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Thread: Decluttering

  1. #1

    Default Decluttering

    First world woes, file next to obesity, etc.

    YT channels popping up like fungi, advocating the benefits of a streamlined life. Marie Kondo reckons you should bow to your socks and thank them! It's all a bit fucking la-la.

    On the other hand, I've always had this aversion to having too much stuff, especially books, records, etc. It's relative because what's 'piling up' in a one-bed flat would probably be way minimalist in a 2-bed house with garage and garden. A few people I know have started flogging off their music collections and, for a brief second, I thought: what if I did it too? I mean, do I really need that NWW album with the rubber dominatrix with her tits out? Is anyone into this or is it way too Grauniad Zen to contemplate?

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  3. #2
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    I had to get rid of a lot of stuff when we did our flat up - mainly books and CDs. I quite enjoyed it. There was a bunch of things I was never going to look at again and could probably acquire again if I needed to fairly easily in one form or another. Inevitably there have only ever been a handful of things I've got rid of and then bought again in my life.

    I still have quite a lot of books and CDs though. I'm not a natural minimalist and do like having a bunch of stuff around the place. Possibly this is a cultural association of what a nice flat looks like as much as anything else. And I do have quite a big flat, tbf. I think there is a trade off between clutter and psychological health and if you live in one room and half of that room is piles of CDs which keep falling over you should probably rethink.

    I'm suspicious of people who have completely minimal homes. And I feel very sad for people who are (or live with) actual hoarders.

    I know a journalist who was commissioned to do a piece on de-cluttering and just hid loads of their possessions in cupboards for the photo-shoot. But it probably makes sense if you are young, live somewhere small and have all your music and books on your laptop.

    Obviously nobody needs that NWW album. But just living with what you "need" is pretty hellish and protestant-work-ethic isn't it?

    Same as those Vagina Dentata Organ picture discs. They are almost impossible to justify owning and yet that's precisely why I keep them - the insane decadence of it all just makes me smile.

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    i once had 16 years worth of artforums, they were too beautiful and "important" to throw away like any old magazine. then one day i had no more shelf space for them and started to stack them on the floor. by year 17, i finally thought to myself "am i ever going to need or want to look at the october 1999 issue of artforum? the answer was no, and i proceeded to get rid of them (actually found an artist friend to take the entire lot). i thought i might miss them, since they'd been part of my interior and life for so long, but i actually felt a sigh of relief.

    i still have too much stuff (records/cds/books) but have been taking steps to declutter the lesser crap. like john, i will always want to keep some ridiculous records and books but really, do i need five dinosaur jr. albums? i really doubt i will ever want to listen to dino jr again, but on the outside chance i do, isn't the greatest hits cd enough?

    it was a major milestone when i recently got rid of about 10 pairs of shoes and sneakers. they are a still a weakness but it was getting crazy. a man shouldn't have twice the number of shoes as his wife does.

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    There's a lot of continual selling of less rare and desirable items (normally via Discogs) discussed on record forums i go on. I think it leads to a kind of records arms race as you trade up and up, for records that look good on Instagram until you end up with an OG "Ecophony Rinne" by Genioh Yamoshirogushi but no Smiley Culture LPs. I quite like that Marie Kondo book - there's something engagingly mad about it, throwing stuff away becomes the answer to all life's problems, will help you lose weight, cure depression etc etc. I'e never done it "properly" but it did encourage me to fold up my socks and throw away lots of crap.

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  10. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    There's a lot of continual selling of less rare and desirable items (normally via Discogs) discussed on record forums i go on. I think it leads to a kind of records arms race as you trade up and up, for records that look good on Instagram until you end up with an OG "Ecophony Rinne" by Genioh Yamoshirogushi but no Smiley Culture LPs. I quite like that Marie Kondo book - there's something engagingly mad about it, throwing stuff away becomes the answer to all life's problems, will help you lose weight, cure depression etc etc. I'e never done it "properly" but it did encourage me to fold up my socks and throw away lots of crap.
    I don't really get the rarity / Instagram bragging rights angle of it, but can understand in terms of quality - wouldn't hesitate flogging a dub album with only 2 decent trax, and ripping them to MP3, for example, to buy one that I loved and played to death.

    Most of those videos seem to say the same: decluttering cured my depression / changed my life / made me a millionaire. Think some of my clutter aversion's also related to renting. Your 'home' never feels 100% your own, so you never let your roots settle too deep - in the back of your mind, there's always a time you'll have to move on, and those treasured Bullwackies LPs suddenly become as alluring as carrying a small bull elephant up and down a flight of stairs .

