The Opposite of Hoarding
September 15, 2015 3:22 PM   Subscribe

"Today, women’s magazines routinely urge readers to purge; personal organizers offer to coach clients in their pursuit of minimalist perfection; earlier this year, Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which promises to help people achieve “the unique magic of a tidy home,” became a bestseller. But for some people, the cultural embrace of decluttering can provide cover for more problematic behavior."

From The Atlantic: The Opposite of Hoarding

Previously, a BBC documentary revealed the truth about what happens to Brits' charity-shop donations, and fashion blogger Grechen Reiter offered some unexpected advice to counter the well-meaning but often facile advice to purge: Don't throw that out! "When we just toss things aside that may not fit our lifestyle or evolving ethics, throwing them away, or blindly donating them, we devalue the work the (mostly) women put into creating those garments," Reiter writes. "It is the ultimate insult to buy something at H&M or Forever21 and wear it once, tossing it away as soon as it no longer suits us."
posted by mama casserole (85 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
 
"It is the ultimate insult to buy something at H&M or Forever21 and wear it once, tossing it away as soon as it no longer suits us."

Is that any better or worse than eating food that has been lovingly prepared?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:28 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone looking to simplify their life and unburden themselves of excessive favorites may deposit them here.

You're welcome.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:30 PM on September 15, 2015 [65 favorites]


Is that any better or worse than eating food that has been lovingly prepared?

No matter how good the food is, you should only eat it once. Your hosts will not thank you for eating it again in it's new form.
posted by The River Ivel at 3:31 PM on September 15, 2015 [35 favorites]


Keeping your home tidy? Constantly purging unwanted items? Wearing clothes until they start fraying at the seams? THIS IS MY TIME.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:33 PM on September 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


Also, honoring the sacrifice of poor people by drastically cutting down on how much of their stuff you buy may not be the best idea. More money is unlikely to translate directly to pay raises but it will likely result in more people employed.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:36 PM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Perhaps simply acquiring less stuff could solve both the problem of having too much and having to give away too much.
posted by weston at 3:38 PM on September 15, 2015 [30 favorites]


No, no; keep donating stuff to thrift stores so my wife and I can survive as 21 century rag and bone men. Lord knows that regular jobs aren't enough to pay the bills.
posted by Ferreous at 3:38 PM on September 15, 2015 [19 favorites]


That said, isn't decluttering often paired with less consumption? Anything taken to the extreme is bad, but I'd think that repeated pruning down to the essentials would provide a useful brake on traditional 1st world consumption habits that hoarding wouldn't offer.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:38 PM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is it possible to acquire this decluttering syndrome? Uh, just asking for a friend.
posted by erst at 3:40 PM on September 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Anything taken to the extreme is bad, but I'd think that repeated pruning down to the essentials would provide a useful brake on traditional 1st world consumption habits that hoarding wouldn't offer.

Sure, but this particular article is about how disordered thinking and OCD can be perceived as admirable in a culture where decluttering is viewed as desirable regardless of context.

Not being addicted to things is great. But this author is describing having to buy certain objects over and over and over and over, at great expense, because she couldn't stop herself from getting rid of her belongings, even the ones she actually needed.

This is really similar to the many people who use "mindfulness" and "being a foodie" and "sustainability" as plausible covers for their orthorexia.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 3:46 PM on September 15, 2015 [40 favorites]


Steve Jobs seems to have leaned this way.
posted by fairmettle at 3:48 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


That said, isn't decluttering often paired with less consumption?

In this case it's sort of the equivalent of comparing eating a bit less with anorexia. As someone who struggles with this a little I would say that the conflation of 'decluttering' and OCD purging are not related. I have tried to deal with my need to keep things clean and sparse for decades, but it never really abates. It has nothing to do with consumption. It is a crushing physical reaction to mess and an abundance of stuff that's not healthy and not logical. I have also thrown things out that I might need in the future only because I didn't want to see them again or deal with them. It's not to the same extent as described, but I can relate.
posted by jimmythefish at 3:50 PM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thing some people say is good, could also be bad, p. 83.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:50 PM on September 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


> In 2013, she and her daughter Tuesday, now 25, appeared on the U.K. reality show Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, in which people who suffer from compulsive decluttering clean the homes of people with hoarding disorder. Lesley says that the show’s producers pitched it to her and her daughter, both of whom suffer from OCD...

Years ago I saw a documentary about people with OCD, and the anecdote that stuck with me was the guy who Realized He Had A Problem when he was down on his hands and knees, combing the tassels on the end of a living room carpet so they were all perfectly straight. I'm compelled towards neatness and order just enough that I can sort of imagine this kind of hell.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:56 PM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I hate clutter. I just used the KonMari method on my house, and it was a metric of keeping things that resonated with me. I also have terrible anxiety and OCD and I sob uncontrollably when my house is a mess. This article was a slightly escalated version of my own life and my own philosophy. I know the feeling of looking at an item and feeling like I need it out of my house or out of my line of sight. I get twitchy at the ironing board. I have had to rebuy things because I just feel like I need to get rid of things.

I also, due to genetic lottery, had a bad gallbladder and can't eat much fat, and can't eat much meat. The result is that I stay thin and I can't eat fast food or junk food. Neither my eating habits or my cleaning habits are really my choice in many ways, but I am lauded for them, held up as a morally superior human, when they are both symptoms of underlying diseases that control far more of my life than I would prefer.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 3:57 PM on September 15, 2015 [72 favorites]


Sure, but this particular article is about how disordered thinking and OCD can be perceived as admirable in a culture where decluttering is viewed as desirable regardless of context.

Right; it's not about the stuff, it's about what's driving the behavior with respect to the stuff, and how potentially unhealthy drivers are masked by the decluttering trend.

I think that's substantively different from conscious choices about buying less, or preserving what you already have, as they're influenced by widespread concern about labor conditions, etc.

"Enough" is such a difficult concept. And I do wonder whether too much is making us ill and causing suffering for others.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:59 PM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thing some people say is good, could also be bad, p. 83.

