In case you've missed it—the avalanche of how-to books, support groups, friends' vows to pare their possessions down to 100 things—decluttering is most definitely a thing. To listen to some advocates, it's nothing short of a "born-again experience," writes Pamela Druckerman in the New York Times. She decided to give it a go herself, and despite some obvious upsides—"for the first time in years, I can lay my hands on any one of my sweaters"—she sounds underwhelmed by the whole experience. The problem is that we've got a whole new kind of clutter in our modern lives.
"The more stuff I shed, the more I realize that we de-clutterers feel besieged by more than just our possessions," she writes. "We’re also overwhelmed by the intangible detritus of 21st-century life." Think unreturned emails, unprinted digital photos, and the constant monitoring of our smartphones and friends' Facebook feeds, to name a few. It's comforting to think that shedding unwanted stuff will help our true selves emerge, but Druckerman isn't a believer. "I’m starting to suspect that the joy of ditching all of our stuff is just as illusory as the joy of acquiring it all was," she concludes. "Less may be more, but it's still not enough." Click for her full column.