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Why we cling to material things

Psychologists found that people cling to material stuff as a response to a form of anxiety (about loss, financial instability, even body image) and that clutter itself is often a source of stress.

Clutter tends to accumulate in the homes those working people for whom the hope of financial stability and the lurking possibility of ruination are always present.

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Tossing everything that isn’t just right in the moment is its own kind of privilege.

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Victorians lived in houses that were overflowing with artsy items and other kinds of things. So clutter is not entirely an American notion, but modern Americans cultivate its presence in ways that set them apart.

Yes, past generations used to accumulate a lot of material things, bu...

It happened between the 1880s and the 1920s. Before that, most belongings were either made at home or bought from local craftspeople or general stores.

American manufacturing and transportation took off around the turn of the 20th century, so the economy of items began to ...

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Ways To Cope With Other People's Clutter

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