Watching de-clutter programmes

I’m currently obsessed with watching de-clutter programmes. But then, I love to de-clutter, and am always looking for new ideas and inspiration. Why, you might ask, when I have never had a problem with accumulations?

I’ve watched Maria Kondo, and another Canadian offering, ‘Consumed’, both of which offer insights that are salutary. For example, that our things can weigh us down; that we should either love, or use, what we own, and if we don’t, then why are we keeping it? Why not have a house-full of things we love? Or an empty house that we can fill with things we love… Why not, indeed? Sometimes I think that we go away on holidays to simply get away from the weight of our possessions.

And coming to the end of series two of ‘Consumed’ I felt a flush of regret, of shame, almost, that I’ve never had much opportunity to accumulate things. I have perhaps turned a necessity into a virtue, because to do anything else was too painful. First in a diplomatic lifestyle in which the family was constantly moving, packing and moving again, then at boarding school with its term times, holidays and limited trunk space, and even, dare I say it, in hospital during the long summer holidays, with its long wards and neat bedside lockers so clearly demarking small expectations.

It’s all very well for me to decide I’m a minimalist, but it is truly unfair of me to expect others to agree. It is sometimes very necessary to feel the security of generosity, of knowing that we can keep many things we choose, because we love them. If that means we have four pillows instead of two, then that’s fine.

I know that less is more. And I agree. But there is a place for knowing we can collect things, and expect our collections to be respected. So I’m not going to be badgering my husband and daughter any more, and I’m happy to leave my sister to accumulate what she wishes. Having gone through the same minimalist tests, she has swung rather to the other end of the scale, which is just fine and dandy with me.

Thanks for listening.

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