I know hoarding is a serious issue - saw this in my Facebook feed the other day -
He's one of my fave cartoonists, Addison. More of his work - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Addison/63162808740
I'm not a hoarder, nor a collector -- but I am an "accumulator" ... I don't COLLECT Smokey Bear stuff, but when I find something I like, I buy it, so I have quite a few Smokey Bear things, all on display (DH and I used to work for the Forest Service and he used to fight forest fires). I love pine cones. Well, all cones, actually. So I have quite a few beautiful ones - a nice long sugar pine cone, several large digger (gray) pine cones, lots of ponderosa and jeffrey cones, and redwood and sequoia, and others. No, I don't COLLECT them, but they're beautiful, and I love them. Also interesting rocks and shells and the like. Plastic and glass bottles and jars, and lids. You never know when you might want to put something in a container and need a special lid. Odds are I have one that will fit. I also accumulate cardboard boxes because they have lots of uses for storage and arranging contents of drawers. Plastic containers for the same uses. But my accumulations are not scattered about willy-nilly. If not displayed, they are arranged and stored -- in boxes saved for that purpose!
So I do have hoarder tendencies (I come from a Grapes of Wrath-era family) and can't bear to throw away anything that might be useful, even in a different incarnation. Don't laugh at me. I keep it very much under control, and organized.
Ha ha, there's nothing wrong with collecting stuff!
Minimalism - which is an optional aspect of simplicity rather than a tenet of it, I'd say - is something that attracts me so very much - but it's been very difficult to achieve in my life. I'm not where I want to be, but I have much less stuff by a large order of magnitude that most people my age. Partly it's because we don't have kids, partly it's because we have family members who live with a lot of stuff and we feel stifled when we visit, and partly it's because we keep getting gifts from family members that don't suit our tastes, so we're constantly storing things we don't need. And the other piece is that having fewer things really does make you feel better - it really seems to increase clarity and focus to have an airier space.
The problem is that we live in a 550 sq. ft. space, and we both have
- tons of clothes
- hobbies that require storage
- sentimental or personal things that hold a memory, etc.
- tons of drawings and prints we haven't framed yet
So we kind of cheated, but at the time we couldn't see a better option. We rented two offices about a half-mile from our apartment. I do my freelance art stuff and my writing in mine, and DH unwinds and reads in his. The big-screen television we own is in his office, so we can watch DVDs in there if we want to. We're working on getting more of our clothes stored in the offices as well. This keeps our living space, which is basically a crash pad, as clear of clutter as we can make it.
People are always asking us why we don't just rent a two- or three-bedroom apartment or whatever. At the time we rented the offices, our cat had started peeing all over our apartment, and I couldn't stop her and couldn't clean it and couldn't get rid of the smell (we've since moved, and the landlord will have to replace much of the flooring). So I knew I had to have a space offsite. Our cat is behaving herself in the new place (fingers crossed), but it's still nice to have my office in a separate space. It's far from minimal though - crammed full of books I use in my work, cds, weird toys and photos, my Bettie Page statue, and other things that there's just no room for at home. And when we go to sleep at night, there's not a lot of stuff around.
Seems to work for us - although I just saw a beautiful photo in my Facebook feed of the inside of a loft space that someone I know is selling. It's gorgeous - vaulted ceilings, elegant curving staircase, gleaming wood floors, and (the piece de resistance for me) a harpsichord, which I've been wanting to own for a number of years now. I actually starting crying when I saw this photo! Ideally I would have a living space that would feed my soul. But for now it's a distant misty dream...and in the meantime I've got a place away from my sweet but crazy cat where I can buckle down and work a few hours a week. Life could be worse. (And it has been.)
Great snap, Kitten! I love cartoon goodies. (Love your avatar, too)!
I remember when DH and I first got married, we had nothing, but soon after buying our first home, suddenly, there was quite a bit of stuff, then along came baby #1, and we all of a sudden had even more stuff. Rooms began filling over time, and by the time we moved into our second home, "stuff" was unreal!
As I organized and filled box after box, bag after bag, I'd think to myself, "how did we get to this point where we accumulated so much", and no one in our house is a collector/hoarder per se.
Life will surely become less complicated and more streamlined (for us) when we become empty-nesters, but that's a distant memory, at least for now it is...