My query letter for my "everything is pretty much OK" article never gets answered
posted by thelonius at 4:01 PM on September 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


That said, isn't decluttering often paired with less consumption?

Not in my experience. The people I know who seem to be constantly "decluttering" and taking huge loads of stuff down to Goodwill also seem to use it as an excuse to shop for new things. In some cases the straightforwardly-admitted motivation is "I want to get new [whatevers] but I can't because I have no room in my [closet|garage|kitchen], so..." (And in the interests of full disclosure, I'm as guilty of anyone as doing it with computer hardware and books, so I'm not really attempting to throw stones at glass houses.)

Beyond that, though, my issue with the whole "decluttering" fetishism is that it seems really bourgeois, not so much that you have the stuff to begin with, but that you can get rid of it and not worry about needing it again in the future because hey, if I need [that thing] again, I'll just buy it again! That seems like a terrible ethos, but it's what a lot of minimalist schemes seem to actually turn into, six months or a year down the line.

I had this weird (to me) discussion with a friend who had just "decluttered" their home office by getting rid of lots of stuff, all the way down to things like rulers and pencil sharpeners. My reaction was "well, what do you do if you need a ruler next week?" Their solution: "Oh, well in that case I'll just go buy a new ruler." This seems to me to be a high price to pay for the questionable benefit of not having a ruler for the intervening weeks. Did the absence-of-ruler really give you that much additional peace or whatever, to justify having to get a new ruler from some factory in China somewhere, to replace the one you tossed out in the Great Desktop Purge? It didn't make much sense to me. Still doesn't.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:10 PM on September 15, 2015 [27 favorites]


The real test of a person is, can they bring themselves to dispose of a box of DC wall wart adapters that apparently belong to nothing that is in use?
posted by thelonius at 4:12 PM on September 15, 2015 [35 favorites]


I'm reminded of an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where upon seeing a guy's forlorn apartment for the first time, the interior designer says, "Look, minimalism is a thing. But this is bleak."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:19 PM on September 15, 2015 [41 favorites]


That said, isn't decluttering often paired with less consumption?

The Container Store will sell you oodles of stuff with which you can effectively declutter your space. Which seems to be the very definition of irony.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:21 PM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


People I know who have way too much stuff: All of them. All of the people I know.

People I know who live in spartan, object-free environments: none of them. This doesn't seem like a main-stream problem.

I'm also one of those people who can find it physically afflicting to be surrounded by clutter, so I sympathize with the subjects of the article, but the "too much stuff" thing seems to be a much, much, much bigger problem.

My OCD doesn't manifest in compulsive tossing of everything, and I'm not obsessively clean, but I've never been a crouton-petter, so I find it very easy to part with old stuff, used stuff, formerly loved stuff. There's always a box next to the backdoor to take to a thrift shop and I'll spend 20 minutes here and there going through a drawer, or a bookshelf, to weed out things to dump in the box.

Since I'm not terribly nostalgic, I've never really regretted anything I've moved on to a new home. I wouldn't get rid of something like a food processor if I used it regularly, though.

My husband and I are both old enough that our grandparents lived through the depression, and I personally hated seeing the way they lived and can't stand hanging on to stuff because "it's still good" or "it might come in handy!" but unfortunately for me, my husband shows a lot of those traits. I get distressed when he goes around the neighborhood, dragging home other people's junk, but we don't fight about it because i don't think he's going to change.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:25 PM on September 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Steve Jobs seems to have leaned this way.

My back aches just looking at that picture.
posted by drezdn at 4:31 PM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I lived out of a backpack for a year and it was the height of declutteredness. It felt excellent and relieved me of keeping track of hundreds of items in my head. Before you could ask me where "that rubber ball the kid in the blue shirt bounced into our yard and never asked for" was and I could tell you. Letting that go cleared up a lot of brain space.

On the other hand it was tremendously inconvenient. I was constantly buying things that I used once and then donated because I had no room to carry them. I rented when possible of course, but there are things -- galoshes come to mind -- that you pretty much have to buy.

Anyway. Now I have a house again and despite my best intentions a slow accumulation of clutter. I try to throw away anything I haven't used in six months, but very simply I think that clutter is the price you pay for continuity in your life.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:36 PM on September 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Yeah, that Jobs picture was because his standards for the platonic ideals of furniture were just too high. If you ever find a picture of his desk, it looks like the desk of a person too busy to ever clean his desk.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:42 PM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


desk desk desk
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:42 PM on September 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


My husband and I are both old enough that our grandparents lived through the depression, and I personally hated seeing the way they lived and can't stand hanging on to stuff because "it's still good" or "it might come in handy!" but unfortunately for me, my husband shows a lot of those traits. I get distressed when he goes around the neighborhood, dragging home other people's junk, but we don't fight about it because i don't think he's going to change.

I hear you. OH HOW I HEAR YOU. I suspect on my husband's side of the family I am thought of as being unsentimental in that I do not wish to inherit or acquire many of the family heirlooms that my MIL has routinely tried to foist upon us since we got married. In my defense, my family really never kept anything like that except for photos. We moved around so much and both my parents grew up the kind of poor where you kept those and the family Bible instead of antique chairs, china sets, family silver. Every time my in-laws visit there is a phone call in which my MIL lists off items they still have they think we should have, despite my constantly saying, "No thank you." (I have four antique chairs from my husband's grandmother that we can't even sit on the original needlepoint because it will be damaged. I have been trying for five years now to give these back.) When we accepted the family silver, we just started using it as our regular flatware because we are never going to be the kind of people to bust it out for a special occasion.

My husband is also very prone to bringing stuff home or searching for stuff on Kijiji (Canada's craigslist). Sometimes I hate when I fall in doing the same because since we bought a large house and have no kids, I really don't want us to fill it up because space abhors vacuum.

I dream of stripped down bare minimal life.
posted by Kitteh at 4:49 PM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


For more discussion of Konmari: flex's FPP.

