Clutter Decorating Is the Anti-Minimalist Trend Taking Over the South

More is more.

If you have read Southern Living at all in the last few years, you have undoubtedly seen at least one article on decluttering. We've published articles on conquering clutter, decluttering for spring cleaning, how to declutter in four steps, how to get a clutter-free home in just 31 days. We're pretty anti-clutter. That said, there is a new interior trend sweeping across the internet that we are a wee bit curious about—cluttercore.

Cluttercore is a maximal approach to decorating where more is more. It's not about making a mess or filling a room with piles of stuff that would make the folks on Hoarders jealous, but about displaying and arranging what you have and love. As the BBC put it, "cluttercore is not about filling rooms with tat; it's about loving what you already own." It's about artfully arranging a museum wall worth of family photos, instead of one tasteful Tiffany framed print. It's about displaying all your Depression glass or vintage milk glass instead of saving it in the china cupboard for special occasions, just because you love it.

Credenza and Gallery Wall with greenery for Christmas
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Page Mullins

i-D magazine explains cluttercore as a design aesthetic where, "you can tell that the objects have been chosen and displayed with love, their owner keeping them for reasons that may not matter to you, but matter utterly to them."

People have really taken a fancy to cluttercore and social media is filled with mentions. The #cluttercore hashtag has racked up more than 14 million views on TikTok at the time of writing, and more than 9,000 hashtags on Instagram. Why is clutter taking off now after years of minimalism and Maria Kondo preaching the gospel of tidying up? Well, according to Jennifer Howard, author of Clutter: An Untidy History, who spoke to the BBC, the rise of cluttercore may be connected to the pandemic. "We want to feel safe, we want to feel comfortable, we want to feel protected and taken care of – stuff can act like a literal cocoon," she said.

Whatever the reason for the rise of curated clutter, it's a fun excuse to try something new (and bring all that cabbageware out of storage). But pretty soon, we'll be back trying to make decluttering a breeze.

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