One of my fave websites ever has to be IkeaHackers.org. It's devoted to all the various ways people dream up to modify stuff from Ikea, from small but clever tweaks to full-on repurposing.
But not everyone is on Team Ikea (I know, it's hard to believe).
Some, like Australian artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro view the brand's aesthetic as "a shorthand for globalism, mass production, movement, uniformity, and language." In other words, McTaste. Others dig the Ikea look, but not the gluttony of shopping it encourages. “The IKEA Frakta blue-tarp bag is an icon of our global consumer lifestyle and the excess consumption this entails," notes designer Adriana Valdez Young, who refashions Ikea goodies into "absurd lifestyle objects" - like this halter dress she's wearing. She's also turned the iconic blue bag into a bikini, which wouldn't be roomy enough to hold all your stuff should you have to move. "How many IKEA bags would it take to pack all of the contents of an average American home?" continues Valdez Young.
Probably more than a few. A study conducted by UCLA’s Center for Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) found that of the houses they researched, 75% of garages were so filled with stuff, they couldn't be used to store cars. Ditto those costly “master suite” renovations that are so popular; in reality, they are hardly used - except for storing stuff.
In one (not atypical) home, the first three rooms alone contained 2,000 possessions.
Home is no longer where the heart is; it's that place where you have to face down a growing, unruly sprawl. Made of trinkets, clothing, kids' toys (the average American child receives 70 new toys a year), prepper-sized palettes of #whateverwascheap from places like Costco, paper, pens and other random stuff overflowing from the basement into the garage through the closets, under shelves, teetering atop any surface to spare and on up to the attic. "Essentially, we’re paying good money to clutter our homes, raise our stress levels and increase our frustration," notes TIME magazine. "Who wants to go shopping?"
Not the Folkspun fashion tribe. Like Adriana, they are using creative, handmade ways to push back against this tidal wave of uncontrolled buy-buy-buy. Physical clutter affects your mental health and ability to focus, process information, be creative. If someone can no longer chill out at home, instead finding themselves at the beck and call of their ugly mountain of stuff 24/7, how will this impact the way they function in the world? Get along with others? Find important documents and the small amount of stuff that really matters when an actual flood hits?
- Lesley Scott