Not all of the world’s clutter is created equal. Ms. Kingston says that British clutter tends to include pieces of unwanted inherited furniture. (“Accept the love that was given with the gift but let the physical item go,” she advises.) Americans have fewer heirlooms, but can become sentimentally attached to new purchases, she says.
Germans are among the biggest subscribers to her de-cluttering courses. Though when a colleague emails her “clutter photos” from potential clients there, she’s often at a loss to find the mess. (In Germany, “It’s not so much that they have a lot of clutter, it’s more the fact that they want to be optimally organized,” Ms. Kingston explains.)
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
De-Cluttering and the German Mind
The de-cluttering movement is one of the more intriguing bits of contemporary culture. We now have so much stuff that people feel overwhelmed by it, and the bestselling self-help books these days are about how to de-clutter your house and simplify your life. Rather than needing things, or craving sensation, we are drowning in an avalanche of both. But of course how much stuff is too much varies from person to person, and culture to culture. Karen Kingston, a British clutter expert who consults internationally, offers some insight into the differences: