My study - I love my clutter


Do you feel under pressure to declutter? Me too. Whether it’s my wife, or my younger son. They all seem to believe that my life would be better if I got rid of my clutter.

The fact is, I love my clutter. Given the chance, I’d get more: I’d de-declutter.

The whole thing started with Marie Kondo, but actually she’s on my side.

According to Ms Kondo, I should divide everything into what gives me joy and what doesn’t.

Apparently, she discovered this after having a nervous breakdown.

The problem is, getting other people to understand it, without having my own nervous breakdown.

Happy to love my clutter

The fact is, I’m totally happy with my cupboards filled with old computers and clothes I hardly ever wear (so are the moths, by the way, so I’m also making an important contribution to local insect life).

I have no problem with books, magazines, newspaper cuttings and scribbled notes, crammed onto shelves, piled on tables, stuffed into files, stacked on the floor. I know I’ll get round to them some time.

And the same goes for all the drawings, photos, CDs, vinyl albums, DVDs, VHS tapes (remember them?). Anything could become vital research material for a future book.

As for the boxes filled with what certain people refer to as “junk” – what they don’t know is that those 24 adaptors and guitar pedals, bags of audio and video cables, obsolete floppy discs, 13 amp plugs and all, are being kept for a purpose.

Disaster avoided

You just never know when they’ll be needed. Or rather, I do. It will be just days after I was persuaded to take them down to the recycling centre. Except, of course, I won’t.

To prove my point, only a week ago I used two pieces of clutter that could all too easily have been thrown away, if particular people had been listened to.

First, my thermometer needed a new battery. (Do you remember the good old days when thermometers only needed to sit there and the mercury worked forever?) The required battery was tiny and unusual – but a quick search in the cupboard in my study unearthed two of precisely the right size, left over from a sonic electronic key finder that got lost years ago.

So, I even have a back-up for when that replacement goes flat in a year’s time. (Though what I’ll do a year after that, I can’t imagine).

Joy in storage

Then a builder who’s working here needed something to lock up his ladder outside overnight. Did I have that combination-lock bicycle chain I bought and never used about five years ago? Did I heck? Right underneath the discarded DVD players.

That definitely gave me joy.

The trouble is that the same builder is about to remove part of a cupboard during the renovations. And it has already been said by a certain someone that this will be an “opportunity to throw some old stuff away.”

Not if I and Marie Kondo have anything to do with it.

Tell me what clutter you’re in love with? Or whose clutter you’d love to declutter if you had the chance?