Clutter — Friend or Foe?


How do you define it? How many things do you have in your creating space or comfort space? Do objects make you feel more creative? My dream (someday) is to have a writing studio with an ergonomic desk and chair and a shelf that goes around the room with my antique typewriters. And all my clutter gone! Or Martha Stewart organized!

But honestly, I have always had clutter around my creating space.  This photo below is from my “Art Room” when I lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The Art Room (I have always called the room I write in the “Art Room.”)

I had just moved in with my boyfriend (who is now my husband).  The house I lived in was small and cozy.  It was my great-aunt Margie’s house. My parents owned it. I rented it from them for a reduced fee. Prior to moving in, it was the storage unit for their flea market and garage sale findings.  My parents had crazy amounts of flea market finds, ranging from expensive antiques to Goodwill goodies.  It was a little crazy.  Not quite Hoarders, but definitely Storage Wars!

I have always loved stuff.  When we were little kids, my sister and I had a lemonade stand we would operate during my parents’ weekend garage sales.   We raised enough money one summer to take our whole family to Great America amusement park.

My sister and I working the garage sale crowd at our lemonade stand

I am at a stage now, with a toddler and all his things in our home, that I just want Zen. I want to get rid of everything.  Truth be told, I have always collected trinkets and I certainly am a pack rat.  Things have emotional meaning for me.

My antique typewriter collection is something I would like to use as inspiration.  I envision a room that only has my computer, with a great storage system for files, and a shelf that goes around the room with my typewriters displayed.

For now, I am working on getting rid of things I don’t need.  I would have to say I can create wherever and I find the most solace in nature.  Nature is beautifully ordered.

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The photos in the slideshow are from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. The photo of the beach is Lake Yellowstone; the photo of the car is me at the Grand Tetons in Wyoming; the photo of the mountains is near Jackson Hole in the Teton National Forest.

How do you define clutter? How many things do you have in your creating space or comfort space? Do objects make you feel more creative?

9 thoughts on “Clutter — Friend or Foe?

  1. You wouldn’t know what to do with yourself if your space was suddenly devoid of clutter. It all has meaning, and in one way or another, it all has ties to your heart.


    • Anna,
      I really wouldn’t! I have always known clutter of some kind. My parents had a cluttered garden even, but it was so beautiful. I loved going to thrift stores with them as a kid. Once I was in the thrift store, I would always beeline it for the trinkets and brick-a-brac. I find objects to be storytellers. So many tales. I have always loved antiques for that reason. Thanks for your great comment. It all does have ties to my heart, but sometimes I feel my heart would be lighter if I didn’t have so many things. I still have a journal I wrote in 4th grade. It is priceless.


  2. I’m not a clutter bug (though my desk today might tell a different story) . . . I love being surrounded by books, on my shelves, coupled with some photos and objets d’art (though the ‘art’ might questionable). But I’m one of those writers who needs to clear the desk as much as possible when I get down to work — though I can imagine being inspired by an antique typewriter collection. btw, the slideshow made me smile.


    • Deborah,
      I love that term objets d’art! I cleared my desk off just last week and it was divine! I now have a messy desk again. I guess that is why I call it the “Art Room” — it always seems to be messy. My husband and I have always shared the “Art Room” in all three homes we have lived in together. I do dream of that office space someday — just me, the muse, and the antique typewriters! Your writing is very clear so I imagine you very organized physically as well. Baby steps for me — or an all out Martha Stewart melt down and I will organize it all. Not! Thanks for your great comment.


  3. I have decluttered recently as my home was turning into an episode from Hoarders – I keep & like to have visible objects that remind me of my family and special occasions. Also like objects that remind me to be mindful & help me create stillness.


    • Melee,
      Is that your name? You are funny! Oh, I wish Hoarders was around when my dad passed away. He hoarded art. We had a garage sale that lasted weeks of just his art. First of all, my parents had art everywhere in their house. Every inch of wall was filled. I am serious and believe it or not, they managed to do it tastefully. My mother has incredible decorating style. I remember taking the art outside one painting after the other. A friend of mine from work told me he bought a small painting for $5 at the garage sale and it was worth $250. I was too overwhelmed with the miles of artwork. I am talking five to six paintings deep, lined up down the sidewalk. This is the stuff memoir is made of. I am glad to hear you decluttered and have your space to create. To each his hoarding own. 🙂


  4. I have an ongoing fight with clutter. Some days, I love my desk so full of crap that I can barely move my hands past the keyboard. Sometimes, I need it sterile. Does that mean I’m manic? However, I hate dirt and grime. So, I’m 50/50.


  5. What are you saying Elizabeth? huh huh? That I like dirt and grime? Ha ha Just kidding. 🙂

    I totally understand the 50/50 thing. I have a clean desk when my son goes to my in-laws and I have time alone to work. I clear off my desk that has exploded.

    I think writing is a manic thing. I feel manic about my writing. I get so much energy at night and love to work through the night (until 2 am) but it catches up with me. I love working at night as opposed to working early in the morning because there is no cut off time. And I love the still silence of the night. I also am more daring at night. Does that make sense?

    If I could I would be one of those writers that writes all night and sleeps all day. But there are no play-dates at 3 in the morning so I do have to keep a relatively normal schedule for the toddler! Thanks for commenting and it’s good to hear from you. How is your writing coming along?


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