I read with interest Steve Almond’s “In Defense of Male Clutter”. Though I am not male, I too have a lot of clutter, and I wanted to see what his defense consisted of. The main points were memories (I cheer for that one) and the second one was about someday being able to do something with an object. I sympathize with that one.
I grew up in a military family. Every time we moved, we got rid of everything not essential to the household. I had very few items left to remember my childhood with. There are few objects to help me picture a scene, or moment from my childhood. I have little to pass down to my children. So I treasure odd things now. I keep things that others do not understand the reason for keeping.
I have lately come to realize that some of the things I keep could be put into scrapbooks, the more easily to tote about and the more easily to pass on to my children as well. Sorting through the boxes of items that have been lugged about is a daunting task. One that has so far been put aside for other priorities. So I still have boxes full of things cluttering up the spaces in my home.
The other things I keep are more about the idea that I will do something with them sometime. Every time I follow someone’s well meaning advice and get rid of something, I end up wishing I had it back six months later. Of course, that’s when I needed the item. It doesn’t matter what it was, it only matters that I don’t have it anymore and now I have to go out and buy another one to do what I was going to do with the item in the first place.
This wouldn’t be such a problem if I had unlimited resources, but I don’t. In fact, my resources, like many other people’s are very limited. So I’ll keep my clutter, thank you, and live better with the results.
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