The perils of everyday hoarding.

October 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

I just started reading Ellen and Julia Lupton’s Design your life: the pleasures and perils of everyday life. I am already a big fan of Ellen Lupton, and this book is great because its a funny and easy to absorb collection of anecdotes from everyday life. In the first anecdote entitled Moving the furniture,  Ellen Lupton comments that those of us who never rearrange their furniture stop seeing our environment. She points out that we simply get used to walking into awkwardly placed objects and steer clear of uncomfortable chairs and broken drawers. Isn’t that just so true? (I hate it when you can’t walk around one side of the bed and are forced to scramble over someone to get out) I am currently in the process of moving, and what I notice the most is the crap that I have held on to. All the stuff that builds up and makes it harder to walk around the room. So many times I have put something down, intending it to be a temporary resting place and never moved it again. Case in point, a big plastic container, the type meant for storing  tools or something in the garage or workshop. I used mine for transporting my work to craft fairs. For some reason I don’t recall I put it in my bedroom and over a year later it is still there! It was of course a temporary measure, but then I put some books on it, and clothes on those books, and the contents of a Christmas stocking on those clothes. After a while it becomes cemented there, all the layers of objects would need to be relocated, which may require throwing out other things to make room for them. Why do we forget that we can change our environment? Why did I choose to keep all the boxes my bottles of perfume came in? Maybe everyone should write letters to themselves in 5 years explaining the desperate need to keep all the empty cotton reels (doll house furniture according to my mother) and really old makeup. As Lupton says, “moving the furniture has become a way of pulling happiness and sociability-in place of frustration and boredom- out of ordinary situations, simply by shaking them up a bit.”

(Still no car, they suspect the inhibitor is at fault, I always thought it had a lack of inhibitions…)


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