Wall Street Journal: “a tipping point of clutter”

Page2_WSJ_Stuffocation_Fri, Feb 27, 2015

Today the Wall Street Journal has run a great piece on the problem of clutter and the “cult of tidying up”. The article supports the principle assertion of Stuffocation: that we have too much stuff!

The article is based on the raging success of Japan’s “tidier-in-chief” Marie Kondo, whose book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has sold more than 2m copies worldwide.

Key quotes (besides lots on the new verb ” to Kondo”, as in to tidy up):

a shift in the zeitgeist… many people seem to have reached a tipping point of clutter in their lives

More decluttering books are on the way. In March, Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau is publishing “Stuffocation,” by James Wallman. The book argues that the clutter in our homes is correlated to stress, and that to lead happier lives, we should spend our money on experiences rather than things.

The popularity of “Tidying Up” dovetails with an expansion of the entire self-help category to include a younger, hipper, mindfulness-practicing audience of women and men. “It’s the Ted Talk audience,” says Jessica Sindler, the editor who acquired “Stuffocation” at Spiegel & Grau. “It’s about changing your life and self-improvement but it’s sort of a happier, smarter approach.”

In my view, this underlines the point that too many people have too much stuff in their homes. This is why they have the problem of clutter – as identified by Jean Arnold, the anthropologist who stars in the first chapter of Stuffocation, and whom you can read a bit about in the excerpt from Stuffocation the Wall Street Journal published.

It also proves that now is the right time for me to publish Stuffocation, and for you to buy it! Tidying up will only take you so far… to really be happy you have to embrace the idea that memories live longer than things.

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