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Garbage Girls

Photos by Maya Fuhr and styling by Chloe Wise.



PHOTOGRAPHER: MAYA FUHR
STYLIST: CHLOE WISE

Assisted by Sara Graorac


Constance, 21, Montreal - American Apparel shirt and underwear

VICE: What do you do for a living?
I quit school, but I do acting classes and I’m trying to build my portfolio. I also work coat check at an art space.

How long has your bedroom been this messy?
It's been messy since forever, but my mom used to tell me to clean it. Now that I live with my daddy, he's very easy going.

How far in advance do you plan to clean?
Everyday I tell myself I'm going to do it.

Do you collect anything?
I don't collect anything in particular, but I love shoes and sunglasses.

Do you ever throw anything out?
I’m always filling bags of clothes I don't want any more, but I never do it. I still have bags in my closet. I just feel bad about getting rid of stuff.

Were you messy as a kid?
Yes I was messy, but my mom would make me clean it.

What do your friends think of your mess?
I only bring my best friends over and they think it’s funny. There’s no room to walk and they have to jump over my clothes. If other people come over I keep the door shut.

What would your parents say about your place?
I live with my dad so the apartment is clean, except my room. But I guess he's sick of fighting with me over it, so I just close the door.

Would you consider yourself organised in other aspects of your life?
Yes, when it comes to work and acting I’m really organised! Since I bought an agenda, my life is going much better.

What is your favourite item that you own? Are you ever worried you could lose it in the mess?
My favourite thing is a stuffed animal cow, but it's always in my bed. He doesn't get hurt if he falls down because there are clothes everywhere.


Basia, 21, Montreal – Sean John Sweater

How long has your bedroom been this messy?
It usually stays the same. I find it easier to find things when they are on the floor. If I put anything away, I can't ever find it. But if I throw it on the floor, I remember the last spot I saw it.

Do you bring lovers into your place? Do they ever remark on the mess?
I think people are more perplexed by the amount of things I own in general. I have been hoarding shit my whole life, but now that I am older I finally have most of it in one place. It has made up for all those years of having it all hid away in storage. I like having everything out in the open where I see all of my things living happily together.

Do you collect anything?
Batteries (used), Gatorade, cameras, dead animal art. I live right behind a Salvation Army so I go everyday and buy whatever random crap is cute or interesting. I don’t really shop at real clothing stores because the Salvation Army is so cheap and you can always find one-of-a-kind items there. I don’t really want anyone else to own what I own. 

Were you messy as a kid?
I was the same as a kid, I just lived in an ocean of clothing. My parents did make me clean my room, but it usually took weeks or I would have to clean the morning my cleaning lady was coming. They would usually just put a sign on my door for the cleaning lady saying “DON’T WORRY YOU DON’T HAVE TO CLEAN THIS ROOM IT’S GROSS.”

What would your parents say about your apartment now?
They don’t really care, I think they are happy I moved out because I was so messy, and most of the shit I own is theirs anyway. They sold their cottage, so I got most of the furniture and paraphernalia.


Asia, 25, Toronto - Marc Jacobs sweater, vintage shirt.

What do you do for a living?
I’m an artist.

How long has your bedroom been this messy?
The mess has a tendency to ebb and flow, depending on my mood. This is actually pretty tidy. I'm having a good week so far.

How far in advance do you plan to clean?
Sometimes when I come home drunk I clean, but by the time I wake up, it's a mess again. I'm not sure how it happens. I don't plan to live in a clean place until I can afford a French maid, so no, I don't procrastinate.

Do you bring lovers into your place, and what do they think of the mess?
I bring boys home sometimes. If they complain I punish them.

Do you collect anything?
Yes. Rare and precious jewels. I accept donations.

Were you messy as a kid?
I've always been messy. My mom never cared, but it grossed my brother out because he's a Virgo. My mom still doesn't care that I live this way. My brother never comes over. I don't mind though because he's got cable at his place and pretty much always has food.

What would your parents say about your apartment now?
I make sure to look clean and pretty when I leave the house and I'm usually tidy when I make art.

What is your favourite item that you own, and are you worried about losing it in the mess?
My favourite item is a secret. I don't want to say whether it's hidden or not because I don't want people snooping around when they come over.


Elaine, 25, Montreal – Vintage top.

How far in advance do you plan to clean your room?
I never plan it. It just happens if something is getting stinky, or if I'm high and I feel like getting shit done. The only thing I do regularly is the kitty litter, and I had to train myself to do it, because I really love my cats. 

Do you collect anything?
Yes: toys of all kind, pastel clothes, plushies, platform shoes, jewellery, stationery, vintage porn, cat-related stuff, vintage Halloween things. Toys include: My little pony first gen, Barbies, sex toys, sex crystals and vinyl toys like Friends With You. I like playing, and I think my mess is inherently tied with playfulness. I have some sort of hoarding problem, I guess, but I enjoy being surrounded by cute things, and I like them all around, finding them spontaneously where they shouldn't be. 

What would your parents say about your apartment now?
They never really come here. My dad is pretty judgmental, although he is really messy too. He told me a couple of times that, "I should clean up so I can get a boyfriend who will stay." I guess I'm like the feminist anti-housewife. My mom doesn't judge me, she likes that I don't fit in the norm.

What is your favourite item that you own? Do you ever feel like you could lose it in your mess, so you hide it somewhere special?
Actually I have a hidden treasure box in my wardrobe. Inside there's a few pictures from my childhood, little things from a dead friend, a diary I wrote few years ago and hair I received in a letter from my boyfriend when we were living in different cities. Besides that, if I want stuff to be easy to access, it is usually on my desk, in my bedroom – things like sex toys or lube, let's say. The only things I ever lose are money or drugs, and I'm just really happy when I randomly find them again.


