Bring Back Clutter

Everyone’s all about de-cluttering lately. Even my 90 year-old grandmother is getting amongst it, letting me know in no uncertain terms that the decorative glass owl I gave her for her birthday does not ‘spark joy’. Cheers for that, gran. It’s not my fault the only thing she wants these days is chocolate-coated crystallised ginger, which she’s not allowed to have because of her diabetes. Still, good for her. 

The trend’s fine, and that Sheree Mondo seems like a lovely person. The problem is that people now look at you funny if you’ve have so much as a couple of spare keys on your key chain, let alone an ice cream maker you never use gathering dust on your kitchen bench alongside (god forbid) some ancient jars of unidentified herbs. I had a couple of friends over for brunch the other day, and they somehow convinced me to throw out all but two of my tea towels, along with my favourite chipped mug with the horse on it. 

See, here’s the thing. They’re not professionals, and certainly not a patch on Sheree Mondo – but they think they are. They misguidedly believe that my bedraggled tea towels (souvenirs from my first share house) and chipped mug (just the right size for miso, I’ll have you know) must be mere clutter, when actually they bestow a great sense of comfort, at-homeness, and – the magic word – joy. 

This is the same rationale behind why I’ve never been keen on getting kitchen renovations. Melbourne based designers are cottoning on to the popularity of uncluttered aesthetics, emphasising smart storage solutions and minimally intrusive appliances. But what if I like a sense of clutter in my kitchen? What then? This is not something that can be generated by a designer, mind you. It can only occur organically, by years of stuff building up around the perimeters of any and every horizontal service.

Clutter will make a comeback, I assure you. I’m willing to bet there’ll be professionals in the field. Like, they bring over a bag of misc items and dump them on your kitchen bench for you.