CHICAGO -- In a recent op-ed piece, Stephanie Land characterized the de-cluttering craze, popularized by Marie Kondo's best-selling "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," as a form of class-based scorn.
"In a new documentary about the movement, ‘bad' consumption is portrayed by masses of people swarming into big-box stores on Black Friday, rushing over one another for the best deals," wrote Land, a fellow at the Center for Community Change, in The New York Times. "They are, we're led to understand, slaves to material goods, whereas the people who stay away from mass consumption are independent thinkers, free to enjoy the higher planes of life. But those people flocking to Wal-Mart ... are people teetering on or even below the poverty level, desperate for comfort in their homes. To point to them as a reason to start an anti-consumerism movement is just another form of social shaming."
I agree -- there's a lot of hype tinged with snobbery. The minimalism movement has become what Kyle Chayka calls "Silicon Valley's version of Zen monkhood."