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Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
15 Mar 2021
3:25 pm

‘Cluttercore’ is the home decor trend that will free you of guilt

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Tidying up, clearing out, organising? If you're sick of that, you're not the only one, there is an online resistance movement to these philosophies of being organised.

'Cluttercore' spaces. Picture: Shutterstock©

After the world’s infatuation with Marie Kondo-style minimalism and tidying up, here comes the “cluttercore” trend, a joyful, happy mess that is, above all, comfortable and reassuring. And guilt-free to boot. Could it also be drawing on nostalgic tendencies?

Tidying up, clearing out, organizing? If you’re sick of that, you’re not the only one. After having done the spring cleaning during the first-wave lockdown and folded your socks in the way of Japanese organizational queen Marie Kondo during the second round of stay-at-home orders, well perhaps now you’re over this sanitized existence, which some see as going hand in hand with restrictions on freedom.

So, online, a resistance movement to these philosophies is being organized, and its proponents are using the hashtag “cluttercore.”

Embracing – and being embraced by – the clutter

The term refers to an aesthetic based around a mess and a large quantity of stuff. Behind this organized mess, these knickknacks, piles of books and cuddly toys that reassure us in these uncertain times, it is also a revolt against years of aspiring to an often out of reach perfect ensemble. Our wardrobes, our homes, our minds… what if our lives could follow a different, less ‘structured’ order?

Vincent Grégoire, Consumer Trends and Insights Director of forecasting agency Nelly Rodi, analyzed the phenomenon, telling French magazine Biba for its March 2021 issue that “at the moment, as people do not know what tomorrow will bring, they need emotions and memories, to give themselves reassurance.

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We are witnessing the house being given the soft, ‘cocoon’ treatment to become a place where we can let go, where there is no judgment from others. Cluttercore is the submerged part of the iceberg. Cluttercore is about a different order of things, a willingness to take ownership.”

Tips for doing cluttercore in your space:

  1.  Surround yourself with small objects that bring you comfort. Little trinkets brought back from distant trips, cuddly toys that make you smile, candles, small plants and of course books.
  2.  Take the opportunity to bring out your treasures from storage or the attic. Anything and everything is welcome, even grandma’s trinkets.
  3.  To put a bit of order into this disorganized decor approach, focus on a single color, or a single ‘ambiance.’ Otherwise, the cacophony could drown out and overwhelm the comforting effect.

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