Clutter

An Untidy History

Clutter (2020, Belt Publishing)

192 pages

English language

Published July 11, 2020 by Belt Publishing.

ISBN:
9781948742726

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“I’m sitting on the floor in my mother’s house, surrounded by stuff.” So begins Jennifer Howard’s Clutter, an expansive assessment of our relationship to the things that share and shape our lives. Inspired by the painful process of cleaning out her mother’s house, Howard, a former contributing editor for The Washington Post, sets her own personal struggle with clutter against a meticulously researched history of just how the developed world came to drown in material goods.

With sharp prose and an eye for telling detail, she connects the dots between the Industrial Revolution, the Sears & Roebuck catalog, and the Container Store, and shines unsparing light on clutter’s darker connections to environmental devastation and hoarding disorder. In an age when Amazon can deliver anything at the click of a mouse and decluttering guru Marie Kondo can become a reality TV star, Howard’s bracing analysis has never been more timely. …

Subjects

  • World history