I am thought of as being unsentimental in that I do not wish to inherit or acquire many of the family heirlooms that my MIL has routinely tried to foist upon us since we got married


Stay strong, Kitteh.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:05 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Human beings can turn anything into "problematic" behavior (nice borderline meaningless category there). Meanwhile 90 percent of the time it is probably not any of your business. Oh look I just rendered most lifestyle journalism redundant.
posted by nanojath at 5:09 PM on September 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


There are quite a few "fashion" bloggers like Reiter who really just like to shop.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:31 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


But nanojeth, then how ever will I know what the young people are doing in Brooklyn?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:31 PM on September 15, 2015


isn't decluttering often paired with less consumption?

Apart from the OCD illness version, the kind of decluttering celebrated in the pages of Real Simple and on house blogs isn't actually about consuming less, it's about looking like you consume less. The "solutions" to clutter involve the purchase of cute, expensive Container Store accessories, as Cool Papa Bell notes. They also involve custom cabinetry and drawer fitting, walk-in closets with elaborate hanging racks and shelving systems, and being able to purchase the very most optimized kinds of sheets, dishware, whatever, instead of making do with whatever you've gradually accumulated because you have to. I had an idea for an essay years ago, and never got around to writing it, about how minimalism works as a status symbol especially because material wealth - that is, the having of a lot of clothes, shoes, and mass-manufactured stuff - is now very cheap. It's the kind of voluntary austerity the wealthy can flaunt, their own form of excess.
posted by Miko at 5:50 PM on September 15, 2015 [37 favorites]


I had an idea for an essay years ago, and never got around to writing it, about how minimalism works as a status symbol especially because material wealth - that is, the having of a lot of clothes, shoes, and mass-manufactured stuff - is now very cheap.

It also acts as a wedge for rent-seekers like Spotify, Netflix, Amazon etc. - "get rid of all of your cluttery books, CDs, and DVDs - it's all supposed to live in the cloud now!" For a price, or a recurring price, with lots of ad space and analytics generated that they can sell to boot. Ian Svenonius' "All Power to the Pack Rats" is a good, related polemic:

The shaming of . . . “hoarders” is intended specifically to cajole, bully, and embarrass the population into giving up everything they have; not just possessions but ideas, ethics, rights to ownership (both intellectual and otherwise), privacy, decency, justice, fair treatment, and human rights. In the Apple-internet age we are expected to surrender absolutely everything; anything less is filthy and deranged “hoarding.”

All content is free for the internet lords who dispense it — or not — at their pleasure.

posted by ryanshepard at 6:02 PM on September 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


A relevant Wondermark strip.
posted by rifflesby at 6:08 PM on September 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Beyond that, though, my issue with the whole "decluttering" fetishism is that it seems really bourgeois, not so much that you have the stuff to begin with, but that you can get rid of it and not worry about needing it again in the future because hey, if I need [that thing] again, I'll just buy it again! That seems like a terrible ethos, but it's what a lot of minimalist schemes seem to actually turn into, six months or a year down the line.

This is also one of my issues with the tiny house movement. Getting rid of stuff you might need is definitely sign of class privilege, and most of us can't just replace stuff whenever.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:15 PM on September 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


That said, isn't decluttering often paired with less consumption?


That's been my experience; I did the whole KonMari thing in July, and it's really affected how I shop: the standard is now Does this bring me joy? and Will this bring me joy?.

In re: "When we just toss things aside that may not fit our lifestyle or evolving ethics, throwing them away, or blindly donating them, we devalue the work the (mostly) women put into creating those garments" that's also not quite what, at least, KonMari advocates, and I think she would be horrified by "just toss[ing] things". You're supposed to hold the item, thank the item for its service, *then* get rid of it. It's a very mindful, deliberate process.
posted by damayanti at 6:24 PM on September 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


My mom was a bit like this. She had a tendency to get rid of things if they weren't being used right that instant, which was pretty awful as a kid. She gave away my stuff without even telling me, including things I'd bought and paid for myself, and things I really cherished. I got to spend a whole summer seeing some asshole who picked on me wearing the brand new swimsuit I'd bought for myself with my winnings from art contest. And there was always stuff that just went missing that I never found. I probably lost some of it myself, but there's always the nagging possibility that mom threw it away. It was pretty violating, and it definitely was not a healthy impulse. And I honestly don't think she was doing it on purpose. She just had a compulsion.

Even after I was an adult, she stayed with me for a while, and I caught her a few times trying to throw my things away simply because she didn't know what they were. She threw away a $300 Pantone color matching system set because she thought it was 'paint chips' that I was 'hoarding' in a desk drawer. I found a box of copper wire on spools in the trash because she didn't know what I would use them for. And again, there are some things that just disappeared.

I'm actually a little surprised I didn't grow up to be a full on hoarder myself, although I do like (yes, actually like) having some clutter around, and I can get pretty prickly about people messing with my stuff.

I know others, too, who display some of the same behaviors, fortunately without the busybody part. They have very little at any given time, but they buy a LOT of stuff. Not quite at the level of the woman in the story, but not far off from that, either. It never seems to be people who actually live simply, either. It's people getting stuck on a consumption mill, constantly discarding and replacing things and telling themselves it's OK because they usually donate their stuff rather than throwing it in the trash. And it does bother me a little sometimes seeing studied sparsity held up as an ideal so often. I can only imagine things like that help to trigger some unhealthy behaviors, just the way overly thin fashion models can trigger eating disorders in those who have them. I mean, I don't think they're as bad as my mom was, but I don't live with them, so I don't really know that.

Hoping to develop a disorder like this to clear up a little clutter in your home is probably not unlike hoping to develop anorexia to lose a few pounds.
posted by ernielundquist at 6:29 PM on September 15, 2015 [26 favorites]


It's also worth noting that Marie Kondo is the patron saint of crouton petters
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:33 PM on September 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


Beyond that, though, my issue with the whole "decluttering" fetishism is that it seems really bourgeois, not so much that you have the stuff to begin with, but that you can get rid of it and not worry about needing it again in the future because hey, if I need [that thing] again, I'll just buy it again! That seems like a terrible ethos, but it's what a lot of minimalist schemes seem to actually turn into, six months or a year down the line.

