Sunday, 1 July 2012

What it's all about

I sometimes have great trouble explaining succinctly what I do, and what the benefits are. (As any of my friends will tell you, brevity of expression is not really my strong point.) So I was delighted to see that my favourite blogger, the lovely Tania Kindersley, has in her posting today expressed those benefits so much better than I could:

"...once I am actually doing it, I get a burst of energy, and realise that I have the capacity to make my room look really quite nice. The simple fact of moving things around can make a huge difference. Clearing away the clutter reveals the lovely items I have collected over the years, and I may notice them with love, instead of just seeing too much nonsense. The effect of hoovering itself always astonishes me. Just getting rid of a bit of earth and dog hair and the stray bits of grass I bring in on my boots utterly transforms the room. I feel there is a proper life lesson there, something about small, mundane things making a huge difference."

Exactly. So many people consider the processes of decluttering and organising (which are, by-the-by, two entirely different things) and fear the perfection (and unattainability) of minimalism. There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with minimalism if it's a style that happens to float your boat; but for most of us, the 'small, mundane things making a huge difference' are far more achievable and practical.

And as for Tania: well, the photographs of her beautiful residence, way up in the wilds of Scotland, show a home and not a house. A place to live and relax, to welcome guests, to share and to to enjoy. A place where you can put your feet up without feeling intimidated; a place where her small relations can jump around and have fun; a place where the adorable Pigeon (a canine who is adored by hundreds of people who have never met her) will not be told off for muddy paws.

The balance between tidiness and obsession, between comfortable and slovenly, between house and home: that is what it's all about.

(I have borrowed an illustration from the blog posting in question: I hope Tania doesn't mind. This isn't minimalism; but it is a place of beautiful comfort. And I covet that lamp.)

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