  11. #7

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    The bonkers side is also intriguing: from Kondo's website...

    Start your journey to become a certified KonMari Consultant and help “Organize the World” — a world where people have tidied their homes and lead lives that spark joy.

    Surprised Sri Sri Ravi hasn't got in on the act. Evangelical fervour where one small act of cleaning out a drawer leads to global harmony and the dawning of a new age.

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    That's the aspect of KonMarie's thing i liked (apart from combined truncated names - always ), she's really uncompromising about it, although some of it (the socks) is simple ergonomics of small residences, she has cultified it and extrematised it - at least that's the impression i seem to have gleaned despite not having picked up her book

    personally, i don't seem to buy much these days. lots of virtual e-clutter though

  13. #9
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    Re: "trading up". I've always rated quantity as much as quality with vinyl.

    I really like having several shelves of reggae that I can potter about with and wade through and get on a session.

    When I do this I always find tunes I've not given time to properly before that are great - and that one tune suddenly leads to something else...

    Having said that I am pretty good at discarding things which are SO rubbish they aren't worth revisiting. But I don't want shelves of things which are all excellent (or expensive). There is a time and a place for that Smiley Culture album (yes even the major label one with "Westland Helicopter" on it).

    But I guess for some people they can be happy just banging on a spotify reggae playlist or one of my mixcloud things - and save shelf space and money for impossible rare Japanese improv LPs.

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    btw, i have no problem with thanking my possessions for the joy they've brought me before getting rid of them. i cooked some great meals for some great get-togethers in that one frying pan that's now beat to shit, it deserves to be thanked for its service in helping to make those events happen before we part ways.

    just good karma, why not, right?
    Last edited by Leo; 24-04-2018 at 09:43 PM.

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  16. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    btw, i have no problem with thanking my possessions for the joy they've brought me before getting rid of them. i cooked some great meals for some great get-togethers in that one frying pan that's now beat to shit, it deserves to be thanked for its service in helping to make those events happen before we part ways.

    just good karma, why not, right?
    Oh well, I'm going to hell to be eaten by giant spiders then. I just chucked mine in a black bin bag and lobbed it into someone's back garden.

    On a side note, does anyone believe in cursed objects? Is it possible an object with a dark, unknown past - a found photo, an old table, a rusting George Foreman grill - can cause misfortune and malady? And if so, can you just chuck it, or is some sort of banishing ritual required?

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    a few years ago, i helped a good friend clean out the apartment of a recently deceased aunt. it was a sad story, they got a large place on new york's upper east side backing the 1960s and were living the life until about the mid 1990s, when they lost a bundle on bad investments. the uncle fell into depression and died soon after, the aunt used up the rest of their life's savings just trying to survive until she died.

    they still had some relatively valuable furniture and household items in the apartment, but my friend refused to take any of it for himself because his family thought the items had bad karma. he let me take one really cool small porcelain dish and i haven't had any ill effects (yet!), maybe the curse doesn't extend beyond immediate family.

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  20. #13
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    Re: cursing and this thread generally - objects can have a profound effect on people which goes beyond their utility.

    I'm not really interested in magick these days but if someone gave me an object and said that it was cursed it would weird me out because that is a bit of a strange thing to do to someone anyway, no?

    If it's a just a weird/spooky object and you don't know its provenance than I'd have a hard time believing that it had malign power other than general spookiness. If the spookiness is not enjoyable then put it in a charity shop or give it to a fit goth or something.

  21. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    If it's a just a weird/spooky object...
    Nah, nothing like that. I'm not into magick either (though obviously I still always snap a matchstick after using it, to stop the Devil impersonating me on Earth). I have felt weird vibes off certain bland and unspooky objects in the past, though. I hope 'cleansing' rituals aren't required, as they're too much bleeding hassle.

    I'm gonna go all KonMarie on my flat this weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin View Post
    On a side note, does anyone believe in cursed objects? Is it possible an object with a dark, unknown past - a found photo, an old table, a rusting George Foreman grill - can cause misfortune and malady? And if so, can you just chuck it, or is some sort of banishing ritual required?
    As I understand the lore on this issue, attempting to simply discard a cursed object will either invite immediate disaster or end up with the object somehow eventually coming back into your possession. The only way to get rid of both object and curse is to trick someone into accepting it as a gift. Then you get to laugh maniacally and yell "At last, I'm free!" while the recipient looks doubtfully at their new possession.
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