I'm sadly far from being in the one percent, but one really nice aspect of being more well off than I used to be is owning less stuff without compromising on comfort. It's a tremendous luxury, but it only works because I can order whatever I need on Amazon or buy it at the store, so it doesn't really matter whether or not I have it stored away here at the house.

I don't live in a pure white box (though architecturally I love minimalist spaces), but I love open spaces with very little clutter, and bourgeois though it may be it is one of the things I most enjoy about having an ok salary. It's not just a money thing, though, because pretty much every person I know (many of whom are more well off than I am) lives in what looks to me like very cluttered spaces, but with apparent satisfaction.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:36 PM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


You're supposed to hold the item, thank the item for its service, *then* get rid of it.

lol what. it's an inanimate object. that is unhinged. is that a Japanese thing?
posted by indubitable at 7:06 PM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


That Steve Jobs picture symbolizes something that I think is interesting ... it says a lot more than "this is a minimalist lifestyle." It suggests he is a man on the move, that interesting things are going on in his head more than in the physical world, that he's in such a hurry that he has barely moved into his house, that he needs little ... I have always liked that picture.
posted by jayder at 7:24 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


lol what. it's an inanimate object. that is unhinged. is that a Japanese thing?

Yes. My (Japanese) wife does this all the time (including wasted food we have to throw out).

[This subject generally is the main source of friction for us. I am towards the hoarder / "might need it again someday!" end of things, she is on the extreme opposite end. Part of this was necessity, she lived in a 8-mat (~140 sq ft) apartment most of her adult life before we married. She is a little jealous of KonMarie for becoming so successful with a method that is familiar to many Japanese (like many a person who had the same idea as an entrepreneur but not the entrepreneurial spirit to match, including myself ;) ). I've definitely been moving more towards the less stuff end of things the longer I am with her, it seems like the better path in the end.]

[Also my brother-in-law's wife knows Marie Kondo and was her senpai in college, randomly enough]
posted by thefoxgod at 7:27 PM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have Tourette Syndrome, which is neurologically very similar to OCD, and I identify with the physical symptoms they described a lot. When people talk about a feeling in their head, or their chest, they're not always being metaphorical, you know?

Managing compulsions and intrusive thoughts is a bitch and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:48 PM on September 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


My mum is a hoarder and excessive buyer of stuff - buying/caring for/organising/storing things is pretty much the pivot around which her life rotates. Consequently, I am very anti-clutter and am constantly re-evaluating my stuff. I've moved almost every year for the last fifteen which certainly helps, despite the recent addition of a small child and all her stuff. I also however LOVE shopping and clothes and new things but I manage to fulfil most of my wants through a local buy swap sell group - I never feel guilty about buying second hand and try to stick to a one-in, one-out rule.
posted by Wantok at 8:17 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The real test of a person is, can they bring themselves to dispose of a box of DC wall wart adapters that apparently belong to nothing in use?

I periodically rid myself of excess stuff, but I have a curious reluctance to consign a charger or other cord to oblivion unless I know that the gizmo that belongs to it is also gone. This is a low-impact version of hoarding: a hassock contains six or eight cables and adapters of uncertain provenance pending their reunion with their devices. Three days ago there were fifteen guests arriving here for an afternoon event and when the sizeable coffee percolator was retrieved from storage in the basement, it proved to be lacking its plug. Eighteen seconds' rummage through the hassock brought forth a plug cryptically labeled MONITOR, which turned out to be exactly what was needed. Crisis averted!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:20 PM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


On the practical side, the idea of having respect for / sadness at throwing away something you don't need/use is that it makes you buy less stuff. If you feel some guilt/waste when you get rid of things, you want to avoid that, so you carefully consider what you buy.

So by thanking/acknowledging the item ("おつかれさまでした!") you are having an emotional moment that you don't want to have for no reason, and thus you don't buy crap in the future.

It probably helps to come from a culture with a tradition of believing that all things contain spirit/etc, however. (It works secondhand for me, since my wife simultaneously wants to declutter but feels bad when its something you can't find a new home/use for, and I don't want _her_ to feel bad. If it was just me I probably would have an insufficient response for this to factor into any decisionmaking).
posted by thefoxgod at 8:23 PM on September 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


That said, isn't decluttering often paired with less consumption?

I think it depends on why you're decluttering, I really do. I'm reminded of an AbFab episode in which Edina decides to declutter all her old things purely as an excuse to buy better versions of the things she's decluttered.

This is also, to my mild amusement, what seems to happen with a lot of minimalist- and simple-living-type blogs: the people who write them are invariably obsessed with refining their consumption, and I suspect they spend more time, energy and money thinking about things and shopping for things and obsessing over things than non-minimalists do. Either that or they're gagging for blog fodder.

That said, when I was a college freshman, my folks came up a week before spring finals and offered to schelp home my stuff, so I spent a blissful three-week period with only a perfectly-made bed, a desk that was empty save for my favorite coffee cup, and a laundry basket of clothing. It was positively zen bliss, and the lesson I took away was that things stress me out, and I do better when I live more lightly and avoid consumerism as a hobby.

(Know what really helped? Canceling any/all lifestyle magazines. When you're not exposed to the ceaseless treadmill of "This product will solve a problem that is not actually a problem," you aren't tempted. Real Simple is a HUGE offender in this category.)

The real challenge for me didn't happen until I had a child and I had to sit myself down and have a good long think about making sure I gave her the space to develop her own relationship with her own stuff, and that I had to respect her feelings for her stuff. Just because I want to declutter her art cart of its half-torn coloring books doesn't mean she does, and since those books are hers and have meaning to her, I leave them alone.

