this is not my beautiful house

#5 / Hang on to your hat, and everything else, too!

#5 / Hang on to your hat, and everything else, too!

I think most minimalists are faking it and I’d like to see inside their cupboards.

You know the type. Their homes are achingly beautiful, sparse but never bleak, full – but not too full – of well-behaved plants that seem to have little in common with the dirt in which they are planted. Their homes are spotless, but not sterile – art directed by I’d-like-to-thank-the-academy alumni – and tidy in an otherworldly kind of way.

There are flurries of orchids, white of course, and lofty music that comes at you from everywhere but nowhere, as if it’s coming from heaven. Suddenly, the delicate staccato of your friend descending the staircase and there she is, gorgeous in a perfectly awry sort of way.

You want to be as close to her as possible, but you want to run in the other direction, too.

Is there a place that teaches this kind of elegance? A secret school like Hogwarts with a prettier name, where these creatures learn how to tinker with the air and the stars and people’s confidence and such? Or, do you know where I might find a Mr. Higgins for hire, because I hear he’s had some pretty good results – or maybe that was Mr. Banks – who sounds like he also might come in handy.

These friends of yours are aberrations, which I was hoping was spelled differently so I could have made a snide remark about them being big boreations, too, but that’s the way things go when the universe is unwilling to besmirch one of their own.

It is critical that you do not compare yourselves with these people, or compare your home to theirs, and it’s even more critical that you do not place your shoes next to theirs, or worse yet, your feet. And whatever you do, don’t get caught in a photo with them.

Me? I prefer people with faults.

I like it when I go to someone’s house and it’s messy. I like it just as much when it’s not messy, but only when this condition is clearly brand new and unnatural, rather like after a good eyebrow waxing when nothing quite matches and you appear startled in an angry sort of way.

You may have already guessed this, but I am not a minimalist. I am a maximalist.

Just look inside my house, my fridge, or even my new tea cabinet – but not my closet – and I don’t say that out of shame alone. It’s more of a safety issue.

Every once in a while when I can’t find the cat or guests are coming, I am moved to action. I haul an unreasonably large and lumpy bag of goods (bads?) to the donation place or at least to the trunk of my car. I know there are those of you who donate your clothing – as well as the dinnerware you have grown weary of, etc. – with great care and in separate bags, and I admire you for it, often to the point of eye-rolling.

Here’s the way it goes when they see me coming with my donation bag:

1: Here she comes!
2: Finally!
1: Okay, quickly, let’s review the terms:
2: Okay. You owe me two bucks for every single – as in one onlyshoe.
1: Right. And I get two bucks for anything circus-y.

1: Whew.
2: Wow.
1: Okay. So next time, I call three bucks for every single – as in one onlycircus-y shoe!
2: Okay! And I call teapot lids. Two bucks a piece.
3: Hey! Can I get in on this? One dollar for anything with the price tag still on!

I don’t like to be a show-off, but since I took before and after pictures, I might as well show you.

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I hear Professional Organizers exist and I am leery of them in the same way I am leery of bees.

I am not in a position to quote or even be caught in the same room as them, and unless their motto goes something like If you don’t love it, hang onto it until you do, which is just the kind of advice I’ve been looking for, I’ll keep my distance.

Those? Oh. They’re my scruples.

Those? Oh. They’re my scruples.

Perfectly acceptable reasons to hoard

Perfectly acceptable reasons to hoard