Clutter and Music

On Monday, I responded to what struck me as an odd point of view regarding clutter.

On Tuesday, I posted about the new music corner in the living room.

And here on Wednesday, I’m thinking about how those two ideas intersect. I’ve been playing piano several times a day and violin daily since we set up that space. J has sat down and played piano at least a couple times, and F likes to interrupt my practicing to ask for a turn. ūüôā

To some extent, our stuff enables activities. The music corner prompts us to engage in music. I wouldn’t call it “clutter,” then, because it serves a (positive) purpose in my life.

Though I’m interested in minimalism, I’m not hard-core. I don’t want to own only 100 things – but I have no desire to house¬†items that I don’t use. I do not celebrate clutter!¬†But I do agree with Ms. Browning that it’s enriching and wonderful to house items that we do use.

Celebrate Clutter?

Did anyone else read Let’s Celebrate¬†the Art of Clutter in the NY Times this weekend?

Dominique Browning says we should accept that we accumulate stuff, and to stop stressing about it and go ahead and treasure it. She seems to see minimalism as kind of a silly trend, mostly for millennials.

So, I like it when people tell me to stop stressing about something that to some degree does stress me out. And I find a cluttered house somewhat stressful. But I have to say, her article did not resonate with me.

She talks about owning stuff made by artisans, albeit sometimes grabbed at a garage sale for ten bucks. Though that sounds nice, it does not reflect the type¬†of “stuff” that’s currently in my life. She also talks blithely about passing her stuff to her kids though she knows¬†they don’t want it, and furthermore seems to think that it¬†in some way, she is her stuff.¬†Yikes?

She invites us¬†to call her materialistic like it’s¬†a bad thing. It’s OK to like your stuff, Ms. B! But don’t¬†insist¬†that your kids (or anyone else)¬†must¬†feel the same way about it.

Starting the Week

So, Deb’s pho recipe: not a minimalist undertaking! Quite good – F and I liked it, and J really really liked it.

Another not-so-surprising revelation: leftover pho would require a fairly elaborate system of packing to become a brown-bag lunch. Too elaborate. I opted to make tonight’s planned dinner casserole last night after dinner and use it for today’s and tomorrow’s lunches instead. Dinner tonight: pho again! We’re all pretty happy about that. ūüôā

We took F to the playground yesterday, even though the cool breeze was cutting through me while I nursed C on the sidelines. J didn’t mind it because he and the other dads were all playing some no-rules version of tag with the kids.

Hoping to get outside again today, at least as far as the shed to finish raking up our leaves. Major mulching plans are afoot with our supply of leaves from 11 oak trees.

It feels good to start the week with dinner already cooked, all three of us dressed and ready for anything right after getting up, blog blogged, and a very modest, flexible plan that inches us toward our goal of a garden.

Minimalism

I think that with Spring Cleaning, taxes, and needing to figure out how to deal with the garden while holding a baby and fielding a constant stream of chatter from a three-year-old, I’m drawn to simplifying what I can.

I attacked my closet yesterday, inspired by Project 333. The “active” part of the closet is now under control (and under 33!), but I have to admit that I had trouble figuring out what I could cull from¬†the off-season clothes piles – winter, summer, working, camping, etc. Still, it’s a start.

I’m encouraging J to start, too.

I’m eyeing the baby clothes that C has already grown out of (tubs and tubs worth – I’ll tell the tale of the multiplying baby clothes some other time) and thinking that they are not long for this house.

I’m not looking to¬†live¬†out of a backpack or only owning 100 things – for me,¬†lagom has more items than that right now. But what we have now is too much clutter, too much to wash, too much to tidy, and more than any of us actually use.