin.  Some can achieve it, while others struggle..Some people may just be inherently round.  (although it is important to be healthy)

I feel shame; is what I am saying.  For not being a triangle in this recent wave.It is the same kind of shame of being unable to be thin.  And shame is not good.

So, I wonder in my own need for some sort of self-acceptance; is it not possible that some people are actually more at "peace" with a little clutter, too.. And maybe that is indeed, why I cannot achieve minimalism.  (that and that blasted thing called ENTROPY)--which especially applies with children in the home.

I have a friend who asked her friends to post on facebook their living rooms as they are; not at best angles, or on a good day, but truly how they look as if someone were to "drop in" right now.  It was wonderful to see the pictures. Real.  I posted mine, but it wasn't the most "telling" room for me. It wasn't "too bad" that day, but it can be..Still, I think bedrooms may be more "telling"...I don't think I'm brave enough to post a bedroom selfie.

Still, perhaps, is it possible that minimalism is not the answer?  I feel so embarrassed in front of them...  Could it be just another form of "puritanism"--

When you diet and diet; then suddenly just want to eat and eat..  ??  Is it really more noble to be a minimalist?  It seems it is much better to be less materialistic and less wasteful (for sure)--but peace=open space?  maybe?  but, if you just can't really do that, and it is not practical for your family of young children who need things to play with, dirt from outside, etc..

Maybe, just maybe I'm just not "there"--but maybe just maybe, there is another option? another way of looking at this; thinking about it that brings less shame.  Maybe its okay to be a little messy and cluttered?

Ok, here was my living room picture.  Don't laugh. It's not really that messy, (it can be much much worse) but it is definitely not minimalist.  My kids homeschool right at that table a lot and my three year old brings out tons of things to do-legos, blocks, tinker toys, books, and they often end up allllll over the floor. There is also a large bookcase on the right full of books; and another book case, with preschool building materials-puzzles, trains, toys, etc..

I loved seeing the other messy pictures of those brave enough to share.  It is comforting to see "real" sometimes; rather than "best foot forward".  Here I am without my airbrushing and makeup.  Here I am when I am not trying to impress anyone.  Relieving really.  This blog is definitely itself a testament to my own imperfections. I write it as flash non-fiction.  I do not correct my grammar a whole lot. It is a journal.  It is raw.

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