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The End of Minimalism

When minimalism doesn't help

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

Living light may have its benefits, but it’s not a strategy that’s really adaptable to unexpected unemployment or overburdened supply chains. Searching for domestic perfection should be done only by those who don’t have to worry about what unforeseen wants or needs might lie ahead.

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The End of Minimalism

The End of Minimalism

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/the-triumph-of-the-slob/612232/

theatlantic.com

4

Key Ideas

Clutter across generations and cultures

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, but the process would take over a lifetime and they would value it.

The shift from accumulation to consumption

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 centralize.

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.

When minimalism doesn't help

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

Living light may have its benefits, but it’s not a strategy that’s really adaptable to unexpected unemployment or overburdened supply chains. Searching for domestic perfection should be done only by those who don’t have to worry about what unforeseen wants or needs might lie ahead.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

What Home Feels Like

What Home Feels Like

We often confuse the structural, physical entity that is the house as home. It may be the body of the home, and just like we relate to our body, the home relates to the house structure.

Home Is A Soul

Just as we are extremely lucky if we get one great love in our lives, we should consider ourselves lucky if we get a real home. The abstract concept of a home is almost supernatural, with the house being the architecture, providing shelter. Great architecture is like the external beauty of a person, which may or may not be corresponding to what the person really is from inside.

Nevertheless, the outside is what provides a lust, a longing to see what’s inside.

Architecture Is Fascinating

Architects are creators in the real sense. They can conceptualize and implement great design and arouse deep feelings just by the work they do.

Their work is a siren call for many, both romantic and high in status.

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Declutter Your World

Declutter Your World

Takumi Kawahara and Marie Kondo, a couple from Japan, are co-founders of KonMari Media. They have a bestseller (authored by Kondo) about decluttering and cleaning your world, and also a highly popu...

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

The Netflix Show ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ is the most-watched non-fiction show on the platform. She is now at par with Martha Stewart, Oprah, and Gwyneth Paltrow, as a goddess of wellness and domesticity.

She has an e-commerce website, blog, newsletter, and does consultation work in over 40 countries through her personally created brand. 

The Criticism

Marie Kondo’s decluttering philosophy, which became a rage, invited critics to label her as someone who has an anti-capitalist agenda that can cripple the economy. 

She was also labeled as someone who only appeals to the rich. This unwanted attention resulted in even more business opportunities.

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The new minimalism

In part, the new minimalism is a kind of cultural aftershock of the 2008 housing crisis and banking collapse. At the same time, minimalism has become an increasingly aspirational and deluxe way ...

Minimalism for the affluent

Many people have minimalism forced upon them by circumstance. Poverty and trauma can make frivolous possessions seem like a lifeline instead of a burden.

Although many of today's gurus insist that minimalism is useful regardless of income, they target the affluent. The focus on self-improvement is more about accumulation.

Minimalism of ideas

True minimalism is not about throwing things out, but about challenging your beliefs in an attempt to engage with ideas as they are, to not shy away from reality or its lack of answers. 

Underneath the vision of “less” is a mode of living that heightens the miracle of human presence.

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