Saturday, October 31, 2020

Decluttering, Minimizing, Editing vs Curating Belongings and Physical Environment

I saw an Instagram post that said "Decluttering is about removing the things we don't want. Minimalism is about discovering how little we actually need."

Neither really appeals to me. By these definitions decluttering sounds like I have bought or been given things that don't fit my life and let them sit around. Minimalism seems like I live with as little as possible which sounds austere. 

Then there is the successful home organizing show The Home Edit which I admit not watching as it appears to be about organizing and storing your stuff. Editing sounds to me like dealing with storing excess rather than what matters most. 

I want to curate to have what suits me just right at this point in my life, to buy consciously and not hold on to things just in case or acquire on the whiff of desire. Instead, to surround myself with things that bring me joy or are useful and preferably appealing at the same time.

So for me curating my belongings and home means intentionally selecting, organizing and using what I own. Curating goal, relationships and other non-material parts of life is a whole different process I think. Perhaps I’ll think about curating what I eat and how I build my health too.

Starting though with my home as I’ve been tweaking it lately, I found this inspirational statement about curating your home at SimpleHomeSimpleLife

"Curating means pulling your space together in an intentional way. Think about how museum and art gallery curators pull things together in very purposeful design so that we can have the best experience. You can do the same thing for your home. 

It means using what you have but only keeping what contributes to the home and life you want. You use and present those things in a way that will make you smile, pause and feel good. It means surrounding yourself with things that will help you thrive in an environment that will encourage mindfulness in the present and be supportive of your best future. It means to take charge and live by design." 

I think that fits me and love that it leaves lots of room for art, keepsakes, comfort, hobbies and so on. 

I do love having art mostly made by family in our home along with carefully chosen keepsakes. Color is very important to me too. I am very visually affected and in fact learn easiest by reading or seeing a demonstration and then doing. My husband learns more by listening but appreciates visual interest and harmony.

On the other hand I dislike house cleaning and clutter. Makes for an interesting combination of having stuff and organizing along with minimizing clutter that isn’t appealing or useful. I think I would have suffocate in a Victorian stuffed parlor and cringe in a bare sleek modern one.

How do you experience your belongings and physical environment?


  1. It's been a learning curve for me with house stuff. I love minimalism but if you looked around my house, I'd still have ways to go. I love you used that beautiful Indian rug. Years ago Barclays mother sent us some nice Navajo rugs. They weren't in great shape( like yours) but ok. But they really never fit with anything. At one time when we lived in Tucson they would have been perfect. So I boxed them up and stored them. When I hit the minimalism bug, we gave away some, sold some and we have a piece of one left that was falling apart. I agree things that you cherish should be used and displayed. Just an aside, Barclay and his mother were always some what at odds( once she thought he was selling drugs???) anyway, she actually had some incredibly beautiful and valuable navajo rugs( think the twin mountain one) but those all got distributed to the children she liked better. Sad, but true.

  2. I think curating fits me better than minimalism. It is just so hard to declutter after the first couple of years.

    God bless.

    1. True. I donated a lot when we moved but all the family art came with us.

  3. Dear Juhli and Friends, i'm somewhere between curating and minimalism. Less stuff = less cleaning, (double yaay) and less hassle for the family when...

  4. Minimalists are not fun to live next to. They are always borrowing stuff they don't want to buy...vacuum cleaners, the washing and dryer, leaf blowers, party dishes, garden rakes, etc. We had neighbors like that who'd brag about how cheap they could live while they put wear-and-tear on all the neighbor's appliances and tools. Got old after awhile.

    Curating is a new word for staging and decorating.

    1. I think you nailed it - your neighbors were cheap not minimalists. I can see how curating could be interpreted as staging and decorating but to me it is more about making your environment and belongings be those that further your life as you want it to be and hopefully add some amount of pleasure. Aren't words wonderful!

    2. Dear Misadventures, Hey Neighbor can I borrow your..." Ugh, sounds like a hassle, but i guess cheapskates don't think the same way normal people do about things ;/


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