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In praise of stuff

(108 Posts)
MawB Wed 09-Oct-19 12:06:54

Listening to a R4 prog about decluttering I thought about how we are now exhorted to do a “death clean” or declutter à la Marie Kondo and I thought
No! I like my stuff! It’s not excessive or taking over my life or stopping me doing anything. I like my clothes - even if I do not wear them all (especially my boots and my cashmere ponchos) . I like the thousands of books Paw andI have accumulated - they make me look hiley edukated and mean I don’t have to wallpaper, and I might easily listen to all those CDs one day. Even videos might come back, so better hang on to them! The cookery books are fun to flick through and every so often try an old favourite recipe I may not have done for years. Plus they reinforce my “Domestic Goddess” image.

So minimalists, hands off my stuff - there are many memories associated with much of it, and frankly I like it.

lemongrove Wed 09-Oct-19 12:12:51

Me too MawB there will be no Swedish death cleans in the
Lemongrove household.
I love all our ‘stuff’ the books and cds and dvds and photographs, bric a brac, pictures, and all the things the children made us, the wonky pottery bowls etc.
It’s what makes a home, rather than a show

Urmstongran Wed 09-Oct-19 12:16:56

I like ‘stuff’ too Maw as long as it’s not overwhelming. We downsized almost 10y ago to our little one bedroomed apartment and that was a major project as you can imagine. Now I have only my very favourite things around me!

moggie57 Wed 09-Oct-19 12:17:36

well getting rid of the clutter is good. what if there was a fire ? am getting rid of mine now .10 bags of nick nacks to the charity shop. clothes i dont wear .after a year if i havent worn it or too small its gone.mine is deft not a show house. its my home,,

Squiffy Wed 09-Oct-19 12:23:36

Well, I have to confess to feeling a bit overwhelmed by having so much Stuff, but most of it has a memory attached to it. I don't know how to detach myself emotionally from some things. Keeping a photo of something that you throw out (as is sometimes suggested) just isn't the same as being able to hold it and feel it.

Bathsheba Wed 09-Oct-19 12:29:06

Well said Maw. I have lots of stuff and I love it. Hundreds of books, even though I usually read on my Kindle these days. Drawers full of CDs, even though I listen to music on Alexa with Amazon subscription. Dozens of DVDs and videos, despite my Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions.

Oh and clothes! I have them in about 3 different sizes, to cope with my ever fluctuating weight loss/weight gain lifestyle blush. So no, I'm not going to throw those clothes out that no longer fit me because I like them, and I may get down to that size again. One day. Perhaps.

I'm not even going to think about all my craft stuff shock

EllanVannin Wed 09-Oct-19 12:40:36

I love being surrounded by all my " stuff ", it's part of my life as over the years I've gathered a lot of antiques, memento's and memories all attached to each article. I have a history, a background and it's all here.
I wouldn't have anyone dictate to me, there's enough of it going on in the world ( being dictated to )

JenniferEccles Wed 09-Oct-19 12:51:36

Although I can be sentimental about certain possessions I do find a good clear out therapeutic. I hate clutter and like to keep kitchen surfaces clear much to the surprise of friends who ask where everything is. ‘In the cupboards!’ I reply!

There is another aspect to possessions of course and that is when we have gone our children will have the thankless task of sorting through it.

I think that is a good enough reason to be as clutter free as possible. Minimalism is the way to go!

paddyann Wed 09-Oct-19 12:57:34

I gave all my books to the local school when its library burned down.I was pleased that they would be going to a good home.I'm currently clearing out ...again.In hope of moving.We've been let down twice in the past 4 years ,had offers accepted than the seller changed his mind the first time and sold to his friend the second time .Fingers crossed it all goes well this time ! I wont be parting with my 2000 CD's though .I've passed on the wee ones cabin bed and furniture to a young family locally and have chucked out toys she's grown out of that cant be passed on ,mainly because she "customised" them .I dont have any problem getting rid of things .My husband is a different matter ,its like prising precious things from his hands to even clear out his wardrobe ,as for his tools and car parts etc etc ....we need to downsize to a house with a lot of storage !!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 09-Oct-19 15:07:50

Yes, I like stuff too Maw but sadly in my spare room I've got stuff all over the floor.

A house without any stuff at all has no personality and is soul-less.

GillT57 Wed 09-Oct-19 15:21:43

Paddyann I thought that the Scottish conveyancing and house purchase system meant that the chain couldn't break as easily as with the scary English system? You have been unlucky

BBbevan Wed 09-Oct-19 15:22:40

Stuff is lovely. Warm blankets on the chair arms, books, magazines, sewing, knitting, things the children made or gave us. The list is endless. A warm ,friendly and cosy home. The more stuff ( tidy) the better

pinkquartz Wed 09-Oct-19 15:26:45

I too love my many piles of books everywhere. Only the bathroom remains without.
They are my friends, my joy, my solace. My world.
I am actively reducing though because I need to move and it will be impossible with so many. Also I can't find a book when I want to because I have gone from order to chaos but I am removing unwanted novels slowly. Most will remain

I am thinking of a Kindle for some novels to reduce the physical load.

