Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Video Portrait of American Life: Cluttered

This blog recently marked its seventh anniversary, so I wanted something special to post. I found a short video (12:17) from SoCal Connected, a KCET-TV magazine, that could be exactly what you need to break through whatever barriers are preventing you from tackling your clutter.

Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors, a photo-laden book published in 2012, was the result of a ten-year UCLA study that used "archaeological approaches to human material culture." The families, who were anonymous and considered "typical," gave full access (including video) to the researchers who gathered data that showed how many of us live: with far more stuff than we need.

This segment from the KCET show examines the book and, significantly, two families who decided to go public now, years after they had been subjects in the study. The differences are fascinating, as is the information discovered by the research. Take a look!


Dinah Sanders, Discardia said...

Fascinating video!

It makes me a little sad to see the only alternative to clutter chaos presented being a house-sale-ready, austere, chilly modern look. I really do think there's an in-between look which allows for some personal objects, but which isn't overwhelmed with stuff.

I keep my many favorite images of friends and family in my computer, but not buried away; they are the photo pool for my random desktop images and screen saver.

We have a couple stacks of books next to our favorite reading chairs in the living room which signals that as a space to relax, slow down, and do something casual and pleasant.

And I just counted; 20 things on our fridge, including 5 pictures. :)

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Thanks for your comment, Dinah!

I agree that minimalist/modern isn't the only alternative, but it was interesting to see that they had made such a radical change, and the extremes always make better television.

I noticed the body language of the first couple. The husband was comfortable talking about their clutter, but the wife looked very uncomfortable! Maybe an example of what the researchers discovered in the study, or maybe she was just nervous about being on TV.

Nice idea to use your own photos as screen savers. And nice to have spots in your home that trigger relaxation just by looking at them.

We have 30 things on our fridge: magnets plus art postcards and cartoons (in magnet-backed plastic sleeves so they stay neat and clean).