My mom could give a decluttering expert like Marie Kondo a run for her money – my dad was a hoarder.

Their tendencies, like so many things, came from their childhoods. My mom grew up as an Army brat (although, of course, she was not a brat) and lived at 20 different addresses before she hit home. She’s lived in the same house for 24 years, but if you gave her 24 hours to pack up and move, she could do it. Her ability to clear junk is incisive – brutal, even.

My father, on the other hand, grew up with a mentally ill mother who kicked him out of the house when he was 17 and threw away all of his childhood belongings. He never got them back. That traumatic event had an influence on him – he wasn’t materialistic in the sense that he wanted lots of expensive things, but he attached sentimentality to a great deal of physical objects. I mean, the man brought home a menu from every restaurant he and mom ever ate at. Romantic? Yeah, but they were married for 30 years. That’s a lot of menus.

It’s one of the reasons they were such a good match. And they had an effective compromise worked out – Dad stored his stuff in the attic, and Mom weeded through it after a year or two to get rid of the things he had already forgotten about. (Dad may not have been fully aware of the entire compromise.)

In some ways, I suppose, it’s a blessing he passed away first because if he had been left unsupervised and to his own devices, his death certificate would have read “squashed by a mountain of World War II biographies” instead of “metastatic melanoma.”

I’d like to say I’m 50-50, taking after both of them, but the split is more like 70-30, in favor of my dad’s hoarding. I can’t help it, I like to collect throw pillows. And books. And clothes.

Minimalism is a nice aesthetic for Instagram (if you don’t know what Instagram is, ask a millennial or teenager in your life), but it’s not for me. I function best with a low level of clutter around. Not “trash on the floor” clutter, but “piles of winter boots by the front door” and “at least three candles on the living room table” clutter. I grew up in an old, drafty farmhouse, which meant that throw blankets draped on the back of every couch and chair were a necessity, not just a style choice. I also didn’t grow up with a lot of money. I think minimalism – blank walls, unadorned but highly functional matching chairs, slim floor lamps – is for people who are financially secure enough to be without stuff because if they find themselves in need of a material object, they can just buy it.

And then there are the rest of us, who keep the old toaster under the counter in case the new toaster breaks: The old toaster might burn bread to a crisp, but the bagel setting works fine. Does it “spark joy,” in Marie Kondo-speak? Maybe not, but it’s better than sparking a fire.

Besides, blank walls are a disaster, or an art gallery, waiting to happen in a house with children. I myself was a notorious wall-scribbler as a toddler. Now I keep them covered with my boyfriend’s art. Seeing lots of shapes and colors is good for the creative brain, I think. Blank walls and empty space also seem to make houses feel so much colder – and in Maine, we can’t afford even a placebo temperature change. And being a reader, I like having multiple options for a good book-and-coffee session. Some days are for sprawling on the couch and some days are for curling up in an armchair, you know?

And then, of course, there are the cats. My cat would go crazy without stuff to jump on, hide behind and run around. She likes to creep behind my hanging dresses in the closet, pretending she’s a tiger in the jungle. Every chair, side table and garbage can is an opportunity for her to perch and look down her nose at us. Every knickknack and doodad a potential toy for her to knock around in the middle of the night (OK, those might need to be KonMari-ed).

I think I’ll pass on the trend. I’m the Maine Millennial, not the Maine Minimalist. And if I find myself starting to take home menus from every restaurant I visit, I’ll give my mom a call. She’ll know exactly what to do.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:

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Twitter: mainemillennial