I am not the Collyer Brothers. My office doesn’t look anywhere near as bad as this place looked. My problem is not insurmountable… right?
This past week, I have been forced to come to terms with a less-than-beautiful reality abut myself. I am a hoarder. There. I’ve said it. I’m sure my minimalist husband (if he ever even bothers to read these posts) will be laughing out loud at his desk, or shaking his head in disbelief at my admission. Maybe this will convince him to believe in God. Who knows? But here it is, in black and white.
Now, I am no Collyer Brother (see photo above for the extremes to which those Harlem based brothers took the fine art of hoarding) but I do have a problem. I realized this because it took me an entire week to clear out my office so that my landlord can come in and fix my ceiling (see last week’s post for details.) A whole week.
I have vinyl records that have not been touched for half a decade, magazine tear sheets from the 90′s (some of them were actually kind of good though– stay tuned for a future post featuring a few great things I forgot I’d noticed from back in the day) manuals for every piece of electronic equipment I have ever owned (plus the cords, attachments and accessories to go with them) and I could go on and on. In fact, I swore, back in January, that I was going to clear out the chaos. Clearly I haven’t gotten very far.
Someday, this (fill in the blank) might be useful, I say to myself. But I fear I may be wrong. In fact, I know I’m wrong, and now the fact that I’ve had to move so many of my piles of junk (did I say that?) into various other locations in my apt has forced me to see my situation clearly.
I am facing a challenge: I must not restore the office to it’s previous state of inglorious excess once the ceiling is repaired.
And so the battle begins with me looking on the internet for some kind of solace and inspiration to aid me in the struggle I am about to face.
FIrst off, evidence that I’m not so bad. A video documentary about the Collyer Brothers, who’s living room is pictured above. I am nowhere near this bad.
E. L. Doctorow, one of my favorite authors, wrote a beautiful sad poetic novel from the point of view of these two characters that is well worth reading. But if you don’t have time to read long form books, this NY Times review will do in a pinch.
Sometimes I find myself wishing that my place would just burn down, forcing me to start from scratch. Until I remember what happened to Q-Tip and how many records , recordings, digital files, equipment etc he lost.
There are countless online venues that claim they will help me. There is actually a website called: be more with less.
There’s also one called minimally minimal, which takes forever to load, but has nice stuff on it. Though maybe I like it because it’s all about getting more stuff, albeit minimally designed…
Brooklyn designer Jessi Arrington mitigates her love for acquiring clothes by only buying (and wearing) secondhand. I think she makes an exception for underwear.
But at the end of the day, I love homes that are all full of color and personality and look like my friend Lili’s place. Far from minimal, I know. Perhaps I’m a lost cause…