Why Designers and Professionals Shouldn't Count on Decluttering and Minimizing Going Away Anytime Soon
Fads come and go. Any home designer can tell you as much. From year to year, interior design trends can change drastically. In the past several years, reducing clutter and minimizing has been becoming increasingly popular in home design, leaving many people to wonder, "When will it end?"
The reason it won't is simple. Despite what you are hearing from some professionals, decluttering and minimizing isn't just a trend or a fashion. It's a lifestyle change. And it's being led by millennials, who have both adopted certain values and freedoms that downsizing and decluttering represent but have also been forced to adopt by external forces.
This digital generation has been leading the decluttering movement and for a variety of reasons. For one, they are much less sentimental than former generations. In fact, they are straight out refusing to accept their parents' collectibles and nostalgic items. This is a generation that doesn't need hand-me-downs, photo albums, and old textbooks. These are the original internet kids. Their photos are on their hard drives and social media accounts. Their music and videos are stored in iTunes Cloud. Their textbooks are on Kindle.
They don't have junk lying around. Items they do have, they want stored and organized. Items they don't have, they don't have room for, which leads us to the next big reason that millennials' propensity to live decluttered and minimalistic lifestyles won't be changing anytime soon.
Millennials either can't afford or don't want more space.
Perhaps the biggest reason that millennials are leading the decluttering movement is their refusal to move to the suburbs and buy more space. This is an unapologetically urban generation. Unlike past generations who fled from cities to the suburbs, millennials are leading the charge, even going so far as to create new urban areas and revitalizing smaller, cheaper cities when they can't afford the larger ones.
Millennials, who have been burdened with more debt and challenges than any other generation in history, have decided not to live the lives their parents did. They are waiting longer to have kids and to buy houses. They are living in much smaller apartments in urban areas. They don't' have garages and basements and extra storage space. They don't want their parents' knickknacks and memories, and they keep all their's online.
So, no, decluttering isn't a trend. Downsizing isn't. Going "tiny" isn't either. Millennials are the largest generation alive today, and they are beginning to carve out their lives in the world. These are directions they have chosen. They like clean, organized spaces, with storage for the items they do have, and the ability to up and move with as little headache as possible.
The movement has been gaining momentum for several years now, and professionals are rightfully curious about when or if it will end. But all research suggests that it isn't ending. It isn't slowing down. It isn't a trend or a fad. It's a new way of living for a new generation.