In the NY Times. You need to register to read it, but it's free.
That is a cute article. Thank you for posting it.
and here's a clickable link
Here is a link that might be useful: clute article on decluttering
oops--that's the link to the sidebar.
Here's the link to the START of the story
Here is a link that might be useful: cute article on a decluttering expert
Thanks, talley sue, I missed the article about the guy. Actually, I have heard of him before.
I thought this was an interesting thought, in relation to decluttering and organization:
"What he disavows is inauthentic simplicity. From his perspective, no one should go out and buy drawer dividers to better organize their socks; they should have fewer socks and throw them in a drawer with enough room to distinguish the black ones from the navy ones."
some other neat thoughts in there.
At the core of his philosophy is the belief that our relentless attention to renovation and reorganizing, to building and rebuilding, distracts us from the more demanding work of becoming better partners, caretakers and friends.
...the idea that you should always be ready for drop-in guests. "No, you shouldnt," he counters, "unless youÂre running a bed-and-breakfast."
and I liked this phrase: "household governance."
I found a review of his book on blogspot, and the writer excerpted this:
"There are chores, and then there are chores. The first set involves the usual cleaning, errands such as shopping for food, getting a quick oil change, perhaps going to the post office. The second set, the "styling" chores are those that we've all heaped on our schedules in the pursuit of house beautiful. I hate this new set of chores - arranging endless pillows, refreshing windowsill vases, dusting wreaths, replacing votive candles, wiping bath and olive oil rings, refilling individual salt bowls. Individually these are simple tasks, but en masse and on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, they are insidious."
This is how I feel--it's why I'll never have pretty pillows on my bed, and why I actually hate the throw pillows in my living room. I seriously contemplating getting rid of them (I did once already, but I've also found that I'd like a little bit of cushion behind my back, bcs I'm not that tall)
and in an interview:
What do our homes need, if not makeovers?
"The first thing to do is clean. Cleaning provides an interaction with what you own."
This is interesting to me. compare it to Flylady's concept that you are "blessing" your home when you clean it.
I'm with him on the matter of arranging and cleaning all the tchotchkes that people seem to be acquiring these days. When I see those beds draped with curtains and pillows, my first thought is of all the dust that they will collect.
I picked up on the same quote as harriet; "What he disavows is inauthentic simplicity. From his perspective, no one should go out and buy drawer dividers to better organize their socks; they should have fewer socks and throw them in a drawer with enough room to distinguish the black ones from the navy ones. "
This is probably why I don't view the infrastructure as important for my household. Even in my kitchen drawers, I can just pull out the drawer and find what I need. I only find dividers helpful in the bathroom, where small things like clippers scatter easily throughtout the drawer.
I think we can get too far in stereotyping a decluttered household. I like pillows. My house isn't dusty, so I don't look at them as dustcatchers. We tend to flop on our furniture and I like needlepoint pillows with velvet backing. That way we flip them over to smoosh under our heads, flip them back to enjoy the needlework.
It sounds like Mr. Ho isn't understanding that people can enjoy doing things like building a peony bed. Or a fence. That we aren't always a herd of mindless creatures doing something just because Martha is doing it. All Martha is doing is highlighting this many people have always enjoyed. Geesh, I'm not even a Martha fan and here I am defending her.
I would also prefer to have more possessions, than live in 300 square feet with two roommates. That would drive me insane!
I think I must just be in a tired mood today because it really irritated me to have to look up the word, parsimony. Meaning Undue reluctance to spend money; stinginess. Just what exactly is money for if it doen't make the quality of your life what you would like? I'm not interested in leaving a fortune to a charity, but I am interested in having enough money to pay for my own nursing home. In the meantime, if I spend money on items to hang on my wall and those items give me pleasure, I don't see what business it is of Mr. Ho's to decide my lifestyle is less meaningful than his.
"Candles dont set a mood, people do." I'm really going to disagree with this. Every night when I've gotten the munchkins asleep, the day is done, I head to the bathroom and light scented candles. Slip in the tub and I have a ritualistic end to my day. Flipping on the overhead light just wouldn't not do the same thing.
Give me someone besides some single middle aged man. I can't relate to him. Give me someone who juggles many responsibilities. Jobs, husband, kids, home, yard, volunteer work, etc. Then show me how the simplicity of items relates to fulfillment in their life. Mr. Ho probably wouldn't value my collection of polyester double-knit quilts, but I sure enjoy them even though I'm contantly refolding, picking them up off the floor, thowing them over the back of the couch or the foot of the bed.
I don't want a life full of things which "will do." I'd get much more pleasure building that trellis than having the plant in some old tin can. Just because Mr. Ho thinks I'm wasting my time doesn't make it so. Now, I'm off to do my two hours manning the PTA craft table, then feed everyone supper, and put in 3 hours of back and forth and waiting for dance lessons. Because I've determined I have simplicity, this doesn't overwhelm me. It would probably put Mr. Ho under the rug.
What he understands very well is that you cannot sell books==get publicity or generate buzz unless you come up with something really unusual, bizarre and different to say.
We like Martha because she makes all that stuff look easy & comfortable but honestly we aren't making our own invitations or candles. Also I am not trimming my pillows with leftover ribbon. But Martha at least isn't critical, and this guy apparently wants to put his feet up and watch t.v. and give advice to us about how doing all this gardening and stuff is unnecessary. Sort of the same homily you hear from the homeless.
I think the guy is just saying to do what you want and not feel like a failure if your house doesn't look like a magazine spread.
A real-life ideal is probably some happy medium.
(I like candles, too, and I certainly am not interested in planting flowers in an old tin can.)