Permission to be a little messy

Permission to be a little messy - The Marvelous Michelina |

I’ve never been big on following trends for home décor. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the farm house inspiration of living the simple life and I love antiques, but now being in the business of selling what someone else deems ‘clutter’ has opened me to a different way of thinking – and apparently it’s a trend known as Cluttercore.

“Red” and I began a new business several years ago – conducting estate sales. We had always been antique collectors, but the business happened by chance when “Red” decided to leave the 9 to 5 grind. We had been attending estate sales as customers for years and loved the notion of rescuing treasures. From that passion, sprang a need to see if we could make money on the retail side of selling antiques. We had (notice past-tense) several booths across three antique malls. It was fun to go in and see what had sold and on occasion found out that some of our finds were sold as props to be used in movies or found new homes overseas. “Red” has a sixth sense when it comes to picking, pricing and selling collectables.

However, eventually we noticed that we were spending all of our free time on weekends staging and re-staging our retail booths instead of going to estate sales. Don’t get me wrong, we had figured out the ‘formula’ for buying and re-selling, but you have time to buy if you plan to sell. When the opportunity to run our own estate sale business occurred, we saw this as a sign and closed our booths. Consequently, everything that we loved buying with the intent to sell wound up in our home (and storage unit).

All this is to say that we love collecting and our home shows it, sometimes a little too much. We’ve conducted enough estate sales over the past few years to have come across our share of hoarding situations and by no means is our home THAT full. But, oddly enough I do find it comforting to be surrounded by things we love. I know that there are folks out there that love the minimalistic style, but that was never going to be me – the fact that I’m an avid reader (and acquirer of books) put a quick end to that notion. Recently I ran across an article that mentioned ‘cluttercore’. This concept came about around the same time as cottagecore which is a movement to return to a simpler lifestyle. ‘Cluttercore’ on the other hand, is an anti-minimalist movement which, at its foundation, is simply surrounding yourself with things you love while showcasing a happy, purposeful and lived-in look. All I can say is when it comes to our home – Game. Set. Match.

If you’re having a hard time picturing anything other than a complete mess, think of it more like a room taken over by a warm hug. A comfy sofa, a soft handmade throw, plants, flat surfaces flush with collectibles, books, old photos or anything else that makes you feel good. Like others, I feel this movement is born from the pandemic in that we’re surrounding ourselves with things that mean something to us in order to create a secure refuge.

So, apparently my decorating sense (or lack thereof) is suddenly ‘trendy’. Eat your heart out Marie Kondo. My six bookcases full of the books I love, knickknacks from trips, mementos from my parents, the sofa you can comfortably sink into and collectables purchased from estate sales might be a little messy, but are now considered ‘in vogue’.

Good. Because that’s me – a little messy.


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