Do you have a bunch of assorted items? Would you like your junk to look tidy without having to do any work? It's trays! Traaaaaaaays. That assortment is: sunscreen, supplements, cat treats, computer wipes, nail polish remover, toothpicks, etc, but you put it on a tray and it looks managed and manageable!
Junk, like cats, likes a demarcated space. I bet you could just group everything together on an A4 piece of paper and it would look neater.
I mentioned the geniusest laziest neatness hack: put things on a tray. I cannot tell you how delighted I am to have got a few emails from people describing their things, and the trays they have put them on.
This tray comes from Robert Wringham, who wrote a book I absolutely loved and you should read but I very regrettably don't have the energy to do justice to right now. The en-trayed items would probably not be that scraggly-looking on their own, but I really like how neatly the tray lines up with the tile edge.
"Why would you want to escape? Because on average we will each spend 87,000 hours at work. That’s more of our lives than many of us are prepared to give, especially in a job that we don’t particularly believe in, or that doesn’t seem socially useful. Our timetables are decided in advance, and we have limited freedom to travel and see the world. Being tied to one place, we seek our consolation in earning and spending, acquiring a houseful of trinkets. Those, in turn, keep us in place: we have to keep earning to pay the mortgage, and now we have all this stuff to move around.
This, says Wringham, is a trap. And the thing to do with a trap is to escape it, preferably with flair and panache, like Harry Houdini."
Flair and panache being important signifiers; this is such a joyful and non-dour book. You can have a minimalist lifestyle a maximalist aesthetic. I would particularly recommend this book to lefties who feel burdened with the amount of systemic changes that need to happen, and guilty about experiencing any personal happiness when so many people are currently unable to. Like if you've ever found yourself sighing and reminding yourself "there's no ethical consumption under capitalism". Another target audience: people who find Ayn Rand's approach to the personal kind of empowering and liberating, but her approach to societal issues loathesome and wrong-headed. It is possible to have one without the other! Third audience: any and all dandies.
Please keep sending me your trays, it fills me with life.
This piece was originally published in The Whippet #60 & 61 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!
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