I wish there was anything in any book on decluttering or homekeeping on how to honor the fact that other people live in a house with you, they have their own wants and needs too, and you have to find a way to make sure everyone's happy with the state of the stuff in the house. Most of the books I've read (for fun, believe it or not) seem to operate on the premise that you, female reader, are running the house without interference and can just impose your will on the domestic sphere without consequence. I find this mindset staggeringly sexist and possibly likely to breed hang-ups in children or adults who learn early on that their opinions don't count in their home.
posted by sobell at 9:06 PM on September 15, 2015 [26 favorites]


The real test of a person is, can they bring themselves to dispose of a box of DC wall wart adapters that apparently belong to nothing that is in use?

But what if I get something that needs exactly 500mA at 2.5 volts with that weird plug that looks more like a headphone plug rather than a normal adapter? Chaos, I tell you.

Chaos.

I think I just failed the test
posted by chimaera at 9:29 PM on September 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's weird, my favorite stores and restaurants/bars are the ones that feel a bit cramped and homey -- used bookstores that are overflowing with stacks of dusty hardcovers, etc. Like you're hanging out in your best friend's den listening to old records.

I actually get really uncomfortable when I visit a boutique or gallery and it's nothing but white space. I feel no connection between the place and the people who work there, unless I want to believe those people are vampires or something.
posted by mirepoix at 9:36 PM on September 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


I moved a LOT growing up. My sister went all minimalist, and I tend to acquire things. I prefer to pick out my own things though. That helps some. I too think long and hard about getting rifld of things because, not a lot of money so I can't just willy - nilly replace things.
I especially hate when someone gives me something broken, torn or plain flat ugly.
One friend of mine I don't see any more because she did that.
The problem with stuff that's not all that good is you then have to get rid of it sooner or later. I now buy booze for my grown - up friends, when I can afford it, and give small sums of cash to kids on the list. Let kids pick their own stuff.
I did not always have that freedom. :).
Another friend got rid of a lot of her furniture and bought new. She has dogs.with animals or kids, new furniture is stupid. I don't get redecorating fully with all new stuff every few years, paying in installments on a very tight budget. Find something that works, stick with it.
I fall somewhere between on the cluttered v.s. sparse spectrum.
I can go into a cluttered place and manage as long as I'm not dealing with any bad smells.
Mr. Roquette is a Navy vet. He pretty much just can't. :) there is a reason for the expression 'ship - shape. I consider his attitude toward clutter to be a service related disability.
He's loosened up a little. I have neatened up a little. When people get together and get along, they influence each other in these things.
Both of us draw the line at actual garbage and smell.
Both of us like a neat, clean kitchen and are fastidious about bathrooms.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:43 PM on September 15, 2015


wish there was anything in any book on decluttering or homekeeping on how to honor the fact that other people live in a house with you, they have their own wants and needs too...

So true. I have a minimalist/make do tendency but my husband is profoundly comforted by his stuff. What to me looks like piles of cluttered-up hobby stuff is his sense of abundance and renewal. It's been hard to learn to stay my hand but we have developed a sort of system of zones, and he has also made me less rigid about always neatening to a sterile degree, a good thing.
posted by Miko at 9:44 PM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have a relative who gets stuck on the hoarder/declutterer merry-go-round. For the relative it's pretty clearly about anxiety, it seems to be some sort of self-soothing behavior. I was thinking of posting an AskMe about it because I and my young children are now the targets of the cycle -- relative buys lots of things at charity shop over multiple visits, hoards them, dumps stuff on me and kids. I guess the relative feels "good" about it but I feel awful. I feel like a spoiled brat for not being excited about a pile of free clothes and toys. I feel resentful that I am going to have to sort through the pile in private to determine the 10 - 15% that is appropriate for my kids. I feel guilty whether I put things back into the weird charity shop cycle or dump them in the garbage. So the relative's anxiety is externalized.

Obviously there's something about human brains and objects/things/stuff that is complex. Do animals in the wild hoard and purge like this?
posted by stowaway at 9:56 PM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is also one of my issues with the tiny house movement. Getting rid of stuff you might need is definitely sign of class privilege, and most of us can't just replace stuff whenever.

To me, size of space and amount of stuff are not necessarily related. I like having lots of stuff around but I'd be perfectly happy keeping it in a pretty small home, and I think I could make a tiny house work even with my doodads. I don't care very much about furniture, but I wouldn't call that a class issue; I don't eat cross-legged on the living room floor out of some manufactured austerity, just indifference to living the suburban dream. But what I lack in furniture I make up for with books and records.
posted by mirepoix at 10:02 PM on September 15, 2015


Ian Svenonius' "All Power to the Pack Rats" is a good, related polemic

It's yet another piece of #slatepitch-y contrarianism. This is pure horseshit:
Of course, the “hoarders” who are profiled on the A&E show are extreme examples of people who hold on to things, but the message is nonetheless clear: the “hoarders” who are ridiculed, shamed, and “saved” on the television are meant to tar all owners of stuff with their brush.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:12 PM on September 15, 2015


Also, that picture of Steve Jobs was taken when he was relatively young (sometime in the eighties, I think) and probably not that long after he bought his house. He was into minimalism somewhat, but I think that it's really reflective of someone who has just come into a lot of money and has neither the time nor the particular inclination to either decorate it himself or hire someone to do it for him. (I remember reading a description of Mark Cuban's first mansion as being one empty room after another.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:15 PM on September 15, 2015


I first started playing with decluttering about 15 months ago. I started by looking into a minimalist capsule wardrobe and getting rid of things felt so good that it snowballed. I went through the whole house and got rid of a lot of stuff. I felt the stress lifting as the piles of stuff left the house.
After I finished this process, I realized I had one more thing to get rid of: my husband. I think letting go of things that were no longer serving me helped with that.
I've recently moved into a new place and have had to buy a lot of new things, mostly because I left a lot of the basics with my ex. I didn't spend a huge amount, thanks IKEA, but it did mean that I could be purposeful about what I've brought into the new place. It is just minimalist enough for me.
I can totally see how it could become a compulsion. I'm naturally a messy person and the more stuff that I have / less clear homes for my stuff that I have, the more stressed I get. With less stuff having it all out away becomes a pleasure.
posted by jonathanstrange at 10:24 PM on September 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I wish there was anything in any book on decluttering or homekeeping on how to honor the fact that other people live in a house with you, they have their own wants and needs too, and you have to find a way to make sure everyone's happy with the state of the stuff in the house. Most of the books I've read (for fun, believe it or not) seem to operate on the premise that you, female reader, are running the house without interference and can just impose your will on the domestic sphere without consequence. I find this mindset staggeringly sexist and possibly likely to breed hang-ups in children or adults who learn early on that their opinions don't count in their home.

