The Washington PostThe Washington Post

The argument against decluttering

By Britt Peterson

06 Sep 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. In a world where decluttering has become a popular trend, thanks to the likes of Marie Kondo, there’s a growing backlash from environmentalists, feminists, design maximalists, and book lovers.

I'm writing this at a desk littered with objects: a small ceramic chicken a friend bought for me in Brazil, multiple expired gift cards and a framed photo of my partner and me in college, looking rudely young. There's an old Christmas-tree-shaped Christmas ornament and an Easter-bunny-shaped Easter egg basket, a vintage postcard of the Flatiron Building (on the back, someone in 1908 wrote: "Hello! Ada! No doubt you have about forgotten me by this time; but I assure you that I still remember you") and two boxes of picture hangers.

It's half junk and half treasure. But I've gotten so used to the mix that I haven't thrown anything out in years - and I've found that I prefer it that way.

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