The concept of decluttering has been around for decades, but it’s gained traction in recent years for its many benefits – for keeping our home tidy and improving our mental health. But to what detriment?
Carrie Bickmore has come out and said that in the process of decluttering, we’re doing ourselves – and our children – a disservice, and robbing ourselves of precious memories. In her most recent column for Stellar magazine, the host of The Project detailed how her mum held on to lots of mementos from her childhood.
“My mum kept everything we made growing up. Every piece of artwork, writing, costume, or card. Everything collected,” she wrote in her December 14 column. “But at least I have these boxes of random nostalgia to look through, delivered every few years when Mum wants to free up another cupboard in her house.”
The much-loved presenter and mother of three said that there was no limit to what her mum kept, saving everything from schoolwork to sneakers and old clothes. And while she admits that she finds ‘stuff’ “overwhelming”, and that she only saves a handful of her kids artwork each year, Bickmore argued that in getting rid of the clutter, we’re depriving ourselves of those precious memories down the track.
“Our desire to Marie Kondo the bejesus out of our homes means we’re losing memories,” she wrote. “Sure, school creations stuck to the side of the fridge doesn’t make for as stylish a pic on Insta, but it’s where the character lies. The clutter may not bring us joy now, but it’ll mean so much more in years to come.”
She ended by sharing a story of how she cried when going through a box of stuff from her primary school days.
“Just last week, Mum brought over an old box of my Year 5 goodies,” she wrote. “It had some terrible poetry in it, a story about cars that could talk (I will be seeking royalties from Pixar), a VHS of my Rock Eisteddfod and some incredibly personal reflections of tough family things happening at the time.
“What will we have for our kids in 30 years’ time? A couple of USBs and a cloud full of photos we can’t remember the password for.”