Marie Kondo actually does talk about this--you are not supposed to declutter or organize for someone else, because what's important is the owner of that object's personal connection with that object. Of course a parent wouldn't care about a kid's broken toys, no matter their emotional weight. But it doesn't matter. It's theirs, and theirs to deal with. You deal with your own shit.

I actually found that aspect of her book eye opening, and especially her discussion of how little sisters usually have the most clutter. I am such a little sister in this respect (and, well, literally), still the recipient of my mother and sister's hand-me-downs, still with little sense of my own aesthetic, style, preference. When I was pregnant, in a nesting purge, I went through my purses. I had something like 47, and had only purchased four for myself. I culled those down and yet my mother's compulsive purse buying and purging meant that my collection quickly ballooned again. I really need to go through them.

KonMarie talks about how passed down clutter is the worst, because of guilt, and that's been so true. While her method isn't perfect, I will say that she helped me develop the ability to get rid of things that are broken or that I hate without guilt. So that's nice. I do think I went through my stuff with a bit too much gusto, and was left with too few clothes, and missed some dearly. And because I'm still struggling with the influx of passed down junk from other people, and still don't really know what I like, I'm in much the same place. That's the problem with hand-me-downs, really. You never "need" to buy your own things even if what you have is not quite right, either.

Like ernielundquist, my mother takes the purging too far the other way, and it was clear when we were children that our rooms, our closets, our things, were hers, and things often just vanished in a way that was really confusing and violating. And she still does it, at my house as an adult, too. She was here last week and she didn't like how I'd left a few of my daughter's toys on the coffee table, so she just started piling them in a jumble in the corner and telling me how I needed to get rid of our junk.

The reason I have my daughter's things in our living room, though, why I'll put her toys right there in the middle of the living space instead of tucked within a closet (which I will then go through and purge because this junk isn't being used), is because she's a member of this household and deserves to have her things accessible and usable, to touch and feel and interact with them. She should have ownership of this place, too. Our house looked lovely growing up, but it wasn't mine, at all, which left me feeling . . . vulnerable? Ill at ease? I don't want my daughter feeling like that. I'd gladly take clutter instead.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:46 PM on September 15, 2015 [32 favorites]


And god, the feeling of violation when, as an adult, your parent tries to declutter or reorganize for you. Every time she visits, my mother moves the coffee pot to the other side of the sink because she likes it there better. I get so mad about a stupid coffee pot, every time. At her last visit, she actually said: "I can't stand being surrounded by someone else's junk."

"You're in someone else's house!" was all I could answer.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:50 PM on September 15, 2015 [30 favorites]


(Perhaps you'd be more comfortable in a hotel, mom?)
posted by wotsac at 10:52 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


She's probably be annoyed that she couldn't move the furniture.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:53 PM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]




If I have a bit of anxiety about accumulating stuff, it's not totally irrational, since I'm young and absolutely don't have a place where I'd like to do anything like "settling." Every place I've lived on my own has been a temporary apartment or room. So if I have boxes and boxes of stuff, even books, it just makes moving suck way more.

Last time I had an apartment on an indefinite contract, I bought furniture and second hand shop paintings and stuff. Just enough to make the place livable and somewhat nice looking. But I had a difficult time "ensouling" these items, or whatever... because I didn't like the location, the landlord was shitty, and I generally didn't feel like I was going to live there for very long.

One friendly old man who lived in the same apartment building had lived there since the seventies or something. That's rather amazing to me. I felt like he was from a different world.

Even as I sit in my spartan rooms, I do dream of having an actual house where I could have permanent room for a library of books, music equipment, cast iron tea kettles, who knows? Right now I'm making do with about a 30 liter backpack of carefully chosen stuff.

For some reason I think about ancient people a lot. There's such a variety of ways people have lived. Nomads, settlers, pirates, hermits, monks, aristocrats, slaves, hunters and gatherers, communes... I am not at all surprised that people have anxiety about apartments. Especially these days.
posted by mbrock at 1:36 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


My mom was a bit like this. She had a tendency to get rid of things if they weren't being used right that instant, which was pretty awful as a kid.

Oh man, my mom was the same way, and I just got a huge wave of anxiety even THINKING about it. Part of why it was so upsetting was because she was fine with her own things being cluttered and stacked in piles, but then she would go into my room and start throwing things away. Her projects could sit out on surfaces all over the house, but if I left a sweater tossed over a chair then it needed to be immediately relocated to my room.

This is the first time I've realized how much my own hoarder tendencies are probably a reaction to that-- this is MINE, and I'm putting it HERE, and it will sit there until I decide it needs to go somewhere else. No one can move it but me. No one can decide it is garbage but me. No one can secretly throw it away while I am out of the house. In six months, when I look for this thing, I won't hear "oh, I got rid of that ages ago." I will go to the place where I put it six months ago and it will still be right there, right where I left it, right where I wanted it to be.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:06 AM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


This also made me think about a former coworker of mine who had a compulsion about the office fridge. Now, I know how bad office fridges can get, and that they need an occasional purge. This wasn't that. This was her opening it up on a normal day, and going on a rampage through it, opening containers and bags and tossing anything that she decided looked sketchy. As a regular thing, she threw out people's lunches and takeout from *that day*, and she also tossed their plastic containers and lunch holders in the trash with the food. I had the office next to the kitchenette in those days and routinely listened to people losing it upon finding their perfectly good lunch in the trash can.
posted by Miko at 6:21 AM on September 16, 2015


It's yet another piece of #slatepitch-y contrarianism.

