There’s a reason I don’t have more things: I think most objects are ugly
The process of moving flat has got me thinking in cumulative numbers. “12,045 days” I mutter to myself while lying on a mattress in a shop (the amount of time we spend in bed during our lives), or “£16,000” as I peruse the steam cleaners (the money I would save over my lifetime if I cut out the dry cleaners).
And now I have another: two (the amount of large laundry bags needed to contain every single thing I own).
“Shouldn’t I have more things?” I wonder, rolling through the reasons why I don’t (budget, space, a preference for experiences over physical items). But the truth is much simpler: I think most objects are ugly. All items tell a story and I want mine to tell me something beautiful – like that of a craftsperson magnificently expressing their era through design, instead of the usual “corporate fat cat makes crap you don’t need, at a price possible only through exploitation”.
Perhaps, though, I expect too much from my eggcups. “Maybe pontificating over the grand narrative of every item is indulgent,” I mutter to myself, as I empty the carrier bag I’m using as a kitchen bin into the communal rubbish, because I have not yet found a bin to buy that makes me feel something.
The beauty of a home is rarely from its beautiful objects; rather it’s from the memories shared within it, and the restful shelter it provides from the bitter and cold winds of life. So I finally accept that a washing-up bowl needn’t be beautiful, that it should move a person to tears only from being too full. After all, a home is not what it looks like, but what you do in it. And perhaps that should no longer involve ferrying plastic bags down to the communal bins.