Instagram minimalism makes me feel bad about my stuff

I love to decorate, and I really like it more when it’s difficult. Small spaces, strange corners, storing six pairs of socks inside a boot so that it looks fine on a shelf- sign up me. I really like it all.

To make the most of living in a small apartment, I often consult with the web for decorating tips. A particularly great source is Instagram, that can be full of professionally staged homes as well as personal shots. I prefer to check at the latter, though. Because I have a real house, I want to see what someone’s real home looks like.

Where the hell is everyone’s stuff?

Look, I understand why people aren’t leaving their dirty socks at the corners of the ‘grams. Clutter makes for less serene, less “aesthetically pleasing” pictures. And I have certainly moved my plastic cup and utilized napkin out of an otherwise Insta-ready meals shooter.  

However, I have beauty products which I have to store on a shelf, and bags of coffee which are only heading to be on the kitchen counter since that is where I make coffee, and a bathrobe to hang behind my bedroom door, and a bag of bread I don’t have any interest in substituting using a glass canister of bread. These things aren’t inherently bad. In reality, they are as much as a part of my life as a cute succulent or a jute rug would be. On Instagram, though, they are often nowhere available.

On my weekly forays into the house décor Google chasm, I often come across variants with this quotation: “Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful, or believe to be amazing.” A textile designer, author, and socialist thinker named William Morris stated this, and it makes a great deal of sense!

The problem, though, is that on the internet, this opinion has somehow morphed into “everything from your house must be equally useful and lovely.” Thus, average-looking things that we actually use — vinyl spritz bottles to our plants, puzzles, traveling knick-knacks, hot water bottles — are all hidden away, leaving just the delicate taupe pink and blankets slipper chairs at the framework. The chairs and blankets are amazing, yes, but they are not the only things you see around you every day. They star in a house you look at, maybe not a house you live in.

I want to see your nasty stuff!

Say you have a stapler. It’s plastic and a garish red, but it’s a helpful stapler, and you also staple things with it all the time. At the store, you discover another stapler. This one is also a functional stapler, but it’s gold. It matches some belongings you have. You purchase the brand new stapler. The older stapler goes into a drawer. The brand new stapler looks in a photograph. Now you effectively just have one stapler, but you technically have double the staplers. William Morris would be annoyed with you, likely! And I am, too.  

I want to find the dumb red stapler. I want to see your nasty stuff!

And that brings me to the most obnoxious motive I need décor Instagram to change: good-natured voyeurism. It’s simply less enjoyable to check at homes that do not have personal affects inside them. Would you rather watch a Raymour & Flanigan commercial or a Sweet Digs video on Refinery29? I rest my case.

I’m certainly not excusing myself from my job in perpetuating ultra-matchy, minimalist Instagram. (The stapler story is semi-autobiographical.) And I am not saying I want to see your used napkins! Please continue to Instagram your well-lit plants into your heart’s content, even if it means creating some temporary for-the-‘g rearrangements.

However, it would be wonderful to find pictures which don’t make me feel bad for possessing things which are just helpful — pictures which aren’t absolutely curated, but still look great. A good deal of folks don’t have the space, the moment, or even the stapler budget to make their homes go complete KonMari, but that does not imply that their homes can not look great. Exposed microwaves and all.

After all, possessing only beautiful and helpful things isn’t necessarily inspiring. But living a lifetime? That is pretty cool!


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