Tag Archives: clutter

On Joan Didion’s estate (our life in objects and what they say about us)

Joan Didion died last year. On Nov. 16, there will be an estate sale auction of her possessions. The New York Times covers it here. The piece is titled: Joan Didion’s Life in Objects.

It’s a good piece. Among other things, it got me thinking once again that we leave an impression on the world in several ways. One of those ways is what we collect from it. Some of those objects are mundane and collected by many:

Others are unique to ourselves:

Some of them, by how we collect them, tell a particular story:

Our objects are not just things laying about: they say something about us. They say what we were interested in.  They indicate what our passions were.  They tell a story about the person who owned them and what type of person they were or wanted to be. The books on shelves, the overused and the underused cookware, the tools either on display or tossed away: each and every one of them are like a shadow or a sketch of their owner. They don’t say everything about us, but they say a lot.

Perhaps after you read this you may want to go over your own objects and ask yourself: what does this thing say about me? Because it does, perhaps in ways you don’t even realize.

The BBC had a series, The History of the World in 100 Objects. Like the world, if we were to take 10 or 20 or even 100 objects in our lives, they would tell the history of ourselves.

(All images: links to the story in the Times. All items belonged to Joan Didion.)

Decluttering 101

I like this piece: Why We Clutter, and What to Do About It – The New York Times. If you never decluttered your place before, it’s a good place to start.

Decluttering is like dieting though: you can make an effort to cut back, but unless you address the thoughts and behaviors that lead to clutter/overeating, you may end up back where you started.

I recommend while you are decluttering to take note of what you have excess of. Is it too much paper, clothing, books, utensils, tech stuff, or something else altogether? Those are the areas you need to focus your analysis of if you want to have any hope of living with less clutter. In the end you may be fine with periodically paring down the amount of clothes or books or stationery you have from time to time.

 

If you need help in designing a simple(r) life….

…you can find it  here at this site:  No Sidebar – Design a Simple Life

The clutter in my house has seemed more oppressive since the pandemic. Maybe you have the same experience. If so, sites like that can help.

(Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash)

 

Two good decluttering projects for you to do this week

 

One is analog and one is digital.

The analog one is to declutter the space you are using to work from home. Apartment Therapy has a plan to not only declutter it but to make it better. (I find it easier to declutter if you can image the space looking good at the end).

The second decluttering plan is for your phone. Let’s face it, you have tons of digital clutter. Here’s another Apartment Therapy plan to tackle that.

(Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash)