You Call It Clutter, I Call It Art

For most of the summer, but particularly the past few weeks, we have been residing in what I would almost call living hell. There are boxes upon boxes in our living room, my kitchen counters are so full of stuff that it is nearly impossible to prepare a meal more complicated than a bowl of cereal, our bedroom is like a minefield, making it dangerous to try to make it to the bathroom during the night. I have piles of things designated for Goodwill, boxes designated for the movers, piles of junk that will leave with Gone For Good.

But I was delighted to come upon an article from which explains that my mess isn’t clutter; rather, it’s a statement against minimalism, an expression of yourself, a work of art. They refer to it as maximalism, a word I can wrap my head around these days. My maximalism can beat your minimalism any day of the week.

According to Arnold d’Alger, a Frenchman over whom I’m apparently supposed to be very excited but have never heard of, he is filling his 915 square foot apartment with things that hold an emotional significance. He is calling it cluttercore. I like that. I am currently decorating my 2,800 square feet house in the style of cluttercore. Mr. d’Alger goes on to say, “The style of the apartment was not defined in advance, it’s just an accumulation of things we love.”


The only difference between Arnold and me is that he is purposely messing up his apartment. I, on the other hand, am simply in over my head. Still, it makes me happy to know that I can call it cluttercore rather than a hot mess.

Arnie is a strong proponent of hanging art underneath your windows, maybe in clusters. Similarly, I have art under my windows, but the art pieces are simply on the floor, leaning up against the windows, stacked one on another. It’s just a new take on your unique style, Arnold. Mine are just waiting to see if they will make the cut.

He goes on to explain that he divides the room up into sections, separating them with hanging plants and plants on the floor. I’m unable to replicate this look because I dumped most of my plants into our composting bins the other day, giving the two that escaped the compost bin to my niece Jessie. My rooms are separated by walls.

Soon I will be moving away from my current maximalism to what I hope will be a modified form of minimalism. I want my house to look homey rather than stark, but I can’t wait for the time when I won’t have to jump over boxes in my bedroom like O.J. Simpson trying to get to his plane on time. (Likely only Boomers will understand that reference.)

Two weeks and counting.

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