Svenonius's shtick is centred on partially-faux, hip, wordy polemics (and great hair), but there's often some good insights wrapped in the patter. In this case, I've heard very few people talk about the profiteering behind the "new minimalism" and I think he's dead on in this regard.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:46 AM on September 16, 2015


Did the absence-of-ruler really give you that much additional peace or whatever, to justify having to get a new ruler from some factory in China somewhere, to replace the one you tossed out in the Great Desktop Purge? It didn't make much sense to me. Still doesn't.

When was the last time you used a ruler? Obviously this is a case to case, but I've maybe used a ruler twice in the last two years, and one of the times I can remember, I just needed a straight edge. Now extrapolate that out to a hundred other items in your house.

Will you possibly have to buy a new ruler? Sure, but it's likely you won't have to buy those other 99 items.
posted by mayonnaises at 6:57 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


My mom was a bit like this. She had a tendency to get rid of things if they weren't being used right that instant, which was pretty awful as a kid.

This is interesting! My mom was the opposite - she's definitely on the hoarder/lives in massive clutter scale, and growing up, when I went through my room to get rid of stuff, she'd follow after me, adopting all the things I was trying to get rid of and giving me guilt trips about being so insensitive.

When I moved in with my husband, and he did the same thing - pulling out stuff (of mine) I'd put in the trash or donation pile, it made me so incredibly angry because of the childhood feelings of loss of control over my own possessions and my own environment. We had some massive fights about it until we worked some compromises.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:11 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


One's ideal or comfort level of stuff is definitely a personal thing. My mother tells me my living room is too full; my sister tells me it "looks half-decorated". I think it's just right. I have a kind of morbid fascination with hoarding that makes read posts about hoarding avidly, although I am totally not a hoarder. If I don't use something, or plan to use it, I rehome it. If I can fix things or remodel them so that they are useful again, I do. Everything in my home must have a proper place and stay in it, and no drawer or closet can ever be stuffed full. Do I have more than I need? Yes, but then need is such an elastic concept as to be useless as a metric. My benchmark for either acquisition or disposal is, "Do I, or will I, make reasonable use of this?"

I certainly have lived with very, very little. In the nineties I spent five years living in a single 10' x 15' room in a rooming house. It had its benefits, but I was constantly borrowing things from people, and I didn't like feeling so dependent on others, or putting them to the trouble. I enjoy having my things as long as the level of stuff stays within certain limits. I like stuff but I can't stand clutter and I detest waste, so it keeps me at a happy medium.

I do sort of get hoarders, though. My home has been burgled twice in the last ten years, and both times my jewelry collection was nearly wiped out. I went on a bit of jewelry buying binge the first time, and then really went to town after the second robbery. I wasn't spending so much that I couldn't pay my bills or anything like that, I don't really have any very excessive amount of jewelry, and I stopped after I lost my job 14 months later, but there was a certain compulsive quality to my jewelry shopping, a feeling that since the jewelry I had had been taken from me I was going to buy whatever the hell I wanted even if it meant using funds that should have been going into savings. So now I have an understanding of what drives hoarders. I actually have less sympathy with the kind of compulsive thrower-outers that this article describes. People with this problem throw things out that they'll only wind up buying in a few months anyway? So wasteful and environmentally irresponsible. If you don't really need something or don't want it around permanently, don't buy the damn thing in the first place. Try borrowing or renting. And for heaven's sake don't throw usable stuff in the trash.
posted by orange swan at 7:19 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


My mother also had this problem. I think part of the issue is, as the article mentions, the positive reinforcement that comes from it - my parents' home has always looked like a two-page spread out of Martha Stewart magazine. It was very weird to grow up in an environment like that.

And it's not like we had nothing in the house, either. My mother's compulsion manifests itself by needing to get rid of anything remotely not perfect; things that are functional but slightly cosmetically damaged get thrown out. When we were kids, she would throw out our socks every couple of weeks because they got a little dingy after being washed a few times. At the same time, though, she would buy us decorative kitsch as gifts - which we were then expected to keep meticulously clean. Anything left out was clutter and caused no end of yelling. We would have chores as kids, but because we never were able to live up to her impossible cleaning expectations she'd often just redo it after we were done because it wasn't good enough.

My wife's family is the exact opposite - they have a ton of stuff all over their home, it actually causes me a noticeable amount of stress to be around all of it. I certainly don't throw stuff out the way my mother does, but I like a tidy home - maybe to a slightly unhealthy degree, since when I open, say, the cabinet with my wife's baking supplies that's just piles on piles of things I can't deal with it for too long. It's actually bothering me just thinking about it right now. So, yeah, I suppose some of my mother's issues may have rubbed off on me, but with three animals in the house and getting indoctrinated into the New England Thrift mindset it's not nearly as bad.

One thing that may be a result of growing up in my mother's house - as long as I can remember, I've always kept a mental inventory of everything in my home. I know everything that's in our house and where it is, and it bothers me a lot (I mean a lot!) when I can't find things or if things aren't where they should be. Stuff left lying around takes a mental energy that is difficult to ignore, it's like an itch in my brain that I can't scratch. And anything new that enters the house has to be added to that mental inventory, so buying new stuff that's not intended to be consumed and replaced takes some effort.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:36 AM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had an idea for an essay years ago, and never got around to writing it, about how minimalism works as a status symbol especially because material wealth - that is, the having of a lot of clothes, shoes, and mass-manufactured stuff - is now very cheap. It's the kind of voluntary austerity the wealthy can flaunt, their own form of excess. Miko

This was a theme in a couple of stories Frederick Pohl wrote in the 50's.

This link goes to a wikipedia page describing the individual stories in one of his collections. On that page, The Midas Plague and The Man Who Ate the World (the relevant stories) both have links to readable scans from the original magazine publications.