Otherwise I find minimal homes feel empty and barren. I like a bit of clutter.
I like it when a person's home shows their personality.

sodapop Wed 09-Oct-19 15:32:36

There has to be a happy medium with stuff though. I like to keep some things around me but don't want to be cluttered up with it. I'm not sentimental so only keep a few of everything, books, photos, cards etc. I read a lot but donate most of my books just keep those by very favourite authors.
I do seem to collect dogs though and have three so better give myself a talking to.grin

janeainsworth Wed 09-Oct-19 15:35:25

Thanks for this Maw. I thought it was only me who regarded Marie Kondo and her ideas as some sinister apparitiongrin

janeainsworth Wed 09-Oct-19 15:37:55

Oops! ‘It was only I’!
Apologies Gabriella!blushgrin

Chestnut Wed 09-Oct-19 15:38:21

There's a happy medium here, neither drowning in clutter nor empty and bare! I am always thinking what else I can get rid of which has no significance or reason to keep it. I think books, CDs, DVDs and clothes are easy for the children to clear really. They can just flick through them and then donate to a charity shop. It's all the paperwork that needs tidying and organising so the important stuff is all together. I don't want the children to have endless paperwork to look through and I don't want them to miss anything important. I also think you should mark family heirlooms or they may be thrown out, and write names and dates on the back of photos. There is a lot that needs doing!

paddyann Wed 09-Oct-19 17:07:42

Gillt57 and therein lay the problem ,both sellers were used to teh English system.So the second one just took his house off the market and then sold it privately to a guy he worked with.The estate agent IS trying to get what they believe they are due for the advertising etc so they want their commission.He has apparently left the country .

Luckygirl Wed 09-Oct-19 17:15:37

I have gone off stuff. I used to like browsing shops and online - but now I just feel that stuff has become entirely meaningless to me. I buy food and occasional plants and kindle books, but that is it now.

Witzend Wed 09-Oct-19 17:25:38

I do agree, MawB. We are by no stretch of the imagination drowning in clutter, but neither are we remotely minimalist. I really don't like the minimalist look - often so cold, sterile and soulless. As far as I'm concerned, Marie Kondo and her ilk can FOTTFSOF - as they say on Mumsnet, (Don't ask - it's very rude!)

I expect we'll get rid of some of our masses of books at some stage - we did ditch the old videos some time ago - but there's nothing else that's going to go any time soon.
Clothes and shoes, I don't have masses anyway, never have.

As for children having to clear it all, dds already know about anything valuable - for the rest, they're welcome to get the house clearance people in.

SueDonim Wed 09-Oct-19 18:25:28

I don't like junk but I like my 'stuff'. So junk gets put out and stuff stays. smile

My mum has been death cleaning all her life. All my childhood things went, some beautiful toys and some gorgeous fairy tale books with illustrations by Arthur Rackham. I'd get home from school and mum would say 'Oh, I saw Mrs X today. I gave her your dolls house for her daughter, as you don't want it more, do you?' confused. I live in fear she'll throw away all the family photos before she's done. sad

Sara65 Wed 09-Oct-19 18:49:54

I don’t like ornaments, or bits and pieces everywhere, I hate a cluttered kitchen or bathroom, but I too love all my clothes and shoes and scarves, I do have a sort out every season, but I’m not brutal.

My house is full of books in every other room, built in bookcases, freestanding ones, I do occasionally take a bag to the charity shop, but not very often! They are just books I’ve read and don’t want to part with, nothing intellectual! and they’re in alphabetical order through the house.

I also have probably hundreds of framed photos, the only other clutter I allow are flowers and candles.

Loislovesstewie Wed 09-Oct-19 19:04:37

I live with a hoarder; he has items dating back to his childhood and he won't think about getting rid of them. apparently when he's gone we will be able to sell them and raise lots of money. personally I would rather sell them now and enjoy the money together. And what if I pop my clogs first? Our kids won't want to have to sort through all of it.
I would rather have less and do more.

CanadianGran Wed 09-Oct-19 19:49:26

I do try, but DH and I have managed to fill our house over the years. He is pretty good at organizing and decluttering, however he is after me to get rid of my knitting stash.

I absolutely refuse; I intend to knit like mad when I retire! He reminds me when I do start a project I usually find a pattern on line, and purchase new yarn. "Never-mind" I say, perhaps the patterns in Vogue knitting 1986 will come back in fashion. I have a few bee-hive patterns from my mother printed when I was a babe in the 60's. And I have just the right alpaca yarn purchased some time in the 90's for the project! smile

Sara65 Wed 09-Oct-19 20:01:31

I admit Canadiangran, I do have several drawers of wool, I’ve just started a throw of many colours to use up some of the odds and ends, but I’ve done this before, and end up buying more to finish it!