Hannah, 24, Toronto - American Apparel top.

How long has your bedroom been this messy?
Too long.

How far in advance do you plan to clean?
I find I have to wait till the mood strikes me. Usually happens when I'm stoned and I've watched all the new episodes of my favourite TV shows, but I still don't want to do my homework, so I clean. But yeah, I procrastinate everything. Whether I'm procrastinating studying by cleaning or vice versa.

Do you bring lovers into your place, and what do they think of the mess?
Sometimes I'll warn people before they come over but I try not to apologise for it. Usually people say they don't give a shit. But then they do give a shit when they're in the bathroom and there's no toilet paper.

Do you collect anything?
I collect knick-knacks and things I believe to be sentimental. For some reason I can’t bring myself to throw out batteries, I always think there will still be a little juice in them.

Were you messy as a kid?
I was a pretty messy kid. Every once in a while my parents would make me clean my room and once I got into cleaning I kind of enjoyed it, but I still never did it. I remember one time hiding all my dirty laundry in my toy trunk because I was too lazy to put it in the hamper down the hall. I got in shit for that one.

What is your favourite item that you own and are you worried about losing it in the mess?
I have a green stuffed worm thing my mom made but that usually just stays in my bed. I also have the head of a Barbie my sister and I used to play with a TON, which I usually try to keep safely perched on something.


Lara, 27, Toronto - Vintage shirt.

How long has your bedroom been this messy?
This is the worst it has been in a long time.

How far in advance do you plan to clean? Do you procrastinate?
Oh, I procrastinate cleaning all the time, and never plan in advance. If I need to be inspired to clean I watch Hoarders. It helps a lot.

Do you collect anything?
I collect elephant statues, vintage horror posters/lobby cards, rocks, and beach treasures like glass bits, bones and driftwood. And of course all the standards: movies, books, records. As a child I had a large collection of chipmunk postcards from places I went camping.

Were you messy as a kid?
I’ve always had a cluttered room. I don't remember my parents making me clean it that much. My mom says a clean house means a misspent life.

What would your parents say about your apartment now?
They would probably just see my empty wine bottles and say, "Oh Lara, I hope you aren't wasting all your money on alcohol."

Would you consider yourself organised in other aspects of your life?
I like to be organised in a visual way with certain things. My books and movies are organised by colour, all my T-shirts are folded and stacked perfectly neat, also arranged by colour. In a work setting I am definitely not slobby like I am in my personal space! 

What is your favourite thing that you own? Do you ever feel like you could lose it in the mess?
My favourite thing is a black onyx ring that was on my grandmother's finger in her coffin. I would never lose it. I wear it every day and always make sure I know where it is when I take it off. For someone so messy, I rarely lose things.


Madeline, 24, Montreal - Vintage top.

How long has your bedroom been this messy?
For as long as I can remember, it’s always messy. My parents never used to make me clean my room or make my bed. I was a spoilt little brat in that way. So I guess bad habits, or no habits carried over. My big sister is the same way.

Do you bring lovers into your place? Do they ever remark on the mess?
Not very often, but no – I would kick them out, fuck that.

Do you collect anything?
Lots of old shit. I get really into collecting certain things, comic books, little trinkets, statues, suitcases and other useless crap. Now that I think of it, I guess it really adds to the mess. 

What would your parents say about your apartment now?
Oh god… hopefully they’ll never see it. They might ask me if I was doing OK, or if I needed some money or something.

Would you consider yourself organised in other aspects of your life? 
I guess so, I just got a computer for the first time a little while ago, so that’s helped me a lot with school.

Do you ever feel like you could lose one of your favourite things in your mess, so you hide it somewhere special?
I don’t really have one. I’ve definitely lost shit before and wondered where it’s gone. But then I always end up finding it again in some obscure place, that’s half the fun for me.


Rita, 29, Toronto - American Apparel undershirt, Rita Liefhebber overshirt.

What do you do for a living?
I make hand-dyed/hand knit pieces under my fashion label.

How long has your bedroom been this messy?
It’s always been messy but it’s gotten worse. This past year has been nuts for me and when I get home I just crash.

How far in advance do you plan to clean?
I don't because I'm a master procrastinator. I wish I could get paid for it I'm so good.

Do you bring lovers into your place?
I have one lover and he has accepted this as an extension of me. Deep down I know he loves it.

Do you collect anything?
Water bottles. I have one from two summers ago beside my bed.

Were you messy as a kid?
Yes, I guess I haven't grown out of my rebellious stage.

What would your parents say about your apartment now?
I think they'd dig it. It's cosy. It would probably root up memories of our summer camping trips.

Would you consider yourself organised in other aspects of your life?
My studio has a light, airy feeling with a few dyed splats. I can't be creative with lots of stuff but this room is just for snoozing.

What is your favourite thing you own?
One of my hand dyed shirts I love them all equally like children. They are hung neatly on a rack in another room.


Tess, 22, Toronto - Opening Ceremony.

What do you do for a living?
I am a musician and a photographer. I went to school. I don't any more. 

How long has your bedroom been this messy?
Forever.

How far in advance do you plan to clean? Do you procrastinate?
I don't have a lot of free time.

Do you bring lovers into your place what do they think of the mess?
No comment. 

Do you collect anything?
Records and clothes and jewellery and books. 

Were you messy as a kid?
It was maybe worse than now. My parents tried to get me to clean my room, but I was very defiant. 

What would your parents say about your apartment now?
They would be horrified. 

Would you consider yourself organised in other aspects of your life?
I'm totally organised with my life. That's the funny thing.

What is your favourite item that you own and are you worried about losing it in the mess?
I’ve got a few special rings. Possessions don't really matter. 

More from VICE:

Hoard O' Plenty

Bless This Mess