The Midas Plague starts off with a sumptuous wedding; the bride's parents are described as looking out of place in their plain and simple clothes. The parents are concerned (but keep quiet) about the mismatch of wealth and poverty in the marriage. It develops that it is the bride's family that is wealthy, while the poor are burdened with mandatory consumption to support an economy fueled by robotic labor.
posted by rochrobbb at 8:03 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Obligatory Mallory Ortberg: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Live Abundantly.
It's important to be very rich but have almost no items in your home. This will confuse vengeful spirits that come looking to destroy your possessions.

Also, if you have too many items in your home, helpful ghosts may be unable to find you, as clutter interferes with their echolocation.

Have you ever owned anything? This is why you cannot forgive any of your former lovers. Things like "having chairs" is preventing you from living your best life, and also you should throw away any item of clothing you're not currently wearing. If it's not on your skin, you don't really love it, do you?
posted by divined by radio at 8:34 AM on September 16, 2015 [18 favorites]


Hey Women, turns out whether we have a lot of stuff or a little stuff we are still Doing It Wrong!
posted by naoko at 8:51 AM on September 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


I've had to clean out four dead relatives' (mother and three grandparents) apartments worth of crap. It hasn't made me stockpile less crap, but it has made me feel more guilty about it, so I highly recommend it.
posted by griphus at 9:07 AM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Marie Kondo actually does talk about this--you are not supposed to declutter or organize for someone else, because what's important is the owner of that object's personal connection with that object. Of course a parent wouldn't care about a kid's broken toys, no matter their emotional weight. But it doesn't matter. It's theirs, and theirs to deal with. You deal with your own shit.

Oh, cool -- thanks for adding that to the thread. I hadn't read Marie Kondo's book because I felt, Hey, life is short and I have my material world under control, but it's great to know this is finally being addressed.

I may end up spending part of today obsessively Googling and Binging to see how many parenting articles address the radical notion that your child's stuff belongs to them, so maybe don't just throw it out whenever you feel like it. Boundaries, they're healthy!
posted by sobell at 11:02 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


That said, isn't decluttering often paired with less consumption?

I've had sort of the opposite experience. I'm definitely more on the hoarding end of the spectrum. I get very sentimentally attached to EVERYTHING and often find it physically painful to get rid of stuff. Paradoxically, I hate visible clutter (like, nothing on shelves other than books, nothing on counter tops other than appliances, etc).

However, now that I've come to terms with that part of myself, it's actually driven me to consume less. I used to collect a lot of small souvenirs and random crap that caught my eye, but then I wouldn't know what to do with it since I don't like displaying that stuff, so it gets shoved in a drawer. But I don't want to get rid of it either.

Now, I just don't buy that stuff. I recently went on a trip to London, and in the past, I might have picked up various random souvenirs that were small, cheap, but ultimately clutter. Instead I got one thing that I really wanted and knew I would display, and that was it, aside from a gift for a family member that I knew they wanted. Oh, and some chocolate.

I guess it's sort of a best defense is a good offense thing. It saves me from the stress of getting rid of things, it saves me money, and I don't feel like I'm contributing to general waste.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:10 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've learned a trick of taking photos of stuff that make me sentimental before I give them away. Somehow that makes it mean I won't forget what it symbolizes forever. Works for me, anyway.
posted by Miko at 11:24 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've learned a trick of taking photos of stuff that make me sentimental before I give them away. Somehow that makes it mean I won't forget what it symbolizes forever. Works for me, anyway.

I've been doing this, too. It really helps! Also, once something is gone from my living space I rarely miss it. Out of sight, out of mind, basically.
posted by phatkitten at 11:31 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Do none of these people have children?

Cause each one's an astonishingly efficient clutter-amplifying machine.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:49 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Your clutter becomes my wardrobe, (at least, the parts of my wardrobe that aren't underthings, socks, shoes, workout wear and bathing suits). Please continue to buy nice clothing in my size, wear it until you're bored with it (or, stare at it until you realize that your one-size-up-from-mine body is perfect the way it is, and you shouldn't have to change it to fit into a dress), then donate those items to local thrift shops.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 12:21 PM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've been doing this, too. It really helps! Also, once something is gone from my living space I rarely miss it. Out of sight, out of mind, basically.

Adventure Time clip
posted by rifflesby at 1:39 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


poor BMO never gets any concern
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:48 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


This feels like how being too skinny is seen as less of a problem than too fat because of our obsession with controlling ourselves. If you are too skinny then you are controlling yourself, if you are fat you are clearly a lazy wastrel.
posted by sidewinder at 10:10 PM on September 16, 2015


Here is a terrible photo of what my room currently looks like. I just moved back to Portland and left a lot of things at my parents' house in Reno. My landlord has my three guitars, two amps, two 58cm bicycles, small desk, and tiny safe. This is literally all I have on me right now, and since I am only subletting this room until November 4th it's a total mess because I don't have a car and I don't know how I'd buy a dresser and get it back here, or what the point would even be since I'm just moving again so soon.

But yeah, my room is cluttered, and this is literally only clothing. A lot of people think I have a lot of clothing but when you consider that it goes between cold rain to just plain cold days, or days where it rains on and off, I don't know how I'd get rid of a lot of this stuff. When I break it down it doesn't seem like much and I definitely know people who own a lot more clothing than I do. My issue currently is just organization, because this room doesn't have a closet and I don't have any hangers. The next room I move into I'll have to end up buying a small dresser and some hangers to hang my few heavier coats up.
posted by gucci mane at 1:51 AM on September 17, 2015


.After I finished this process, I realized I had one more thing to get rid of: my husband.

That sounds like the plot of a Jack Chick story about the dangers of decluttering.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:33 AM on September 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


Tell you what, the agents of KAOS - it definitely goes in the joys of decluttering and not the dangers in this case. Best thing I could have done! Yahoo!
posted by jonathanstrange at 11:02 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


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